Posted by Lorin May | Posted in Chapters, Media, Members, Together, Making The Music That's Making A Difference | Posted on July 25, 2014, 2:57 PM
Without getting into detail, Society and District communicators have been working with PROBE to be more proactive in uncovering and sharing what’s going on in every corner of the Society. We’re planning to release a Top 10 list every week, and PROBE has released the first Top 10 list is already up on their Website: probeweb.org/TopTen/
We’re always looking for help in gathering the news and continuing to uncover and share what’s going on all around the Society. If you’ve got an item, please send it to Top10@PROBEweb.org. They’re also copies here below. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Becca Grimmer | Posted in Youth in Harmony | Posted on July 24, 2014, 2:05 PM
Young men and women all over North America have been celebrating barbershop harmony and loving every minute of it!
Harmony Explosion camps provide a great multi-day opportunity for the high-school singer to meet other students who share similar interests, learn more about singing and vocal technique, experience the thrill of barbershop harmony, ring 4-part chords ’til the wee hours of the morning, and have a ton of fun!
Want to see what these talented young people have been up to?
- The Ontario District Harmony Explosion Camp has its own facebook page.
- When you search #harmonyexplosion on instagram you get a plethora of photos.
- There are already tons of videos on YouTube from 2014 (and we still have 5 camps to go!)
Have a listen to these talented young men:
Want a first hand experience from a camper? Check out this video!
Any way you look at it, these camps are making a positive difference in the lives of these young people. Want to know how you can help a kid get to a Harmony Explosion Camp? Check out the Harmony Foundation!Buy cheap Casodex
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2015 Pittsburgh, Press Clippings | Posted on July 23, 2014, 10:17 AM
Award for “first chapter edia plug for the 2015 International Convention in Pittsburgh” goes to BABS representatives Sheffield:
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Having conquered the national championships, the group are now preparing to represent Britain once again, in the international barbershop competition in Pittsburgh, USA, next summer.
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Membership growth, Press Clippings, Run your chapter | Posted on July 23, 2014, 8:55 AM
Invitations to guests are common, but don’t you love that headline? “Give your dreams a voice” sure beats “Join a barbershop chapter.”
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If you love a little sing-along in the shower, but the thought of singing on your own in public is mortifying, fear not, there is help at hand.
Nelson Bays Harmony, are offering an immersive singing workshop for women at all levels of the singing spectrum, where they can learn and improve while enjoying the company of others.
Read more: Time to give your dreams a voice | Stuff.co.nz.
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Chapter Eternal | Posted on July 22, 2014, 11:08 PM
Jim Kline (Gotcha!, 139th Street Quartet) shares this notable passing:
It is with great sorrow that I announce the passing of my father, Ken Kline. He had to be removed from the chorus contest in Las Vegas by the paramedics. Two weeks later he died from natural causes with his three children holding his hand. he was 92 years old.
Ken was a 62-year member of the Society and it was my pleasure to receive my 50 year pin with him at the convention. I am told we are the first father/son to be fifty year members at the same time.
He was attending his 56th International convention.
Tonight the Long Beach Chapter, of which he was president, will be given the sad news.
His service will be 3PM July 26 at Leisure World in Seal Beach. All friends are welcome to celebrate the life of this fine barbershopper who spread love just by smiling. He will be missed.Buy cheap Trecator-SC
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Performance | Posted on July 22, 2014, 11:38 AM
Are you robbing your audiences of your true talent – singing?
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Their arranging and singing skills were flawless. But the unnerving chit chat in between numbers proved to be a show-stopper–and not in the desirable sense.
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in In the news, Media, Related Readng | Posted on July 22, 2014, 10:35 AM
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony University | Posted on July 21, 2014, 9:49 AM
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Related Readng | Posted on July 21, 2014, 9:39 AM
British Barbershopper Liz Garnett writes about music from perspectives as both a barbershop singer/director/coach/judge, but also as an academic. She offers fascinating insights into the social dimension of barebrshop singing as expressed musically:
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I noticed an interesting variant on this pattern during the quartet contests at the BABS Convention a few weeks ago: hyper-embellishment as male-dominance display. Contests are by their nature competitive environments, so it should not be surprising to see competitive forms of behaviour from the participants. But it was interesting to observe the interaction between arrangement choices and on-stage personas. The kind of complexifying stuff that contemporary barbershop gets packed full of in the name of being ‘progressive’ or ‘edgy’ were precisely the musical features that were used for strutting and preening and hey-look-at-me-ing.
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Chapter Eternal | Posted on July 21, 2014, 8:31 AM
It is with deep regret, and heavy hearts, that we must report the passing of our brother, Doug Maddox, who fought a long and courageous battle with cancer. Doug has been a treasured member of the Masters of Harmony since 1988, and a star in the barbershop world for decades. He was actively involved with Far Western District and International convention and contest stage logistics. He will be truly missed. Doug’s family has set up a resource at
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Why I Barbershop | Posted on July 18, 2014, 5:00 PM
Conventions cover a lot of territory: contests, late night parties, Harmony U classes, chorditoriums, and tourism. The convention team works hard to create a great experiences. Some are hard to manage logistically; some are simple, yet move us deeply. Here’s a note recently received at HQ by a satisfied guest:
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Marty, I wanted to let you (and others, if you forward this to them) that I enjoyed the contest in Las Vegas, and that a very big highlight for me (and many of my friends attending) was when the audience did group singing (God Bless America, Oh Canada, I’m Sitting On Top Of The World, Star Spangled Banner, Keep The Whole World Singing). What a thrill to participate (and hear) thousands singing in 4-part harmony! What a rich sound; how much emotion it generated.
I hope organizers of future events will include group audience singing!
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Just for Fun, Media, Related Readng | Posted on July 18, 2014, 10:10 AM
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Media, Press Clippings, Quartetting | Posted on July 18, 2014, 8:34 AM
See The Musical Island Boys, The Academy, and The Vocal Majority at bit.ly/bhs2014champs
Bookmark this playlist on your smartphone — it’s the easiest way to show off your pride in the musicianship, vocal artistry, and pure barbershop joy of our new champs. bit.ly/bhs2014champsAll performances are copyrighted arrangements of public domain songs, with permission granted by arrangers David Wright and Tom Gentry. Share these widely, and embed in your chapter web sites.Buy Zenegra
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, History | Posted on July 15, 2014, 3:03 PM
No greater honor can come to any man but to be recognized by his colleagues.
As the remarkable quartets so honored by the Hall of Fame in the past can attest, our greatest satisfaction stems from those individuals who approach us to confide how they were inspired to sing barbershop harmony and join this wonderful Society.
How apropos that the theme of this year’s International convention was “It’s the Music!” A similar expression printed on a sign – MUSIC IS THE MASTER – greeted us when we met with a musician friend of ours in 1971.
The Boston Common were blessed to have befriended an eloquent devotee of four part close harmony early on in our development. From the outset, he encouraged us to use the barbershop quartet medium as a means to learn music.
He would play fresh arrangements on an old pump organ in his basement, and we’d record them for rehearsal. Three or four weeks later, after we had met on our own to fashion the song for ourselves, we’d return. After a brief discussion of some finer points of music, he’d ask that we sing the song for him. We would oblige, and on occasion he’d tear up either because he was pleased, or perturbed, by something we did. Sometimes he’d laugh, then explain to us why what we did in one spot was musically incorrect or “in poor musical taste.” After his admonishment, we asked “then what should we do?” He’d shrug his shoulders and state, “I don’t know. But now that you know what you shouldn’t do, try something else.” We never made the same mistake twice. Why? Because we came to understand why it wasn’t acceptable. Lou Perry helped us to understand the whys of music versus the hows, to contribute to the art form, and to be creative.
That little story hints of the reason why The Boston Common came to be known for its distinctive sound and style. He allowed us to be ourselves. We had a teacher who introduced us to musical concepts, not a coach. And certainly not a judge/coach since it was our belief (and supported by Lou) that quartets who seek instructions from judges not only can be accused of compromising the system, but risk surrendering their individuality. Besides, there’s something about that practice that simply doesn’t pass the smell test.
Much like fingerprints differentiate individuals, so, too, do barbershop quartets differ from one another. At least they should. But when quartets adopt the strict parameters defined by the overseers of the art form, they tend to sound alike and hone a formula that becomes easy to beat and replicate. Worse, they help reduce the art form to a craft.
Pull out the early recordings of the 1950’s and early ‘60’s finalist quartets. Those quartets had their own distinguishing sounds as well. It wasn’t difficult to differentiate the Sun Tones from the Four Rascals or Easternaires or Nighthawks or Playtonics or Confederates.
We experimented early on with different sounds. We learned of the importance of a solid lead/bass match, and of the magic role of the baritone (e.g. to sing with and enhance the bass). And because of the sound we generated, our tenor was able to sing in full voice that in turn, helped create an even bigger sound. We thought of it as “expanded sound” (see: Vocal Majority) since it appeared to us (from inside the quartet) to feel like a dry sponge acts as it expands when tossed into water. As a point of interest, the popular description of expanded sound used by coaches/judges might better be defined as “extended” sound since the tones generated are more vertical than broad or voluminous.
We also learned songs that would aid us in improving on our weaknesses. For instance, “Back In Dad and Mother’s Day” was the first (of several) songs that helped us to improve our collective sense of rhythm.
There were other discoveries we incorporated into our songs and singing style. If invited to do so, any of us would welcome the opportunity to share those insights. Throughout our competitive years, however, few persons bothered to ask. Rather, we were lectured as to how we could win the gold medal sooner if we’d only do as they say. But it wasn’t about the medal. It was, and remains, the music.
Another distinguishing trait of the quartet was our spontaneity. One example is the year we were standing in the wings at the international competition, ready to follow the quartet ahead of us who was just beginning their second song, which as it turned out was to be our first song. Stunned, we looked at each other and agreed, “looks like we won’t be introducing ‘Little Girl’.” Our lead, Rich Knapp, calmly said, “Well, then let’s do such-and-such,” a song we hadn’t even considered for competition.
Then there was an earlier competition when we began singing “I’m Alone Because I Love You” in a key lower than intended. So, without warning, Rich used a solo note to raise the pitch a half. We found it added tension to the song so we kept it in.
We shared a mantra that guided us throughout: “The song comes first.” We would put all else aside – beginning with the toughest foe, our selves – and strive to stay within the song. Probably the finest example of how well that mantra served us was during the final song of our final competitive performance in Salt Lake City, 1980. We had only been singing “That Old Quartet” for five months and had been working it without fully understanding it. We wanted this to be our final contest song since we had decided prior to the convention that this would be the last time we’d compete. Following “Who Told You,” we paused individually and to a man prayed, “the song comes first!”
Thus began that performance. Two amazing developments occurred. We spontaneously made two edits to the song, in unison. Totally changed the interpretation, together. We virtually became the song. (“Be the ball, Danny.”) If ever a state of grace can be experienced in music, that moment was ours, that night, in Salt Lake City.
We thank you for the honor bestowed on us.
“And if someday we ever meet again, I will smile and stand in line. Just to sing one song, just one more time, with that old quartet of mine.”
THE BOSTON COMMON
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Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations | Posted on July 15, 2014, 10:38 AM
My love of barbershop started in high school when I saw videos of Max Q and OC Times performing online. I ended up auditioning and being placed into a quartet during freshman year. This allowed my fascination with the art form to blossom. Barbershop has been a consistent joy and hobby of mine for more than six years now, and as a marketing major at Ohio Northern University, seeking an internship with the Society only seemed natural.
Doing social media and data analysis here has really opened my eyes to the important role that community plays in sharing barbershop with others. Much of my data analysis work is getting into the nuts and bolts of how people explore barbershop-related content and emails. This has allowed me to see that much of the barbershop content explored online impacts Barbershoppers when they get together to sing. The highlight of the internship so far has definitely been watching the enthusiasm expressed by people tweeting with the #BHSLV hashtag during the convention. The widespread interest in barbershop hit home for me through people from all over the world tweeting and posting while watching the webcast.
I love describing my internship with friends and family because it gives me an opportunity to show them the impact that an online presence can have on an art form. I have noticed that Barbershoppers and non-Barbershoppers alike want to learn more about the online community and how to become more involved when I describe the internship.
The impact of the Society’s work has become much clearer to me, and it has allowed my passion for marketing and music to grow even deeper. The efforts of BHS employees are truly inspirational. Being amongst others who share passion for Barbershop Harmony has been an educational and wonderful experience for me that I will cherish forever.Buy Tentex Royal online
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in In the news, Related Readng | Posted on July 15, 2014, 8:47 AM
Everyone has felt chills up their spine when listening to a piece of music. Scientists have now unraveled a couple of theories behind why music has such an indisputable ability to trigger powerful emotions:Brains react to music like a drugA Team of Canadian researchers suggest that when we are moved by music, our brains behave as if reacting to delicious food, psychoactive drugs, or money. The pleasure experience is driven by the “reward” chemical dopamine, which has been linked to addiction. It produces physical effects known as “chills” that cause changes in the skin’s electrical conductance, heart rate, breathing and temperature. The research seems to suggest that dopamine release is greatest when listeners had a strong emotional response to music. The scientists reported that their findings provide “neurochemical evidence that intense emotional responses to music involve ancient reward circuitry and serve as a starting point for more detailed investigations of the biological substrates that underlie abstract forms of pleasure.”
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Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 14, 2014, 5:19 PM
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, HQ operations | Posted on July 14, 2014, 1:43 PM
This internship has been a very positive experience thus far. Whenever I describe what I do to my non-barbershop friends back home, I always think to myself, “this sounds very boring”, but in reality, I’ve never felt any degree of dread when going to BHS. All of the tasks they have me doing seem very interesting because it’s for the common goal of giving people a good barbershop experience. I’ve enjoyed seeing who has their hands on the big projects like HU, international and midwinter. There is way more detail involved in all of those projects that I ever could have imagined.
Some of the highlights of working here are doing everyday things and then singing with someone who is on a tour, or signing a tag with other employees. I’ve given a couple of tours, and while those take you away from tasks, I really enjoy hearing everyone’s story. I’ve also enjoyed being with other interns (and a few paid staff members) who are close to my age and getting to know the organization and people here.
I’ve enjoyed serving and working with barbershop ‘rock stars’ so to speak and getting to know them through a less conventional way than other barbershoppers.Buy generic Elocon
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, HQ operations | Posted on July 14, 2014, 1:42 PM
I came to the BHS working with Adam Scott on Music Publications. I was essentially putting my background in barbershop music/arranging into use by evaluating everything in our music library for difficulty, so that groups can more easily find music suitable to their skill level. It’s exciting because I have the opportunity to look at a lot of really awesome pieces of music, though it does become rather tedious at times. Probably the peak of this work was when I finished going through all of the BHS-Published arrangements in the catalog.
Because of my background with barbershop trivia/statistics, I was put to work on a couple projects as well. Patty Leveille had me do a lot of the research for our 25th and 50th anniversary quartet champion displays for the Las Vegas convention. I got to explore our archives and find a lot of interesting information, pictures, etc. It was a lot of fun! Also, Sherry Lewis asked me to help her manage the entry forms submitted by our international quartet and chorus competitors and to communicate with groups that hadn’t gotten all of the necessary information in yet. It was very interesting to see how much work goes into just the contest part of the convention. Also, as a barbershop nerd I enjoyed getting a sneak peek at what some of the quartets and choruses were going to sing in Vegas.
For now, my time interning at the BHS is over, and I already miss it. I had wonderful opportunities to put my barbershop background to use in ways that helped the convention in Vegas go smoothly and in ways that will help many groups looking for new music in the future. Also, the Society has a really great working environment, partly because many of the people working there are friends in and out of the office.Buy Fulvicin without a prescription
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, HQ operations | Posted on July 14, 2014, 1:40 PM
When describing my intern experience to my friends and family back in Iowa, I generally begin by saying, “First of all, Barbershop is a whole new world!” (cue Aladdin song) Coming from an a-cappella background similar to the movie Pitch Perfect, the idea of barbershop was familiar to me, but I didn’t fully understand the culture, or the thrill, until our Vegas convention this year.
I started interning on June 2nd, and therefore have been interning here at BHS for a little over a month now. I found this internship through my Career Center at Luther College, the school I attend in Decorah, IA. I knew I wanted to be in Nashville this summer, because I study violin and voice performance in school with a management focus, and the Nashville area seemed so appealing for all my interests. I asked what they could find via alumni connections in Nashville for music internships and the search yielded the name: Marty Monson, Luther alum, Barbershop Harmony Society. I was so pleased when I called and heard that there was an interning position for music event planning open- something I hadn’t previously considered, but that interested me. Combining music and people is the only stipulation I set for myself when it comes to my career, so I was happy that this internship worked out!
Prior to the convention, I was helping Dusty with the jobs that needed to be done concerning catering, reservations, tickets, judge’s meals, staff travel coordination, emailing confirmations to convention attendees, and most of all, planning our staff party for the first night Vegas. I quickly realized a lot of the job is communication and internet based. Leading up to the convention I had so many people warn me “Hold on tight, you’re in for a thrill ride” “Rest up now, because you won’t be sleeping at all” etc.The friendly warning list went on and on. Well, it turns out they weren’t joking! Although it was tiring to run around at the MGM Grand the whole week (we’re estimating 6-7 miles of walking a day) I was happy to experience everything in full force. I felt “converted” to barbershop after watching the first five groups perform on the (Wednesday) quartet quarterfinals, and had goose bumps at least three times during every performance.
The most general thing I can say is that I am thankful for how much I learned in that one week. My badge during the convention stated “meetings and conventions” and that was true, but really I was a middle man helping things run smoothly. Staff members and volunteers would call me or stop me saying “We need this, at this place, now,” and I would get on the phone and make it happen. I was also in charge of taking care of money transactions with checks to the restaurants who were hosting our private meals for the judges, checking the judge’s room to make sure their lunch catering was correct during the contest, and at night sometimes I checked on receptions and parties. Running around made it possible for me to observe, and take note of how much goes into a convention, and how many details there are that hundreds of people help string together. It’s extremely rewarding to see something you planned come together for people who have a common passion, music. In addition, I was so surprised by the encouragement and appreciation I received from my fellow staff members here at BHS. During the trip I was never treated as “just an intern” and I loved being part of our team.
Now that the convention is over, I’m helping a little bit with Harmony University and am planning the gathering we are hosting here at headquarters for the attendees. I am always excited to come to work each morning, because I love how interactive the staff is. I’ve had such a wonderful time getting to know everyone who works here, and I’ve enjoyed all the shenanigans that have ensued in the past month and a half. Although I still feel like an outsider when it comes to Nashville, I always feel at home when I come into work each morning here at BHS.
A few pictures- Staff badges display, and a picture I took on our high roller ride in Vegas during the staff party!
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Posted by Becca Grimmer | Posted in 2015 Pittsburgh, Events, Social Media | Posted on July 14, 2014, 11:50 AM
I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more barbershop…
Even though the Vegas convention #BHSLV is over (but not in our hearts), it’s not too early to start thinking about the next events.
So here’s what you’ll need to do…
Keep an eye on the convention websites to get the most up-to date information about the upcoming conventions.
#BHSNOLA - http://barbershopconvention.com/neworleans
#BHSPGH - http://barbershopconvention.com/pittsburgh
Now, if you absolutely can’t wait to get your barbershop fix, we totally understand that. Come on down to Nashville in a couple of weeks for Harmony University (at Belmont University) and we’ll take care of that and get you some free ice cream as well!
#HU2014 - http://www.harmonyuniversity.org/index.php/hu-the-event
Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 14, 2014, 11:17 AM
Posted by Becca Grimmer | Posted in #youredoingitright, Just for Fun, Social Media | Posted on July 11, 2014, 2:58 PM
People have often asked me, “What is a hashtag and why is it so important?”
According to Twitter (it’s best to go directly to the source, right?)
Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
Using hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword:
- People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
- Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
- Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
- Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
Using hashtags correctly:
- If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet
- Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet.)
- Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.
So, now you know how it all works, but you need a visual aid? Check out #BHSLV. (Click that link) This will show you all the the conversation that went on about the Las Vegas Convention. But, if you plan to read all of it get comfy now because it will take you a while. People from all over the globe (literally, check out these tweets from Japan and Sweden) were chatting about the International Convention at the MGM Grand.
— Amanda Jo Hauler (@crazypitchick) July 6, 2014
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Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Just for Fun | Posted on July 11, 2014, 2:35 PM
I Hear America Singing.
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deck-
hand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
as he stands,
The woodcutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morn-
ing, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
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