A little more than a year ago, the Ackerman and Hendrickson boys had never even heard of barbershop music.


The four play in a Christian rock band together, but decided to perform an acapella number for Oak Hills High School's talent show, singing a mash-up of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."


"We realized we could all sing, so we figured we'd do that" instead of dragging their instruments onstage, said Blake Ackerman. It turned out to be the right decision. "We won second place and someone in the audience was in a barbershop chorus."


The boys were encouraged to compete in the Far Western District Quartet competition in March of 2011 three months later. It didn't go well they came in sixth place out of six competitors in the high school division.


"We just learned barbershop and had never heard that kind of music," Dalton Hendrickson said. "It's not something that we were going to fail at and give up. ... It's so much fun to do."


So they tabled their rock and roll incarnation of No Personal Boundaries although they perform each week during services at Calvary Chapel and got serious about their barbershop quartet, New Gang on the Corner, participating in regional competitions.


They returned to the Oak Hills stage in triumph, winning the talent show, and went on to win first place out of five competitors at the Far Western District Quartet competition on March 10.


"All we wanted to do, really..." began Bryce Ackerman.


"... was to do good," finished Wyatt Hendrickson.


"We took the stage and did the best we could," Dalton Hendrickson said.


And while they now want to get more serious about their rock music, the four say they'll continue on with barbershop, even past this year's graduation for all but Wyatt Hendrickson.


"We are going to keep going next year," Dalton Hendrickson said, but just "compete as adults."


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.