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2020 International Convention FAQs

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Why is the 2020 International Convention being cancelled now?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible and irresponsible to continue to host the 2020 International Convention in Los Angeles this summer. The safety of our members, competitors, and fans is of the utmost importance. We are compelled to comply with national and international restrictions identified by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, the President’s National Emergency Announcement and the Governor of the State of California’s “shelter in place” order.

Over the past weeks, BHS staff members and Society leaders have turned over every stone we could think of to avoid this conclusion. We’ve consulted with stakeholders across the entire organization and studied the legal and financial impacts. A virtual contest, postponement, and many, many other solutions have been considered, but ulitmately ruled out as unsafe since they could potentially make members feel that they should gather to rehearse in preparation.

General information

contest qualification, travel, and registration

Contest Qualification

What happens for choruses that were planning to compete in Los Angeles?

All choruses that qualified for Los Angeles 2020, accepted the invitation to compete, and were actively slated to appear as of March 1, 2020, will automatically be invited to compete in Cleveland 2021.

A process and timetable for issuing and accepting 2021 invitations for these choruses is under development for later release.

Will there be room for other choruses to compete in Cleveland 2021?

Yes! In addition to the previously qualified 2020 competitors, the new process for qualification approved in November 2019 will apply, beginning with qualification events in Fall 2020.

  • Choruses can enter any available BHS preliminary contest, regardless of location or District affiliation.
  • All choruses earning the qualifying score of 81% qualifying score are invited to the International Contest.
  • No distinction is made among classification of ensembles.
  • Each BHS District is assured of representation by at least one chorus, provided the representative ensemble meets a minimum score of 74%. Choruses that qualified to compete in Los Angeles and are invited to compete in Cleveland will not count toward the district representation.

What happens for the quartets that already qualified for LA2020?

All quartets that already qualified for Los Angeles 2020 and were actively slated to appear as of March 1, 2020, will be automatically invited to compete in Cleveland 2021.

Event Registrations

Can I transfer my registration to Cleveland 2021?

Yes. You can find more information on how to transfer your registration to Cleveland 2021 here.

Can I get a refund for my 2020 International Convention registration?

Yes. You can find more information on how to obtain a full refund or transfer to Cleveland 2021 here.

Can I donate what I paid for my registration to support BHS programs?

Yes! You can find more information on how to make a donation here.

Where do I find my order number?

Your order number can be found on the actual ticket (click “Download Tickets” in Eventbrite) or the email confirmation when you originally purchased your tickets.

If I decide to donate all or part of my registration, when will I receive a receipt or other confirmation?

Donations will be processed after refund requests. You should expect to receive an emailed confirmation of your donation sometime in May.

Is my donation of all or a part of my registration tax deductible?

Please speak with your tax advisor. Your donation may be tax deductible if you itemize your deductions.

When will I receive my refund?

All refund requests received by April 24 will be processed beginning on April 27. It may take a few weeks for the credit to appear on your credit card statement.

What happens if I request a refund and the credit card I used to purchase my registration is no longer valid?

Eventbrite will notify the Barbershop Harmony Society if unable to process a refund and the Customer Service team will contact you to arrange another form of payment.

What if my original payment form is valid, but I want the refund issued a different way?

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to accommodate a request to refund to a different form of payment unless the original form of payment is no longer valid. The refunds are processed automatically by Eventbrite and BHS can only issue exceptions when the initial refund fails due to a no longer valid payment form.

What if I am not able to make a decision by the April 24 deadline?

Purchasers who do not indicate their registration preference by April 24, 2020 will see an automatic transfer of their registration to the 2021 International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. You may still request a refund or make a donation after April 24 and before registrations go on sale, but refund requests made after April 24 will experience delayed processing.

What if I transfer my registration to Cleveland 2021 and later I find out that I am not able to attend?

Convention registrations are always transferrable, so you may sell or give that registration to another party. And, you may still request a refund or make a donation after April 24 and before registrations go on sale, but refund requests made after April 24 will experience delayed processing.

If I decide to transfer my registration to Cleveland 2021, when will I get priority seating / be able to pick my seats? What’s the process?

We are still working out the details of how we will process seating requests for the 2021 Convention. Rest assured that transferred registrations will have advance access -more information will be provided once the details are finalized.

If I decide to transfer my registration to Cleveland 2021, when will I get priority housing access? What’s the process?

We are still working out the details of how we will process housing access for the 2021 Convention. Rest assured that transferred registrations will have advance access - more information will be provided once the details are finalized.

How do I get a refund for my World Harmony Showcase tickets?

World Harmony Showcase tickets will automatically be refunded to the original form of payment. There is no need to request a refund through the form.

When will the World Harmony Showcase tickets be refunded?

All refunds will be processed beginning on April 27th. It may take a few weeks for the credit to appear on your credit card statement. If we are unable to process a refund to the original form of payment, the Customer Service team will contact you to arrange another form of payment.

I bought multiple registrations and I want to transfer some to Cleveland 2021, but I also want a refund or to donate the rest. Can I do that?

Absolutely! You will need to fill out a separate form for each different option (transfer, donate, or refund) you choose. If you have multiple registration types (i.e. member, non-member, youth), please specify in the Notes & Additional Comments which type corresponds to each option. If you need further instructions, please reach out to customerservice@barbershop.org and they can assist you with filling out the form.

Example: I have 4 registrations (2 member, 1 non-member, 1 youth) and would like 2 to be refunded and 2 to be transferred.

  • Complete one form for the 2 registrations to be refunded. Choose “refund” and add a note: This is for 1 member and 1 non member ticket.
  • Complete a second form for the registrations to be transferred to Cleveland 2021. Choose “transfer” and add a note: This is for 1 member and 1 youth ticket.

I bought seats for multiple people and they all got the refund email, do they each need to fill out the form to be refunded?

No. Only one person needs to fill out the form as long as you make your request for all the registrations from the original order. If you want to choose different options for the registrations from one order, you will need to fill out the form for each different option you choose (transfer, donate, refund). If you have multiple registration types (i.e. member, non-member, youth), please specify in the Notes & Additional Comments which type corresponds to which option (see example above).

If you need further instructions, please reach out to customerservice@barbershop.org and they can assist you with filling out the form.

I want to transfer my ticket over to Cleveland 2021 but may have an additional guest joining me who didn’t have a registration to LA2020. Will they be able to sit by me?

Yes. We are still working out the details of how we will process seating requests and additions for the 2021 Convention - more information will be provided once the details are finalized.

I had a Youth registration and would like to transfer it over to Cleveland 2021, but I will no longer qualify as a youth in Cleveland 2021. Will I need to pay the difference in cost to transfer my registration over?

No, you will not need to pay any kind of up-charge to transfer your registration. We will honor the original price for Cleveland 2021 only.

Hotel and Travel Arrangements

What will happen to my hotel reservation?

Hotel reservations made through the BHS block of rooms with our housing partner, Orchid, will be cancelled automatically for you. There will be no charges or penalties for these cancelled hotel rooms.

IMPORTANT: If you booked a hotel reservation outside of the BHS block of rooms, it is your responsibility to cancel and confirm the refund status on any deposits paid. BHS has no role or liability in obtaining refunds for any rooms booked outside its official partnerships.

Will BHS provide reimbursement for airfare or hotel booked outside of the official block of rooms?

No, BHS will not provide reimbursement for airfare or hotels that were booked outside of the official block of rooms. Many airlines and hotels are offering flexible refund options at this time due to the COVID-19 situation. Please contact your airline and hotel directly to review options.

BHS Gala and Society Awards

Will the Society Awards nominees and winners still be announced?

Each of the evaluation teams completed their work on all submissions as of March 15 and finalists have been identified in each category. Over the next several weeks, we will release more details about those finalists as well as our revised plan to celebrate the winners.

Next Generation Varsity Quartet Contest

The 2020 Varsity Quartet Contest and the 2020 Varsity Chorus Invitational have been cancelled in accordance with BHS's decision regarding the International Convention.

We know how hard singers have worked to qualify for this year's events, and that now many will age out of the contest before the 2021 events. Similar to the actions of other age-restricted events like the NCAA, we will extend the age limit to 26 for the 2021 Varsity Quartet Contest and the 2021 Varsity Chorus Invitational. This rule amendment will only be extended for Cleveland 2021 and will apply to all competitors, regardless of their 2020 qualification status. Subsequent events will revert back to a maximum age of 25.

All Varsity Quartets who qualified for Los Angeles will need to requalify for the 2021 Varsity Quartet Contest in Cleveland under the usual guidelines, as follows:

  • Video qualification for 2021 Varsity Quartet Contest in Cleveland will be open from August 1- December 1, 2020, mirroring prior year qualification windows. We will maintain our qualification process of selecting the 20 highest scoring quartets to be invited to compete and the 5 slots available for varsity choruses to participate in our invitational.

Since Varsity quartets qualify by video, why not host the event as a video contest instead?

A significant part of this experience is the chance to cross the International stage and perform for a live audience in an exciting and enthusiastic environment, which a video contest cannot replace.

We also intend to ensure the integrity of the contest by maintaining a level playing field for our judges to complete the most accurate assessment of a performance. While video is an efficient tool for the qualification process, it is not as effective in adjudicating finer details of a live performance.

Why aren't the 2020 Varsity quartets who qualified for Los Angeles being automatically added to the Cleveland event?

With the new convention schedule for Cleveland, the Varsity Quartet Contest is scheduled for Saturday morning. There is not enough time or capacity to add additional slots to the contest on Saturday.

Does this mean the men’s Varsity quartets will now compete against mixed harmony and women’s Varsity quartets?

Yes, we are continuing to move forward with our Everyone In Harmony Strategic Vision by including women's and mixed quartets at the Varsity level starting in 2021, as previously announced and planned. We will maintain our existing qualification process of inviting the 20 highest scoring quartets to compete, across all classifications.

Can we still get AIC coaching?

Yes, you can! No changes have been made to this offering.

In an effort to continue supporting our Varsity quartets who qualified for Los Angeles, the AIC offers coaching at any time during the year via video chat. In addition, the AIC has committed to providing mentorship, assistance with music selection, guidance on putting together a show, sharing effective rehearsal techniques, and more. If your quartet is interested in receiving any such support from the AIC, please complete the AIC Coaching Form or contact outreach@barbershop.org for more information.

How are Varsity Choruses affected?

The Varsity chorus that applied for 2020 will be invited to participate in the 2021 Varsity Chorus Invitational in Cleveland with the extended age to 26 to include chorus members who may have aged out after Los Angeles. If they accept, they will fill one of the 5 slots available at that event.

What about Scholarships?

Scholarship awards for Varsity quartet members participating in the 2020 Los Angeles event will no longer be awarded due to the cancellation of the International Convention. Members of Varsity quartets that elect to qualify for the 2021 event will be eligible to re-apply.

What about Registrations?

Registrations purchased using the “free” discount code will automatically be cancelled. These registrations are not eligible for automatic rollover for the 2021 event in Cleveland. If you purchased a registration before receiving the discount code, please contact outreach@barbershop.org.

Harmony University Education Day

How can I take the classes that were planned for the LA Education Day?

Some of these are currently available on HU Online. Some of our offerings, such as new classes or on-site activities like The Music Man studio set tour, sadly cannot be offered.

How can I still get chorus and quartet coaching that were planned for the LA Education Day?

Online coaching has been available for quartets and choruses for several years. Once it is safe to gather in groups, quartets and choruses are encouraged to sign up!

How can I take a private lesson in voice, arranging, or conducting?

Those same great teachers you know and trust are available for online private lessons.

Has the Everyone In Harmony Chorus with Deke Sharon been cancelled?

The physical gathering in LA is cancelled, but we are working with Deke to finish and premiere two brand new barbershop SATB charts.

The current plan is to have both virtual rehearsals AND a virtual performance. The copyright world has also been slowed down by COVID-19, and we are still waiting on clearance for the selected material.

Information will be shared in May about music, rehearsals, and the “how” of the virtual performance.

What’s the status of Harmony University at Belmont?

That decision is still pending. Because Harmony University meets 4 weeks AFTER the International convention, from July 26 - August 2, we are waiting a few weeks to see what happens with COVID-19. With the pace of information changing so quickly about the virus and quarantine, Harmony University planners believe waiting until April is the best decision for three reasons:

1) full refunds are available to any registered students who request one

2) preparation for this event does not require people to gather in the preceding months (unlike International Contests)

3) Belmont is confident they can still house us in late July


Registration for HU 2020 is still open for individuals to join us.