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 Off-Topic Digression Into Barbershop Harmony


I am privileged to sing with Sound of the Rockies, a 120 voice men's barbershop a cappella chorus.  My story. NPR story, History of Barbershop.

Many people associate the barbershop style with quartets (think the school board in Music Man), but there are hundreds of men's and women's barbershop choruses throughout the world.

One of the main characteristics of the barbershop style of a cappella harmony is that four voice parts (bass, baritone, lead, and tenor) sing most of the words of a song in close, four part harmony. Gospel, folk and doo-wop styles also share the love of vocal harmony. An interesting article on the physical and emotional benefits of singing harmony.

This multipart vocal harmony contrasts with much of contemporary a cappella music where there is a lead singer on melody, one or more backup harmony parts that rarely sing words, and often one or more individuals who produce vocal rhythm.    ENJOY!


Sound of the Rockies presents one of its more serious competition pieces in the 22,000 seat LDS Conference Center during the 2005 Barbershop Harmony Society contest in Salt Lake City.


In July 2014 the SOR Pirates of the Colorado sailed down the Colorado River to Las Vegas for the Barbershop Harmony Society convention and chorus/quartet contests.  There was extremely stiff competition, and SOR was proud to place fourth in the chorus contest with our Pirate set you can  watch the performance here.


Nearer My God To Thee - Sound of the Rockies holiday concert 12/4/2010


World Premier, Fanfare for the Common Man : a cappella - Sound of the Rockies concert 3/5/2011


Sound of the Rockies Sampler 1: audio & video clips from concerts and contests


Sound of the Rockies Sampler 2: audio clips & pictures from the spring 2009 concert. 
Images of your web author are featured at 3:36 - 3:42 {on the left}& at 4:14 - 4:17. 
If that doesn't shake your faith in science nothing will...


Sound of the Rockies Road Trip: Brother Can You Spare A Dime
 


Sound of the Rockies 2007 Contest set (audio only)


Ambassadors of Harmony: 2009 International Barbershop Chorus Champions.
Amazing arrangement and performance of 76 Trombones.


Westminster Chorus 2010 Barbershop Harmony Society Chorus Champions.
Most members are 30 or younger.

Time Video
Barbershop: The Original Glee for Guys

Some great Barbershop Quartet videoss

Max Q - 2007 International Quartet Champions

OC Times - 2008 International Quartet Champions
  Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)

Crossroads - 2009 International Quartet Champions

Storm Front - 2010 International Quartet Champions


If you enjoyed listening to the harmony above you can find out more about locations where you can watch a performance &/or sing with the chorus &/or form a quartet.  Most choruses actively recruit singers!
Organizations that promote and preserve barbershop harmony include:
Barbershop Harmony Society - Men's barbershop chapters in the US and Canada
  International Affiliates of the BHS
Sweet Adelines - Women's international barbershop organization
Harmony, Inc. - Women's international barbershop organization

To find more great performances, search YouTube for  "barbershop chorus" and/or "barbershop quartet".