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Rogue Valley Harmonizers step up to fill gaps in music education

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The Medford, Oregon, Rogue Valley Harmonizers have mastered key principles of outreach efforts over the past decade, and are making a lasting impact on students throughout their community, funded in part by grants from the Barbershop Harmony Society. This recent story in the Mail Tribune paints a beautiful picture of a committed group of Barbershoppers doing whatever it takes to keep music alive: 

“Starting in 2006, we began to help local schools,” said Harmonizers marketing vice president Bob Hall. “At first it was in the elementary schools. We distributed 1,500 songbooks to classrooms around the Rogue Valley. Then we had our guys go out and teach those songs to fourth-graders for the next several years.

“Five-thousand fourth-graders later, and those songbooks are still out there.”

While the group’s budget is meager — about $30,000 to $40,000 from membership dues and performance sales are spent each year on outreach programs — they’re inspired by the response the fun-loving group gets from community members and would love to do more, Hall said.

Read more: Rogue Valley Harmonizers step up to fill gaps in music education.