BHS News | Education | Merchandise
BHS News | Education | Merchandise
August 6, 2020 | View past issues here

Midwinter Convention Updates

After much consideration, a continued sense of caution and care for our members and fans, and alongside the cancellation of the District conventions this fall, the Barbershop Harmony Society has cancelled the 2021 Midwinter Convention in New York, New York.
This cancellation will impact the Seniors Quartet Contest, the Next Generation and Seniors Chorus Invitational, the All Chapter Chorus experience, in-person HU education classes, and all related convention events and shows scheduled to be held on-site.

This is disappointing to all of us, of course, but the safety and well-being of our members, youth and senior participants, attendees, and guests remains our top priority. Like all of you, we eagerly await the opportunity to gather together safely and enjoy some fellowship and harmony with our barbershop family.
Although we know the in-person experience can never be replaced, BHS staff members are moving forward with plans to create a series of virtual events and experiences. Stay tuned as more details become available this fall!

Future Convention Dates Announced

As we look forward to the time when we can all gather again and ring chords together, the Barbershop Harmony Society is excited to announce the dates and locations for the next three Midwinter Conventions:

2022 Midwinter Convention

Pasadena, California | January 11-16, 2022

2023 Midwinter Convention 

Daytona Beach, Florida | February 7-12, 2023

2024 Midwinter Convention

New York, New York | January 9-14, 2024

2022 Junior Chorus Registration is open

Calling all choruses with members aged 18 and under! The Next Generation Barbershop Junior Chorus Invitational gives your chorus the perfect mixture of fun, education, and opportunity for recognition and achievement, with some of the costs subsidized by your host!

Join us January 11 - 16, 2022 at the 2022 Midwinter Convention in Pasadena, California! Applications for the Junior Chorus Invitational are open August 1 - February 1, 2021.

Creating the Legacy Quartet Championship:

The Selection Process

Steve Armstrong talks about the search for the “Uncrowned Champion,” a quartet that almost-but-never-quite won it all. Sign up for premium access to the online event, to be held Saturday, August 22, and Saturday, August 29, 2020.
Steve, how did you get this gig?
I’m currently serving in the role of chair of the Society Contest & Judging Committee. Because of my leadership role in judging, BHS reached out to me and asked if I could be involved in selecting who the participants would be and figuring out how we would go about judging these groups.

I assembled a team of smarter people than me to help: David Wright, Jim Bagby, Jim Henry, and Mike Slamka. In that group, including myself, we had international champion quartet singers, champion chorus directors, and we had judges, and all are people who really have a keen interest in barbershop history. We’re all old enough to remember most of these quartets, either having seen them live or having have heard them on recording. Some of them predate most of us, but it was kind of fun to dig into the past and our heroes from years gone by.
Those are all very historically-minded people—not just famous in their own right and in their own day, but who really have that sense of continuity across our long history as a Barbershop Harmony Society. Can you talk a little bit about how you looked at that across the span of time?

The idea was to find the “Uncrowned Champion”: the quartet that came so close and didn’t make it. We started by looking at contest results and quartets that had come close, that had come in second or third, particularly if they were in the medals multiple times. There were some quartets that had a long history of being in the medals or being in the Top 10 year after year, but maybe never got up as high as second. For instance, The Roaring 20's got up as high as third one time, but they were always in the Top 10, usually in the medals. Then you have another quartet like B&O Connection, who had kind of a short life on the international stage; I think they came in seventh the first year, and then third the next year, and they sure looked like they were going to win the thing soon, but just didn’t stay together. We had both of those sorts of things to consider.

Once we established the quartets we wanted to include, sometimes we had to figure out which version of this quartet. A really fun one to talk about was 139th Street Quartet, because they were around for so long with four different lead singers, [all of whom won medals with the quartet. They came in second early on with Jim Meehan singing lead; then two bronzes with Larry Wright on lead; then John Sherburn won two bronzes and silver as lead; and Dan Jordan earned a bronze as their lead.] The line-up through most of the 1980s, with Larry Wright on lead, is probably the combination most people think of when they think of 139th Street Quartet, so that was the combination that we ultimately decided to go with. It was that sort of thing that we had to wrestle with: not just which quartets, but which version of those quartets, and then what were their peak years.

Discounts for new or returning members 

BHS has been checking in with chapter and district leaders over the last 6+ months and we know that one of the biggest challenges our communities are facing is bringing in new members and retaining current singers. 

We have several offers ready to support membership growth across the Society while benefiting our current members:

½ Off Dues for New or Reinstated Members

W are offering a discount on your initial membership dues. From August 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020, you can join the BHS for ½ off your society dues! Reinstating members qualify, too -- This offer is also available to members who had to let their membership lapse before December 31, 2019!

Person of Note Referral Bonus

Between August 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, we will be giving out Person of Note referral bonuses. If you refer a member to BHS and they list you as their Person of Note, in addition to your pin, you will receive $10 off your membership renewal. In fact, for EVERY member you refer during this time period, you will receive $10 off your membership renewal!

My Barbershop Playlist:

Jackson Niebrugge

Lunch Break-Old Macdonald Had a Deformed Farm

2011 Kansas City was my first ever International that I attended. It was the first time I ever went on a flight by myself. A lot of great firsts. It was also the first time I had ever heard of or listened to Lunch Break and got to see this wonderful performance live. Holy cow, I laughed and laughed and laughed. The guys would all become great friends of mine and I am honored that they are. Love them all to death and this song is just one of the best Mic Test Performances ever.

Join the Harmony Hall team!

As a key component of our vision of Everyone in Harmony, the Barbershop Harmony Society is an equal opportunity employer committed to building a team with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and skills. We are now hiring for the BHS Development team, as announced in our new philanthropic strategy.

Chief Development Officer
The Chief Development Officer (CDO) is charged with directing the Barbershop Harmony Society’s overall fund development strategy in order to achieve the BHS strategic vision and plan, increase its impact, and advance its financial health. Learn more and apply here.
Development Operations Manager
This key role ensures that our direct individual donor fundraising efforts are well-targeted, efficient, and effective, in order to achieve the highest possible revenue production by our direct fundraisers. The Development Operations Manager orchestrates every step in the development process, beginning with donor/prospect discovery and research and extending all the way through to ongoing donor recognition and appreciation. Learn more and apply here.
Key Development Relationship Manager
The Key Development Relationship Manager is responsible for qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding a portfolio of significant prospects and donors on behalf of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Learn more and apply here.

Inclusion Project Team Volunteers Needed!

We’re looking for volunteers to assist with a variety of upcoming inclusion projects in 2020 and beyond.
If you’re interested in participating and would like more information, please let us know by filling out this contact form.

Song of the Week

Hang on Little Tomato
Arr. Eric Ruthenberg
You may not be able to sing with your chorus, but you CAN sing to your garden! This charming tune is a fun addition to your set list and also lends a word or two of encouragement. Best known as a Pink Martini stape, it's the perfect song to learn during trying times... and a fun option for a virtual chorus or quartet recording session.

Listen to a preview here.

Life's Essential Element

Get back into the academic groove with our Essential Elements collection. Geek out over our gear featuring two of our favorite words in the Periodic Table. This bright design is a fun way to show off the science of singing!

Sticker  |  $2 Member Price

Unisex T-Shirt
$20 Member Price

Racerback Tank
$20 Member Price

After Hours | Bring Me Sunshine
2020 AIC Show

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