2020 VIRTUAL BARBERSHOP HARMONY SOCIETY AWARDS
Hosted by Alex Morris
The inaugural Barbershop Harmony Society Awards have been created to amplify and celebrate individuals, icons, and ensembles who have impacted the local or global barbershop world through excellence and service. The awards recognize the exceptional commitment these people and organizations have to bringing people together in harmony and fellowship to enrich lives through singing.
Finalists + Winners
VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Midtown - Spider-Man Theme
Awarded to an individual or group in honor of the most outstanding non-contest video recording created and uploaded to social media in 2019.
- Half & Half - 9 to 5
- Tagline - History
- Midtown - Spider-Man Theme
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: GQ - Vol. III
Awarded in honor of artistic achievement, technical proficiency, and overall excellence in the audio recording of barbershop harmony, without regard to album sales or critical reception. Album must have been released in 2019 to be considered.
- Midtown - Midtown
- After Hours - The Next Ten Minutes
- Instant Classic - Simple Gifts
- GQ - Vol. III
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR: Barbershop Revival
Honoring the most innovative barbershop harmony-related project or program initiated by an individual or group.
- Barbershop Revival
Barbershop Revival is a weekend-long, Harmony Explosion-style event. An ongoing project in Research Triangle, North Carolina, the event is intended to celebrate the African American roots of barbershop through outreach and education to college-aged students.
Harmony. Learn more about the event here.
- The Gold Dynamic
In the summer of 2019, the President of the Gold
Dynamic, an SATB contemporary a cappella ensemble formed in 2016 primarily consisting of recently post-collegiate acappella singers, sought out a partner organization to blend its strengths with. The Somerset Hills BHS
Chapter, having just completed a complete transformation as
an open membership chorus, merged with Gold Dynamic in a true example of Everyone in Harmony.
- Kicking Back to Barbershop
Joshua Arizmendi gets some of the best men/women/mixed quartets together to record during International convention, then turns these recordings into a compilation called “Kicking Back to Barbershop”, which he distributes for a 5 dollar donation to Harmony Foundation International. This past year Josh raised over $2,000 for the Harmony Foundation, to be used for BHS Next Generation Barbershop events.
- Music Medics
In June of 2014, the Miami Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony
Society created the Music Medics, a program designed to bring joy and harmony to children and others who are hospitalized. The Music Medics program was made available by The Society, along with a start-up booklet, to each and every one of its chapters in a "roll-out" at the Orlando International Convention in July of 2018.
ARRANGER OF THE YEAR: Theo Hicks
Awarded to an individual in recognition of the impact of their arrangements on barbershop harmony during the past calendar year.
- Brent Graham
- Wayne Grimmer
- Theo Hicks
- Adam Reimnitz
AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR: Barberdrunk
Awarded to an individual or group in recognition of significant efforts to introduce others to barbershop harmony.
- Alexandria Harmonizers/Alexandria Singers
The Alexandria Harmonizers and Alexandria Singers enjoyed a successful tour of the United Kingdom from August 5th through August 12th, 2019, bringing their new Broadway repertoire to northern England and Scotland. Through that tour, they had a significant impact on introducing barbershop harmony to others in the world, including many new venues and audiences who had never experienced it before.
Barberdrunk is a barbershop quartet from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their goal is to “spread the love for barbershop music in the region.” They attended their first Harmony University in 2019, hosted the first South American barbershop convention in Buenos Aires later that year, and are in the process of starting a new mixed barbershop chorus. As a part of Barbershop South America, they are coordinating with at least six countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru.
- Debbie Cleveland
Debbie Cleveland has been a Public School Choral Music Educator for 34 years, and was named the 2018 NAfME/BHS National Music Educator of the Year. A frequent clinician, she has been the Coordinator and Girls' Clinician for the annual Hillsborough County Barbershop Workshop for 20 years, served as a yearly Clinician with Tony DeRosa at the Sunshine District Harmony Explosion Camp, and at the University of Missouri St. Louis's Acappellooza with Dr. Jim Henry. Her contributions to BHS include annual hosting of the International Convention Livestream, serving as a Harmony University faculty member and coach, and directly mentoring members of the 2019 Varsity and Junior quartet champions.
- Dr. Joyce Garrett
Dr. Joyce Garrett serves as the Music and Worship Arts Ministry Director of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. Dr. Garrett was instrumental in helping the Alexandria Harmonizers launch a major effort to bring hundreds of men together to sing in the Northern Virginia area through yearly joint concerts, including a Gospel Fest and the Men’s Choral Fellowship program.
EMSEMBLE OF THE YEAR: Alexandria Harmonizers
Awarded to an ensemble or group comprised of more than four individuals (district, region, chapter, chorus, club, etc.) in recognition of creating and maintaining a positive impact during the past calendar year.
- Alexandria Harmonizers
While competition may be enough for most choruses, the Alexandria Harmonizers strive to fulfill their vision of “Enriching Lives through Vocal Harmony” by pioneering programs to reach more audiences in new and creative ways.
- Men of Independence
In November, the Men of Independence performed at a local juvenile detention center in an effort to brighten the lives of those incarcerated children through song. They all enjoyed the show, which included the opportunity to socialize and do some tag singing together.
- Rogue Valley Harmonizers
This chapter in Medford, OR serves as a community fund for individual donors and foundations that wish to
give back to their school system, but don't know how or who to give to. The donated funds (~20k annually, and over 115k to date) are used to help choral programs in their area by providing funding for things like mixing boards, equipment, music, etc. This year they assisted a local school in building a choral shell using some of the funds and unpaid volunteer labor from chapter
- Westminster Chorus
In addition to winning their fourth gold medal in Salt Lake City last July (and with a record-setting average score of 97.9), the Westminster Chorus has become arguably the Society's best-known chorus among the membership of the American Choral Directors Association, having appeared at their conferences twice in 2019. Westminster has fully embraced Everyone in Harmony with the formation of their new mixed chorus, and they are the Far Western District's standard-bearer when it comes to working with young singers in high school and college.
QUARTET OF THE YEAR: The Newfangled Four
Awarded to a quartet in recognition of their impact during the past calendar year through their longstanding dedication and unselfish devotion to the love of barbershop harmony.
- Half & Half
Officially joining the Barbershop Harmony Society in 2019, Half and Half was formed in 2018 and has worked diligently in creating a mission based on love, inclusivity, and sharing barbershop music with all communities.
- HALO Quartet
In 2015, HALO broke new ground in the barbershop community by competing on the international stage with Harmony, Inc as the first quartet of African Americans to do so in any barbershop organization. Expanding on this breakthrough, the quartet established HALO, Incorporated as an independent non profit organization to share the listening and singing experience of barbershop to guide people in having fruitful dialogue about racism in the United States—to “embrace the tension, and sing the truth.” Their outreach through their Race and #RealTalk workshops have propelled their journey to sing for new audiences and create new community through the joy of singing barbershop.
- The Newfangled Four
The Newfangled Four is one of the most recognized barbershop quartets in the world, performing all around the country as well as internationally. With millions of views on their YouTube performances, they are proud to introduce the barbershop art form to aspiring young singers and to provide nostalgia for those that fondly remember “the good ol’ days.”
- Ripple Effect
Ontario District of the Barbershop Harmony Society- a place they call home - as well as events that support local choruses, quartets, and school groups. As individuals and as a quartet they have served as coaches, directors, judges, and clinicians.
- Singing Double
Singing Double is a women's barbershop quartet made up of two sets of identical twins. They are the current BHS Junior Quartet Champions, which made them the first women to earn gold medals at a BHS International Contest.
BARBERSHOPPER OF THE YEAR: Will Downey
Awarded to an individual in recognition of significant contributions to the Barbershop Harmony Society during the past calendar year. Additional consideration may be given to sustained contributions of outstanding service in support of BHS activities over a number of years.
- Will Downey
Will Downey has been a singer, musician, and performer for over two decades. He is the director for one of only two original participants in the Youth Chorus Festival to charter and still remain active today - East Coast Sound. Under his leadership, chorus membership grew by 40% and just last year they qualified for the International Chorus Contest for the first time in their 12-year history.
- Sky Harris
Sky is the founding director of Lakeside A cappella Camp in Cazenovia, NY, as well as the Syracuse Area Youth A cappella Festival – events that have brought the best of barbershop, fellowship, and music-making to young people in Central New York and beyond every year since 2013. Under Sky’s direction, SLD Chorus Champion Harmonic Collective's members are driven to seek out life-changing experiences for themselves and for others through music, fellowship, and service.
- Simon Lubkowski
Simon has produced numerous shows and concerts, even live-streaming them on both YouTube and Facebook, and is an avid arranger and learning tracks producer. He has recently formed an online Virtual Choir, as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak, attracting over 350 people to join the project from 13 different countries, forming an ad hoc music team and holding no less 100 sectional rehearsals on the video conferencing software Zoom.
- Joe Tripp
Lieutenant Joe Tripp, affectionately known as the Barbershop Cop, lives in Key West, Florida. Determined to bering barbershop harmony back to the area, community members followed Joe’s lead and joined the Barbershop Harmony Society. At the last rehearsal before the COVID crisis, they decided to become the newest chapter of BHS. The process has begun and they’re looking forward to a new beginning as part of something big!
- Carmel Tuttle
Carmel began her ‘volunteership’ at Harmony Hall in 2014 in the Outreach and Advocacy program, where she continues to serve in addition to roles at events, conventions, and Harmony University. With her combination of ability and passion in supporting the mission and vision of Everyone in Harmony, she hopes to be a part of the Society for many many more decades, now adding "member" to her list of activities at BHS.
To learn more about how the finalists were selected, please review our Frequently Asked Questions document.
Other Awards and Honors
Hall of Fame
The Barbershop Harmony Society Hall of Fame was established by action of the Society Board of Directors as a means of bestowing Society recognition and honor to members and quartets — living or in memorium — for exceptional contributions made that have enhanced the barbershop experience for the Society.
The award criteria used by the committee fall into general categories of music and administration/leadership. In music, judging, arranging, composing, chorus directing, coaching and singing are important. In administration/leadership, service as an officer, advisor, and in planning, writing or editing are considered.
The Barbershop Harmony Society is proud to announce two new Hall of Fame inductees, Alan Lamson and Kevin Keller.
Lifetime Achievement for Arrangers
Awarded to an arranger, living or in memorium, in recognition of the profound effect of their contributions on the musical culture of barbershop harmony as an art form through their collective body of work.
The 2020 Inaugural Class includes:
Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement Award: Greg Clancy
The Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement award was created as a way to honor those who demonstrated lifelong commitment to the Barbershop style, raised the standards of excellence, and have, through their leadership, helped us move forward.
New 50 year members
About 115 barbershoppers reached their 50th year of membership with the Barbershop Harmony Society in 2020.
We've captured a small part of their stories here and will honor our newest Harmony Fellows during our Virtual Awards in September.