Marty Monson is CEO/Executive Director of the Barbershop Harmony Society, an international a cappella music organization headquartered in Nashville, TN. Established in 1938 and now with 22,000 members in North America and nine other countries, the Society is the largest male a cappella singing organization in the world.
Since assuming the leadership position with the Barbershop Harmony Society in August 2012, Monson has undertaken a long-term process of aligning the Society’s assets — a deeply committed, highly motivated and enthusiastic membership base — with its vision of bringing the joy of harmony singing to people of all ages around the world. His first four years have been spent building effective partnerships with leading music education organizations; energizing the relationship with the philanthropic Harmony Foundation International; harnessing the power of thousands of man hours of volunteers; and placing the Society on a solid financial footing that positions it for significant growth investments. A comprehensive strategic plan encompassing all phases of mission, marketing, technology and philanthropy is now underway by his direction, building on these core assets.
Marty’s roots and passion for harmony singing started because of his family. His family was always singing, which led him to obtain a Bachelor degree (1989) in Business and Arts Management at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. As a student, he managed the Dorian Vocal Festival (1200 high school students) on campus under the tutelage of Weston Noble. This inspired him to produce singing festivals and contests during his senior year and full-time after college.
Monson’s business career included working as vice president of business development for Glowpoint, a New Jersey telecommunications and teleconferencing company, and later as president and owner of Visual Communication Advisors, a strategic planning consulting firm in Minneapolis.
A member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1984, Monson began singing barbershop as a quartet member in The Music Man (musical) which led him to sing with the Old Capital Chorus from his hometown of Iowa City, Iowa. He went on to serve five years as president of the twice-honored international silver medalist Great Northern Union chorus, the Society’s Hilltop, Minnesota chapter. His leadership helped to transform the 150-member chorus into one of the Society’s most dynamic organizations. Notable among those achievements was the establishment of the annual Collegiate Showcase, the Society’s most successful continuing collegiate a cappella festival.
While in Minneapolis, Monson and his wife, Amy participated in the founding of Paideia Academy, a K-8 public Charter School in Apple Valley, Minn. offering a Core Knowledge curriculum that included art, languages, and music as core subjects.
Monson brings unbridled passion and enthusiasm to the Barbershop Harmony Society. His infectious laughter and deep investment in the success of his leadership colleagues and staff coworkers fuels their own best efforts.