The quartet name, Downstate Express, comes from the fact that its members are spread out all across southern Minnesota in the Cities of Winona, Rochester, Waseca, and Minneapolis. The quartet was formed in 1982 and in the fall of that same year, won the Land O' Lakes District Quartet Championship on its first attempt. The "Downstate" also represented its District in International competition three times before they disbanded in 1985, due largely to the 450 man-miles required for each rehearsal.
After an eleven-year hiatus, the Downstate regrouped in 1996 and once again earned the honor of representing its District in International competition! Ironically, the quartet man- mileage for rehearsals is now even greater than it was before! Go figure!?!?!?
from Winona, MN, sings lead and has sung in several very popular
show quartets, including the Mistersippis, the Road Runners, and saving his
best for last, the Downstate Express! Bruce has served as chorus director for
the Winona barbershoppers, and also has directed the Winona Sweet Adelines to
a regional championship. Professionally, Bruce has progressed through a
number of high level jobs, recently having arrived at the pinnacle of his
career as a part-time janitor at the local YMCA.
The quartet's stonefaced Norwegian bass singer is
Gary Rogness, who hails from
Rochester, MN. Unlike the other guys in the quartet, who can all boast of
experience in several high ranking quartets, Gary is lucky to be singing in
any quartet at all. Gary has problems with some of the quartet's repertoire
and occasionally digs in his heels and refuses to sing some songs altogether.
The guys in the Downstate Express have found it extremely difficult to sing
down to Gary's low level, but they reluctantly admit that he is very gifted on
the pitchpipe. Professionally, Gary is in the insurance and securities
Richard "Trep" Treptow lives in Indianapolis, Indiana,
and joined the Downstate
Express in early 1997, after a three-year stint with the popular show quartet,
Imagination. Richard is an experienced quartet man, and has three District
Quartet Championships to his credit, as well as having sung with the
International Champion Quartet, the
Richard is also a certified judge in the Barbershop Society, and is the
Society's Presentation Category Specialist. Despite his
credentials, the Downstate has put him on temporary probation until he
proves he can really sing baritone -- but how would they ever know?
Richard is a financial advisor to state and local governments.
Ed Wirtz, from Waseca, MN, sings tenor and has two District Quartet
Championships to his credit (the Ring of Gold and the Downstate Express) as
well as having sung in several other quartets. Ed is a past chorus director
of the Waseca barbershop chapter, is a current member of the Mankato
Riverblenders, and competed with them in International chorus competition.
There is absolutely nothing funny that can be said about Ed. He is an
Engineering Director for a large electronics manufacturing company and has
routinely made business trips to the Orient. (Claims he's an expert in
Mr. Gary Rogness |
4119 - Seventh Place NW
Rochester, MN 55901
H: (507) 288-0606
W: (507) 421-2748
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