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Junior Quartets

Immerse yourself in harmony

Next Generation Barbershop: This is YOUR stage!

About the Junior Quartet Contest

The Junior Quartet Contest gives young singers a platform to make music together in a peer-ranked environment at our annual Midwinter Convention, held in a different U.S. city every January.

Open to all voicings, we'll offer special recognition for men’s quartets, women’s quartets, and mixed-voice quartets.

All participants must be aged 18 or under at the time of the event.

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

2022 Midwinter Convention

Important: Since we are unable to host our Junior events live at the 2022 Midwinter Convention Convention, we are moving the 2022 Junior Quartet Contest to a fully virtual event. Below is an overview of the updated contest to a virtual format:

  • Record your group singing one contestable barbershop song and post your video on YouTube as a private link.
  • Register your quartet with the link using the online entry form.
  • All videos must be submitted by YouTube link within the registration form no later than December 1, 2021.
  • Videos will be judged through our BHS Contest and Judging system based on a total score of 30 points and feedback from judges will be provided to each quartet.
  • The top 15 Junior Quartets will be invited to submit a second video performance to be premiered live on YouTube during our 2022 Midwinter Convention in Pasadena!
    • Junior Quartet videos will be premiered both virtually and live on screen in Pasadena.
    • Video must be a new performance of one song and can be the same or a different song selection.
    • Videos will be judged through our BHS Contest and Judging system based on a total score of 30 points
    • The top 3 quartets and 1 audience favorite will be awarded.

Easy to start!

The Basics

Sing music already approved for your State Solo & Ensemble Contest, or songs your chorus has prepared for the Next Generation Chorus Festival!

  • The contest is open to young men’s, women’s and mixed quartets.
  • All singers must be 18 years of age or under at the time of the Midwinter Event.
    • No exceptions will apply. Should any quartet member be over the age of 18, the quartet will only be considered for the Varsity (18-25) quartet contest held at International.
    • There are no restrictions regarding membership in the Barbershop Harmony Society or any affiliate organization.

Music and Age Requirements

Sing music already approved for your State Solo & Ensemble Contest, or songs your chorus has prepared for the Next Generation Chorus Festival!

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

  • The contest is open to young men’s, women’s and mixed quartets.
  • A quartet who is eligible to participate in both Junior and Varsity quartet contests may only register for one contest occurring within the same year.
  • All singers must be 18 years of age or under at the time of the Midwinter Event.
    • No exceptions will apply. Should any quartet member be over the age of 18, the quartet will only be considered for the Varsity (18-25) quartet contest held at International.
    • There are no restrictions regarding membership in the Barbershop Harmony Society or any affiliate organization.

Learn how to qualify for the Junior Quartet Contest

View the full list of rules and entry qualifications below.

Please watch the video above to learn more about qualifying for the Junior Quartet Contest, or learn about changes to the program on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

It's all in the details

Singing Double Womens Quartet

Entry & Qualification

  • Record your group singing. It doesn’t have to be a professional recording, so have fun with it.
  • Perform only ONE contestable barbershop song to qualify (a 2nd song is not required)
  • Post your video on YouTube.
  • Register your quartet using the online entry.
  • Quartets must have their quartet names approved, so as not to conflict with names already selected and reserved by other competitors and registered Barbershop Harmony Society member quartets.
  • Certified Society judges will adjudicate all contests, both video preliminary and the live Midwinter competition, using standard Society contest rules. Invitation to the finals combines standard rules and other factors described below.
  • All videos must be submitted by YouTube link within the registration form no later than December 1.
  • All video/photo/audio submitted will be owned and used without restriction by BHS.

Rules

  • An individual can sing in only one junior quartet at a time.
  • All arrangements performed by quartets must be obtained in accordance with international and USA copyright law. Further information may be found here: Copyright Basics For Barbershoppers.
  • One (1) song in the barbershop style must be sung. A quartet may use the same song it sang in the preliminary video contest and the live contest at the midwinter convention. (Not sure what to sing? View our suggested song list!)
  • The video must be recorded in HD in front of a live audience without any edits or production enhancements. The live audience may be at public or private event or performance. We encourage you to consider recording your performance in front of a local Barbershop Harmony Society chapter or district. You can find local opportunities by searching our website (barbershop.org) or by emailing outreach@barbershop.org.

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 may result from one or all judges for:
    • Anyone other than quartet members 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 song in the barbershop style must not be either primarily patriotic or primarily religious in intent.
    • 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

Videos will be judged by through our BHS Contest and Judging system based on a total score of 30 points.

Registration closes on December 1.

  • Contest & Judging (C&J) Score
    • Each video will receive 1 score from a certified judge in any scoring category
    • Each junior quartet will receive a score based on a 30 point scale (converted from the standard BHS 100-point scale). Should your junior quartet 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 judge will be required to write a brief 1-paragraph evaluation encouraging the competitor’s participation and improvement
  • Top 15 will be invited to compete virtually at Midwinter based on overall combined scores and will be required to submit a new video.
    • The virtual competition will be judged by a single BHS judging panel
    • Scores will be converted to the 30-point "Youth Chorus Festival (YCF) scale”

Build your barbershop know-how

Whether you're new to barbershop or you've been singing in close harmony for years, there's always more to learn!

Our educational resources abound: from the basics of our music to the roots of barbershop harmony, from our video series, "What Makes it Barbershop?" to our online learning opportunities, this uniquely-American art-form can open new doors for teachers and students alike.