Al is a second generation Barbershopper. His dad, Gordy Wolter is a Fifty Year Member. Al grew up in southern California, listening to one of the Far Western District’s wackiest quartets, The Beaver Inn Four, rehearse in his front room. In fact one of his earliest childhood memories is of his dad’s first quartet, The Badger Statesmen, coming back from a performance in Wisconsin (Gordy was a founding member of the Beloit Wisconsin Chapter).
While he often went to the Whittier Chapter meetings with his dad, sitting next to Doug Anderson, of The Far Westerners, 139th Street Quartet, and Buck 39 fame, and was on stage in the chapter’s production of Showboat at age 12, he didn’t join the Society until 1985. It wasn’t until the Narragansett Bay Chorus from Providence RI, who had come to the Submarine base in New London, Connecticut (yes he was a sub-sailor) to raise money for their trip to International and he was unable to sing tags at the afterglow with them that he realized he needed to find his voice.
Since then, he’s been a member of five chapters; Whittier, Stockton, Sacramento, Central Valley, and the Frank Thorne Chapter-at-Large; three registered quartets; Contingency with Sacramento, Right From The Start with Central Valley, and Tune Struck with Stockton; winning the NorCal-East Divisional Novice crown twice (with Right From The Start in 2000 and Tune Struck in 2005), and has participated in chorus contests singing bass, lead, and tenor.
Although Al currently belongs to the Frank Thorne Chapter, he has served as Chapter Secretary, Show Chairman, Choreography Coach, Section Leader, and Vice President of Music and Performance for various chapters. These efforts have led to his recognition as the Barbershopper of the Year for 2005 and as a Bachelor of Harmony in the Far Western District, an honor he shares with only 68 other members including his father (the only father and son recipients).
He divides his barbershopping activities with the time he shares with his wife Donna, whom he married Valentines Day 1988, her three grown children and their families (including his 10 grandchildren), and his work in the Business Technology Department at SMUD, the Electrical Utility in Sacramento, where he has worked since June of 1986.