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2019 Hall of Fame Inductee: Dr. Jim Henry

July 25, 2019

BHS inducts Dr. Jim Henry into Hall of Fame

A 44-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Jim Henry continues to impact the world through song

Henry Jim

Barbershop Journey

Jim Henry was born into a barbershop family—both his father, Bob Henry, and mother, Rose Manion, were barbershop singers. He joined the Society in 1975 at the age of 11 as a member of the Daniel Boone Chorus, which later changed its name to the Ambassadors of Harmony. He became the director of the Ambassadors in 1991 and went on to lead the chorus to 15 medals including 4 gold medals.

A 44-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Jim is a two-time BHS International quartet champion bass, and a four-time international chorus champion director.

Crossroads, with Jim Henry pictured third from the left

Jim currently sings bass with Crossroads, 2009 BHS International Quartet Champions. Crossroads has performed around the world, has appeared in several television and radio broadcasts, and has produced four recordings.

He was previously the bass of the Gas House Gang, the BHS 1993 International Quartet Champions. During the Gas House Gang’s 18 years together, they performed in all fifty states and fifteen countries, and in venues from the Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall. Their numerous television and radio appearances include NBC’s “Today Show,” NPR's “At the Creation,” and several PBS specials. The Gas House Gang was inducted into the BHS Hall of Fame in 2008.

In 2009, both the Ambassadors of Harmony and Crossroads won the BHS International Competition, making Jim the only person to win as a quartet singer and chorus director in the same year. His 2000 doctoral dissertation on the African American origins of barbershop harmony and his 2007 Harmony University keynote address, “Gold Medal Moments” have been influential to the study, philosophy, and discourse of barbershop harmony.

Gas House Gang, with Jim pictured second from left

To date, eleven of Jim’s former students have won international barbershop competitions (BHS, Sweet Adelines, Mixed, and BHS Collegiate), including all the members of Vocal Spectrum (International Collegiate and BHS Champions) and Double Date (International Mixed Quartet Champions).

Professional Accomplishments

Jim Henry holds degrees in vocal music education, music theory and music composition, including a Ph.D. in music composition from Washington University. He is currently Head of Choral Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he conducts University Singers and Vocal Point and teaches courses in Choral Methods, Choral Conducting, and Choral Arranging. He was awarded the Missouri’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

As a composer, Jim has won awards for his songs and piano pieces. He served for three years as composer-in-residence at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School under the aegis of Washington University, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Buder Foundation. He was also a music mentor for the “Music, Words, Opera” educational program sponsored by Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Jim travels the world as a guest conductor, coach, clinician, teacher, and lecturer. He is a contributing author for the Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music and the Grove Dictionary of American Music. In 2018, Southeast Missouri State University recognized Jim with the Outstanding Alumni Merit Award.

Introducing "Legends in Their Own Words"

A video series capturing some of our most celebrated members

The Barbershop Harmony Society proudly announces a new, ongoing video series, Legends in Their Own Words, featuring some of our most heralded members and personalities. Their stories, knowledge, and life experiences capture the ways in which music - especially barbershop - have impacted their lives.

Legends in Their Own Words launches with a collection of ten videos featuring Dr. Jim Henry, the 2019 inductee to the Barbershop Harmony Society Hall of Fame.