Watch & Listen Member Center / Docs Shop

Monson to step away from Society helm

Board begins process to select interim CEO; appointment expected within two weeks

Marty Monson

Following discussions that began in December, the Barbershop Harmony Society Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Marty Monson have reached an amicable decision to part ways, making room for a new leader to tackle the realities of the post-COVID world. 

Monson, who has been CEO and Executive Director since 2012, will step down, effective Friday, August 25, 2023.

His 11-year tenure has been highlighted by the 2017 adoption of a strategic plan developed by multiple committees of Society members and with input from thousands of barbershop singers. Goals of that plan include Everyone in Harmony, which opened Society membership to all who want to sing.

Monson led the Society through the historic two-year hiatus in singing and gathering caused by the pandemic, and then saw the return of rehearsals, concerts, conventions and Harmony University.

He initiated conversation with the Board of Directors late last year, in light of the changes and new opportunities to which the barbershop world must adapt.

“Marty has served with profound dedication and commitment to advancing barbershop harmony into the broader choral ecosystem,” Society Board President John Santora said. “We are truly grateful for his immense contributions and tireless efforts, and we also recognize the support of his family.”

Monson said his role as CEO has capped three decades of extraordinary experiences in barbershop. There have been many highlights, starting in high school and college, as president of the Hilltop, Minnesota Chapter and its Great Northern Union chorus, and in Nashville, as part of a Music Medics group.

“And yet, what means the most to me are the thousands of barbershoppers I have met, sung with and served the past 11 years,” Monson said. “I look forward to continuing to sing barbershop and tags with many more people.

“I want to thank all of our BHS team members through the past decade-plus, the countless, dedicated volunteers and the Board members who have worked tirelessly to advance the Society and our singing communities,” Monson said.

Santora said the Board is in the process of identifying an interim CEO, mindful of finding a leader who will provide stability, vision and expertise in setting priorities and pursuing creative solutions.

“The world itself has shifted and changed over the past three years, and post-COVID realities require much of leaders, no matter the organization,” Santora said. “Our interim CEO will lead the way in bringing people together to forge a strong, sustainable future.”

An interim CEO is expected to be named within two weeks.