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One Month at a Time: Taking the stage with the Kanawha Kordsmen

Journalist Bill Lynch of the Charleston Gazette-Mail is breaking new ground in reporting on barbershop. We've seen many behind-the-scenes stories about contest prep before, but this appears to be the first time a reporter has embedded himself in a chorus and actually rehearsed several weeks with a goal of singing in a contest with them. In this second installment, Bill discovers the depth of emoti...
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Financial Filings Coming Due for Chapters, Districts & Subsidiaries of BHS

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Have you already submitted your required IRS 990 or CRA Filings? THANK YOU! Many of our chapters, districts, and subsidiaries have already filed these reports but may not have reported to Society HQ. Filing these reports with the IRS, CRA, or other equivalent is not just a good idea; it is the law!    The Barbershop Harmony Society also requires reporting to the organization as a matter of compl...
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Recorded Feedback

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Digital technology makes it easy to provide custom feedback to individual singers As seen in the March/April issue of The Harmonizer, page 28.  By Dr. Jay Butterfield, Musical Director, Parkside Harmony chorus, jvbbbs1@gmail.com   About 20 years ago, when I was director of the Chorus of The Brandywine in Wilmington, Del., we instituted an effective vocal feedback program—effective, but al...
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Breathe life into your singing

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As seen in the March/April 2017 issue of The Harmonizer, page 24. By Debra Lynn, debralynn.vocalcoaching@gmail.com Bel canto (Italian for “beautiful singing” ) was the standard of singing technique from 1800 to about 1840, and is primarily concerned with upper body engagement, creating a clear, concentrated, free, resonant tone without force of any kind. Many other singing techniques have come s...
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Deke Sharon gives incredible keynote speech at Midwinter

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https://youtu.be/UufvNhiwwDg  Deke Sharon, the music director of the Pitch Perfect movie franchise as well as NBC's The Sing-Off, gave a powerful keynote address at the 2017 Midwinter Convention in San Antonio. The BHS Honorary Lifetime Member encouraged Barbershoppers to make audiences cry while singing a Polecat, addressed the issue of mixed singing, spoke about the importance of video in...
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What does it mean to sing in tune?

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A quick lesson in physics teaches how to hear when you are totally locked in - By Jay Dougherty, Asst. Professor, Director of Choices and Choral Activities, Marietta College - jmdougherty@gmail.com Barbershoppers are ear singers. We sing and tune by ear, so why do so many of us often sing out of tune? Perhaps a more pertinent question would be, “What does in tune actually mean?” Are we singing i...
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Selecting Repertoire

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How to select songs and arrangements that resonate with both performers and audiences By Theo Hicks, Lead of 2015 champion Instant Classic - thicks@anderson.edu Choosing songs and arrangements can be the most challenging part of singing in an ensemble. Whether you are preparing for a show, contest, or community singout, repertoire selection is usually the first and most important thing discussed...
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How to match vowels

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By Gary Parker, Bass of Dealer's Choice, 1973 International Champion In 1973, Dealer’s Choice quartet not only won our international contest on its first attempt, but changed the sound of barbershop harmony forever. Their innovative “expanded sound” techniques create a stream of beautifully locked chords and a sonic richness that continues even through the consonants. Virtually all of today’s top...
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Vocal Care for Senior Singers

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Keep your voice in top shape by NOT treating it like you used to - By Jim DeBusman, retired BHS music staff - jdebusman@att.net Keeping yourself active through singing has the power to heal and stimulate your mind and body. There are so many of us out there today who have been helped with our bronchitis, asthma and other forms of breathing issues because we sing. Follow the below steps to mainta...
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The seder, the four children, and a barbershop quartet

With National Barbershop Quartet Day coinciding with the Passover observance, this story from the Times of Israel is timely. The author uses a barbershop quartet as a metaphor relating to the parental obligation to teach the younger generation about the Exodus: A useful framework for considering the Four Sons — and particularly the plight of the misunderstood Rasha — is the music of the barbersho...
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