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Statement Regarding 2016 International Chorus Competitor

The performance by the Salem SenateAires during the 2016 International Chorus Contest contained multiple jokes and characterizations of women that have offended many people in the audience in the arena and worldwide on the webcast.

Having specifically invited women to participate in our judging program, the Barbershop Harmony Society states in the strongest possible terms that this performance does NOT represent its attitude toward candidates, nor toward women generally.

While we respect and value the right of artists to explore all manner of personal expression, every performance is a risk and artists assume responsibility for the impact they make. After much consideration, it has been determined that all performances will be available, unedited, on the delayed webcast. Though we do not support the characterizations portrayed, we recognize that all International contest appearances should remain intact, allowing viewers to form their own opinions about the performance.

Certainly, this conversation will continue for many weeks. For now, we hope our community of fans and friends will continue to enjoy the great performance and thrilling moments from a truly spectacular week of music.