Life as a summer intern at the Barbershop Harmony Society - Patrick McAlexander
July 14, 2014
I came to the BHS working with Adam Scott on Music Publications. I was essentially putting my background in barbershop music/arranging into use by evaluating everything in our music library for difficulty, so that groups can more easily find music suitable to their skill level. It's exciting because I have the opportunity to look at a lot of really awesome pieces of music, though it does become rather tedious at times. Probably the peak of this work was when I finished going through all of the BHS-Published arrangements in the catalog.
Because of my background with barbershop trivia/statistics, I was put to work on a couple projects as well. Patty Leveille had me do a lot of the research for our 25th and 50th anniversary quartet champion displays for the Las Vegas convention. I got to explore our archives and find a lot of interesting information, pictures, etc. It was a lot of fun! Also, Sherry Lewis asked me to help her manage the entry forms submitted by our international quartet and chorus competitors and to communicate with groups that hadn't gotten all of the necessary information in yet. It was very interesting to see how much work goes into just the contest part of the convention. Also, as a barbershop nerd I enjoyed getting a sneak peek at what some of the quartets and choruses were going to sing in Vegas.
For now, my time interning at the BHS is over, and I already miss it. I had wonderful opportunities to put my barbershop background to use in ways that helped the convention in Vegas go smoothly and in ways that will help many groups looking for new music in the future. Also, the Society has a really great working environment, partly because many of the people working there are friends in and out of the office.