Voices United Mixed Chorus receives charter in Northeastern District
Growth continues even in unusual times! In September, the Voices United Mixed Chorus received its official charter as the Southern New England Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Singing and learning together since the fall of 2018, this group is thriving with 70 active members, and maintains a busy teaching, learning, and recording schedule. Organizing its programming into “seasons,” it actively recruits participation in a wide range of coursework, social activities, and even a book club of interested readers. Voices United's Directors, Chad Putka and Elyssa Hurley attended Harmony University’s immersive barbershop experience in 2019, and have been excited to charter with the Barbershop Harmony Society since.
Co-director Chad Putka, a longtime BHS member, says that “something amazing happens to your mindset when you sing for your peers at conventions a few times per year, get to know them, see what they're up to, and support them wholeheartedly. You’re not alone, there’s always something to learn, and there's always an opportunity to be a leader, too. That piece is missing from the average unaffiliated community chorus experience, and it’s felt important for us to add this element to Voices United. Making music in isolation is one thing, but it’s very different to know you're a part of something bigger and to let that shared mission drive your everyday work as musicians.”
Co-director Elyssa Hurley commented on the value of the chorus becoming part of BHS: “I was extremely energized when I attended Harmony University in the summer of 2019. I’ve been singing in mixed choruses for years, and know how incredible they can be! I believe so strongly in the Everyone in Harmony initiative, and I wanted to bring the success Voices United was having to the larger society in order to be a part of this exciting period of growth and change in barbershop music. I want to help inspire and empower other groups by being a visible reminder of both our accomplishments in regards to inclusion, and also the spaces in which we still have so much room to grow.”
The Barbershop Harmony Society proudly celebrates the first chapter to charter since the onset of the pandemic. Barbershop is coming back, friends!