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Midwinter Renaissance: 3rd Year and Counting! (Or: Why the International Youth Barbershop Chorus Festival Rocks!)

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Here we are six weeks away from the Midwinter Convention in Tampa, Fla. (January 28-31, 2010) and we’re headed towards what looks to be our largest attended Midwinter ever. As of this morning we are sitting at 1210 registrations! Last year at this time we were at 893 registrations and by the time everything was said and done we had 1291 folks in Pasadena. Where will Tampa finish? Come on and find out!

As you can imagine, we here at HQ are very excited about this. I am especially excited because quite simply, more barbershoppers in the same place at the same time=FUN. Even now, however, the convention is still somewhat of a “best kept secret” in the Society.I must admit to skipping over those articles and ads in the Harmonizer before I joined the HQ staff back in 2002. However Tampa will be my eighth consecutive Midwinter and I would not miss one now for anything. The top Seniors Quartets from around the world, the International Youth Chorus Festival, the 2009 Top Five International Medalist Quartets, The 2009 College Champs, the shows, the classes, and the all night LOBBY SINGING. All of these ingredients add up to an awesome time. One of the best a person can have in barbershop, IMO.

Oh yea…the convention has changed from even just a few years ago and has gone through a bit of a renaissance. A large contributor to that is of course generated by the International Youth Chorus Festival, now in its third year. It truly adds to the Midwinter experience and is the greatest example of how barbershop music reaches across virtually all generations that I can think of.

We’re so proud of the this year’s festival participants:

SLAM-Seneca Land District

The 505-Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tri-Star-Mid-Atlantic District

Georgia Spirit-Atlanta, Georgia

52eighty-Denver, Colorado

Ambassadors of the North-Anchorage, Alaska – Evergreen District

Vokal Kombat-Sunshine District

Cross Canada Chorus-Canada – Land O’ Lakes, Ontario, & Evergreen Districts

Navarre High School-Navarre High School, Florida

HD Chorus-Forest Hill High School, Florida

Savannah Storm-Savannah, GA Chapter – Dixie District

Help me wish each festival participant well.  (In case you’re wondering…this represents two more choruses than last year and up from 267 participants to ~325.  MORE IMPORTANT is the fact that we know of about 20 total groups that meet on a regular basis.)

If you’ve not been to a Midwinter Convention seriously consider going to Tampa. Come and sing, cheer on our participants, sing, enjoy two great shows, sing, enjoy the city of Tampa, and sing sing sing! You’ll be glad you did!

Seeya there!

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