Barbershop Harmony Society News

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Together making the music that's making a difference.
Updated: 2 hours 19 min ago

Memorial gifts Keep a Melody Ringing

5 hours 12 min ago

It is tragic to lose a friend or loved one. Many of us are left wondering how to pay tribute to those who have meant so much.

For fellow Barbershoppers who dedicated a significant portion of their lives to singing, Harmony Foundation offers the Keep a Melody Ringing program. When one of our cherished friends passes, memorial gifts not only recognize a life enriched by singing, but they create a lasting impact by supporting the programs of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Once memorial gifts for an individual total $1,000, the individual earns a place in Harmony Hall among the honored.

One spouse noted the profound impact of the program on the family after having her husband memorialized in this way. He was a Barbershopper for almost 60 years, and they volunteered and attended many conventions together where they formed lifelong memories and lifetime friendships. The gifts from their friends showed their acknowledgement of all his accomplishments.

Make a gift in someone’s memory online at, by calling us at (866) 706-8021, or mailing your gift to HFI at 110 Seventh Ave. N., Suite 200; Nashville, TN 37203. Be sure to let us know it is a memorial gift and the name of the beloved.

If you would like your friends and relatives to pay tribute to you in this way, leave instructions for your family to include the following wording in your memorial announcement:

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Harmony Foundation International | 110 Seventh Ave. N., Suite 200 | Nashville, TN 37203 | (866) 706-8021

Direct them to the dotted line… A Sample Contract for Chapter Music Leaders

6 hours 11 min ago

Most chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society have a music director for their chorus.

BHS has provided a SAMPLE contract as a starting point for negotiations and conversations with your music leader. As with any type of contract, it may be appropriate for the chapter and the individual to negotiate amendments and modifications to suit their own circumstances. If either party is in doubt about the suitability of the contract for their particular circumstances, each may seek independent legal advice.  

Please note: Access to this sample contract does not constitute the provision of legal advice from the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Access to the Sample Contract

To access the sample music director contract, please visit our online Document Center: CLICK HERE

Considerations and Recommendations

Here are some additional considerations and recommendations for you to consider:

  • The contract should be signed in good faith – If you’re looking for loopholes for your chapter leadership to approve or for the director to sign, there is a problem.
  • The contract should be mutually beneficial – Even if your music director has a large amount of experience and is asking for something that would ‘break the bank’ for your chapter, be strategic about the negotiations and strategy. Your music director who really believes in your chapter, won’t expect you to do so. At the same time, ensure that you’re respecting the time and talent of your music director.
  • It doesn’t have to be complicated! – A contract is primarily meant to create mutual understanding in expectations for both the chapter and the music director. It does not require fancy language or vernacular that could be misinterpreted.
  • Music educators and professional singers expect a contract – Although a contract may feel unusual in our fraternal tradition of barbershop, it is standard practice for most professional musicians. Step up and spell it out.
Words of Caution

Contracts of any kind can be as specific or minimally specific as you desire. The above advice is a sample guide and does not represent hard and fast rules. In our opinion, the best thing you can do is be as clear and specific, anticipating any bump in the road. Most likely, your chapter and your music director are going to grow together; be sure to re-examine your agreement often to make sure it is still fair to everyone.

Insurance Coverage for BHS Chapter Owned Property

March 23, 2017 - 2:29pm
The Society has worked out an arrangement to offer insurance coverage for chapter-owned property.   Coverage is available at various levels; property covered includes risers, uniforms, audio and visual equipment and all the normal paraphernalia needed to operate the chapter.   If your chapter has property and you wish to participate in this program, complete the enrollment form and return to the Society office. If your chapter is currently enrolled in the program, the coverage will automatically be renewed.   Highlights of the program are found in the link below. We are sure you will agree that this coverage is at an affordable premium.   Remember, this is a voluntary program. Discuss it with the chapter officers and have your chapter secretary return the enrollment form if you wish to participate. More information & enrollment form: CLICK HERE  

VINTAGE AUDIO: O.C. Cash recounts the first meeting in Tulsa, OK

March 22, 2017 - 5:51pm

Superman and the rocket from planet Krypton… Newton’s apple and the theory of gravity… O.C. , Rupert, and the rooftop of the Tulsa Club… every monumental discovery needs a great origin story, and so it is with barbershop harmony.

National Barbershop Quartet Day commemorates the birth of the organized barbershop movement on April 11, 1938, when 26 men gathered together at the invitation of Rupert Hall , the “Royal Keeper of the Minor Keys,” and O.C. Cash, “Third Assistant Temporary Vice Chairman” for a songfest. Subsequent gatherings snowballed, leading to the founding of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society. Organizations for women sprang up soon after, and in the following decades, a worldwide network of harmony singing societies spanned generations and tens of thousands of singers.

Listen to a first hand account of the very first meeting from O.C. Cash, himself.

Celebrate National Barbershop Quartet Day – April 11

March 22, 2017 - 3:26pm

Superman and the rocket from planet Krypton… Newton’s apple and the theory of gravity… O.C. , Rupert, and the rooftop of the Tulsa Club… every monumental discovery needs a great origin story, and so it is with barbershop harmony.

National Barbershop Quartet Day commemorates the birth of the organized barbershop movement on April 11, 1938, when 26 men gathered together at the invitation of Rupert Hall , the “Royal Keeper of the Minor Keys,” and O.C. Cash, “Third Assistant Temporary Vice Chairman” for a songfest. Subsequent gatherings snowballed, leading to the founding of the cheekily-named Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. Organizations for women sprang up soon after, and in the following decades, a worldwide network of harmony singing societies spanned generations and tens of thousands of singers.

How are you going to celebrate?


Watch and hear the sound evolve in David Wright’s landmark History of Barbershop Class from Harmony University online.

Trace the historical roots of the barbershop musical form. Classic articles from The Harmonizer unfold the origins of close-harmony in African-American communities.

Explore the history of the Barbershop Harmony Society in words and pictures: the early years, the first invitation, and O.C. Cash telling the story on the radio


Take a minute at a chapter meeting to look around and appreciate the path from 1938 to the present. Honor and listen to the longtime Barbershoppers tell “how it used to be.”

Share the love on social networks

Every day is better with barbershop, and #barbershopquartetday is the perfect time to share your favorite quartet performances from our YouTube channel on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Or show off pix of your first quartet, your current quartet, or your favorite quartet picture on Instagram, again hashtagged #barbershopquartetday

Wear your harmony on your sleeve

… with handsome new tees from Harmony Marketplace.

Revised BMI/SESAC Show Clearance Form for U.S. Chapters

March 21, 2017 - 6:44pm

The Barbershop Harmony Society has updated our Application for Show Clearance: BMI & SESAC License Form and is now available for download on our Society online Document Center.

The general form updates are reflective of what our current process is for processing show clearance requests as an organization, alongside your District Leadership. We’re happy to report that rates for a BMI/SESAC Show Clearance have not increased.  

As a reminder, chapter secretaries should submit three copies of a BMI/SESAC Form to their District for review and approval. Also, checks should NOT be stapled or taped to the form, only paperclipped. 

Please help us by encouraging and discarding older versions of this form, including the carbon forms (that we still see now and then). 

If you have further questions or need further assistance, please contact our Society Offices.

Champs win more fans for barbershop among choral directors

March 17, 2017 - 5:23pm

“R -O-L-L AROUND HEAVEN ALL DAY,” boomed Jim Henry, and the crowd of 2000 leapt to its feet applauding Crossroads. Ringmasters’ soaring tag of “bells bells bells of Notre Dame!” lifted the crowd to its feet again, one of six ovations for the two quartets that night.

Pretty standard convention fare, right?  

Except this convention was not a gathering of barbershop fans and friends, but rather the American Choral Directors Association’s 2017 National Conference — an audience which only recently has come to recognize the artistry and quality vocal approaches that we share with the rest of the choral world.

The concert appearances were the most visible expression of the ever-growing interest barbershop has earned through high-profile presentations at choral conventions. Led by Outreach Advocacy and Partnerships Manager Sherry Lewis, the BHS presence this year expanded to include a standing-room-only music reading session with the two champ quartets reading through a stack of new publications. Testimonial from men from aged 23 to 81 highlighted The Great Northern Union Chorus’  superb seminar on “Building An Intergenerational Male Chorus,” concluding with a breathtaking rendition of “A Tribute to World Peace” featuring Crossroads and Ringmasters.

Brisk booth traffic gave hundreds of educators armloads of music and ideas on bringing more male singers into choral programs — and there were tags to be sung with directors and students alike.

The entire team working the booth was struck by the eagerness of guests approaching — usually the tone was “Oh, great — the Barbershop Society is here!” Educators are coming to recognize the value of our “no strings attached” attitude and quality materials. The Advocacy and Partnerships activities of our Outreach program succeed when more educators take the leap from curiosity to active participation and promotion of the style with their singers — and 2017 at ACDA was another landmark step forward.



Society Board seeks new members… maybe YOU!

March 16, 2017 - 4:33pm

The Board of Directors of the Barbershop Harmony Society has openings for Board Treasurer and Member-at-Large for three-year terms beginning in 2018. 

These openings will be filled by election of the board at its summer meeting at the International Convention in Las Vegas, July 2-8, 2017. The board is seeking effective, visionary leaders with an impressive history of service in barbershop, business, public service, education, or other areas. In addition to these general experiences and attributes, we seek men with strong records of accomplishment as musical leaders in the Society. Further, we are committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse Society and welcome candidates who may help us achieve that aim. 

If you have a desire to serve your Society at the highest level, this is your chance.  The deadline for applying is midnight, April 7, 2017.


Board members are expected to be available for WebEx calls the third Sunday of each month (usually) from 8-11 p.m. Eastern Time. In addition, attendance is required (at Society expense) for three (3) board meetings each year. Following are the dates of the next several meetings: 

2017 (remaining dates)

July 2-8 International –  Las Vegas, NV

December  – Nashville, TN


January 16-21 Midwinter – Orange County, CA

March Conference Call – (TBD)

July 1-8  International – Orlando, FL

November Fall Board Meeting (TBD) – Nashville, TN

If you are elected, you will be expected to participate in all the meetings after July 2017.

For a more detailed listing of the meetings, click here.

Also, all board members are expected to serve as representatives of the Society President and the Society Board at up to two (2) district House of Delegates meetings each year – again, at Society expense. These are usually, but not always, held at district conventions.

For further information about Society Board membership, please see the Society Board Member Orientation Manual,

found on the Society website here.

Board Application Form

Pride of Iowa hosts Youth Workshop

March 15, 2017 - 2:23pm

Thousands of young people are singing barbershop every year, thanks to chapters like the Des Moines area’s Pride of Iowa. Building on a tradition of success, the Festival this year welcomed 145 students, led by clinician Steve Scott and guests Vintage Mix Quartet. The event continues to thrive thanks to a committed group of hosts, and a range of funding sources that includes local support through the Polk County Community Betterment Grant, Greater Des Moines Cultural Enrichment Grant, and the West Des Moines Community School District, and individual gifts through Harmony Foundation International‘s Donor’s Choice Program. It is an inspiration to both BHS and HFI to see this type of ingenuity in action as camp organizers create and build upon philanthropic support from their community. 

In harmony: Barbershoppers still singing on the razor’s edge |

March 14, 2017 - 3:49pm

Chapter milestone anniversaries are always occasion for press coverage, and this clip featuring the Sound of Illinois is a textbook case: history, forward vision, collaboration with a strong local musical partner (University of Illinois Varsity Men’s Glee Club.)

The legend goes that barbershopping came to the Twin Cities as a result of a 1941 visit to the Gipps Brewery in Peoria by Earl Bach, attorney for the Bloomington-Normal Sanitation District, and Paul Jefferson, an insurance agent.

“They were greatly surprised upon their arrival at the brewery to discover the place densely populated with men who were lustily raising their voices in song … and not Old English madrigals,” wrote chorus member Joe Bunting in the group’s official history, “The Birth of the SPEBSQSA in Bloomington.”

Inquiries by the visitors revealed that the lusty vocalizers were members of an obscure cabal known as the Society for the Preservation of. etc., etc.

via In harmony: Barbershoppers still singing on the razor’s edge | Entertainment |

Main Street Harmony, a captive audience, and The Cowboy Way

March 14, 2017 - 3:01pm

Every morning, millions of students at thousands of high schools ignore the principal making announcements over the school PA system. But at Salinas High School, in Salinas, California, everyone perked up last month to the sounds of their own barbershop quartet, Main Street Harmony.  Director Michelle Boulware has made barbershop part of her menu of options for male singers, and the results speak for themselves. 

P.S. Can we double their YouTube views? Big vote of confidence for a young quartet!

Afterglow? The whole darn place is an afterglow

March 14, 2017 - 10:18am


Admit it: you’re addicted to afterglow. First comes the “official” afterglow, with a few bevvies and a few more songs from the evening’s performers. Then comes the “real” afterglow, with a lot more singing. Then the “after-afterglow,” when you repair to some hospitality rooms or lounges for a cozier party. Then, at last, the “glimmer,” when it’s down to you and a select, rotating cast of guys who defy good sense, schedules, and thoughts of work next week, to eke out another try at that bizarro double-quartet

Sadly, in most towns, the bars close down at 1:00 or 2:00 or 3:00 am, just when that pick-up tag quartet is just getting really good.

Not in Vegas, baby. It never closes. Keep singing. You can always find someplace to stay “hydrated.” Heh. Hydrated.

Register now.

Steve Scott joins BHS staff

March 10, 2017 - 8:44am

Steve Scott has been named Director of Music Education for the Barbershop Harmony Society, joining the staff in July. In this capacity, he will oversee the development and implementation of new interactive and online learning for Harmony University. Steve will also assist in the operation of music-based curriculum at BHS education events and assist in the Healthy Chapter Initiatives.

Steve is an experienced educator, having taught voice and choir in higher education in Ohio, Georgia, and Kansas. He completed course work for a Ph.D. in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Kansas and earned an MA in Vocal Pedagogy and an MM in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University, where he also received a Singing Health Specialization; he also has a BME in Choral Music Education from Utah State University. Additionally, Steve has been active a researcher, presenting at national and international music conferences. His research interests include the biophysiology of the barbershop singing voice, barbershop acoustics, barbershop history, and Brazilian art song.

Steve joined the Barbershop Harmony Society at age 11 in the chorus his dad directed and in which his brothers sang. He is a certified Singing judge and is a frequent faculty member for Harmony University where he teaches voice techniques and vocal pedagogy. Steve has been active as a clinician, coach, and chorus director, and has sung in various quartets and choruses, including the 2016 silver-medalist chorus, Central Standard of Metro Kansas City. Steve recently served on the CS music team as Vocal Coach.

Steve’s pride and joy is his family: spouse, Jaylene and daughter, Lydia. They are excited to make their new home in Nashville.

Building A Healthy Choral Ecosystem — New report now available!

March 6, 2017 - 4:56pm

To accomplish our aim of building a better world, singing, the Barbershop Harmony Society constantly works on collaborations with like-minded organizations who are building the field of choral singing.  A healthy choral ecosystem relies on conductors, composers, arrangers, educators, publishers, researchers, academics, public policy advocates, administrators, adjudicators and the music industry as a whole, all working together.

In order to better understand all of the organizations who contribute to the health and sustainability of the choral ecosystem, the Barbershop Harmony Society, supported by our partners American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Chorus America, has created a major piece of research, the first-ever Choral EcoSystem Field Building Report. The work is a direct outgrowth of the 2016 Choral EcoSystem Forum at Yale, a gathering of many of these organizations that was organized by Chorus America and supported by BHS, ACDA and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).

This study looks at 29 different organizations who, in one way or another, are helping to build a healthy choral community. Driven by the common interests of these organizations, this mapping project was created by the following series of guiding questions:

  • Who are these choral organizations – descriptively, structurally, operationally, and programmatically?
  • What is the collective programmatic work of these organizations?
  • What challenges do these organizations face in implementing their work?
  • What new opportunities and trends are shaping the work of these organizations into the future?

The report is now available for download to anyone who is interested in building a healthy choral ecosystem. We hope the study will not only be a rich source of inspiration and ideas for your own work, but also spur a higher level of collaboration among all of our choral organizations, in order to elevate the success of this field that we care so deeply about.

We’re happy to answer your questions at


Music transformed this young man with autism. Now he’s out to unlock talent in others.

March 6, 2017 - 2:01pm

Rex Lewis-Clack was born with autism and blindness, but his early discovery of piano changed his life. Now, he’s helping others who share the same struggles. His charity Rex and Friends brings disabled musicians together to find their unique voice and gives them opportunities to perform.

via Music transformed this young man with autism. Now he’s out to unlock talent in others. | Circa News – Learn. Think. Do..

Society presents Barbershop in a BIG way at ACDA National Conference next week

March 3, 2017 - 4:58pm

Showcase concert appearances from Ringmasters, Crossroads, and Great Northern Union, reading sessions of barbershop music, and a clinic demonstrating the success of barbershop choruses in igniting the fire in younger singers will all take place at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference next week in Minneapolis. Who better than BHS to support the conference theme of “A Life Of Song”?   

The Society’s Outreach team has built progressively stronger ties with ACDA over the past four years, and all interest sessions and booth traffic have shown tremendous growth. Of course, it certainly helps to back up the talk with premium performers on the stage and our passionate Society staff talking (and SINGING) with students and educators all week long.

Music educators and Barbershoppers — be sure to stop by to see us at Booth 623!


Intro to Barbershop: Learning the language of Barbershop

February 28, 2017 - 11:35am
Sort through the alphabet soup of barbershop acronyms and terms

Heard in a chorus rehearsal: “Basses, we need a cleaner swipe going into the tag. Baritones, hold off on the tiddly until I bring you in.” What the heck?

Every subculture, from sports to professions to hobbies, has its own dialect, the specialized lingo, terms, in-jokes and references that are unique to that world. Once you speak the language, you feel more a part of that world — and until you do, you might feel like a stranger in a strange land..

To get you up to speed, we’ve broken these many terms down into three broad categories:

After reading through our guide, you’ll be able to confidently swipe (slide or glissando) from one note to another as you reach the tag of the song (ending or coda) and listen for the baritones top add their tiddly (ornamental sequence of notes for emphasis and pleasure) like a pro!

  Barbershop Musical Terms

Barbershop uses most common musical terms that you would find in any vocal music setting, But we have our own little appendix of specialized terms, too.


Barbershop seventh

The cornerstone chord of the barbershop style, consisting of the root, the major third above, the perfect fifth above, and the minor seventh above, as in a chord consisting of F, A, C, E-flat


Bell chord

A musical arranging device in which a chord is sung as a succession of notes by each voice in turn



Tones of higher pitch that are present in every musical sound and whose presence determines the quality of the musical sound. Chords locked in tune and proper volume relationship “ring” with reinforced overtones



A verbose variation on the theme of a refrain as in “Down By the Old Mill Stream”, also jokes and emcee work between songs.



Focused, bright ringing sound.



A progression of two or more chords sung on a single word or syllable; hallmark of the barbershop style.



A brief ornamental embellishment heard in one voice part while the others hold a chord, as simple as a repeated two-note pattern and often sung by the baritone part.



Very large quartet (octet or larger) or mini-chorus, if you will.



Impromptu quartet singing without arrangements; singing by ear. Watch a basic lesson here!


(See more:


Barbershop Culture and Lifestyle


Party after a chapter meeting or show that can include more performances or just casual singing. 


Barberpole Cat Songs 

These 12 standard songs are sung by many across the Society and provide an easy way to begin harmonizing immediately with those you know, or with those you have just met along the way.


Barberpole Cat Songs Vol. II

The Barberpole Cat Songbook Vol. II is designed to bridge the gap between Polecat songs and music at a difficulty level that many of our Harmony Brigades sing. This book is designed for the member who has “graduated” from the standard Polecat book.



Joining in without invitation when a quartet is singing; a breach of manners. Wait for the quartet to finish, then ask if you can sing along.


Frank H. Thorne Chapter-at-Large

An “international” chapter for men who are not active in a specific chapter.


Gang singing

Informal group singing. Sometimes, also slang for poor quality singing.


Harmony University – Belmont (Harmony U or HU)

Week-long summer educational program for Barbershoppers, a cappella singers, directors, and music educators held annually in Nashville, TN on the Belmont University campus. Comprised of many colleges including Directors, Music Educators, Harmony, and Performance.


Harmony Hall

Barbershop Harmony Society headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.


Harmony Foundation International

A separate, but related organization to BHS, the Foundation raises funds for Society programs, seeks grants and sponsorships for worthwhile barbershop projects and programs, and maintains an endowment fund for the Society.


Registered quartet

A quartet whose name and personnel have been registered at Harmony Hall. Registration gives the quartet exclusive use of its name and only registered quartets may sing in competition. Looking to start a quartet? You’ll find a wealth of information here!


Barbershop abbreviations and initials

The organization today known as the Barbershop Harmony Society was legally founded as SPEBSQSA, The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. Founder O.C. Cash enjoyed poking fun at the numerous initialed agencies of FDR’s New Deal. The Society today continues the tradition by perpetuating numerous abbreviated designations… some functional and some just for fun.



American Choral Directors Association, a professional organization



Ancient And Harmonious Society Of Woodshedders—Barbershop Harmony Society subsidiary devoted to preserving the practice of harmonizing without arrangements; see woodshedding.



Association of International Champions - an organization of previous winners of the International Quartet contest.



Association of International Seniors Quartets Champions



American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, a licensing agency for musical works. (See also BMI, Broadcast Music, Inc.)



Barbershop Harmony Society, the primary trade name and preferred designation for the Society.



Barbershopper of the Year/Month—award presented by many chapters and districts recognizing outstanding efforts of a member.



Contest & Judging, which trains judges for singing competitions.



A regional geographic subdivision of the Society which provides events, education, and support to chapters. See the district map to translate the abbreviations such as FWD, LOL, and SUN into actual locations.



Harmony Foundation International, the Society’s charitable arm



House of Delegates, a leadership body at the District level.



National Association for Music Education,  among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is an association that addresses all aspects of music education.



Public Relations Officers and Bulletin Editors, an organization of Webmasters, Editors and Marketing and Public Relations Vice Presidents of chapters in the Society and related organizations.



Legal name for the Barbershop Harmony Society. Stands for Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing In America, Inc.



Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest, an annual quartet competition for men under the age of 25, held at the International Convention.



 Youth Chorus Festival, an annual gathering of youth choruses from around the world, held at the Midwinter Convention.

House of Delegates Bulletin – Spring 2017

February 27, 2017 - 3:23pm
Our Society grows when chapters grow, so we are investing today for your success.

Our growth investments in programs, volunteer leadership, personnel and strategic planning over the past year have been unprecedented.

  • We have added dedicated resources to support the life of our chapters through the Healthy Chapter Initiative.
  • We’ve completed a sweeping effort to understand our past and present barbershop world, as lived by you, and told in your words, through the Chapter “Gut Check” Survey, Member Survey, and Associates Survey.
  • We’re synthesizing your needs and dreams into a comprehensive Strategic Plan — a decades-long view of a future world of singers preserving the joy of ringing chords together.
  • We’ve reached more people with the sound of barbershop and the rewards of the barbershop experience: the joy of singing, the joy of friendship, the joy of joining together, and the joy of making a difference in people’s lives.

And we’re just getting started!

If you want to grow—as an individual, quartet, or chorus singer — then your Society is ready to help you.

You can augment your weekly chapter experience by becoming a better educated singer, more engaged with the life of the global barbershop movement, and have more fun in more settings!

  • Our Harmony University team continues to deliver more content online (more than 50 new videos released in the past year) and more class options at our weeklong school at Belmont University in Nashville.
  • Harmony University offerings at Midwinter and International Conventions mean more ways for you to learn from worldwide-recognized experts — free with your registration!
  • Our music publications team has dramatically increased the number of titles published, and introduced more voicings for the education market (SSAA) and the growing fans of mixed harmony (SATB).
  • The All-Chapter Chorus and the pilot Seniors Chorus Festival at Midwinter were huge successes. Both are permeating into the District conventions, encouraging more singing time for our attendees and attracting those who might not normally attend a District convention because they aren’t interested in competition, just the joy of singing with their barbershop brothers.
Our direct support for chapter success has expanded
  • We have created a dedicated full-time staff member who services and fields calls and correspondence for ALL chapter and district leaders about best-practice, including what resources are available.
  • Working through the Leadership Operations Project Team, we have deployed new BHS Leadership Curriculum Topics for chapters and districts.
  • We have published and commissioned the “THINK” program that has already been introduced and impacted close to 100 chapters this past year.
  • We’ve commissioned 15 Certified Leadership Facilitators who have made an impact at 7 districts this Leadership Academy cycle and have already packed in more than 200 hours of engagement with chapters.
  • We have published online many more baseline tools and resources that chapters need to do their valuable work — training videos, updated manuals, tutorials, easier accessible document center, and more.

We are accomplishing this all while maintaining financial stability

  • Even with flat/declining membership revenues, we will see no Society dues increases for the fourth straight year.
  • Meanwhile, the Society has been able to grow our programs and budget by nearly 21%. How? One reason is we are seeing increased interest by non-members in our services and programs.
  • Our Midwinter Convention in San Antonio was a virtual sell-out, reflecting the variety and strength of the show, contest and education offerings.
  • Las Vegas 2017 will continue to expand the range of entertainment, and with our least expensive rooms starting at $104 per night, it might be the best-value convention you’ll ever attend.
  • Philanthropy within our membership continues to grow, with donations through Harmony Foundation International fueling programs in outreach, chapter support, and continuing education through Harmony University. Your contributions have reached over 100,000 people, which is significant growth, considering that four years ago the Outreach department didn’t even exist. Thank you!
A Better World. Singing.

You are building it. We are building it. We are making a difference in people’s lives with every chord.

Marty Monson
CEO/Executive Director


Holly J. Kellar named Chief Marketing Officer for Barbershop Harmony Society

February 23, 2017 - 10:05am

HOLLY J. KELLAR has been named Chief Marketing Officer of the Barbershop Harmony Society. In this role, she will oversee a broad portfolio of marketing, branding and communications initiatives for the 22,000-member Society, with emphasis on growing revenue from events, merchandising, membership, and global sales from music publications. Kellar will manage the staff team charged with advertising, internal communication, publications, social/digital media, press and public relations, brand management, and content creation.

In addition to a lifelong love of music and singing, Kellar brings broad experience in marketing and customer strategy, consulting, non-profit management, fundraising, and audience development activities, including extensive work in European settings with Monitor Deloitte/Deloitte Consulting AG. Her arts marketing experience includes serving as Marketing Director for symphonies in Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio; and Kalamazoo, Michigan; as well as consulting engagements with the Minnesota Chorale, VocalEssence, Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, and Minnesota Orchestra.

She earned an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Grinnell College, in Iowa. Active in volunteerism with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, she has also served on multiple boards in community arts, social service, and church settings.

Kellar will be based at the Nashville offices of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The Chief Marketing Officer is a newly created position reporting to CEO Marty Monson and is part of the Executive Team.

The Barbershop Harmony Society is the world’s largest all-male singing Society, with more than 22,000 members across North America; affiliated men’s and women’s organizations in more than a dozen countries bring the total number of active singers to more than 80,000 worldwide. Through active programs in music education, publishing, performance and outreach, the Society preserves and extends the reach of a uniquely American close harmony musical art form whose roots lie in African-American improvisation and European harmony traditions.

Founded in 1938, the Society now expends nearly $1.3 million annually in support of community and school programs that bring the fellowship, fulfillment and excitement of vocal music to a new generation of singers.

Your Chapter and the BHS Standard Chapter Bylaws

February 16, 2017 - 4:00pm

As you likely know, every chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society follows a set of Standard Chapter Bylaws as updated and edited by the Society Board of Directors. Simply, when an update is made to the document, it automatically becomes effective to all chapters.  While changes are infrequent, it’s important that you and your chapter remain up-to-date. When a change is made, an email is always sent to district leadership as well as chapter presidents, secretaries, and treasurers.  

What has changed?

In August 2016, the most recent set of bylaws was approved by the Society Board of Directors. The most significant change was the ability of each chapter to include the option to adapt the structure of their board of directors to include up to two non-member voting at-large seats. (Learn more about this by clicking HERE)

In addition to the Flexible Board Option, there were other various updates made to the bylaws, including having an executive committee option for your chapter and reducing the number of required officers (chapter president, secretary, treasurer and immediate past president).

Are your chapter documents up-to-date?

We encourage you to take a moment to review the current Standard Chapter Bylaws to ensure that your own chapter bylaws are updated to the current standard.

View or download here:

If you need to revise your chapter documents, remember that all edits and adaptations to the Standard Chapter Bylaws and individual code of regulation documents must be reviewed and approved by the Society G&B Committee prior to implementation.

Once your chapter membership has approved your revised bylaws (or code of regulations), you may submit for review and approval by the Society G&B by emailing the documents to If absolutely necessary, they can also be mailed hard-copy to:

Barbershop Harmony Society
Att: Chapter Leadership & Education
110 7th Avenue N
Nashville, TN 37203-3704

Need help?

If you have questions or would like additional assistance, feel free to contact Antonio Lombardi, our Manager of Chapter Leadership and Education at or call 800.876.SING.