Lunchtime Electives

Harmony University 2017

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Lunchtime Electives


Singing With All Nine Senses

Larry Dodge

This experiential learning opportunity is designed to get singers thinking “outside the box”. Find out how to breathe new life into an old song, and learn techniques that will allow you to explore the breadth and depth of possibility in new material. All are welcome!

Swing It With a Groove

Tom Gentry

How to sing with a swing!  Because so many of us are visual learners, we SEE written music with equal eighth notes, but the first one is twice as long, and this visual block messes us up!   Spend some time with Tom on that groove that CAN be taught, and some simple exercises you can take back home.

Overtone Mapping

Jay Dougherty

Come see what your overtones look like and learn how to use them to sing in tune! Ever heard a true harmonic 7th? Have you ever tried to sing one? Come experiment with us!

Harmonic Analysis for Scaredy-Cats
Kirk Young

Let Kirk show you basic analysis, and why it matters to your performance and general understanding of the music you are singing!  We will discuss roman numeral function and why some chords move, and some can rest!

Performance Demystified

Joe Hunter

What are they looking for in this NEW judging category?  Is the performance category the same as presentation?  Let two veteran judges and coaches explain!

When You Listen to Music, You CHANGE IT!

Jason Warschauer

The simple act of Observing changes a system.  That is, it is impossible to measure something without directly affecting it!  Let’s revisit the infamous double-slit experiment, and discuss how it applies to our perception of music.

Parody Writing 101

Shane Scott

How to our top groups write those funny lyrics and have the punch line hit with the right rhyme scheme?  Spend some time with Shane, and he will show how to work with the end in mind  to get your parody lyrics build to laughter, not groans.

Making distinctions at the A-level

David Wright

How does a judge tell a 94 from and 89?  Come spend a session with master arranger and judge David as he gives examples at this very high level.

Structuring Effective Chorus Rehearsals

Theo Hicks

Let gold medalist lead, chorus director, and public school music teacher Theo Hicks give you one of many blueprints for a more effective rehearsal.  Stop winging it… make a plan!

Sculpting Sound

Kim Vaughn

Let’s learn directing techniques that influence vocal production and the sound of our group.  Our hands/arms/bodies have a huge impact on how our chorus sings.  Come learn how to get more sound with less talking.

Five Things To Say Every Time You Talk About Barbershop

Brian Lynch

Our core messaging needs to be part of every conversation with external audiences. You are bigger when you make the worldwide barbershop movement bigger.


“A” Level Rehearsal Techniques

Kim Wonders

Let’s learn a few techniques to enhance the rehearsal experience and assist in improvements in the areas of tuning, vowel production and synchronization.  The level you expect your ensemble to perform is determined by YOU!  Show them the way with these tried and true techniques.

Arrangers Roundtable

Aaron Dale, Clay Hine, Steve Delehanty, Scott Kitzmiller

Spend your lunch with four of our premier arrangers.  Geek out and ask… how!

The Chorus Warm-up: The Most Important Part of the Rehearsal
Rob Mance

This elective will take a fresh look at the chorus warm-up, why we do them, and what to include and what to avoid for a successful rehearsal.  If we let our rehearsal begin at a low level, all 3 hours are doomed to this level!

From Broadway to Barbershop

Cy Wood

Learn techniques that professional Broadway actors use in their rehearsals and performances. Enhance your performance in barbershop based on these methods. Compare and contrast performances from Broadway to Barbershop.

Starting and/or Rebuilding Your Chapter

Mark Holdeman

How to start a new chapter or revitalize your current one! Topics include creating a chorus culture, fund raising, and image building.

Hands don’t fail me now!

Patty Leveille

This class will teach beginners and intermediate want-to-be directors learn a few basics that you can use right away!  We will help with back beat, downbeat, and suspending sound. Students will participate in this fun arm waving class.

Common Vision

Eddie Martinez

Finding your unity of purpose for your chapter.  You can be a small chapter of 14 or the Vocal Majority, but you still need to be in alignment.  Learn how.

Understanding Bel Canto Breathing

Debra Lynn

The biggest challenge singers face is air management and what that means. Understanding our vocal physiology and the counter-intuitive nature of singing, can create a quantum leap in results. See why this 1800’s Technique gives you a 21st Century advantage!


Unlocking the Script of your Song

Patrick Brown

This elective will discuss how basic script analysis techniques from the theatre world can be used on the lyrics of a song in order to enhance the on-stage performance.  

Community Engagement and You!

Chad Bennett

Discover how easy it is to make a difference in your local community while raising the profile of Barbershop Harmony. Learn how to identify and approach potential partners, as well as the benefits of ongoing partnerships for any organization. Take advantage of simple and rewarding methods to grow your fan base.


Grow your high school choir with barbershop

Debbie Cleveland

As a club, a class or an after school activity, the benefits of barbershop far outweigh your investment of time and energy. Spend your lunch with veteran high school music educator and SAI quartet champ Debbie as she explains how this art form will help your madrigal singing, your vocal jazz singing, and, even the number of students in your program.

The BHS Leadership Curriculum

Terry Reynolds, Steve Wyszomierski, Steve Denino, Rob Macdonald, Greg Caetano, Antonio Lombardi

The Barbershop Harmony Society believes that the success of our organization rests in large part on the health of our diverse array of chapters. Part of LOPT’s role is to provide tools for our chapter leaders to continue in their valuable work towards defining success for chapter growth and wellness. Come hear about the resources LOPT provides to your district and chapters!

Campbell’s Vowel Movement

Don Campbell

This is an ears-on, acoustic explanation of why your chorus or quartet does not match vowels (or could do it better). But wait, there’s more . . . You’ll also be shown how to fix it.

Drawing Parallels Between the Classical World and Barbershop
Evan Boegehold

Take time away and explore the classical roots of our barbershop style. From its start in the language of giants like Beethoven and Brahms to its arrival in on the east coast with early American composers, learn how our harmonic language traveled across the Atlantic and found its way to the very beginnings of our style. A very, VERY classical approach to our beloved hobby.

Why we loved that Performance

Mo Field

Spend some time with Mo as she takes you through a series of performances in and out of barbershop: WHY do we love that performance more than another?  We will learn the elements present in all of these standing ovation performances, and how we can use this in our planning.

Sight-Singing With Solfege

Peter Cunningham

We will learn the 7 syllables and hand-signs that choirs around the world use to learn their music faster and more accurately. Originally developed by Kodaly, this system utilizes aural, visual, as well as kinesthetic learning to internalize the relationship of pitches, no matter which key you’re in! This is a sure-fire way to boost your music reading ability.

Game Day

Brian O’Dell

What to do with the nerves! – It’s show time and I’m nervous. How to determine what causes the nervousness, how to become friends with the nerves and how to approach performing with them.

Co-Directorship: Is two better than one?

Charlotte Murray

Hear stories from those who have made the decision to move from one director to two. Why are we seeing more people move to this model and what have been the benefits?  

PVI 101

Jennifer Cooke

How to give effective and uplifting private vocal instruction; what to listen for, and in what order; tools for healthy vocal skills; follow-through and next steps.  Watch Jenn give a live lesson, and watch her stop and explain the methodology.

Honesty in Interpretation

Timothy Workman & George Gipp

Learn how to perform a genuine visual performance while maintaining lyrical freedom in the voice.  Dr. Workman will help you avoid common pitfalls of barbershop gestures and overacting!

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts For Social Media

Amy Rose

You have a Facebook page, Instagram account, and Twitter feed…. but now what? Let BHS staffer Amy Rose give you practical advice on how to use social media to your advantage. From content selection to writing style, we can help you focus in on what works, what to try, and what to avoid.


Story Telling

Kevin Keller

What exactly IS a story and how do you successfully tell a story inside a song?  Kevin will spend time guiding students through a process to uncover a deeper meaning and apply to our storytelling in music.


How to grow your Chapter… in 45 minutes.  
Paul Ellinger

Find out what chapters around the Society are doing to grow their chapter by using some simple concepts.  It’s different, it’s fun and it’s working everywhere it’s introduced!

Performance Category Q & A

Gene Spilker

Doc will give instruction on techniques for your chorus or quartet rehearsals and how to incorporate the art of performance.  Ask questions about this often misunderstood category!

Look Inside the Music

Steve Tramack

A piece of sheet music is really a treasure map: one filled with clues to creating a living, breathing work of art with the gift of lyrics, melody, harmony, and rhythm. This course looks deeper into an arrangement with which almost every barbershopper is familiar, and looks at how we can find more music inside this music.

The Art of Ball Canto

Adam Scott

Ya Gotta Change Parts! Do you know all 4 parts to a couple of the polecats? Using four balls, one labeled for each voice part, you will stand in a circle and you pick up the voice part of the ball that is randomly tossed to you mid-song! It’s hilarious fun. These 45 minutes of playing singing games will teach you the “rules” of the game and provide some of the most fun you’ll have in your “off hours” at Harmony University.

Lunch chat with the CEO

Marty Monson

What’s the BHS CEO up to these days?  Does he go out for lunch and sing all day?  Spend some time with Marty as he shares what is guiding his time at Harmony Hall, and why barbershop has such a bright future.

Tech Talk

Jordan Travis

Technology is always advancing to help us learn and grow in many different directions.  Learn about some of the amazing new apps, programs, and sites that can help you, your quartet, and/or your chorus improve!

Fix Tonal Center Flatting For Good

Ron Black
Why does your group always end a half or whole low…every time?  By choosing the “next note” correctly, based on just two rules, your quartet or chorus will cure this very common problem.

Publish or Perish

Scott Harris

Learn about best practices in self publishing from BHS staffer Scott.  What steps do you need to take for clearance, how much money should you be prepare to spend, and when does it make sense for another group to take care of licensing for you!


Show Production 101

Chad Bennett

Have you always wanted to put on a show but didn’t know where to begin? Find out here. Could your annual show use a boost? You can add production value while keeping the overall cost reasonable. Start with the basics and get a fresh perspective on producing a great show.

Five Things To Say Every Time You Talk About Barbershop

Brian Lynch

Our core messaging needs to be part of every conversation with external audiences. You are bigger when you make the worldwide barbershop movement bigger.

What I learned from Dr. Seuss

Gary Plaag

Professional communication coach, Gary Plaag, will take you on a fun-filled journey to developing and honing your storytelling skills to ensure engaging and compelling barbershop and a cappella performances every time. Using children’s storybooks you will learn how to effectively deliver text (spoken or in song) that keeps audiences riveted and engaged…and having a rewarding emotional experience. There will be plenty of time opportunities for audience participation so bring an open mind and a playful heart…and we’ll have a GREAT time together!

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts For Social Media

Amy Rose

You have a Facebook page, Instagram account, and Twitter feed…. but now what? Let BHS staffer Amy Rose give you practical advice on how to use social media to your advantage. From content selection to writing style, we can help you focus in on what works, what to try, and what to avoid.

Copyright 101

Janice Bane & Scott Harris

BHS staffer Janice can explain the maze of rules around how copyright rules impact BHS music releases AND why we can’t always have your favorite songs or video.  If you are in a quartet and want to learn about clearance, public domain, the Harry Fox agency, and other questions, come on by…Janice knows all.

Create Change with Project Management Tools

Erin Harris

In this session you’ll learn how to use project management best practices and tools to drive organizational change. Learn how BHS structures its work around program and project management to get more done. See if this method could apply to your district, chapter, or community

From The Ground Up

Chris Rimple

Learn how a chapter grew from an idea, to licensed, to chartered, to a second-place finish at District and an invite to compete at International in 10 months.  Learn how our philosophies of “do less, sing more” and being “good stewards of barbershop” have allowed us to accomplish a great deal in a short time, with open auditions and plenty of “average” singers ranging in age from 20-50+.

Motivation for Chorus Directors

Raymond Schwarzkopf

Most directors have had a night where they come home from rehearsal and ask themselves “Why do I want to be a Chorus Director? How do others make it look so easy? How do I motivate my singers when I have trouble staying motivated myself?” This class will address those issues and more as we delve into the minds and hearts of a successful Chorus Director. This class is geared for current directors.

Diagnosing Vocal Inefficiencies 

Steve Scott

This class will introduce finding vocal inefficiencies and their common solutions. Let Steve help you remove noise from the sound using data and science. 

Of All The NERVE

George Gipp

You work so hard and try to be smart. Your song selection compliments the quartet vision. Your preparation is consistent and complete. Sadly, everything can come unglued because of the inability to manage one’s nerves.  We will explore a series of solutions, answers and research-based tactics that not only make consistent high-level performances possible…but a reality!  

What Are You Doing with Your Time?

Rob Hopkins

What principles should guide you in creating and maintaining musical interest in a song performance so that you get listeners “hooked” and never let them off the hook? This former Music judge will share approaches that will lead to success.