Resources for fueling an exciting return to singing together
Driveway rehearsals. “Carbershopping.” And the possibility of in-person district conventions this fall. Excitement is growing for the return of singing together. Here’s a look at resources from the Barbershop Harmony Society that will help you fuel your way to the greatest reunions in barbershop history. Who’s ready?
The barbershop world is gaining momentum.
Choruses are meeting for driveway rehearsals or “carbershopping” from vehicles. Vaccinations are arming quartets for in-person rehearsals, and in-person district conventions may occur this fall.
Even virtual events are viewed as opportunities to gather live, if not in person, as evidenced by more than 800 individuals who Zoomed in on the Barbershop Harmony Society’s April 11 Barbershop Live! @ Home event. They laughed through “Cinnamon, Minimum” warmups, tried all four parts of a tag, and learned barbershop trivia.
“There’s energy again,” said Erin Harris, BHS chief program officer. “It’s been a tough 14 months. Yet Barbershoppers are seeing the hope. We’re having fun via Zoom, connecting and planning to get the world singing again. And now, the CDC says singing indoors can be safe for those who are vaccinated and wear masks.”
BHS has gathered input via membership surveys, digital chapter meetings, social media and monthly conversations with the District Presidents Council. No one knows when barbershop will be back fully; the return will vary among chapters.
Joe Cerutti, BHS director of outreach, said he’s hearing increased conversation among chapters about re-engaging members, attracting new ones and having a greater presence in local communities.
“The pandemic took something we loved away from us,” Cerutti said, “Yet it gave us time to evaluate who we are and what we do. To think about creating meaningful art. When we do get together, I suspect it will be more fulfilling than ever before.”
Society staff are spearheading opportunities and resources to support and partner with districts, chapters and singing communities for the return. Here’s a look at some coming efforts.
Opportunities to fuel the greatest reunions in barbershop memory
- Virtual International Convention, June 30 – July 4. Here’s your chance to reconnect with hundreds of barbershop friends in your backyard. Fire up a bonfire and your laptop for highlights such as the Virtual Chorus and Quartet festivals and the Westminster Chorus. You can spend the holiday weekend barbershopping and see your hometown fireworks. Members get the best price ever before June 4 — just $39!
- Virtual Harmony University, July 17 – Aug. 7. More than 100 classes will advance your barbershop skills, including nearly two dozen focused on moving your singing community toward exciting, safe, in-person rehearsals, concerts and conventions. Meet with the world’s great barbershop minds, together, online.
- Insights from medical experts. Society staff have worked with volunteer leaders across the choral world throughout the past year to track CDC guidelines and create singing community resources. Read our COVID-19 Interim Guidance.
- Singing community leader ideas and insights exchange. The BHS team is coordinating a series of virtual town halls that will start this summer and address topics such as the return to singing together in person and retaining and attracting members.
- Social media graphics for celebrating the return to singing. District presidents and singing community leaders will have access to graphics they and their members can use to share excitement via social media. “Barbershop is Back!”-type messages are designed to fuel engagement at rehearsals and district conventions. See the gallery below.
- “Together Again” stories in LiveWire, Harmonizer and on the BHS Blog. Everyone’s talking about barbershop coming back Look for more stories like restoring your voice after lockdown, chapter fundraising and hosting virtual campfire nights.
Share your excitement with this gallery of social media images
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