Leaders of barbershop organizations from around the province met in Scarborough, Ontario this past weekend to learn about leadership skills and their positions. 83 members representing choruses in the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines, and Harmony, Inc. were led by a faculty of 14 district leaders over the two days of the event. Attendees took classes and workshops related to membership, web presence, directing, improving vocal inefficiencies, district-supported charities, and other topics relevant to a barbershop chapter.
The Ontario District is one of the seventeen districts of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the world's largest all-male a cappella singing organization, and is the only all-Canadian district. It is committed to serving and supporting its 31 barbershop chapters, over 60 quartets, and over 1200 members throughout Ontario, and it is committed to promoting the Society's mission of bringing men together in fellowship and harmony to enrich lives through singing. Member choruses and quartets are encouraged to perform throughout their communities in support of worthwhile civic, cultural, educational, and charitable endeavors.
With Canada's 150th coming up, there has probably been no better time to add some Cancon to our chorus repertoires. Searching through the BHS catalogue to find arrangements of Canadian songs is like looking for a needle in a haystack - there are so few. Having rearranged The Maple Leaf Forever, I realized that there was no good medium through which I could communicate its existence to Canadian chapters and that would be true for other composers and arrangers.
By Shaun Gregory, Huron Expositor
The sweet sound of December music filled the air inside the Northside United Church in Seaforth last week as the Western Division Barbershop Christmas Show occupied the bottom pews as well as the better part of the upper level.
The theme focused on November 27-Harmony at Christmas.
This rearrangement is the outgrowth of a search for a song to honour the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation in 1867. The Music Committee of the Northumberland Hills Ontario Chapter of SPEBSQSA, Inc. wanted a well-known, quintessentially Canadian song in barbershop style for the Ganaraska Chordsmen to perform through 2017 and maybe beyond. This Land Is Your Land was popular but it is really an American song with relocated geographical references.
Northern Lights focusing on revamping show formats, giving back to the community.
The Toronto Northern Lights (TNL) are known internationally for wild and crazy contest packages. Convention goers would never know what the chorus is going to do, but expect that it will be done at a high level and be very entertaining. The work required to meet those expectations can consume a lot of time. Other things through the year can become afterthoughts. Some of those “afterthoughts” have included two major shows produced annually – TNL’s spring and Christmas shows. “It’s not that we haven’t worked hard on them,” says Show Chairman Patrick Brown, “but it was always a ‘just-in-time’ approach, preventing us from being innovative and creative.”
By Aileen House, Middlesex Banner
In an age where everything seems to cost so much, there are still a few joys that come pretty freely and singing is one of them. The Vocal Federations Barbershop Chorus is helping the community raise its voice in perfect harmony every Wednesday evening at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Albert Street at 7:30pm.
The Kitchener Waterloo Chapter is proud to once again host Dawg Haus at the Cambridge Knights of Columbus Hall on November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm. The annual event, now in its 48th year, helps support Harmonize 4 Speech, a charity that provides funds for numerous speech-related projects and equipment at hospitals, clinics and treatment centres throughout Ontario. Quartets and choruses from around the province perform at this stag event. Admission is $15, and food will be offered for sale by Schmuck Truck, a local food truck. This year's emcee will be P.A.G.E. 4 quartet's Andy Dennett.
After a fantastic weekend of barbershop hosted by the Western Division, the Ontario District crowned a new District Quartet Champion and qualified a number of groups for 2017 International competitions.
Fleeting Sensation was named the district quartet champions with an average score of 78.3. Tall Boys qualified for the International Seniors Quartet Competition next January in San Antonio, TX. Two other quartets, ON Q! and Acapella Unplugged, put up scores this weekend that have a strong chance of earning them a wildcard spot in the contest.
Check out our new series of videos showcasing the wide range of members we have in Ontario and the one thing they have in common: they've been connected by the indelible experience of singing in close harmony. The series of videos is being released on Facebook leading up to our fall convention, but you can see the whole set below on our YouTube page.
By Shaun Gregory, Huron Expositor
Vehicles cluttered North Street, finding a parking spot had become an almost impossible task for those who were tardy at arriving at the Seaforth Harmony Kings concert- “The Best Worst Musical Ever.”