The Barbershop Harmony Society believes that the success of our organization rests in large part on the health of our diverse array of chapters. Healthy chapters mean a strong membership pipeline, a higher level of artistry and musical credibility, and a more reliable grassroots distribution mechanism through which our charitable and service aims can be actualized, measured, and refined. For the majority of our members, the local BHS Chapter is the single most significant point of contact with the Society.
For this reason, and in partnership with Harmony Foundation International, we’ve created the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Healthy Chapter Initiative.
Who leads the Healthy Initiative?
In 2016, the Barbershop Harmony Society hired an experienced, full-time, Chapter Leadership & Education manager who serves specifically as a resource to all of our chapters and constantly prioritizes and develops further tools to support the health of the chapter experience and product. This new point-of-contact at Harmony Hall also partners alongside the District Leadership and the BHS Leadership Operations Project Team (LOPT) to continue to develop materials necessary for all chapters to continue to grow and succeed.
What does this mean for our chapters?
We expect that…
- Healthy chapters will become healthier, struggling chapters will improve their quality of life, and dying chapters will have a dignified and comfortable transition to a new kind of engagement with BHS.
- BHS will learn from its grassroots leaders what tools and resources would be most useful in maintaining chapter health;
- BHS will rapidly develop and efficiently deploy those tools and resources;
- Chapters and their members will recognize the value added by the Society to their communities and individual experiences as artists;
- Uptake of Society initiatives, and cooperation with Society administrative and reporting requirements, will increase;
- An intra-chapter “community of communities” will develop and grow; and
- Grassroots leadership will thrive across all of BHS.
That’s great, what have we already done this past year through this initiative?
In 2016, we have:
- Updated & Revised the BHS Document Center to prioritize documents that are needed for chapter and district leaders.
- Updated and officially published Society resources such as the “The Business of Barbershop: BHS Chapter Business Guide At-A-Glance” Original Author: Gary Hannah, Southwestern District, and the “BHS Chapter & District Financial Reviews: A User's Guide”
- Generated new chapter secretary online training videos to cover the “basics” of chapter secretary leadership.
- In partnership with the BHS Leadership Operations Project Team (LOPT), we’ve commissioned 15 certified Leadership Facilitators whose purpose is to serve as a community of trained experts who are passionate about making a difference through thought leadership.Each facilitator is equipped to deliver specific leadership training, serve as a support conduit between all of our chapters, and further progress and promote the Healthy Chapter Initiative.
The single most significant point of contact with our organization, are our chapters…
The size, nature, and vitality of BHS Chapters vary widely across the 753 currently chartered communities. The current array includes large competitive choruses, strong administrative capacity, and six-figure budgets; smaller hobby-focused choruses; established community choruses with modest competitive and artistic aims but a strong community and fraternal approaches; and everything in between.
BHS has developed an approach that takes the high-touch approach of the vestigial “chapter men” model, powers it with modern technology for greater efficiency, supports it with new resources and toolkits, and assumes that different models of chapter life will suit different communities.
The purpose of the Healthy Chapter Initiative is to develop strategies for strengthening the overall health of the communities of artists that comprise the BHS Chapter Structure.