A premier destination event for high school age choruses
About the Junior Chorus Invitational
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!
We invite your men's, women's, and mixed voice choruses with members aged 18 and under to join us at our annual Midwinter Convention, hosted in a different U.S. city every January!
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!
Upcoming Opportunities & Deadlines
The application for the 2024 Junior Chorus Invitational in New York City (January 9-14, 2024) has now closed! Deadline to apply was February 1, 2023.
Why students & chorus directors love this festival
- AFFORDABLE: Convention registration is free ($189 per person value!), including attendance to high-production evening shows featuring the best barbershoppers from around the country.
- ICONIC VENUES: Students perform on stage in outstanding, memorable venues.
- LARGE AUDIENCES: Guaranteed audiences of over 2,000 adult a cappella enthusiasts (simultaneously attending their own annual Midwinter convention)!
- HIGH PRODUCTION VALUE: Multi-camera performance videos, with professional stage lighting and audio.
- PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS: Performances are adjudicated by certified BHS judges, and then each chorus and director receive a detailed debrief of their performance by a member of the adjudication panel.
- EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING: Clinician-led workshops by nationally recognized experts.
- SCHOLARSHIPS: Financial assistance is available to schools, based on need, to help offset their travel and lodging costs.
- REGISTRATION FEE: Invited choruses pay a flat $300 chorus registration fee.
- FOOD, TRAVEL, and LODGING: Each chorus is responsible for their own food, travel, and lodging.
Rules & Eligibility
- All singers must be 18 years of age or under at the time of the Midwinter event.
- Any singer age 19 years of age or above will not be allowed to participate as a singer in the Midwinter Event. *Special circumstances on case-by-case basis.
- Each chorus must pay a $300 chorus registration fee.
- 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, lodging, food and other expenses incurred while participating in the invitational.
- 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
Entry & Qualification
- August 1 - February 1: Interested choruses can submit their ensemble for consideration
- Choruses must have their chorus names approved so as not to conflict with names already selected and reserved by registered BHS chapters or other Youth Chorus Invitational participants.
- February 15: 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 Invitiational, we welcome all applicants to record a video demonstrating why they should be considered for invitation. Video must be submitted with the application.
- 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 post-event survey.
- All video/photo/audio submitted will be owned and used without restriction by BHS.
Barbershop Style & Suggested Songs
- 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.
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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.
- All choruses are welcome to apply for a need-based scholarship upon invitation to the Junior Chorus Invitational.
- Scholarship application will be open from February 15 - April 1 with award letters sent by April 15.
- Scholarship award is broken into to payments:
- 80% sent September 1
- 20% sent by March 1 pending 75% of singers respond to post-event survey.
- All singers plus one director who is participation in the Junior Chorus Invitational will receive a complimentary convention registration at no additional cost. Chaperones will need to purchase a full registration.