“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 (jrunion@mariettatimes.com) , 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 – MariettaTimes.com | 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: 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 »

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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 | Stuff.co.nz.

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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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Championship performances free on YouTube!

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.

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Hall of Fame honorees The Boston Common say thank you

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.”




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Life as a summer intern at the Barbershop Harmony Society – Jim Park

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.

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Why do we get goose bumps when listening to music?

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.”

Read more at:  Why do we get goose bumps when listening to music?.

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Tagata Pasifika – World Barbershop Champions -The Musical Island Boys – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 14, 2014, 5:19 PM


Tagata Pasifika – World Barbershop Champions -The Musical Island Boys – YouTube.

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Life as a summer intern at the Barbershop Harmony Society – Kyle Snook

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.

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Life as a summer intern at the Barbershop Harmony Society – Patrick McAlexander

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.

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Life as a summer intern at the Barbershop Harmony Society – Marita May

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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Get Your Barbershop Fix

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.


2015 Mid-Winter is in New Orleans next (the party continues!) #‎BHSNOLA


2015 International convention is in Pittsburgh ‪#‎BHSPGH.

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

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WFAA Reports on Vocal Majority BHS Gold Medal Win – YouTube

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 14, 2014, 11:17 AM


WFAA Reports on Vocal Majority BHS Gold Medal Win – YouTube.

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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.


But don’t just take my word for it, check out Long Live The Hashtag. It features our convention hashtag #BHSLV, showing how effective it is to use these little beauties properly.

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I Hear America Singing – Walt Whitman

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
and strong,
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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Barbershop blend; Why I sound different to you | Andrea Day

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in Music | Posted on July 11, 2014, 2:26 PM


Andrea Day sings with the Cheshire Chord Company in Warrington in the UK, and with a quartet called MIX. She does a great job in explaining basic physics of sound.

Today’s lesson – Why do I sound different to you?A flute sounds different to a violin, even when they are playing the same note. And, you can recognise someones voice on the end of the phone out of all your friends with them just saying the word,  “Hello”.But why? and how does this even relate to Barbershop?Every sound has a unique fingerprint and our ears are clever enough to be able to decipher this and differentiate between them. To look at what some of these fingerprints look like, we need to cover off some basics.Sound is a wave of air at different pressures and is called a “waveform”.

via Barbershop blend; Why I sound different to you | Andrea Day.

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Making An Entrance

Posted by Becca Grimmer | Posted in Just for Fun, Social Media | Posted on July 11, 2014, 12:44 PM


Tired of that same old quartet entrance that everyone does? Ringmasters found a way to make their entrance the most epic of all the entrances ever.

Now… who wants to challenge this and enter the stage Spiderman-style? MAKE IT HAPPEN!

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The Musical Island Boys on THE HITS

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 11, 2014, 10:42 AM


Lesson for all Barbershoppers: give the host a chance to sing and succeed! (And keep it moving: they never tank up as they should.)

This morning Polly & Grant had the incredible Musical Island Boys sing live on the show!

via The Musical Island Boys.

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PM – New Zealand’s newest musical sensation crowned world champions 08/07/2014

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 11, 2014, 10:27 AM


Awesome radio interview with the champs!

Move over, Crowded House and Lorde – New Zealand has a new singing sensation: the Musical Island Boys.

The four singers have become the world’s champion barbershop quartet, blitzing the competition in Las Vegas with their Maori and Polynesian style.

This report by New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz.

(The Musical Island Boys perform Childhood by Michael Jackson)

THE MUSICAL ISLAND BOYS (singing): Have you seen my childhood? / I’m searching for that wonder in my youth…

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: Twelve years ago, they were four Wellington schoolboys with a dream.

via PM – New Zealand’s newest musical sensation crowned world champions 08/07/2014.

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Webcast welcomes Grammy-nominated Neyla Pekarek

Posted by Becca Grimmer | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, In the news | Posted on July 11, 2014, 10:03 AM


This year's webcast featured famous guests like Darin Drown (Storm Front), Tim Waurick (Vocal Spectrum) and Neyla Pekarek (folk-rock group The Lumineers.)

This year’s webcast featured famous guests like Darin Drown (Storm Front), Tim Waurick (Vocal Spectrum) and Neyla Pekarek (folk-rock group The Lumineers.)

Sweet Adeline Neyla Pekarek, more famously known as the cellist of the Grammy nominated folk rock band, The Lumineers, joined 7,000 attendees at the Las Vegas convention. Neyla was invited to chat with the webcast hosts where she stated that coming to the convention she felt much more at home and even star-struck.

She also reveals that she found barbershop in an odd sort of way. Her high school choir teacher was Darin Drown (Sound of the Rockies, Storm Front) and he needed a babysitter while he sang with Storm Front. That’s where she fell in love with barbershop:  in the barbertots room, and she had to stop nannying so she could go watch the contest.

She now sings with Harborlites Chorus and just qualified for the Sweet Adeline International Convention in Baltimore with her quartet, Swoon, and she plans to sing as much barbershop as possible before going on tour again with The Lumineers.

She is also great friends with Tim Waurick. They met at the Rocky Mountain District Harmony College in 2009.

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Hank Senior never sounded so good

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on July 10, 2014, 2:41 PM


Barbershop’s range of source material continues to expand in this latest release. Country classic “Hey, Good Lookin‘” came from the revolutionary mind of Hank Williams, Sr., and has been covered by every singer in Nashville. Our Las Vegas crowd heard it premiered by past collegiate champs The Newfangled Four and ate it up. This Tom Gentry arrangement is a difficulty level 4 and ready to cook (get it?), especially when you pick it up with learning tracks.


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North Texas’ Vocal Majority Chorus Wins Big At International Chorus Contest | Art&Seek

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 10, 2014, 8:50 AM


Here’s a nice, brief mention of the Vocal Majority’s win. We were delighted to see that this story embeds the YouTube video of the Daily Recap show.

North Texas’ very own Vocal Majority Chorus has won another big competition. Over the weekend, the group won the Barbershop Harmony Society International Chorus Contest in Las Vegas. Vocal Majority says that more than 150 of its members were on stage, competing against 30 choirs from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden and New Zealand. It’s the 12th Gold Medal for Vocal Majority since it started in Dallas in 1972. Here’s a recap of the competition:

via The High Five: North Texas’ Vocal Majority Chorus Wins Big At International Chorus Contest | Art&Seek.

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Harmony reigns for barbershop boys | Stuff.co.nz

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 10, 2014, 8:39 AM


Now is the hour for Kiwi barbershop quartet Musical Island Boys who were judged best in the world in Las Vegas at the weekend.

The foursome required a special dispensation from the International Barbershop Harmony Society rules two years ago to be allowed to compete singing in a “foreign” language.

And so the Maori version of Now is the Hour was their swansong when the four, including former Palmerston North Boys’ High School student Matt Gifford, won the gold medal at the society’s international competitions in Las Vegas.

via Harmony reigns for barbershop boys | Stuff.co.nz.

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Island harmony a winner – NZ Herald News

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Press Clippings | Posted on July 10, 2014, 8:37 AM


Lydia Jenkin: Island harmony a winner - Entertainment - NZ Herald News

First the unmitigated success of cheeky operatic trio Sol3Mio, and now the Musical Island Boys become a world champion barbershop quartet?

From the outside, it seems like a sudden coincidence that young Polynesian people are taking the world by storm in the most Palagi-est musical forms there are.

What’s got into them?

But the truth is, they’ve been darn good at this singing business for a very long time, and whichever path they head down — traditional choral groups, barbershop, opera, musical theatre — that talent comes from a joy they find in singing together from a young age.

via Lydia Jenkin: Island harmony a winner – Entertainment – NZ Herald News.

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Barbershop Harmony Society Quartet competition: a heaping helping of harmony | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Press Clippings | Posted on July 10, 2014, 8:33 AM


Nice photo essay in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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C’mon, Get “Happy”

Posted by Adam Scott | Posted in Song of The Week | Posted on July 10, 2014, 7:12 AM


Yes, the sky was falling, and the Rapture nigh, because a song released less than one year ago was being sung on a stage at our convention.

And boy, did the young singers in the Next Generation Chorus sing the heck out of “Happy“, an irresistible pop hit for Pharrell Williams featured on the soundtrack to “Despicable Me 2.”

Catchy beat (with handclaps!), cheery lyrics, fun patter, and relevance to general audiences will make this a big hit throughout the Society. It sold out at convention. This is going to be a monster. A poppin’ learning track by Tim Waurick  might even convince your kids to start barbershopping with this one.

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Māori Party singing Praises of the Musical Island Boys | Scoop News

Posted by Brian Lynch | Posted in 2014 Las Vegas, Contests & Judging, Media, Press Clippings | Posted on July 9, 2014, 2:57 PM


The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas.

“The Musical Island Boys have now demonstrated they are among the best male barbershop quartets in the world” said Hon Dr Pita Sharples. “Matt Gifford, bass (Ngati Kahungunu ki te Wairoa; Tuhoe and Cook Islands), Jeff and Will Hunkin, tenor and baritone (of Samoan/Niuean whakapapa) and Maselusa Washburn, lead (Samoan) have taken our Maori and Pasifika talent to the international stage and have been placed top of the world”.

via Māori Party singing Praises of the Musical Island Boys | Scoop News.

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