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Author: Lorin May

Let’s fill up our “thankful jar”

Every Thanksgiving morning, I join my wife and four kids in the living room to fill what our kids call the "Thankful Jar." We start with huge bags of Jelly Bellies, M&Ms, Skittles and other small candies and fill the jar one piece at a time while stating something for which we are thankful. You get to repeat what someone else said but not what you've already said. The jar is probably at lea...
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A $1 million check — what would you spend it on?

Imagine that a Society member or Associate was ready to write a million dollar check to Harmony Foundation.  But he or she needs a cause that they are certain would be a great investment.  Would YOU know what to tell them? I'm pretty sure I already know what Harmony Foundation would tell them. They already gave $450,000 to the Society in 2009  to fund our entire Youth in Harmony program and to ...
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Here’s to the Winners! Gratitude for the champs among us

With permission, I'd like to share a personal correspondence from Jeff Selano, whose head is still in the clouds after winning gold while singing tenor with Storm Front: Look at this photo and it all becomes very clear.  We sat down with our wives after Anaheim and said, win or lose in Philly we have to know that we didn't leave any stones unturned. And that means likely not being home for most ...
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Common attributes of successful chapters

Here's the chance to add/subtract or discuss the list on page 13 of the May/June 2010 issue of The Harmonizer. Apologies if you came to this site earlier and didn't find this post as mentioned in the magazine. I just came back from vacation to find that the printer had managed to mail the issue nearly a week earlier than scheduled -- I thought I was going to have a few more days to put this post...
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Philly will be Jim Clancy’s last contest as director

We'll let the VM's press release speak for itself: PHILADELPHIA CONTEST TO BE LAST COMPETITION FOR VOCAL MAJORITY DIRECTOR JIM CLANCY Dallas, TX (May 18, 2010) --- After nearly forty years and an unprecedented eleven gold medals in international competition, Director Jim Clancy has decided to make the 2010 Philadelphia performance his last international contest at the helm of the Vocal Majority...
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How can we feature the “common man” in The Harmonizer?

If you'd like some insight into how I select which stories go in The Harmonizer, here it is. Right or wrong, this is how I see my job as editor of the magazine, and this is how I filter through the many submissions and story pitches I receive. The following e-mail exchange shows a quandary that I face in knowing how to talk about ordinary barbershoppers among ordinary barbershoppers. It started w...
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Who would have dominated if champs could re-compete?

A fun discussion developed this morning when some of us staff guys were taking a stroll around the block this morning. Webmaster Eddie Holt mentioned he's got a picture of the bronze medal won by the Bartlesville Barflies (our first champs in 1939, picture of the medal here) when they competed again in 1942, essentially in the same configuration as the Phillip's 66 Barflies. It was just the year...
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What did we once do that we should have never stopped?

As opposed to "What did we start doing that we never should have started?" This one's for the old-timers, or at least the historically enlightened. It's the promised follow-up to my last post, "System reboot: If we'd started the Society today, what would be different?" (In retrospect, maybe today's post should have come first.) In either case, I'm hoping for some insightful answers and discussi...
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System reboot: If we’d started the Society today, what would be different?

Here’s something for all you snowed-in barbershoppers to chew on: How would we have structured things if 30,000 barbershop singers had somehow gotten together just today to form a singing Society? How would we be structured? What would we do that we don’t do now? What would we modify or drop that we are doing? On balance, we’re far too critical of ourselves as barbershoppers. We’re so intimately ...
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Up with reality, down with pessimism–the realist’s case for optimism

God bless the realists, the folks who tell it like it is—who call a spade a spade, who never stick their head in the sand, and who know they aren’t doing anyone any favors in varnishing the truth. The Barbershop Harmony Society needs all the reality it can get. If the preceeding words describe you, this post isn’t directed at you. On second thought, this post may be ESPECIALLY for you. What I ...
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