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House of Delegates Report - Spring 2016 (HoD Bulletin)

Now is the very best time to be a Barbershopper

It’s true. Look around, and you’ll see an explosion of interest in what we do and what we stand for.

  • Barbershop is getting meaningful media coverage, including millions of YouTube views and major network coverage
  • People are crazy about a cappella singing right now, with chart-topping albums, movies, TV shows and touring shows drawing audiences in the tens of thousands.
  • Youth and educator interest is soaring thanks to all of this attention

 More broadly speaking, people everywhere are craving those things we hold most dear: meaningful connections, a chance to make the world a better place. This is nothing new: but in a world fractured by increasingly polarized politics, and paradoxically isolated by technology that should draw us together, our simple equation of musical harmony = personal  harmony is more appealing than ever. We hardly need to convince ourselves of this fact. We know that what we do produces JOY:

  • the joy that comes from singing
  • the joy that comes from joining together
  • the joy that comes from genuine friendships
  • the joy that comes from making a difference in people’s lives.

So, are YOU ready?

This is only meaningful if YOUR CHAPTER IS THRIVING. A growing Society is only growing if your chapter is growing. The Barbershop Harmony Society is heading in the right direction by creating a climate of success and making investments in chapter success in 2016.

The Healthy Chapter Initiative will help you help yourself

  • Leadership Operations Project Team
    Chapter Assessment Model- this is a tool to evaluate the health and vitality of a chapter- we know it can look many different ways!
  • Dedicated Support for the Healthy Chapter Initiative
    As part of Harmony Foundation International’s support of the Healthy Chapter Initiative, a generous grant supports headquarters resources and a liaison to connect BHS headquarters to district and chapter leadership needs.
  • Trained facilitators & Revitalized District Leadership Academies
    Curriculum at 2016 Harmony University/Belmont- the Leadership OPT plans to train multiple facilitators this summer to help deliver improved curriculum in the next cycle of Leadership Academies

 For more information on how to get involved, reach out to

Tools for advancing our Society

The Barbershop Harmony Society continues to put more opportunities into the field for the vast population that believes in our core principles, and will eagerly become a part of our organization in ways to fit their own needs and time. A few interesting new activities:

  • A Lead Generation Project is underway to contact thousands of people who have been associated with BHS and offer membership in the Society directly. Since October, with virtually no marketing, more than 100 men have joined or rejoined the Society. As the effort expands, we expect that many of these men will also take the chance to locate barbershop in their current homes and revitalize their singing lives with the weekly chapter experience.
  • The Society Grants Program has another application window open until March 31 to help chapters and districts extend their community singing and educational activities.
  • New ways to participate in barbershop continue to grow. Midwinter 2017 in San Antonio will offer a Seniors Chorus Festival aimed at giving members a chance to perform for a large, enthusiastic crowd at a high level.

Looking at the Big Picture: our strategic direction

We’re transforming our self-definition. We are not a membership organization that sings. We are not just singers who have a joint organization. We are COMMUNITIES of ARTISTS who make a difference in people’s lives -- in the moments we sing, and long-term, in the legacy we leave behind.

In 2016-2017, the Barbershop Harmony Society will undertake a major strategic planning process built around these Pillars:

  • Through the medium of barbershop harmony, we maintain and expand supportive services for a global community of artists;
  • Through the medium of barbershop harmony, we elevate artistic and leadership skills through education and best practices;
  • Through the medium of barbershop harmony, we establish lifelong singing as a core community asset;
  • We scale our impact by growing social enterprise, individual philanthropy and institutional philanthropy.

The resulting plan will ensure that our program activities all serve our strategic goals, and will be easy to understand by external funders. The process will involve more direct inputs from members as it progresses through 2016-2017.

As we said, NOW is the best time to be a barbershopper and we’re thrilled to be a community bringing music and so much joy to the world. Together, We Are Making the Music That’s Making A Difference.