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Barbershop Harmony Society Awards

2020 Barbershop Harmony Society Awards

The inaugural Barbershop Harmony Society Awards have been created to amplify and celebrate individuals, icons, and ensembles who have impacted the local or global barbershop world through excellence and service. The awards recognize the exceptional commitment these people and organizations have to bringing people together in harmony and fellowship to enrich lives through singing.

Evaluation Timeline

  • Nominees will be notified by March 31, 2020
  • The full list of selected nominees will be published starting mid-April

If you have questions about the nomination process, please view the FAQS or contact awards@barbershop.org.

2020 Awards and Honors

Click on the award title below to learn more.

Barbershopper of the Year

Awarded to an individual in recognition of significant contributions to the Barbershop Harmony Society during the past calendar year. Additional consideration may be given to sustained contributions of outstanding service in support of BHS activities over a number of years.

Quartet of the Year

Awarded to a quartet in recognition of their impact during the past calendar year through their longstanding dedication and unselfish devotion to the love of barbershop harmony.

Ensemble of the Year

Awarded to an ensemble or group comprised of more than four individuals (district, region, chapter, chorus, club, etc.) in recognition of creating and maintaining a positive impact during the past calendar year.

Arranger of the Year

Awarded to an individual in recognition of the impact of their arrangements on barbershop harmony during the past calendar year.

Innovator of the Year

Honoring the most innovative barbershop harmony-related project or program initiated by an individual or group.

Ambassador of the Year

Awarded to an individual or group in recognition of significant efforts to introduce others to barbershop harmony.

Album of the Year

Awarded in honor of artistic achievement, technical proficiency, and overall excellence in the audio recording of barbershop harmony, without regard to album sales or critical reception. Album must have been released in 2019 to be considered.

Video of the Year

Awarded to an individual or group in honor of the most outstanding non-contest video recording created and uploaded to social media in 2019.

Other awards and honors

Questions? Contact awards@barbershop.org.

Lifetime Achievement for Arrangers

Awarded to an arranger, living or in memorium, in recognition of the profound effect of their contributions on the musical culture of barbershop harmony as an art form through their collective body of work. To be considered, the nominee must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • They provided numerous arrangements that have been widely sung throughout the Society
  • They authored multiple quality arrangements that helped high-level groups succeed in contest with memorable performances
  • Their arrangements showed innovation, or departure from the norm, in ways that influenced other arrangers and positively advanced the art of barbershop arranging

Hall of Fame

The Barbershop Harmony Society Hall of Fame was established by action of the Society Board of Directors as a means of bestowing Society recognition and honor to members and quartets — living or in memorium — for exceptional contributions made that have enhanced the barbershop experience for the Society.

Any living or deceased Society member, Society staff member, or quartet, with the exception of the current Society President or any current Hall of Fame committee member, is eligible for nomination.

Quartet nominations are considered to be for the quartet as an entity and not as individuals. Honorees are selected by a majority vote of the committee, and there is no maximum or minimum limit on the number of inductees in a given year.

The award criteria used by the committee fall into general categories of music and administration/leadership. In music, judging, arranging, composing, chorus directing, coaching and singing are important. In administration/leadership, service as an officer, advisor, and in planning, writing or editing are considered.

Honorary Membership

Per the Society Bylaws, honorary membership may be conferred only by the unanimous vote of the Society Board of Directors. People of eminent distinction who express interest in the Society and who are active and well known in public affairs, education, music, or the allied arts are eligible for honorary membership. Honorary members are life members of the Frank H. Thorne Chapter, and receive The Harmonizer and other benefits normally provided to the members of that chapter. No Society, district, or other dues and fees shall be required from any honorary member.

The Society Honorary Membership Committee (HMC) has the responsibility of developing and maintaining a list of possible candidates for honorary membership, receiving nominations, gathering information as to the qualifications of the nominees, and recommending nominees to the Society Board for its consideration for election to honorary membership. The Society Board will select honorary members from among the list of nominees recommended by the HMC, but selection is discretionary and there is no obligation to select an honorary member or members every year, or to select any nominee who has been recommended by the HMC.

Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement Award

The Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement award was created as a way to honor those who demonstrated lifelong commitment to the Barbershop style, raised the standards of excellence, and have, through their leadership, helped us move forward.

The criteria the Committee looks to for selecting the recipient of the award are: excellence in directing their own choruses consistently at a high level; willingness to share skills with other choruses and directors; encouragement of other directors through participation at education schools; and giving of time and resources for the advancement of the Society through encouragement of directors and demonstrating excellence in performance and singing.