Grants webinar with Joe Cerutti

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Events, Media, Outreach, Run your chapter | Posted on September 22, 2014, 2:09 PM


Grants webinar
Barbershop Harmony Society
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Noon CDT

Joe Cerutti answers questions about a landmark opportunity for Barbershop Harmony Society chapters and districts to dramatically expand their outreach into their communities. Before viewing, please review the program outline at

This Hangouts On Air will stream live on YouTube. You may also ask questions directly from YouTube on your desktop!

This webinar will be archived online and available from replay almost immediately.

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Harmony U makes quartets happy

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony University, HQ operations, Quartetting | Posted on September 16, 2014, 12:06 PM


We couldn’t possibly run every “thank you” we receive (lucky us!), but sometimes it’s nice to let the part speak for the whole. The Con Men, a 2014 collegiate medalist,  took time out to share their impressions of the Quartet College experience.


Rich Knight coaches The Con Men at Harmony University Quartet College 2014

On behalf of The Con Men, I would like to thank you for the scholarship that we received to Harmony University this year. It was an experience that I know none of us will ever forget. When we arrived at Belmont on Sunday night, we really weren’t sure what to expect, but when we left, we knew why people refer to it as “the best week of the entire year!”

The staff was absolutely wonderful! Starting off the week coaching with Rich Knight was absolutely a dream come true for us (little did we know that it was only the tip of the iceberg) and it was so cool to realize that even our biggest barbershop idols can be totally down to Earth people. Across the board, the entire staff was immensely helpful in helping us achieve a new level that none of us could truly grasp the concept of until we experienced it first hand. I can’t even tell you how many doors were opened to us through getting to work with or even just talk with the entire staff; especially the coaches in our pod: Rich Knight, David McEachern, Steve Armstrong, and Becki Hine, but also Gary Plaag, Marty Lovick, and Doug Harrington.

Working with the NextGen Chorus was also more incredible than we had ever hoped it would be. We are all huge supporters of YIH, especially since two of us are direct products of The Singing Buckeyes Harmony Camp. We have had our fair share of working with high school and college aged students before, but these guys were absolutely phenomenal! The guys were so responsive to everything that we had a chance to work with them on in the sectionals, and were all very respectful and attentive to both Clay Hine and Debbie Cleveland the entire week. On that note, Clay was a blast to work with. He really had a handle on what he wanted out of the chorus and they delivered without question. We are so proud to have been a part of that group all week.

The amount of knowledge gained from the week was worth more to us than we can ever say so we sincerely want to thank you and everyone involved with Harmony University for giving us this opportunity. Without the scholarship we received this year, we would not have even considered attending. I would love to say that we will come back every year, but we know financially that isn’t possible. The truth is, I honestly don’t know when we’ll have the money to attend again, which makes this past HU even that more special.

If you could, please pass this along to anyone involved in picking the scholarship recipients, whoever they are, because through them and this entire organization, I know that we are all better singers, better musicians, better performers, and better men for attending Harmony University this year.

In Harmony,

The Con Men (David, Matt, Brent, and Russell)

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The Old Joes’ Choir wins barbershop category in World Choir Games

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in In the news, Media, World Harmony | Posted on September 16, 2014, 10:02 AM



The Barbershop Harmony Society and its affiliates are not the only places to find our style of close-harmony singing. This past summer, the Old Joes’ Choir of Colombo, Sri Lanka, took top honors in the Barbershop Choirs Division of the World Choir Games, singing a set that would sound right at home on any barbershop stage. Click through to the choir’s Facebook page and take a listen.
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Miss America 2015: Boardwalk barbershop quartet serenades pageant boss (video) |

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Media, Press Clippings | Posted on September 15, 2014, 9:06 AM


Preliminaries host Dena Blizzard had a barbershop quartet that she “found on the boardwalk,” perform a humorous intro for Miss America CEO, Sam Haskell, during the final day of Miss America preliminaries at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ

Miss America CEO Sam Haskell is known for giving impassioned speeches about the pageant.

In acknowledgement of that fact — and the length of those speeches — the host of the pageant’s preliminary competition, Dena Blizzard, unveiled a present for Haskell tonight. A barbershop quartet — pulled off the Atlantic City Boardwalk, she said — to cheerfully harmonize about his long-winded ways.

Blizzard, a stand-up comedian and Miss New Jersey 1995, wrote the lyrics to the song they performed, which included this line:

“Please keep things short / ’cause we’ve got a gong.”

With that, one of the singers banged on a pot.

via Miss America 2015: Boardwalk barbershop quartet serenades pageant boss (video) |

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Forefront wows ‘em at Camp A Cappella

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Outreach | Posted on September 12, 2014, 9:25 AM



We may recall that we had mentioned that 2014 Silver Medalist Forefront would appear at Camp A Cappella in June. and that Forefront tenor Drew Wheaton would be a featured instructor.  We have since received a very nice report from Camp Director Brody McDonald:

Camp Acappella was a smashing success, with nearly 200 campers in attendance. To say that barbershop night was well-received would be an understatement. ForeFront hit it out of the park!

While there are many worthwhile camps in the country, we feel that Camp A Cappella is a strong ally to BHS/SAI/HI. Based on our current tracking, we’re looking at a minimum of 300 campers next year. Unlike the existing barbershop camps (like Buckeye, Greater Cincy, Acappellooza, etc.), we offer exposure to a large number of students who are already rabid for a cappella music, but likely have not been exposed in-depth to barbershop.

As we move forward, I hope we can continue to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. Thank you once again for sending ForeFront and Drew!

Camper comments were equally effusive:

I really like that we had different kinds of a Cappella showcased for us. Country, barbershop, and contemporary, it was great to hear such variety!!!

It was really cool to see Forefront because I love love love barbershop!

I thought it was really nice that we could experience barbershop at a pop a cappella camp!

Drew opened up the world of barbershop to me and I never knew I would like it so much.




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Deke Sharon on Gold Medal Moments

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Gold Medal Moments, Media | Posted on September 12, 2014, 8:18 AM


Toby Shaver’s awesome podcast welcomes Deke Sharon, often considered “the father of contemporary a cappella.” Deke shares the story of his barbershop roots, his early years with the Tufts University Beelzebubs, his professional career with The House Jacks and founding The Contemporary Acappella Society of America (CASA). Deke and Toby also talk about his involvement in “The Sing Off” and “Pitch Perfect”, as well as his recent collaborations with the Barbershop Harmony Society.

#024 – Deke Sharon | Gold Medal Moments.

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The Sing Off is BACK!

Posted by Becca Grimmer | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 10, 2014, 9:36 AM


The search is on again for contestants of the hit a cappella reality show, The Sing Off!! Sweet Adeline International Quartet Queens, Maxx Factor, were on the first season and we think it has been far too long since barbershop was represented on this show! Who’s going to audition this year?

Los Angeles – Sept. 30
Nashville – Oct. 2
New York – Oct. 4

If you think that they won’t be accepting quartets, have a look at the FAQ.  They’re accepting 4-20 members this year! Sounds like a quartet or a chorus could be contenders this year!

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Who owns barbershop?

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Media, Related Readng | Posted on September 9, 2014, 5:08 PM


Stripes, barbershop and the Big World Out There

As the largest body of practitioners of the barbershop musical art form, the folks most immersed and versed in its culture and mechanics, we assume that when barbershop happens anywhere, we must have had a hand in it.

As Barbershoppers, we tend to believe that the ways we look and sound are best suited to advancing the craft. Musically, we probably are the best. Certainly there’s plenty of debate even within our own slice of the world over what constitutes barbershop, on a spectrum ranging from “pre-1920 only” to “any four-part a cappella”, with most of us lying somewhere between those extremes.

The truth is, barbershop belongs to people singing barbershop. Anyone can sing barbershop, anywhere, anytime, with or without SPEBSQSA, with or without a logo, wearing stripes and straw hats, or suits, or caveman costumes, or whatever else. Barbershop appears in places without our prompting and certainly beyond our control.

That’s great! More people making barbershop means more barbershop!

When barbershop music appears on a comedy show, expect comedy. For example, when Jimmy Fallon’s Ragtime Gals quartet sings a hip-hop song, the comedy springs directly from the jarring juxtaposition of traditional stripes with music from 2014. It’s not funny if they come out wearing street gear, or contemporary barbershop suits.

What does the Barbershop Harmony Society gain from an appearance like this? Listen to that crowd screaming its pleasure. look at the millions of YouTube hits on a making some pretty good chords, HAVING FUN MAKING CLOSE HARMONY. Win!

The next time you say “barbershop quartet” to someone under 30, and he responds, “Oh, like Jimmy Fallon!” you should reply “RIGHT! Wasn’t that fun? We have that much fun every week.” Then sing a tag, and move on.

Yes, we want to see and place quality contemporary barbershop in front of big audiences. At the same time, when you have a tiger by the tail — RIDE! It’s great to have famous people showing the world that barbershop is fun.

Now let’s do it in our own communities too, making use of that awareness.



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Chanticleer members sing barbershop off-stage

Posted by Lorin May | Posted in Just for Fun, Quartetting, Tag singing, Together, Making The Music That's Making A Difference, Uncategorized, Why I Barbershop | Posted on September 8, 2014, 3:44 PM


Seen on Facebook: They’re one of the world’s most elite and most famous professional vocal groups, and they appreciate the power of a barbershop tag as much as we do. Check out four members of Chanticleer saying farewell with a tag … and a fifth voice at the end that, in this case, was no overtone.

Someone get these guys into a district contest. They’ve obviously got the pipes, and they even already have the matching socks …

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So You Think You Can’t Sing

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in In the news, Membership growth, Outreach, Related Readng, Social Media, Why I Barbershop | Posted on September 8, 2014, 12:07 PM


Deke Sharon, the All-Father of A Cappella, hits it square-on with his latest rant/sermon/moment of inspiration.

His premise: many people would readily agree that they are fine shooting hoops casually in their driveway, without aspiring to be NBA players. Similarly, a little casual singing in the shower is different than practicing and honing one’s skills to be an accomplished performer. Both are good – both are communication, and should be part of the fabric of our lives.

“Encourage your friends to sing. Expect them to not be amazing right away.”  Be tolerant.

(Deke’s name comes up often on this blog — because the man is right!)

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The Barbershop Harmony Society staff responds to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations, Just for Fun, Related Readng | Posted on September 8, 2014, 11:53 AM



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Eight-part showstopper: “If There’s Anybody Here From Out of Town”

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on September 4, 2014, 4:49 PM


In the ongoing race toward relevance, there’s nothing better for audience development than reaching out and singing with other musical groups. Our featured song this week is perfect for performing with men’s quartets plus women’s quartets.

If There’s Anybody Here From Out of Town” bounces across the USA, cataloging locales and scenes in toe-tapping fashion. Dave Briner’s arrangement for men’s quartet plus women’s quartet was made famous in an excellent performance by Panache (1990 SAI International Champion Quartet) and Acoustix (1990 BHS International Champion Quartet,) and works well for choruses also.

This arrangement makes an outstanding addition to youth choral events, too, as clinician Debbie Cleveland attests:

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Nick Gordon and I have directed this arrangement as the closing number for three years at the Greater Cincinnati Harmony Fest, and the kids look forward to it every year! The arrangement is very accessible for the young singers, but has enough harmonic interest to challenge their ears and boost their musicianship. It features the women’s voices alone, and then the men’s voices alone, both singing different rhythmic and lyric patterns, creating a great deal of musical variety for the audience. The contrast of the legato female vocal lines and the syncopated male countermelody is like a puzzle that gives great satisfaction to the singer and the listener when the pieces are fitted neatly together. The lyrics include mention of four-part harmony, friendship and the universal nature of good-will and hospitality. This, along with a swingy rhythm that is easily choreographed and a tag that ends on a shimmery multi-part chord, makes it perfect for a finale!

Get it now:


Learning tracks:

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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2015 New Orleans | Posted on September 4, 2014, 9:51 AM


Mark today as our first mangling of Cajun usage in describing the Midwinter Convention in New Orleans, January 6-11, 2015. There will be virtually no requirement to say it well, and if you’re doing it right, no one will hear to notice anyway.

You probably already know about the big stuff:

  • 2015 Seniors Quartet Championship
  • 2015 International Youth Chorus Festival
  • Big shows featuring top performers (and more surprises being added every day)

But did you know just how close to real New Orleans excitement we’ll be? “Let the good times roll!”


Zoom in this Google Map. Our headquarters, with all our lodging, shows and events, is in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and adjoining Convention Center.

See that streetcar station on the property? That takes you right into the French Quarter. See Harrah’s Casino? Yup, that’s a scant two-block walk.

Take the streetcar in the opposite direction, and ride on down to Mardi Gras World. This museum and events center houses a workshop for building the dazzling floats that make a parade in New Orleans unforgettable. We’ll be holding a special get-together in its recreated plantation room, a moonlight setting straight off the bayou.

Fun? Over the top!

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Web developer? You could work at HQ

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations | Posted on September 3, 2014, 4:49 PM


Check the Careers / Internships page for this current posting:

The Barbershop Harmony Society is looking for a well-rounded web/software developer to help us evolve our systems from a .NET environment toward a PHP/LAMP environment. We will be maintaining our current .NET web applications while we begin our transition to more open source-based solutions. Our ideal candidate is someone who is skilled in both platforms. Primary Responsibilities:Maintain and contributing to develop the aesthetic of the society’s websites & web applications.Help define the strategy and architecture of future platforms.Provide user support to internal teams.Work with a dedicated project manager to prioritize your schedule, deliverables and timelines.Work within a coordinated team environment – CIO/COO, design & project manager roles are already in place.This is a full time position with a very attactive benefits package including health, vision and dental insurance; retirement; vacation, etc. Please reply with a resume and samples/working links. Freelancers need not apply. No recruiters or phone calls please.


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An “everyday” Gold Medal Moment | Pathfinder Chorus

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Chapters, Members, Together, Making The Music That's Making A Difference, Why I Barbershop | Posted on September 3, 2014, 11:57 AM


Mark Erikson of the Pathfinder Chorus from Fremont, Nebraska, shared this great reminder of the way we touch lives every day.

Ringing like never before, the final chord of Auld Lang Syne soared to the rehearsal hall’s rafters. Then silence. No one moved except the frail old gentleman in a folding chair with his walker close beside him. He lowered his head into his cupped hands.

As one of the few surviving charter members of the Fremont Chapter, he is no stranger to this group or this hall. Days earlier, at his request, the chorus sang at the memorial service and celebration of life for his recently departed wife. Visiting us during a Monday night rehearsal for the first time in a while to simply say – thanks.

During the break, well-wishers shook his once powerful hands. His booming bass voice not so much any more. However, the gleam in his eye and the smile on his face spoke volumes as he listened with great pride to the now perennial top 10 chorus he helped form four decades ago. He came to say thanks to his heroes.

But there were no heroes on the risers that night, or during that song. We sang as one. Just as countless coaches and our own directors had said we should and could. And we did.

Virgil Post made but one request of our director Pete Stibor that night, “Ask the boys to sing Auld Lang Syne.”

Oh my! We had sung that classic, but vocally challenging ballad in competition for two straight years; rolled it off our current repertoire list at least two years ago. But there was only one right answer, so we sang – without sheet music for all but the visitors and our newest members.

In a moment we knew something was different. We did more than just sing the song. More than sing TO someone. We sang FOR someone – our own dear Virgil.

I’m sure the director stood in front of us the entire time; but he became transparent. To a man, we focused on Virgil. The once well-practiced dynamics, nuances, pickups and cutoffs all came flooding back to us without effort or conscious thought.

 Connie Kiel you can be proud. We achieved unconscious competence.

By the first key change, we could sense something special was happening. One stray thought came to mind ever so briefly. Relax. This is no time to tense up. Just enjoy the moment.

So we did and so did Virgil. The final chord like so many before it rang forever.

Emotions too overpowering for words. Virgil’s head tipped forward into his tremoring hands to hide the tears now streaming down his face. What just happened?

Seconds seemed like hours. Still, not one of the six dozen men on the choral risers moved or breathed. The ones on the fourth and fifth steps were too far away to earlier notice the glisten in the old man’s eyes. But now everyone knew.

We created one of those Jim Henry Gold Medal Moments. Goosebumps running wild up and down arms and legs. Still, not a single muscle even so much as twitched. No talking, not even a whisper. A moment frozen in time to be replayed in our minds the rest of our lives…and Virgil’s too. We can change people’s lives through music.

Finally, Pete walked over to sit alongside and console one of our founding fathers, now crying openly. Virgil’s once trembling hands now steadied on Pete’s arms, like two brothers. Tears welled up in our eyes too, but still no else moved. 

Just savoring that Gold Medal Moment and envision creating more. . .

In a conversation afterward, Virgil (now age 87) said “I’ve loved music all my life, and to me barbershop is a complete fulfillment of the most beautiful harmony you can get. Talk about raising the hair on your arms when you hit that chord just right. Barbershop harmony can’t be found in any other form of music.” He has loved singing barbershop since the original Pathfinder Chorus formed in the late 1940s and he was a charter member. “That group only lasted three years, but we loved singing.” For the next 20 years, Virgil sang in church choirs and with his children. Late in 1971, four or five guys met at Chuck McKenzie’s house with Chet Fox, a SPEBSQSA representative, to re-charter the Pathfinder Chorus, becoming “official” again in the spring of 1972. For more than 35 years Virgil sang with the ‘new’ Pathfinder Chorus, “loving every minute of it” until he developed Parkinson’s Disease and lost his rich, melodious bass voice. He still visits on occasion, and is always welcome.


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Johnny Hammond – The National Anthem Houston Astros 08/31/14 – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Press Clippings | Posted on September 3, 2014, 11:36 AM


Johnny Hammond The National Anthem Houston Astros 08/31/14 - YouTubeWe see many videos and photos of Barbershoppers singing the National Anthem at sporting events. (Past International President Burt Huish and NED Barbershopper Al St. Louis are notable for sheer number of performances.)

We all aspire, however, to the strength and vigor of long-time Houston Barbershopper Johnny Hammond, who at the tender age of 98  corrected: 90 gave a wonderful performance before a Houston Astros game August 31, 2014.

Updated: many readers reminded us that Johnny is equally famous in barbershop circles as lead of  Bayou City Music Committee, 1989 International Seniors Quartet Champion.

Don’t take our word for it – watch the video. The man brings it.

Johnny Hammond The National Anthem Houston Astros 08/31/14 – YouTube.


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Randy’s 2014 travels

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Just for Fun, Members, Related Readng | Posted on September 2, 2014, 4:20 PM


Barbershopper Randy Freeman has been living a barbershop dream. With no particular destination in mind, he has spent most of this year wandereing the country, visiting barbershop chapters and making new friends.

99 days

8,248 miles

33 choruses

19 hosts

11 states

The idea germinated in my head in December of 2013 as the snow started falling in Indiana but the seed had been planted years earlier. It seemed like a great idea so as the year came to a close I began planning my “get-away”. With no debt and no-one depending on me for daily support I decided that 2014 would be a year of travel and transition for me. After closing my 16 year old business in December of 2008 due to the economic downturn, surviving 44 radiation treatments for prostate cancer in early 2009, losing my Father to pancreatic cancer in 2010, losing my wife to parathyroid cancer in November of 2011 and putting my daughter into drug rehab in 2012 I had lost the momentum of my life and was sort of coasting along. I needed a change of scenery. So . . .

On January 31, 2014 I completed packing all my worldly possessions into a 10×15 storage unit and on February 1st I left Indianapolis, IN. As I was driving southwest on interstate 74 toward Cincinnati, Ohio the weatherman was predicting 4 more inches of snow for Indy.

Over the next 99 days, before returning to Indy, I would travel to 11 different states, visit 33 different barbershop chapters, stay in 19 different homes and drive 8,248 miles.

Read all about via Randy’s 2014 travels

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Erik Dove hired as Chief Financial Officer

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations, Leadership | Posted on September 2, 2014, 10:29 AM


erik_doveErik Dove has been hired as Chief Financial Officer, overseeing strategic finance and legal issues for the Barbershop Harmony Society. An attorney and MBA, he brings critical experience in multiple industries in both the private and public sectors. His Board governance and legal experience stretches across education, arts, and business organizations, including several leadership roles as a Barbershopper with the Great Northern Union Chorus. “I am very honored to join you in the Society’s efforts to change lives and make music that is making a difference!,” wrote Dove to CEO Marty Monson in accepting the position.

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Office Workers Who Sing Together Are Healthier

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Press Clippings, Related Readng | Posted on September 2, 2014, 8:40 AM


Newsweek reports that  Office Workers Who Sing Together Are Healthier:

“Making music together stimulates one’s creativity and helps one’s self-confidence,” notes Mark Ford, director of knowledge management at Clifford Chance, a global law firm, which offers staff singing and piano lessons. “When you work long hours, it helps tremendously to take a break like this. You walk back to your desk refreshed.” “Anybody can participate,” says David Smith, business development director at the London law firm Outer Temple Chambers and founder of the law-firm choir competition Legal Harmony. “Whether you’re a receptionist or a CEO, if you can get away from work for 45 minutes and make music, that time is invaluable.”According to research by Töres Theorell, professor emeritus of psychosocial medicine at Stockholm University and one of the world’s leading authorities on music and well-being, workplace singing in particular makes employees healthier, too. “Learning how to sing is a physical matter,” he explains. “It has a positive effect on the heart, and one’s lung capacity improves if one learns deep breathing [as practised by singers]. Deep breathing is useful even when one isn’t singing.” Singing, reports Thorell in Psychological Health Effects of Musical Experiences, published by Springer earlier this year, even has a positive impact on the hormones that help wounds heal faster.

Full story: Office Workers Who Sing Together Are Healthier.

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Barbershop in theater: A Review of ‘The Fabulous Lipitones’ in Stony Point –

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Press Clippings | Posted on August 29, 2014, 5:11 PM


When a genial, appealing quartet of old-timers called Benchmark made it to the finals of the 2011 season of “Australia’s Got Talent,” the group’s tenor told viewers that even though they hadn’t won, they had achieved their goal: demonstrating “that singing a cappella music in the barbershop style is cool.”

Maybe The New York Times doesn’t think we’ve reached that mark, but its review of “The Fabulous Lipitones” is generally positive, if not effusive.  We can all enjoy appreciate the reviewer’s  description of our sound: “… the ethereal blend that characterizes the best barbershop style” — which is linked to a YouTube video of 2011 Collegiate Quartet Champion Prestige!

 Read the full Review of ‘The Fabulous Lipitones’ in Stony Point –

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“You’ve Got A Friend In Me”

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on August 28, 2014, 4:46 PM


Songwriter Randy Newman has had a great pop career of singable, witty songs, but his wider fame has come in later years as a composer of film scores. Up for this week is his quintessential buddy song from the hit movie Toy Story: “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

All singers (even the baritone!) get to have the melody in this quick-learner from arranger Dan Wessler and a track from Tim Buetel (do you get the love from After Hours here?) This will be a sure winner with audiences of all ages.

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Expanded barbershop offerings now online at Hal Leonard

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony Marketplace, Song of The Week | Posted on August 28, 2014, 3:37 PM


As reported previously, the Society’s music publishing efforts will be vastly expanded by a new worldwide distribution deal with  Hal Leonard Corporation,  the world’s largest music print publisher and digital content provider. We’re delighted to report the first batch of titles have been released online, with a terrific new look that has great shelf appeal.



How Andrew unleashed his voice and found his path

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony Foundation, Together, Making The Music That's Making A Difference | Posted on August 28, 2014, 11:09 AM


Andrew Lujan was a shy, reserved kid who didn’t know who he was, or who he wanted to be. When singing became a part of his life and Barbershoppers reached into his life, it changed forever. Follow this journey of self discovery and how donors from Harmony Foundation created an opportunity for one young man to reach his potential, and discover who he is.

Harmony Foundation – Andrew Lujan’s Story – YouTube.


(Yes, you’re right — THAT Andrew, tenor of 2014 Collegiate Champion The Academy.

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Going above and beyond at Harmony U

Posted by Lorin May | Posted in Harmony University, History, HQ operations, Just for Fun, Members | Posted on August 25, 2014, 2:25 PM



I’ll follow you anywhere you’re going to take us”

That’s what Doug Robertson of Carstairs, Alberta, would like to tell Society CEO Marty Monson after he and other Society staff personally rolled out the red carpet way after bedtime at Harmony U. In Doug’s own words:

I just want to relate an experience to your readers that I had at the 2014 Harmony University in Nashville a few weeks ago. I am a long-time barbershopper in Calgary, Alberta singing with the Stampede City Chorus and now additionally with the Western Hospitality Singers (WHS) in Calgary, as well as in a quartet with my brother called Trademark. Our quartet had gone to Harmony U back in 2009 when the WHS went down to HU as a chorus, I believe the first chorus to do so. This year, the WHS again went down to HU as a chorus to Nashville, and had an amazing time and learned a lot about how to perform better. I’ll do it again in a heartbeat, but that’s not the only thing that made the whole experience extra special.

We seem to have plane trouble when we come to HU from Calgary. The first time in 2009 it affected the whole chorus, this time it only affected 5 of us because we decided to reduce the risk of it happening again by booking numerous flights, which turned out to be a good idea. By the time the last 5 of us got to Belmont University, it was past 1:00 am very early Monday morning, and our taxi driver seemed to have no clue as to how to navigate the University, so we called out to a couple of guys walking in the dark to find out where we might go to check in or at least crash until morning.

Amazingly, one of them was BHS CEO Marty Monson, who told the taxi driver where to drop us off, where we were met by HU Dean Joe Cerutti and directed to the Beaman. Marty had given me Sherry Lewis’ phone number inside, and she unlocked the doors and the team there got us our keys and registration packages.

Marty then led us over to our dorm through the dark and made sure our keys worked before he began looking for bedding, pillows and towels with us in tow. I’m not sure if Marty got to sleep at all Monday morning, because he was still handing out bedding for arrivals even later than us when we left him at 2:45 a.m., and he was seen at 6:30 a.m. by other people I talked to Monday afternoon.

A big, big thanks to Joe Cerutti, Sherry Lewis, the rest of the night-owl check-in team at Beaman and especially Marty Monson, for making our first day of Harmony U so special despite all the airlines could throw at us. It set the tone for a successful week at HU for all of us, and I can confidently say to Marty “I’ll follow you anywhere you’re going to take us” after his service above and beyond in the wee hours of Monday July 28, 2014! Next time we’re flying in a week early, so we can make our first Sunday Keynote Address!

Read the rest of this entry »

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“Happy” a hit with female voices

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on August 22, 2014, 2:30 PM


Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” was a big hit at the Las Vegas convention when the young singers in the Next Generation Chorus sang it on the Saturday Night Spectacular. Our post last month announcing its release generated plenty of interest.

BUT… we somehow neglected to mention that we also have an arrangement of “Happy” for women’s voices. Catchy beat with handclaps!, cheery lyrics, fun patter, and relevance to general audiences will make this a big hit throughout the Society. You might even convince your daughters to start barbershopping with this one.


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17 Things About Pittsburgh You Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2015 Pittsburgh, Events | Posted on August 21, 2014, 1:16 PM


Our 2015 Convention in Pittsburgh will be any easy drive for many guests, and you’ll find plenty to do when you get there. We have it on good authority that you’ll find fun and food beyond the convention events, but thought you might need the straight dope from the natives.

If you’re from here or have ever lived here, you have an affinity for this place. One that your friends from other cities just can’t seem to wrap their heads around. Until they get here. And when they do, use this to explain to them that there’s more to Pittsburgh than steel and sports.

Get directions to the Strip District.This former manufacturing center is now home to speciality eats, street vendors and swanky lofts.

 Yes, you can get fries on a sandwichIt’s called Primanti Brothers, a rite of passage for any first time visitor to the ‘Burgh.

See the full list: 17 Things About Pittsburgh You Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners.

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Boulder festival celebrates past, present of barbershop music | CPR

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Press Clippings | Posted on August 21, 2014, 9:42 AM


Colorado Public radio ran a nice preview piece on this weekend’s  Barbershop Harmony Festival at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder.

But the music has evolved as troupes start to experiment with blending in other a cappella styles like doo-wop, and reimagining popular songs — such as Pharrell’s “Happy” or Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — as barbershop tunes.

Whether barbershop ensembles choose to sing rock group Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” or the 1924 barbershop classic “Goodbye Coney Island Baby,” Lynch adds that the style of music still holds on to its original social intentions.

“At its heart, it’s about singing for pleasure and hearing your voice blend with others,” Lynch says.

via Boulder festival celebrates past, present of barbershop music | CPR.

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Homer’s Barbershop Quartet

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in In the news, Media | Posted on August 21, 2014, 9:05 AM



As part of #EverySimpsonsEver marathon on @FXXNetwork, don’t miss “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet” — 8/23 2:30 AM ET.

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The Harmony University Warm-Up Series: Donny Rose – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony University, Singing Skills | Posted on August 20, 2014, 4:09 PM


Last week we told you about our new Director of Harmony University, Donny Rose. New kid’s been on the job three whole days now, and doggone if he hasn’t fixed everything.

His secret? He starts every morning with a great vocal warm-up. You can, too. See the man in action in the  The Harmony University Warm-Up Series on YouTube.

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National A Cappella Convention coming to Memphis in 2015

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Events, Outreach | Posted on August 19, 2014, 4:37 PM


The barbershop world shouldn’t be the only place we sing barbershop!

  • Stretch your wings
  • Learn from new perspectives
  • Gain new audiences


The A Cappella Educators Association is thrilled to announce the inaugural National A Cappella Convention in Memphis, TN on April 24-25, 2015. Featuring professional concerts, showcase performances, a unique high school competition,group masterclasses, roundtable discussions, reading sessions, and more, The NACC is the only event of its kind in the country designed to bring the entire a cappella community together.


The NACC offers three types of performance opportunities for attending groups:

1) Friday Night Concert Performances- 25 minute sets (On Sound, In PAC)

2) Showcase Performances- 25 minute sets (On Sound, In PAC)

3) Exhibition Performances- 12 minute sets (Acoustic, In Exhibit Hall)

In order to apply to perform please submit a 15-25 minute video of your group performing by September 27, 2014. Upon applying you will be considered for all 3 performance types by a panel of expert judges. Groups will only be eligible for one performance slot, and will be notified of their selection by October 24, 2014.  Judging will be blind, meaning that no identification will be made of any group until it is chosen based on merit.

via National A Cappella Convention.

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“Why Contemporary A Cappella Matters”

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Related Readng, Youth in Harmony | Posted on August 19, 2014, 3:56 PM


It’s easy for us as Barbershoppers involved in outreach to beleive that bbs is the one, true, holy grail, and occasionally lose sight of the fact that everything that gets young people singing is good for them and for us.

This post from the ACDA ChoralNet is a reminder that there are many, many fellow travellers preaching the same truth that we know: close-harmony, a cappella singing grabs singers by their ears and hearts.

Six years ago, I started an a cappella group once a week after school. Our program had never done any popular music in the past. The injection of some “musical dessert” into the program was incredibly efficacious.  Not only did our concert attendance drastically increase, so did our participation.  The choral program has more than doubled in size in six years.

It should come as no surprise to any of us that letting kids sing popular music would be, well…popular!  However, what you need to know is just how effective it is at building musicianship, too.  Many of the arrangements that my 12-member group OneVoice does contain eight to ten individual parts.   You do the math — this means each student is responsible for an incredible amount of independent singing . . . for three to five minutes at a time . . . a cappella . . . with intricate levels of articulation, dynamic, and style.

via GUEST BLOG: “Why Contemporary A Cappella Matters” by J.D. Frizzell – ChoralNet.

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The Recruits Chorus – Show Your Support

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2015 New Orleans, Chorus, Youth in Harmony | Posted on August 19, 2014, 9:48 AM


Bet we’ll be seeing more and more of these this fall, as participants in the International Youth Chorus Festival start getting logistics in place for the Big Show in the Big Easy January 9, 2015.

The Recruits Chorus – Show Your Support – YouTube.

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High school quartet wins key audience

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Press Clippings, Youth in Harmony | Posted on August 18, 2014, 7:30 AM


Sing for fame and fortune. Sing for virtue and philanthropy. But mostly…

When they decided to audition for the high school talent show later that year, they practiced and earned a spot in the show. They were a popular act and one particular segment of the audience has proved enough motivation to keep practicing.“What got us, was the screaming girls during the variety show,” said Sisel.

via L-C group ‘BBQ’ to open concert for national acts.

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“Hi, Neighbor!” grabs the audience from the get-go

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on August 14, 2014, 2:32 PM


“Quick, we need an opener that’s quick, easy, and really barbershoppy!”

A classic chart by the late, great Walter Latzko, “Hi Neighbor” can be done quickly, is an easy song to pick up (especially with a Tim Waurick learning track), and starts a set off right. (Listen to The Bluegrass Student Union’s Legacy album for a sense of the fun it promises.) It’s one of those arrangements that needs to be in your back pocket, a “we could roll outta bed and sing this” kind of song.

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NPR feature: Young Singer Attracted To Barbershop’s Vocal Harmony

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Press Clippings | Posted on August 14, 2014, 8:50 AM


As part of a series on “Alter Egos – our weekend selves,” NPR’s Renee Montagne profiled Barbershopper Kevin McClelland of the Bloomington, Ill. Chapter and The Committee quartet.

Love the theme: “People who pour their passions into something beyond their work.”

The guys do a great job representing the core values of barbershopping: “It’s life-changing, in a powerful way!”

By day, Kevin McClelland 26, works in Illinois for the Peoria Chiefs — a Class A minor league baseball team. But his passion is old-time a cappella music known as barbershop.

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River City Treblemakers serenade visitors at Welcome Center

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Chapters, Press Clippings | Posted on August 13, 2014, 8:54 AM


Here’s a twist on  “taking the music to the streets” — they took it to the rest stop off the Interstate.

By Jackie Runion ( , Marietta Times

WILLIAMSTOWN -When travelers stop off at an interstate rest stop, they typically expect to run in, use the restroom, patronize a vending machines and be on their way, but most probably would not expect to be serenaded.

At the Williamstown Welcome Center just off I-77 on Tuesday evening, however, passerby got just that.

The River City Treblemakers, an all-male a cappella barbershop chorus based in the Marietta-Parkersburg area, performed a one-time rehearsal within the main hall of the rest stop to both get in some practice and attract an audience.

“When I got in here I thought I was interrupting something, then I realized these guys were just singing,” said Florida resident Robert Yocum, who stopped in with his son on their way back home. “But this is awesome.”

The group is comprised of approximately 20 men of varying ages who in their free time come together to sing in the traditional barbershop style to tunes like “Swing Low” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

Barbershop music is classified as a form of unaccompanied a cappella singing characterized by consonant four-part chords that developed out of the 1930s barbershop revival.

“We run from teenagers to men up in their 80s, but we love to sing and harmonize,” said President Russ Reid, of Marietta. “We love to share our music, so you name it, we sing it.”

The group normally rehearses at a local Parkersburg church, but because the venue was full Tuesday, the singers decided to hold a public rehearsal.

“We just thought we’d come out here and see if we could draw a crowd,” said Director Bill Hathaway, of Marietta.

Hathaway said the group does not have any official upcoming shows scheduled.

“We sing at a lot of nursing homes and at different events, and we’re available by request,” Hathaway said.

Reid said the group is part of the Johnny Appleseed District, which comprises Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, as a larger member of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

“Most are members of the harmony society, so we’re a part of a worldwide organization,” he said. “This is a combination of Marietta and Parkersburg guys and the surrounding area, from Belpre to New Martinsville.”

Yocum said the performance was a great way to break up a long trip.

“I love this way of harmonizing music, and it’s nice to listen to if you liked it and just wanted to come sit,” he said. “And they’re quite good.”

Yocum’s son, Adam, shared the same look of confusion upon walking in, but stood with his father to listen.

“It’s very peaceful,” he said.

Reid said the group will resume its Tuesday evening practices at the Good Shepherd Church in Parkersburg.

“Unless someone asks us to come back, then we’ll perform any time they want us,” he said.

Williamstown resident Bob Nestor heard the group was performing and sat down to watch with his wife.

“If they came here any time, I’d come down and listen to them,” he said.

Nestor said he knew one of the men singing, and wished the group did more rehearsals for the public ear.

“I just think it’s great and a great location,” said his wife, Barbara.

The Treblemakers have been singing tunes in the barbershop style for about seven years, with Hathaway serving as the director since then.

The group also sponsors young barbershop-singing hopefuls to attend Harmony Camp sessions held in Columbus and Cincinnati that train singers in a cappella singing.

“The main thrush of our organization is to promote barbershop singing,” Reid said. “And we’re all here for our own enjoyment.”

Marietta resident Violet Blair, a member of the River Harmony Chorus made up of all women, came down to check out the friendly competition.

“There’s so many of them, but they sound so good,” she said. “There’s only about 12 of us, but I wish we sounded like that.”

via Sweet songs: Barbershop chorus welcomes weary travelers – | News, Sports, Jobs, Ohio, Community Information – The Marietta Times.

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Marty Monson appears on “Gold Medal Moments” podcast

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations, Media | Posted on August 12, 2014, 4:31 PM


CEO Marty Monson is featured on the latest edition of the “Gold Medal Moments” podcast. Barbershopper Toby Shaver has been doing a tremendous job creating and hosting this series, and Marty’s appearance provides a great forum for him to discuss his vision of the Society.

Like podcasts? Check out these other barbershop shows.

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Erin Harris joins staff as project manager

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations | Posted on August 12, 2014, 4:28 PM


erin_harris_thumbErin Harris has joined the Society staff as a full-time project manager, a role previously filled by contractor Rebecca Kennedy. Erin has a background in project management, community development, and sustainability, and brings us a skill set that extends into grant writing and evaluation. Erin started work at headquarters in Nashville on Monday, August 11.

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Donny Rose hired as Director of Harmony University

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in HQ operations, Leadership | Posted on August 12, 2014, 4:25 PM


Don Rose bio Picture_smDonny Rose of Tacoma, Washington, has been hired as Director of Harmony University by the Barbershop Harmony Society. In this role, he will oversee educational programs and outreach for the 24,000-member men’s singing organization. His responsibilities will include expanding Harmony University to reach external audiences through distance learning; making available certification programs for a variety of disciplines (not just chorus directors); and building on the world-class education the Society already offers at its flagship week-long event.

A Society member for more than 25 years, Rose brings a wealth of professional experience to the position, including more than 27 years of classroom experience teaching instrumental and choral music at elementary through college levels. His barbershop career has included two district quartet championships, stints as a chorus singer and long-time director (Northwest Sound,) and continuing work as an active coach, arranger and clinician. He has been named as teacher of the year for his school district, Washington music educator of the year, and is currently nominated for a Grammy in music education.

In recent years, Don has made significant impacts in bringing barbershop harmony to younger singers. He founded Northwest Vocal Project, a new type of barbershop chorus that has appeared multiple times at the Society’s International Youth Chorus Festival. He is a regular youth camp clinician in the United States and Canada, and looks forward to sharing his knowledge of this art form to both music teachers and students.

Don received an undergraduate music education degree from Western Washington University earned a master’s degree in music from Pacific Lutheran University. Don joins the Society’s staff on August 18.

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“Alive Inside” film unleashes power of music for Alzheimer’s patients

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Media, Related Readng, Together, Making The Music That's Making A Difference | Posted on August 11, 2014, 4:10 PM


Alive Inside” is a film in limited release right now, which demonstrates the power of music in treatment of Alzheimer’s patients.

Look here for show times near you., or learn more about Music and Memory.


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Carolinas District plans a Fall Festival instead of a convention

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Events | Posted on August 11, 2014, 3:43 PM


carolinas_fall_festivalInnovation in events is coming to the Carolinas District this year, in a the form of a festival weekend that includes uniques venues (singing on an aircraft carrier!) and expanded education offerings. Get the details in this great video. Nice work, guys!

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Tags: part of a complete choral education

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in #youredoingitright, Just for Fun, Tag singing, Youth in Harmony | Posted on August 11, 2014, 2:59 PM


Hook the kids on fun singing, and they stay hooked! Music educator Aaron Knodle shared this story recently:

This last school year, I had my auditioned high school men’s group sing a tag every day at the beginning of rehearsal. I taught them a new tag each week, and the gentlemen knew that as soon as the bell rang, we stood up and sang the tag. They absolutely loved it! One day, it was very close to a concert and I skipped the tag with hopes of more rehearsal time on our concert pieces (I was worried about of few measures in one of our concert pieces). Well, as soon as I skipped the tag, I received immediate revolt and was read the riot act by my students. So, I calmed them down and asked, “Do you really want to sing a tag?”, and a young baritone in the back row stated in a plain, matter-of-fact voice, “Yes, Mr. Knodle; it’s kind of our thing.” I replied, “All right then.” I got out the tag book, we sang a tag and then had a fabulous rehearsal.

I will tell you that I never, ever skipped the tag again!

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Vocal Majority Video Feature: On That Day

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in #youredoingitright, 2014 Las Vegas, Chapters, Chorus | Posted on August 11, 2014, 2:24 PM


Vocal Majority Video Feature: On That Day – YouTube.

Champs is as champs does:only @VocalMajority could tell their story so well. Bet you’ll cry when–oh,you’ll know.

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A good face for barbershop

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Youth in Harmony | Posted on August 8, 2014, 4:56 PM


Among the many ways we’re reaching out to educators and singers is a regular schedule of ads in Choral Journal, the offical publication of the American Choral Directors Association. Ongoing visibility makes us familiar; a range of programs promoted demonstrates the depth of our commitment and talent base.




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Puzzling “Hallelujah” haunts, perplexes, hypnotizes

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on August 7, 2014, 2:36 PM


It’s not a sacred song, although it’s rife with Biblical references. It’s not a love song, although it mentions what love is not. It might be the only song that describes its own chord progressions (“the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift.”) You’ve heard it covered by John Cale, k.d. lang, My Chemical Romance, and it has appeared in countless TV shows and films, including Shrek and Watchmen.

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” may have the strangest back story of any title we’ve published this year, yet it is haunting, singable, and engaging. Adam Scott’s arrangement features its hypnotic, pulsing rhythm and lyrical soaring melody. Shoot, you ought to buy it just for the Tony DeRosa learning track.

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“Be Our Guest” preps audiences for great performances

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on July 31, 2014, 2:49 PM


This killer thriller diller of a song from Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast” has been retooled by Steve Delehanty as a show opener. Your audience will immediately recognize “Be Our Guest“, and will be delighted with the welcoming lyrics that promise a great show. Jordan Litz delivers some crisp learning tracks to speed things up. (But you should have seen the 600 people sing it in a Harmony University general session. Wow!)

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Magic happening at HU in Nashville

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony University | Posted on July 31, 2014, 2:08 PM




Harmony University’s inaugural year in its new home at Belmont University is proving to be magical. Looking at a campus map can’t begin to describe the ease of the short two-minute stroll from dorm to general session, or the pleasure brought by the lovely gardens, arbors and gazebos that line the 200-yard walkway from the Massey Performing Arts Center down to supper at the student union.

Yet, for all that, the setting seems almost incidental compared with the energy of the students. Young people are everywhere. Music educators are singing more than they have since college. Premium choruses of directors, of young men, of young women, in honors choruses, in four entire-chapter groups, are experiencing transformative weeks of instruction, performance, and artistry.

One might rhapsodize for hours, but better to see it in the students’ own words and voices


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Harmony U selected tweets

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony University | Posted on July 28, 2014, 9:11 PM


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Top 10 stories from around the Society

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:
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 They’re also copies here below.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Harmony Explosion Camps Igniting Across North America

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!

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Sheffield Barbershop club hits the right notes once again – The Star

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:

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.

Read more: SLIDESHOW: Sheffield Barbershop club hits the right notes once again – The Star.

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Time to give your dreams a voice

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.”

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 |

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Passing of Ken Kline, first concurrent father/son 50-year member

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.

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Self-Referential when Self is a Snooze | Constance McCashin

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?

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.

via Self-Referential when Self is a Snooze | Constance McCashin.

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Pop Quiz: Barbershop – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in In the news, Media, Related Readng | Posted on July 22, 2014, 10:35 AM


A Cappella All-Father Deke Sharon does it again! He makes barbershop understandable to non-Barbershoppers in 107 seconds.

Pop Quiz: Barbershop – YouTube.

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Take a tour of Harmony University and meet its new home: Belmont – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Harmony University | Posted on July 21, 2014, 9:49 AM


Take a tour of Harmony University and meet its new home: Belmont – YouTube.

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Chord-worship, Embellishments and Testosterone

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:

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.

Read more: Chord-worship, Embellishments and Testosterone | Helping You Harmonise.

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Passing of Doug Maddox, production manager at international conventions

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Chapter Eternal | Posted on July 21, 2014, 8:31 AM


The Masters of Harmony shared the sad news last week.
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
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What makes people happy about conventions?

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:

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!


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Too Many Notes: Grenades! – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Just for Fun, Media, Related Readng | Posted on July 18, 2014, 10:10 AM


It’s funny, because, sadly, it’s ALL TRUE.

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