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Harmony University wins fans among educators

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Harmony University offers courses for musicians all along the continuum of experience and education. Last summer,  Michael Callahan, the new Music Director of the Davenport Chordbusters, attended Directors College for the first time under a scholarship from Harmony Foundation.  Clearly, the experience invigorated his enthusiasm for the art and style!

It is impossible to say exactly what I expected when I got into doing and directing barbershop. I had some understanding of the style and had kept abreast of the barbershop world as I went through my musical life. Then I dove in when the opportunity presented itself. Even after settling in with the “Chordbusters” I was just beginning to get a grasp of what was expected of me as director and what the barbershop world was like. Then I went to Harmony U and became a barbershopper.

I cannot nail down the moment it happened. Maybe it was Wednesday night when the Leadership course ended with elation and a great feeling of brotherhood/sisterhood. Maybe it was Thursday when I experienced the joy and generosity of barbeshoppers. Maybe it was Sunday when I first heard four hundred people unify their voices in song. Now that I think about it…there are way too many moments to list.

Maybe it was when I met all these incredibly talented and dedicated people as I went to class, as I went to the concerts, as I went to lunch, as I sat outside and read and shared a moment that blossomed into a wide ranging discussion of voice and the art of recording. There were so many people and so many connections that it would take pages to explain all the great sharing of joys, music and fun that happened just person to person. This amazingly positive environment that was created by the instructors I have not experienced in thirty years of music making.

I cannot thank the Barbershop Harmony Foundation enough for giving me a scholarship to Harmony University. I have spent most of my life as a musician and a performer and have been fortunate to have many excellent performing, leadership and classes in music. Harmony University enabled me to see a musical community in action engaged in their art positive and excited for the future. I am more excited to be a part of this group than ever, and eager to take that message to my community even more than I was before. I have been energized more than I thought I could be and look forward to attending next year.

Michael Callahan
Moline, IL

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