Fred Lamka: In perfect harmony for more than 50 years

Fred Lamka has been performing in barbershop choruses since 1947 when he started with the Mt. Rainier Chapter. - Andy Hobbs/The Mirror
Fred Lamka has been performing in barbershop choruses since 1947 when he started with the Mt. Rainier Chapter.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

By LANNY GLEASON, Chorus Manager of the Harmony Kings

“If you enjoy singing at all, invite yourself to sing with a chorus.” That’s what Fred Lamka first told me as I was interviewing him. You see, Fred has just been honored by receiving his “50” year pin as a barbershopper.

Fred states: “When I started in the fall of 1947, the Mt. Rainier Chapter met in Auburn. They met every week on Tuesday nights. Then, in the summer of 1950, they lost 15 members, most of them teachers, so they had half the numbers, and not enough to maintain a chapter. In 1960, between Christmas and New Year’s, five men met in Kent to obtain a new charter. So March of 1961 began the Green River Chordmen with 22 members.” Fred’s first competition was with that group at Bellingham in October of 1961.

Fred said he has had either nine or ten different directors — and four chorus names — until we became the Harmony Kings.

Fred has held every office during his time as a barbershopper, except secretary. He served as Evergreen District Treasurer for eight years, and eight years as the treasurer for the Harmony Kings. He has been inactive in a leadership position for ten years, saying, “It’s time for the younger folk to take the lead.”

How did all this start? “I was influenced by a neighbor from Steel Lake; went to my first meeting and got sucked in!”

Fred has been married to his sweetheart, Jane, for 64 years. They have two sons, both in the Washington area, and one daughter who has passed on.

A final comment from our “50” year member: “Singing — you can enjoy for a lifetime!”

As one of the members of the Harmony Kings, may I say how much we enjoy Fred as a member!

Check it out

Federal Way’s Harmony Kings Barbershop Chorus is presenting their third annual free Community Appreciation Concert at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Steel Lake Presbyterian Church, 1829 S 308th St. For more information, visit or call (253) 927-4018.

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