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What's new for LA2020

These 5 fantastic innovations will make this summer’s International Convention more exciting than ever

We’ve re-engineered our International Convention to make sure each day offers great shows, great ways for guests to sing, and to celebrate ALL facets of barbershop life.

#5: A two-day chorus contest

See more great choruses ... without straining your sitter-onner

No matter how comfortable the seat, 14 hours of chorus singing pushes even the most ardent fans to the limits of their aural and gluteal strength. The ears can only enjoy what the rump can endure.

SOLVED! This year, we’re running the chorus contest in four sessions across two days. This allows….

  • Shorter sessions for the audience, meaning more attention and enjoyment of every performance!
  • More competitors get to see more of the other competitors, without sacrificing their own prep time
  • Thursday chorus competitors get a night off -- and more time to sing at afterglows!
  • All choruses are done by Friday afternoon, so they can hit the AIC Show for the first time in years!

New! Chorus seeding in each session

Additionally, in a new twist, choruses will be seeded evenly across all four sessions, so that each session contains a few top contenders, a few from the middle of the pool, and a few emerging talents. This ensures that ...

  • Groups of slighter reputation who might not have attracted larger audiences now get to be seen alongside the attention-grabbing stars who fill the room
  • Every session will have enough “big dogs” to satisfy viewers
  • Even the big guns want to watch each other. Now, more groups can see more other groups, and not jam all the hottest acts into one session where they might be missed.

#4: A FULL DAY OF HU EDUCATION CLASSES

Learn more at Harmony University’s new Education Tuesday

Come to sing! Come to learn! Choosing from all the great courses offered may prove a challenge -- but you’ve got all day! We’ve packed a huge variety of classes from top instructors into a single day-- perfect for folks who have heard about our quality instruction, but can’t make time for a full week at HU-Belmont.

Take a private voice lesson, explore tuning or voice placement or running a chapter -- and still have time for the great Tuesday Night Showcase PLUS a special themed Afterglow that evening! Who says conventions are only for sitting?

NEW! Bring your quartet or chorus for a coaching session by some of the same judges or coaches who work with the International Contest competitors! Sign ups for coaching sessions will open soon, so stay tuned!

#3: A THEATER FIT FOR HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY

Hear the champs in a theater befitting our brightest stars-- on a Friday night friendly to local audiences

Our champs are as accomplished in our style as any GRAMMY winner, so it’s great to showcase them in the premium setting of famous awards shows! And with the champs appearing after the chorus contests have concluded, EVERYONE can relax and see our heroes onstage.

The panache of the famous Microsoft Theater adds a shine of glamour and resets expectations for general audiences. Putting the show on a Friday night of a holiday weekend means we can market this fantastic performance to locals who won’t be worrying about getting to work the next morning.

#2: A NEW AWARDS GALA

Here’s to the winners — of Best Album, Best Arranger, and more! — at the inaugural BHS Awards Gala

There are many ways to be great at barbershopping in addition to quartet and chorus singing. This year, we’re shining a bright Hollywood spotlight on individuals, icons and singing communities who have impacted their local and/or global barbershop and choral ecosystems through excellence and service at our first-ever black-tie awards dinner, complete with a red carpet entrance.

Lest you worry this might be a stuffy, staid affair, did we mention our hosts for the evening… The Newfangled Four? Or the top-secret, laugh-til-you-bust medley they’re cooking up? (They may not be Billy Crystal or Neil Patrick Harris, but, you know… barbershoppier.)

Nominations are open through February 15 for these award categories, and you can have a tableside seat as the winners are announced:

  • Barbershopper of the Year
  • Quartet of the Year
  • Ensemble of the Year
  • Arranger of the Year
  • Innovator of the Year
  • Ambassador of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Video of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement for Arrangers
  • Hall of Fame
  • Honorary Life Membership
  • Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement Award


This unique, separately-ticketed event will set a new standard in class, style, recognition, and stupid quartet gags. What could possibly be more barbershop than that?

#1: MORE AFTERGLOWS

Afterglows help you find folks to sing with. Every. Single. Night.

Don’t know where the action is? Ready to roll on some new tags, Polecats, or Brigade songs, but can’t find a pickup quartet? Clean up that Tombo, player, because we’ve reserved time and space for casual singing at our nightly Afterglows. Fill up the water bottle for a long, relaxed night of making short-term best friends through harmonizing. You’ll find more time for it, too, because every night, the official Afterglows get rolling earlier than before, thanks to a schedule that concludes major events and shows with plenty of time left to crank ‘em high and loud.

Need more singing? Check out all the ways you sing at LA2020.