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Junior Choruses

A premier destination event for high school age choruses

A unique opportunity for youth choruses to sing for enthusiastic audiences of vocal music fans at the annual Midwinter convention.

The Next Generation Barbershop Junior Chorus Invitational gives your chorus the perfect mixture of fun, education, and opportunity for recognition and achievement, with some of the costs subsidized by your host! Join us at our annual Midwinter Convention, hosted in a different U.S. city every January.

The deadline to apply for Midwinter 2019 in Nashville has passed.

Applications for the 2020 Midwinter Convention are open until February 1, 2019.

Deke Sharon and the YCF Chorus - Rhythm of Love

Gaither High School - Hurricane of Harmony - Grease

Don’t just show up and sing– show up and dive deep

Every chorus sings for adjudication and plateau recognition, but the depth of learning comes in individual coaching and group clinics.

World-class clinicians such as Kirby Shaw, Deke Sharon (music director of the Pitch Perfect movies), ACDA Executive Director Dr. Tim Sharp, and Choir of the World Champions Westminster Chorus lead the combined choruses in workshops to develop a great ensemble sound, culminating in a command performance that caps the convention week. Singers come back energized and performing better!

What music should your ensemble sing?

Click here for detailed FAQs on what makes songs suitable for contest and how songs can be adapted for a wide range of voices.

Affordable — because we’ll pick up the lodging and shows!

The Junior Chorus Invitational is within the reach of many ensembles, because we will cover the most expensive part – the hotels!

Your chorus pays a flat $300 registration fee, plus $100 per singer.

Convention registration and show tickets ($189 per person value!) — provided!

Luxury hotel accommodations for three nights (4 to a room), thanks to the generous donors of Harmony Foundation International — provided!

You are only responsible for your travel and food.

Chorus Youth

Eligibility

  • All singers must be 18 years of age or under at the time of the Midwinter event in January.
  • Any singer age 19 years of age or above will not be allowed to participate as a singer in the Midwinter Event.
  • Each chorus must pay a $300 chorus registration fee.
  • Each chorus must pay a $100 per singer fee.
    • Voucher available for 1st year choruses to offset the $100 per singer fee.
  • Each chorus will receive:
    • A complimentary registration for each singer and one chorus director.
    • Hotel rooms provided for all singers, at 4 per room, and one room for the chorus director.
  • Membership with the Society is not required for the singers or director.
  • The chorus must be able to attend the entire event arriving on Thursday and departing on Sunday.
  • Choruses are responsible for their own travel, food and other expenses incurred while participating in the festival.
Chorus Mixed

Entry & Qualification

  • Choruses must have their chorus names approved so as not to conflict with names already selected and reserved by registered BHS chapters or other Junior Chorus Invitational participants.
  • February 15, 2019: 20 choruses will be invited with priority given to ensembles coming from a single school, first time attendees and underprivileged schools in the local area. Due to the extreme demand for the festival, we welcome all applicants to record a video demonstrating why they should be considered for invitation. Video must be received before February 1. Our targeted mix of invited choruses is:
    • 5 Young Women’s Choruses
    • 5 Mixed Gender Choruses
    • 10 Young Men’s Choruses
  • August 1 – February 1: Interested choruses can submit their ensemble for consideration
  • April 15: Deadline for invited choruses to register. Choruses may be invited after the April 15 deadline to fill in possible slot opening(s).
  • All choruses are required to participate in a pre-event and postevent survey.
  • All video/photo/audio submitted will be owned and used without restriction by BHS.

Rules

  • Each chorus will be adjudicated on three songs. Two of the three songs must be contestable by BHS Contest and Judging (hereinafter C&J) standards (refer to the Suggested Song List, or contact the BHS with questions). The third selection can be any song sung a cappella with any number of voice parts, may be in a foreign language, and vocal percussion is permitted. No instrumentation is allowed for any of the three song selections. Certified BHS judges will be adjudicating according to BHS C&J rules (with allowances for the third selection)
  • All arrangements performed by choruses must be obtained in accordance with international and USA copyright law. Further information may be found here: Copyright Basics For Barbershoppers
  • Singers may NOT sing with more than one junior chorus.
  • Plateau Awards will based on chorus size
    • A Less than 20 singers
    • AA 21 – 40 singers
    • AAA Over 40 singers
  • Each chorus will be required to learn 2 songs to be sung at the Saturday Night Spectacular
    • 1 song for all men
    • 1 song for all women
    • 1 song for mixed

Barbershop Style

  • Basic characteristics of barbershop harmony:
    • Four unaccompanied voices.
    • Melody in the second voice down (lead, or second tenor). The melody lies within the good quality range for the average lead singer and is free of awkward skips that make it difficult to sing accurately.
    • Consonant four-part chords on all notes of the melody, almost completely in root position and second inversion.
    • Easily understandable lyrics that are in good taste.
  • A chief characteristic of the barbershop style is its wholesome, “G-rated” entertainment values. Forfeiture, though, may result from one or all judges for:
    • Anyone other than chorus members or the director appearing on stage during the performance.
    • Actions by any contestant that are deemed suggestive, vulgar, or otherwise not in good taste, as determined by acceptable, contemporary community standards. The two songs in the barbershop style must not be either primarily patriotic or primarily religious in intent. The third song may be from any genre, as long as it is performed a cappella.
    • Any spoken words deemed excessive or detrimental to the performance. Participating choruses should not introduce their selections.
    • Use of contestant’s own electronic sound equipment.
    • Instrumental accompaniment, including instrumental introductions, interludes, or conclusions.

Judging Criteria

  • Each chorus will receive a score in three categories (Singing, Music, and Presentation, according to BHS C&J Rules) All participating choruses will be awarded a rating based on the overall score from the judging panel.
  • Rating Criteria
    • Good: <13 (<61 on BHS 100 point scale)
    • Excellent: 13 to <17 (61 to <68 on BHS 100 point scale)
    • Outstanding: 17 to <21 (68 to <75 on BHS 100 point scale)
    • Superior: >21 (>75 on BHS 100 point scale)
  • Each junior chorus will receive scores based on a 30 point scale (converted from the standard BHS 100-point scale). Should your junior chorus be interested on how your score converts to the BHS 100-point scale, this information can be provided to you after the festival by requesting the conversion from outreach@barbershop.org.
  • Each participating chorus will be assigned into a category termed “plateau”. The plateau to which each chorus is assigned will be based on the number of the singers in the chorus. “Plateau A” will be the designation for choruses with a 20 or less singers. “Plateau AA” will be the designation for choruses with 21-40 singers. “Plateau AAA” will be the designation for choruses with over 40 singers.