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Celebrating Freeman Groat, Our First Lifetime Member

November 25, 2019

Saying "Yes!" to a lifetime of harmony

In a Barbershopper’s litany of might-have-beens, two wishes stand right at the top: “I wish I’d found this years earlier!” and “I should have bought that Lifetime Membership after the first 5 years!”

Barbershop. It’s who you are, it’s what you’ll always be. Why not put a ring on it?

Freeman Groat did.

You might know Freeman from decades of leading Nashville’s Music City Chorus, including directing three trips to International in the ’70s. You might have seen him featured in Harmony Hall videos as a faithful volunteer cataloguing the Old Songs Library. The Air Force veteran sang in quartets in the service, attended the first Harmony College in Winona, Minnesota, in the early ’70s, has directed 7 choruses and sung in at least 12 quartets, and is an honoree of the Dixie District Hall of Fame.

Did you know Freeman was the FIRST person to hold a SPEBSQSA Lifetime Membership? We’ve got the proof: a November 1967 letter from Executive Director Barrie Best congratulating him on leading the way.

Freeman had an eye for a bargain. He bought his Lifetime membership when he’d already notched 22 years as a member. He’s maximized his investment: since then, he’s enjoyed another 52 years as a Lifetime member.

Be like Freeman

Among his many virtues, Freeman is as lovable as they come, as welcome as the flowers in May wherever he goes, and always ready to sing.


You could be that person, too. Make a one-time payment of dues equal to twenty-five times the current Regular dues rate, and that’s it: your Society dues are paid forever. If dues rates change through the years, no worries -- you’re all paid up.

You might consider Lifetime Membership if…

  • You expect to be a member for another ten years or more
  • You want a permanent connection to the Barbershop Harmony Society
  • You want to commemorate a special barbershop occasion -- or maybe a great holiday, birthday, or anniversary gift