Like of lot of you, I've just come off back to back barbershop barnburners - the International Convention in Anaheim and Harmony University. And I'm overwhelmed at the number of young people who were at both! All over Anaheim, kids were singing, riding busses, skipping over cracks in the sidewalk, jamming with their Ipods, and doing all the things that good kids do. The energy in the hotels, at the contest venue, at the shows, in the restaurants, and on the street was simply unbelievable. Then - THEN - I went to St. Jo. WOW! I bet almost half of the 660 of us there were under 30. (And most of the staff was young, too!) No, I didn't count them, but they were everywhere. And - same thing - energy, enthusiasm, round the clock tag singing - everything that youth hooked on barbershop can bring to the party.
Lots of good folk are working hard to discover the things we need to do to reverse our decades-old decline in membership. And, while I've always been convinced that we'll succeed at this crucial task, I must now say that I'm suddenly more optimistic about the future that I have ever been before. As a consequence of the college quartet contests and our other youth outreach programs we are looking at a very bright future, indeed!
Barbershop lives! And THRIVES! Hallelujah!!!
Incidentally, our youth programs are largely funded by us - you and me - through Harmony Foundation and Sing Canada. Why not make a pledge now? Together we can insure the future of this great hobby. For more information, click on the names below.