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.
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.