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Spring 2015 House of Delegates Bulletin (HoD)

Don Fuson, Society President
Marty Monson, CEO/Executive Director,

What has changed since the last bulletin?

Dues have not changed!  We are financially strong, with more programs becoming self-sustaining. Whereas ten years ago we were laying off staff to meet payroll, today we are able to expand resources while requiring ZERO INCREASE in dues this year.

Grants are now online. Nearly $200K has been awarded to 71 projects in the first round. We are impacting more lives; that first series of grants will influence more than 11,000 people. A second application window opened March 1 and closes April 30, and we hope many chapters will explore the possibilities. Details:

More music is being sung by more people! Last year, we published 29 new titles, cleared 545 songs, and offered more, higher-quality learning tracks than ever. We have international distribution via Hal Leonard, the world’s largest publisher, and more than 70 barbershop shop titles brought us $15K in new revenue last year. We’re making and selling more music than ever, and the net profit subsidizes other programs.

Districts and the Society are better aligned. A single project management tool (Basecamp) is helping everyone communicate, plan, and execute more effectively. Society-wide and District-wide measures of effectiveness grew from a unified planning process at the Fall Leadership Forum unlike any in the past! Your district leaders can share more detailed plans on how they are executing and measuring their success.

Midwinter convention in New Orleans was superb. More ways to sing (All-Chapter Chorus, Brigades.) More entertaining shows with greater variety in styles and ensembles. Awesome Youth Chorus Festival. Beloved seniors quartets, capped by Saturday Evening Post. Midwinter has become THE place to be.

Our recognition and influence is growing among music educators. An ACDA national convention presentation featuring Crossroads and The Fairfield Four was highest-profile event we’ve run in decades. Presentations on African-American Roots of Barbershop by Jim Henry at ACDA, and by David Wright at Midwinter, supported by the January Harmonizer, all validate our standing as an authentic American musical art form worthy of academic study and performance. More importantly, the number of educators seeking barbershop materials for performance, and pursuing BHS materials for choirs and  classrooms is increasing.

Open Board Pilot Project encourages chapters to add local thought leaders to their boards to expand their expertise and community networks, and become better recognized and better serve their communities. Details:

Chapter focus: How are we doing?

In 2012, the Society engaged in a Chapter Visitation Program, in which every chapter of the Society met face-to-face with representatives of their District and Society. From those discussions and polls emerged five Chapter Areas of Focus:

  • Recruiting
  • Communication
  • Coaching
  • Shared Activities
  • Modernize Music

These have been the specific “marching orders” of our Chapters to our District and Society Leadership: “Help us do better at these things, so that we can thrive and grow.” They became the cornerstones of District planning for 2014-2015, and drive the program activities of the Society as a whole.

Is the Society addressing the right needs of chapters, districts, and our vision? Let us know!

You’re doing it!

If you’ve been reading The Harmonizer lately, you’ve seen a renewed emphasis on telling great stories of successes by chapters out in the field. Contact your district storytellers or email to share your experiences.

How are you going to get the most from your personal barbershop experience?

  • Register for Harmony University; Deadline to register is July 5!
  • Make sure you’re in legal compliance- 990s, Financial Reports!
  • Buy a customizable banner for your chapter, district, and music education events!
  • Come to Pittsburgh!
  • Become a leader within your own chapter to accomplish your goals!