Master Classes

Harmony University 2017

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Master Classes


Melding Techniques for Conductors

Larry Dodge

Do you find yourself tripping over your own hands? Do you end up resorting to the “one beat”, or making vaguely musical circles in the air when trying to conduct a ballad? Learn how “melding” can allow you to use underlying fundamental conducting patterns to add form and structure to both ballads and uptunes! Recommended for front line directors with significant conducting experience.

One ensemble, three Lenses

Jordan Travis, Steve Tramack, Rob Hopkins

Watch three of our top coaches and judges work with a quartet from their own category point of view, and see how working on singing helps your music, and how elevating your music helps your performance, and how assisting in performance, your singing gets better!

Understanding Swing

Adam Scott

Let Adam help you with basic concepts of backbeat, syncopation, and other essential elements of swing time.  There is a specific reason we rush, and why barbershop folks have put rhythm at the bottom of our food chain!

Voice Lessons Under Glass

Rob Mance, Steve Scott

Two long time barbershoppers AND guys with are finishing up their Doctorates in music will work with students and their vocal challenges, in front of the group.  This is powerful content for aspiring voice coaches, looking for new ways to help singers back home!

Mixed Harmony Arrangements

Tom Gentry, Patty Leveille

We all grew up with SATB, but barbershop singers are coming around to the idea that mixed harmony with our arrangements can work!  Learn about how to alter previously created arrangements, or how to make your own!

Passionate Lead Singing

Debbie Cleveland

Spend some time with two-time queen Debbie, as she will help us experiment with various vocal colors, textures, and inflections to enhance the lyrical delivery of the most important part of any song – the melody!

Vocal Percussion for Beginners

Peter Cunningham

Want to turn your voice into a standard drum kit? Whether to get your start into contemporary a cappella, or just for fun: come learn the basics of beat boxing and vocal percussion. We’ll learn how to imitate a kick (bass) drum, snare drum, and hi-hat, as well as practice common rhythm patterns found in various genres of music. We’ll finish up with a listening activity where students will pick out and imitate drum patterns from popular tunes.

Vibrato Theories and Myths

Tim Workman

How to manage the vibrato in an ensemble environment. What’s healthy, what hurts the barbershop sound, what helps us?  Spend part of an evening and learn!

Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun!

Mark Holdeman

Study how to build a functioning, loyal and motivated team.  No… death and destruction is optional, but not required.

Performance Food

Mo Field

Feast Your Eyes, Feed Your Ears – An analysis class of performers and performances – This masterclass looks at inspirational works from several genre – what is method, what is flow – examination and discussion of performance motivation, intention and clarity, as well as strategic nuance.

Transform Your Chapter Through Strategic Planning

Todd Wilson

Create momentum by inspiring your board, members and supporters, analyze future decisions, develop goals and objectives, and realize your chapter’s mission and vision through strategic planning.  Failure to plan is planning to fail.


Competent Co-Directing

Jay Dougherty & Steve Scott

Presented in this masterclass is a unique idea about how to make the most of a co-directorship. You’ll learn about the system they’ve developed for a unique and effective chorus co-directing atmosphere that is sure to raise the bar of any chorus, and how not to kill each other in the process.

What’s So funny?

Shane Scott & Joe Hunter

What are the major precepts of comedic parody writing and performance?  Why do some people “kill” and others bomb?  What’s happening when the audience is building to laughter?  

Directors Roundtable

Don Campbell, Clay Hine, Kirk Young, Kim Vaughn,  Patrick Brown, Ron Black

Let’s share ideas and strategies, and investigate barriers and frustrations. We will develop a new network of peers and friends who want you to succeed as a director, and you will learn the most important thing of all.. you are not alone!

Make a Compelling Visual Plan

Cy Wood, Gene Spilker, George Gipp

Let’s investigate how you look during your performance!  Are you performing choreography?  Let’s connect the lyrics and message of the song to YOUR life, and offer a powerful performance.

Inner Game of Music

Kevin Keller, Scott Kitzmiller & Brian O’Dell

Based on the best-selling book by Barry Green, watch out teachers help you overcome obstacles, help improve  concentration, and reduce nervousness, allowing them to  reach new levels of performing excellence and  musical artistry.  Kevin, Scott and Brian are all judges in BHS and sought after coaches…let them show you another way.

Quartet Coaching Under Glass

Eddie Martinez & Evan Boegehold

How do coaches choose what to work on?  Watch master coaches Eddie and Evan work with a quartet and get results by selecting a few themes to work on with the group.  You can learn to coach, but you can’t say everything the first night!


Growing a World-Class Barbershop Youth Program

Charlotte Murray

How did a small country on the other side of the world produce a world champion quartet and a 6th place international chorus? Both are fruits of the biggest high school barbershop contest in the world. Hear the stories of New Zealand’s small beginnings and how it has grown a high school youth program second to none!

Bodacious Barbershop Basics

Raymond Schwarzkopf

This class is focused on the singer who has a FEEL for music, but, maybe, doesn’t read music or has little understanding of chords and chord structure.  We will explore the very basics of how barbershop music works and demystify the circle of fifths, tri-tone movement and other terms we use that make your eyes glaze over! Come FEEL the fun by seeing and hearing and feeling how they work!

Win By Losing

Chris Rimple

Most barbershoppers are attracted to singing for the fun and brotherhood/sisterhood that it provides, not for performance or competition.  An aging membership, a declining audience, and funding difficulties have left many chapters with “unspoken rivalries” that hurt them and the chapters around them.  Learn the ways in which a chapter can “win by losing”, acknowledge their strengths and those of neighboring chapters, and work together for everyone’s benefit.  Learn common fears and potential solutions, how to be “good stewards of barbershop”, and ways to increase the brotherhood/sisterhood in your area.

Inside the Dapper Dans

Chad Bennett

What does it take to perform 2000 shows a year? Here’s your chance to learn about the challenges and advantages of a full-time career singing in a barbershop quartet at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” How many guys are in your quartet? Is this your dream job? Get the real answers from an eighteen year veteran of the Dapper Dans of Walt Disney World.



Steve Tramack

Don Campbell

Gary Plaag

Antonio Lombardi


Mathematics & Music

David Wright

What is so compelling about the patterns of music and why does it seem to have such a primal hold on our minds?  Let a professor of mathematics and iconic barbershop arranger David explain how math is music and music is math: in more ways than you may know!

Structuring Effective Chorus Rehearsals

Theo Hicks & Jennifer Cooke

Spend some time with two successful teachers in BHS and SAI.  Learn about “CCS University” and it’s focused technique program, as well as Jenn Cooke’s goal-setting “With Winning In Mind” system.  How can you reach all the learning styles present with adult learners, and yes… adults are different!

Emotional Intelligence and Effective Chapter Leadership

Steve Denino, Rob Macdonald, Terry Reynolds, Steve Wyszomierski

As leaders, we are often faced with situations that inspire or create emotional reactions. In this introductory class we will discuss the importance of your own emotional intelligence and how emotional intelligence contributes to effective chapter leadership. Ignore trends and pop psychology: use fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity to move your chapter from infighting to thriving.

Help:  I’m about to coach for the first time!

Rich Knight

Your friends have asked you to listen to their “new” quartet and give them coaching advice in preparation for an upcoming contest.    Where do you start, what should you listen for, how far can you take them in two hours?  Rich will also cover some helpful  do’s and don’ts for new coaches.

Small but mighty!

Aaron Dale & Kim Wonders

Spend some time with top 10 chorus directors that achieve a very high level with a smaller chorus.  How can you be competitive against “the giants” at the international level with a smaller chorus?   Come find out!

Synchronized Singing Made Simple!

Debra Lynn

Easy diagnostic tools to correct inconsistent tonal stability, resonance, legato, chord balance, forward placement & artistry. See how it’s possible to correct many issues with more ease and effectiveness.

Your Music On Steroids

Paul Ellinger

Synesthesia is a crossing of the senses.  In music, a person may see colors, shapes with texture and depth, and even sceneries.  In this fun and exploratory session, move forward in music, improve performance levels, and connect with audiences on higher levels.   Discover that you or your ensembles may actually have synesthetic talents and how to bring those dormant talents to life!  

Acoustical Physics 101

Jason Warschauer

Don’t get nervous…you don’t have to be a “P” tuning nerd to be with in this class.  Spend some time and get a condensed version of how and why our chords ring, why we tune off the piano, and watch and hear Jason use a room full of instruments to demonstrate… everything about sound!

Lead sheet to 4 part harmony

Steve Delehanty

Arranging a song from a lead sheet to a barbershop arrangement can be done in 90 minutes.  All you need is to dig into the implied harmony and develop!  Let master arranger Steve show you ONE pathway!

100,000 members overnight!

Marty Monson, Brian Lynch,  Caki Gray

The Barbershop Harmony Society is developing a strategic plan that over time create a much larger organization by offering different levels of barbershop engagement.  Come listen to ways we hope to open new models for growth.

How to Raise the Funds Your Chapter Needs

Todd Wilson

Let Todd show you how to attract and retain more members and “put more butts in the seats”  for all your chapter events.  Start with funding the cost of implementing your strategic and marketing plans FIRST, not later.