To all members. Last year at our National Convention, I had the distinct pleasure in designing, producing, then presenting the very first “BHA Medal” to Mike Donnelly.
For all of us who were at the Sydney Convention, we know what the “BHA Medal” represents. But as a short explanation for the “newbies” to our organisation, the “BHA Medal” is awarded to a member who has generally worked tirelessly for his chorus, his quartet, or done anything in your opinion deserves to be nominated for the “BHA Medal”
|Are you an enthusiastic and talented Music Director? Or maybe you’re a singer/musician who aspires to further develop existing music skills and accept the challenge of becoming an MD?|
WA based Men in Harmony Barbershop Chorus, was formed in 1985 and has a memorable history. Individuals from this chorus were notable in the formation and development of barbershop singing both locally and nationally. Our current MD has contributed significantly to enhancing the music product of this chorus for over 3 years and is now moving on. The successful applicant will be offered appropriate induction as they transition into their role to lead us on our continual journey of improvement. Our demographic currently comprises senior male singers. We are a cheerful and fun loving bunch of barbershoppers who enjoy singing and performing to the best of our ability. We succeed in regularly delivering performances which positively connect with audiences. During 2017 this chorus completed 36 performances and also participated at the Sydney Pan Pac Barbershop Convention. We have a solid customer base and many return engagements. We maintain a viable website: www.meninharmony.com.au Facebook presence at: https://www.facebook.com/Meninharmonyperthwa
The successful applicant will be well supported by a competent management committee and music team. We are fortunate to be reasonably well resourced and rehearsals are held in a comfortable air conditioned venue at Wembley Downs a leafy suburb adjacent to the beaches north of Perth.
If you are an established Music Director or an accomplished musician aspiring to develop as an MD please make contact. Call Ross on 0451305669 and /or email email@example.com All enquiries will be treated in confidence.
This is my last newsletter article as BHA President. I hand over to my good friend, Dan Millgate, who I am sure will lead you well. I also want to thank all members past and present of the National Council who have provided me great assistance and served all members well. Lastly, I want to thank you, the members, for your support.
When I was elected President, we made some changes. Some were necessary because of our poor financial situation, some were popular, some were not, but the National Council and I strongly believe that they were all for the betterment of our hobby.
First, we introduced annual Conventions. This had been sought for a few years by members, but we needed to make sure we could run annual Conventions profitably. After a thorough analysis, we took the plunge in 2016 in Newcastle. It was a raging success! We did anticipate a drop off in numbers (which we had already seen in Perth in 2013), and that continues. Only half of our members are attending Conventions, and that needs to improve. If you don’t attend Conventions, you are missing a lot!
Along with this we developed new awards for our groups and new events at Convention, like the Andy Aberle Mature Chorus Award, the John Little Show and the Chorus Corral. We also brought in a new Convention management model, with the National Council assuming a bigger role so that our local hosts were not re-inventing the wheel as much as they had been every new Convention.
Next, we introduced Mixed Harmony. This was largely accepted by members (around 85%), but sadly was rejected by a vocal minority who argued that we were changing the nature of our organisation. At a National level, I would say yes, and that’s a positive. In the modern world you simply can’t be gender exclusive any more. At a local level (i.e. in your Club), I doubt that much has changed for your weekly rehearsal or performances. But we now have a whole new membership base that is starting to grow and that will sustain our organisation for a long time. For the first time we have nominated a mixed chorus (Adelaide Allsorts) to represent BHA at the World Mixed Contest in Germany.
I recall the early days of my Presidency in 2014, after our poorly attended Perth Convention put our finances at risk. We had to make cuts to survive, but we have brought those services back to members, with extra activities like the Deke Sharon workshop in Sydney and the National Education Faculty Club visits. Next year the plan is to bring out International educators to assist every Club improve their singing and performance skills. We also saved money by commissioning a re-write of our website to automate the membership process. This has been very successful, especially for the Clubs using HarmonySite website software.
We’ve signed two MOU’s with BHNZ over the last couple of years, one for sharing of Pan Pac Conventions (the next one is in Auckland in 2020), and also to share the costs of our Judging program (the Australasian Guild of Barbershop Judges).
We have refined our membership recognition criteria, and with the generosity of Derek Cosburn, introduced the BHA Medal this year. Congratulations to Mike Donnelly, the inaugural recipient. We also ran COTS programs (Club Officer Training Scheme), and we had visits from International educators, such as Dr Don Campbell.
This year we needed to make some changes to our Constitution, and we took advantage of that to provide for Deductible Gift Recipient status for BHA. What this means is that any donations made to BHA are now tax deductible, and we are in the process of setting up a Foundation to manage these donated funds.
I also remember the visits we had from three magnificent International champion quartets, Vocal Spectrum (2015), Forefront (2016) and Crossroads (2017). These gentlemen are an inspiration to us all.
So, I look back and strongly believe that we have achieved improvements to our organisation that will stand us in good stead into the future.
For me, I want to thank all of you for the honour of being your President. I hope I lived up to your expectations. I will look forward to singing on the risers and in quartet, and I hope to see you around the traps sometime.
Prior to the 2017 Pan Pacific Convention in Sydney, the AGBJ held it’s 3-yearly Category School to train our talented pool of judges in Australia and New Zealand. We were joined by a stellar faculty in Kevin Keller (MUS), Sean Devine (SNG), Rob Mance (SNG) and Linda Vinall (CA) who ably led our judges through what was an incredibly intense but educationally enriching three days.
I want to again, thank John Faris for his tireless efforts in the creation and development of our new Scoring Software, Barbershop Organiser. Thanks also to Mark Virture for his work in developing the back end integration of this software with the BHA online database.
At the conclusion of the school we certified at total of 8 judges per scoring category and 5 judges in the Contest Administrator category across Australia and New Zealand. I want to thank each and every attendee at this years’ school who continue to volunteer their time for the betterment of our respective organisations.
We are incredibly lucky to have our very own judging program in the pan pacific region that continues to grow and evolve as the needs of our organisations change. Our judges are at the forefront of global barbershop education and I can honestly say that the future of our music making is in very safe hands!
The once-in-a-lifetime faculty included all four members of Crossroads , Jim Henry, Fred Farrell, Mike Slamka and Brandon Guyton together with visiting judges, and barbershop legends, David Krause, Rob Mance, Kevin Keller and Dale Comer.
What a great bunch of knowledgeable and likeable guys.
The sessions were full on and started on Sunday afternoon soon after everyone had arrived at the Conference Centre and carried on until around 10.30pm each evening.
The program, which was put together by Andrew Howson assisted by Dan Beckitt, included a great mix of general sessions, smaller, specialist classes and lots of personal voice instructions for both quartets and individuals.
Not surprisingly, all the available personal sessions were quickly booked up with Bec Hewitt from WA stepping in to offer additional PVI’s to those who missed out on a session with one of the faculty members.
For those of you who decided not to come to Harmony College because “you had heard it all before” boy! How wrong you were. All the sessions included new, interesting and stimulating ideas and discussions. Not to single out any one in particular but the voice coaching from Rob Mance and the various Chorus sessions with Jim Henry were outstanding.
The social side of Harmony College was also outstanding culminating in the “Showcase” on the last evening. What a night with some brilliant and unusual performances. The duet performed by Bec Hewitt and Jo Oosterhoff left us spellbound and the one man improvisation session by Brian Martin was amazing. It was so great to also share in a reunion performance by Alliance. They showed they still have it and it was great to see these guys back together again.
The best part of the evening came during the Afterglow when Crossroads sang virtually every song they knew to a spellbound late-night audience sitting on the floor around them in the foyer of the canteen. A truly magical experience.
We said our farewells on Wednesday morning and went our separate ways after a fantastic three days. I am sure all those who attended will remember it for a long time.
What a great Convention we’ve just had. Full of events and activities. The fact that everything seemed to run so smoothly was wholly due to our hard-working band of volunteers. I gave lots of accolades at the Convention to these people, but I want to put it in writing again.
A big thank you to the leader of the local team, Warren Lewis, and members of Sydney Harmony, Hills Harmony and Penrith Harmony, Jerry Harris, Alex Richards, Richard Wadick, Dick Bushell, Ros Bushell, David Farley, Tony Sykes, Guy Gibson, Phillip Powell and Mal Woods.
And a second big thank you to the BHA team, VP Events, Dan Millgate (overall management), Trevor Bruger – Treasurer (Finances & Contracts), Dan Beckitt - VP Marketing & Development (Marketing & Advertising), Kieran O’Dea - VP Youth Development (Deke Sharon workshop), Andrew Howson - VP Music (Harmony College), Alex Morris – AGBJ Chairman (Contests, Judges, & Judge’s School coordination), Paul Adams (Membership Awards), and Trevor Rootes – Secretary (Deke Sharon workshop).
Putting on a Convention like we did in Sydney is a huge effort, and it wouldn’t have been possible to do that without the help of many other volunteers, too numerous to mention individually. Thank you all. You made a difference.
Congratulations to our competitors. Without you we wouldn’t have an event like this. While there are medal and trophy winners, it is the contribution of every competitor that makes a successful Convention, so thank you all. All results are listed on the BHA website.
We now look forward to the holiday season with several fund-raising opportunities singing Christmas Carols generally available, and then a break in January to plan for 2018.
Coming up we have the BHA AGM in December and there will be some Motions necessary to change our BHA Constitution to bring it into line with new legislative requirements. There are also changes afoot to the National Council. I recently informed the BHA National Council of my intention not to re-contest the position of President at the end of this year. Of my 30 years membership of BHA (and AAMBS) I have been on the National Council in one capacity or another (e.g. VP Music, VP Events, President) for around 15 years – half my membership, with the four most recent years as President. I have been honoured to work alongside many others dedicated to developing BHA to the point where we now have a strong international profile, we are relevant to our modern and evolving society, and we “move with the times”. Thank you all for your support over the years.
I do encourage everyone to consider nominating for some sort of leadership position, whether it be in your quartet, your Club, your region, or on the National Council. Our organisations won’t run without volunteers, and they all need you! Keep Australia (and the whole world) singing!
It is hard to believe the PanPac is done and dusted. There were certainly many great highlights but the one that sticks in my mind the most is the welcome Gala Dinner. What a wonderful night that was. The camaraderie and bonhomie in that room on the night was positively uplifting and enjoyable. I heard later that the Kiwis are thinking of re-introducing this dinner to their future conventions because they were blown away what a great event it was. There were, of course, many other highlights, not the least of which was the gold medal performance from Vocal FX and the numerous performances by Crossroads. What a great bunch of guys!
The Convention proper got underway on the Thursday in the fantastic Pyrmont Theatre within the new Sydney Convention Centre. The first and second quartet semi-final sessions were held during the day followed by that wonderful Welcome Gala dinner in the evening. With an unprecedented fifty seven quartets competing in the various competitions and categories, it was necessary to hold a third quartet semi-final session on Friday morning. Following the completion of this third session the successful quartets qualifying to compete in the finals in the evening were notified.
The traditional Massed Sing was held in the Amphitheatre of Sydney’s Martin Place at midday following the third quartet semi-final. Hundreds of barbershoppers performed to the sometimes bemused and delighted lunch time crowds liberally sprinkled with “party faithful” who had come along to enjoy this rare spectacle. The appearance of Crossroads electrified the audience and almost certainly spurred on out ticket sales to the Showcase of Champions show on Saturday night.
As a prelude to the chorus competition on Saturday, the Chorus Corral was held in the Pyrmont Theatre during Friday afternoon with most Choruses informally performing in front of an appreciative audience.
Seventeen quartets lined up for the finals in the evening which were made up by the top ten PanPac finalists, the top ten BHA finalists and the top seven BHNZ finalists.
Full scoring details of all other medal winners and competing quartets can be found on the BHA website under the Contest Scores tab.
The Chorus Competition got underway at 8.30am on Saturday morning in the much larger Darling Harbour Theatre. A total of twenty five choruses performed throughout the morning and early afternoon with Chorus sizes ranging from the largest of 42 singers down to the smallest with just 10 singers.
The highlight of all conventions is generally the Showcase of Champions on the Saturday night. The PanPac show well and truly lived up to this reputation with upwards of fifteen hundred people being treated to a wonderful show of the finest in barbershop singing culminating in a once in a lifetime performance from Crossroads.
With many delegates on their way home, those remaining gathered for the farewell lunch overlooking the vibrant Darling Harbour and were again treated to excellent food, great fellowship and, yet another brilliant performance by Crossroads.
For those who attended, we are sure you all enjoyed the Convention, for those of you who were unable to attend, we hope this gives you a small taste of what a great event it was and encourage to consider coming to the Adelaide Convention in 2018.
The final official act of the Convention was for the Ceremonial Pitchpipe to be handed over by 2017 Convention Chairman Warren Lewis (left) to the incoming Chairman for the 2018 Adelaide Convention, Cam DuRieu.
Dick Bushell - Editor
|Competitors can access their photos as follows...
|When you register at the Convention you will receive, amongst other things, your Convention booklet. you may note on Page 7 of the booklet that it states all registered delegates will receive a separate ticket to attend the Showcase of Champions on Saturday night.|
Please note, this is incorrect. All registered delegates are entitled to attend the Showcase of Champions just by showing their Convention name tag to the door ushers on entry to the Darling Harbour Theatre.
Please also note, their will be no designated seating at this Concert.
|Please note that the Sunday Church Service was previously advertised as being held at St Andrews Cathedral in George Street Sydney, This has now been changed and the Sunday Church Service will be held at 8.30am at Scots Church which is located on the Corner of Margaret and York Streets in Sydney directly opposite Wynyard Park. Further details are as shown below.|
The John Little Show is an informal Concert, prior to the main Competition on Thursday and Friday, aimed at giving competing Quartets a chance to perform, on stage, in front of a supportive audience. This is a great opportunity for competing quartets to hone their skills and has always been a great show to watch since it was first introduced at the Perth Convention in 2013. As an added bonus, our visiting feature Quartet from the USA, Crossroads may make a brief appearance.
The John Little Show is being held this year on the Wednesday at 7.30pm in the Auditorium at Sydney Boys High School which is located at 556 Cleveland St, Moore Park. This can be reached by public transport (Light Rail/Bus) or a short taxi ride depending on where you were starting from. Sydney Boys High can be entered from both Cleveland Street and Anzac Parade.
The Youth A Cappella Festival led by Deke Sharon, "the father of contemporary a cappella" is also being held at Sydney Boys High on the Tuesday and Wednesday. You could go over to the School early and catch the Concert at the end of the Youth Festival running from 4.45pm to 6.00pm (ticket required, see below). This would leave you an hour and a half to grab some dinner at one of the numerous nearby restaurants before returning for the John Little at 7.30pm.
Tickets to the Youth Festival Concert can be purchased at the door. All details of the Festival can be found at www.ysihau.com. Tickets are also available from Try Booking
All registered Delegates to the Pan Pac Convention are eligible to attend the John Little Show. Non Delegates can enter by payment of a donation at the door.
A Great way to start the Convention!
To travel from the Darling Harbour precinct, take the Light Rail from Convention Station adjacent to the ICCS to Central Station then take a 339, 374 or 376 bus. Overall travel time should not exceed 20 minutes and cost is around $5.
To travel from the City, make your way to Museum Station and take the 396 bus.
Please note: All travel on Sydney public transport is ticketless and requires all travellers to have an Opal Card pre-loaded with sufficient funds to cover the cost of the trip. Opal cards can be obtained from most Newsagents and other selected retailers.
Some of the best and most memorable times to be had during our Conventions is when mixing and singing with your fellow barbershoppers during the Afterglow gatherings following each day's activities.
Informal arrangements have been made with the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel (see Convention map in article 1) to be the gathering point after the Welcome Gala Dinner on Thursday and the Quartet Final on Friday. No dedicated area has been allocated but we are assured ample room will be available for us on the 1st floor Terrace. They have also offered to discount drinks to anyone wearing a Convention Name tag.
On the Saturday evening, after the Showcase of Champions, a bar will be open in the foyer of the Darling Harbour Theatre.
|Most of the main Convention venues are within easy walking distance from one another. The following map shows the general Darling Harbour precinct. Please note, the walking distance and times indicated are from the International Convention Centre|
The only venue not covered in the above map is the Grand Hall at Sydney Boys High School which is where the John Little Quartet Show is being held on the Wednesday evening following the Youth A Cappella Festival on the Tuesday and Wednesday. (See the separate article on this show and venue.)
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.org.au|
The Massed Sing is always a feature at all Barbershop Conventions but none more so that at the Sydney Pan Pacs with the Massed Sing taking place right in the heart of Sydney in the Amphi Theatre at Martin Place at 12.30pm on the Friday. (See location map in previous article) A feature will be an appearance by the visiting feature quartet from the USA, Crossroads,
Each of the songs to be sung is listed below and will be directed by one of our very own Chorus Music Directors.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.org.au|
|Final arrangements are currently being made to facilitate webcast viewing of the major Convention Events as listed below :|
Quartet Contest - Session 1 A$10
Quartet Contest - Session 2 A$10
Quartet Contest - Session 3 A$10
All Quartet Contest Sessions A$20
Chorus Contest A$30
Showcase of Champions A$35
All of the above A$49
For Delegates only, available from 5 October A$29
Visit the Convention Website closer to the event time for details on how to view these webcasts
|If you are not singing with a Chorus we are looking for singers who would like to sing for the chorus sound check on Saturday morning. |
Would you like the chance to sing on the contest stage? Those who are not singers in a competing chorus are encouraged to gather at 8:25am Saturday in the Darling Harbour Theatre for the sound check before the chorus competition. One of the songs sung during the Massed Sing will be chosen. Please email Vicki Donnelly firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to assist advising your name & contact details.
|Please ensure that you have all read the the relevant Contest Rules and the Contestant Information for Choruses and Quartets distributed to your respective Convention Representatives. If you have not yet seen this information it can be viewed on the Convention Website.|
Evaluation schedules will be confirmed with contestants closer to the time with venue details.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.org.au|
SYDNEY A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL – OPEN TO ALL BHA MEMBERS
The Sydney A Cappella Festival lead by Deke Sharon is open to everyone.
There may be a misconception that it is a youth only event. This article is to confirm that the Festival is open to all BHA members - youth, adults, all chorus and quartet singers, music directors and and music teams. And of course, all BHA friends and supporters.
During the two days, Tuesday and Wednesday of convention week, there are classes and workshops lead by Deke Sharon, the “father of contemporary a cappella”. The details are at the FESTIVAL WEBSITE.
Festival Session Times Tuesday and Wednesday
9.30am – 12.30pm
1.30pm – 3.30pm
You can come for a day or both days. Day tickets are available at www.trybooking.com/251208. Morning and afternoon session tickets are available at the door. Prices are very reasonable.
Festival Concert - Wednesday pm
Delegates should definitely plan to attend the Wednesday 4.45pm – 6.00pm. It promises to be an outstanding concert with a number of a cappella groups who have participated in the Festival. We also expect to have some special guests.
BHA is sponsoring the Festival. Please make a commitment to participate for some time in the Festival, or to attend the Festival Concert.
Where: Sydney Boys’ High School, Cleveland Street, Moore Park, Surry Hills, NSW 2010.
A taxi fare to/from the city is around $15.
One of the many benefits of our Barbershop hobby is that when we travel, we are able to visit the rehearsals of our fellow Barbershop groups whilst travelling. I have been travelling throughout Europe and have found most groups are only too happy to host foreign visitors.
It is not always easy to get to a rehearsal however, for various reasons. It is of course courtesy to request permission and like in Australia, a reply is not always prompt enough to take advantage of your travel window. Just as in Australia, groups have competition and performance priorities and may cancel a rehearsal as a result.
I had received permission to join choruses in Rotterdam and East Ealing but without a car at that time and not being familiar with routes I was not able to attend. However, when all circumstances favourably aligned I was able to get to the rehearsal of Major Oaks Chorus in Nottingham led capably by MD Andy Salter.
The joy at being able to sing alongside fellow ‘barbershoppers’ for at least part of the rehearsal was a wonderful experience. The camaraderie and hospitality was first class with a little gentle ribbing coming my way and of course returned in good humour.
To know that my joy at being there was also shared by the men enjoying my presence and in conversation later at the pub. I believe I had not only opened my eyes to these opportunities but also the eyes of some of the men of Major Oak Chorus. A few expressed an interest in visiting a chorus in Australia so if you have some visitors please make them welcome!
BHA Club of the Year Award, and Chorus Member of the Year Award
With so much great work happening throughout our organisation we need to take every opportunity to recognise the clubs and individuals that are leading the way for Barbershop in Australia. In this spirit we encourage every club in BHA to participate via the BHA Club of the Year, and Chorus Member of the Year.
BHA Club of the Year
We are justifiably proud of the efforts made by all clubs to promote the objectives of Barbershop within Australia. Designed to recognise those clubs at the forefront of these efforts, the BHA Club of the Year is an annual award, coordinated by the Vice President Membership and adjudicated by a special Committee of representatives appointed by the BHA Council.
The BHA Club of the Year Award is assessed against a wide range of criteria that speak to the impact clubs have for their members and communities, and the demonstrated excellence in the many functions that drive successful outcomes.
Full details on the process for nomination has been sent to each club, so if you think your club has lead from the front and supported Barbershop in Australia by those efforts, speak to your club committee about putting in a nomination.
Full details are available from the BHA Executive Officer, Jeannie Hattendorf (email@example.com), and nominations must be received by close of business on Friday 8th September, 2017.
Chorus Member of the Year
All Clubs appreciate having committed members who are willing to go the extra mile, and the "Chorus Member of the Year" is a timely opportunity for Clubs to show the tremendous gratitude that we have for those who tirelessly contribute to the success of every Club.
This important acknowledgement is designed to allow Clubs throughout BHA to take an opportunity to more publicly recognise a member for outstanding service and accomplishments as a member of your Club and as a member of Barbershop Harmony Australia. The criteria for the selection of their Chorus Member of the Year is up to each Club to determine.
We encourage every club to nominate their Chorus Member of the Year to enable each member to be acknowledged at the Welcome Dinner, where those present will be asked to stand up to accept the well-deserved recognition of their fellow barbershoppers.
This person’s name and a brief description of their efforts should be forwarded to the BHA Executive Officer, Jeannie Hattendorf (firstname.lastname@example.org), also by Friday 8th September, 2017.
BHA continues to review our overall recognition frameworks and we are looking to enhance this area in the next 12 months with further exciting initiatives that will be the subject of consultation with members later this year.
I look forward to seeing you in Sydney.
Vice President - Membership
The BHA National Council is pleased to announce an exciting addition to the BHA recognition framework that includes Chorus Member of the Year, Club of the Year and Life Membership.
A new addition to our recognition framework
The BHA Medal recognises an individual’s exemplary contribution to the advancement of barbershop in Australia. The award is made for sustained outstanding leadership, innovation, influence or initiative development, which has resulted in an exemplary, transparent and publicly evident advancement of BHA.
It will be awarded to a current BHA member in good standing who has consistently “put in” for barbershop, to be recognised nationally for the sustained contribution the nominee has done for the organisation, chorus, quartet, community, friends or behind the scenes. In limited circumstances, individuals may also be considered for nomination whilst no longer an active member due to retirement on the basis of incapacity.
The award is kindly sponsored by Derek Cosburn, who said “Since my first introduction to barbershop singing at Dreamworld in about 1981-2, I have been the recipient of a quite a few medals during the time I’ve been involved and I have, for a number of years, had the thought that I’d like to give back in some small way. I would like to help in the promotion of a medal that I’d hope would have some meaning to the recipient, and to all members within our society who may not attain one through singing, but deserve one because of other efforts.”
Nomination for the BHA Medal must be made in writing and may come from individual BHA members, Regional or Club Committees. Nominations will be assessed by a subcommittee of BHA members appointed by the BHA Council, and when awarded the BHA Medal will be presented at the next available national convention.
Full details have been emailed to all BHA members but are also available below. These nominations must be received by the BHA Executive Officer, Jeannie Hattendorf (email@example.com), by close of business on Friday 8th September, 2017.
A Life Member may be nominated for the BHA Medal, as the criteria used to award the Life Membership are not the same used to award the BHA Medal. Life membership still remains BHA’s highest honour and award.
The BHA Council wishes to thank Derek Cosburn for his contribution in proposing the concept and ongoing support in bringing the award to fruition.
We recently had a very successful membership drive with 20 fresh faces on day one converting to 10 people auditioning to join our chorus after the five week programme.
The first night was nearly overwhelming with as many new singers as regular members in attendance!
This is a significantly better result than our efforts in prior years and I thought it appropriate to share some of the thinking and planning behind our programme this year which may be of benefit to other groups.
Social media is potentially an attractive platform for advertising but it will miss a lot of folk who don’t use facebook and twitter etc. That doesn’t mean social media isn’t useful but based on the feedback from the new guys, we got more results from our advertising with the corflutes (road signs) we had printed.
Regarding the corflutes, here’s a few tips we think got us bang for buck:
We have tried free programmes as recommended by the BHS Ready, Set, Sing! programme with limited success in prior years. I believe one of the reasons we get a different result in Australia from the USA is that a greater percentage of men attend church in the USA and sing at sporting games and are therefore more used to singing in public, whereas men singing publicly in Australia tends to be limited to shouting along to a band with a few drinks under the belt.
We chose to make the first night free and then charged $40 for the remaining four weeks. The thinking behind this is that a typical Aussie will see an advertisement for free lessons or a free show and think ‘hmm it’s gotta be pretty ordinary for it to be free’. Charging money raises the ‘Perceived Value’ of what is being offered and seems to have attracted some better singers for us.
We made the first night free as the first round of winnowing out those that were not likely to be capable of continuing and give people an opportunity to opt out if they decided it wasn’t for them. This is also important as dragging someone through a programme where they will clearly not be successful at the end doesn’t help anyone.
Our musical director Dan Bennett chose an a cappella ballad in three parts and an upbeat polecat as the songs to be taught over the programme. Barbershop was mentioned only in passing to explain the different voice parts and to explain some of the awesome sound produced as the guys locked and rang some chords. Many of the experienced new singers had not heard this in their previous singing experience.
We took the time to follow up with each new person each week to ensure the programme was meeting their expectations. We had some drop away after the first night but around 15 people continued with the chargeable part of the programme. This was a nice bit of chorus revenue which covered our advertising costs.
In the fifth week we put on a show for family and friends. We fleshed it out to 60 minutes including performances by the chorus, three quartets and, of course, two songs with our new members. The audience seemed very appreciative of the great singing and also of seeing their loved ones perform.
We ended up with around ten men auditioning to continue with the chorus. So far five have passed audition, some have been unsuccessful and more in progress. And yes, they know they’re joining a barbershop chorus!
I hope this helps you get more people on the risers!
Sound Connection participated in the BHS International Convention in July. The convention took place in Las Vegas, across the Planet Hollywood, Paris and Bally’s casinos. The lead up to Convention was exciting enough as we had members coming from all over the USA and directly from Australia on the Monday and Tuesday. Many members had taken advantage of the school holidays and did some exploring prior to Convention, while the balance of the chorus arrived on the same flight, with the same connections. Well, that was the plan. The plane from Australia arrived late into LAX and everyone missed their connecting flights. Some were squeezed onto slightly later flights, some waited nearly 12 hours and some took the opportunity to hire a car and do a road trip!
After all the excitement getting into Las Vegas we were looking forward to getting into town and relaxing until our performance. That never really happened. Las Vegas is complete madness and the buzz associated with an International Convention is huge. All of the stars from the world of barbershop are there, along with thousands of Joe Barbershoppers (like us) and there is always something on. When there’s nothing on, there are tags. And then the sun comes up and you need to get some sleep before the daily rehearsal session.
In the end we didn’t put on the performance we hoped to. The whole week took most of us back to that feeling you had when you attended your first BHA National Convention. We walked on stage, the lights, the buzz and the thousands of faces were waiting for us. We blinked and it was over. Despite initially being a little disappointed that we didn’t do our best, the overall feeling was one of real gratitude for the opportunity and a burning desire to come back and taste that experience again.
I’m sure that every single one of our members would recommend a trip to the International Convention for anybody that loves barbershop music, or indeed anyone that just loves music. Apart from everything else that happens at Convention, the consistent level of performance is something to be seen and heard. The passion, emotion and intensity in some of the performances has to be seen live.
We would like to thank all of those that helped to get us to Las Vegas and we look forward to someday doing it again. We’d also like to thank our barbershop brothers Ian, Dan, Rob, Richard and Darin for singing with us on the risers in Las Vegas.
David Reid – President
The big news, if you haven’t heard it, is that Blindside, our 2016 BHA National Champion Quartet finished 3rd in the BHS International Youth Quartet contest and 22nd overall in the BHS International Open Quartet contest. The best results by a BHA quartet so far! A big shout out to The Blenders chorus who have supported Blindside over the years, and continue to do so.
Our other Open quartet contestant at International, Lockout, also did a fine job, and they introduced two great new songs into the barbershop repertoire, which were highly regarded by everyone in the audience.
Congratulations also to Sound Connection who competed for the first time on the international stage. As I said in my last report, I was honoured to be asked to compete with Sound Connection. As one of the top 30 choruses in the world they can be very proud, and it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved.
We really have put Australian barbershop on the international map, and I am so proud to have been a part of this. Every single competitor we had at International was a tremendous ambassador for BHA.
Closer to home, our Pan Pac Convention in Sydney in September is fast approaching. I encourage you all to attend. Not only will you be seeing and hearing the best quartets and choruses in Australia, but also New Zealand and Japan will be there. We’ve had enquiries from further abroad and we hope there will be a real “international” feel to Pan Pac. Make every effort to get there and be part of it.
A short list of the events: John Little Show, Welcome Dinner, Quartet Semi-Final, Chorus Corral, Quartet Final, Chorus Contest, Showcase Concert, Church Service, BHA Forum, and Farewell Lunch. And of course, our International Champion headline quartet Crossroads!
Harmony University then comes straight after Convention, and will be a superb three-day education event also not to be missed.
As is our tradition, we will be presenting membership awards at the Welcome Dinner to the Convention. These include pins to 25-year members, the prestigious Club of the Year Award, Club Man of the Year Award (for each Club), and a new award called the BHA Medal (see article elsewhere in this newsletter).
Keep Australia (and the whole world) singing!
|Chorus Corral (similar to the World Harmony Jamboree) is a chance for around 16 attending choruses to perform before the big contest in a friendly, informal atmosphere. The Chorral will be held on Friday 29 September 2017 starting at 2pm in the Pyrmont Theatre at the International Convention Centre.|
Choruses who wish to participate in this event should now send an Expression of Interest to the BHA President, Ian Mulholland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preference will first be given to choruses who have not previously won a medal at BHA contest. There are places for 15 choruses to perform - 10 minute performance time slot. Get in quick!
|Registrations for the Pan Pacific Convention need to close well prior to the actual Convention dates to enable catering and logistics to be finalised. If you have not already registered there is only just over a week left so don't miss out. Registrations, which close on Wednesday 6 September 2017, can be made through the Convention website or by clicking directly on this link.|
There will be two chorus rehearsal rooms available for use by competing choruses on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September.
Both rooms will be fully equiped with seven sets of four step risers and will be available for use from 8am to 5pm each day in 1 hour blocks of time (plus a 10 minute changeover time). It is expected these rooms will be in high demand and time allocations will need to be fairly distributed amongst the Australian, New Zealand and Japanese Choruses who want to make use of them.
Each Chorus requesting the use of one of these rooms will be allocated a one hour session although it can't be assured that your requested time will be available. Every effort will be made to allocate a time as close as possible to your requested time. If a second session is desired, these will be allocated once all choruses, who have requested a time, have been allocated their first hour. Any times still available after the two rounds of allocations will be advertised on the Convention website and will be available on a first-come basis
Cost for these rooms will be $100 per one hour slot payable directly to BHA.
To apply for the use of one of these rehearsal rooms please email Dick Bushell on email@example.com indicating your requirements and preference for times.
PLEASE NOTE : We are aware that some choruses have already indicated their requirements but it would be appreciated if you would resubmit any requests made prior to this notification to make sure everyone covered.
Applications will close on the 31 August with the final time allocations advised soon their after.
Convention merchandise is now available for ordering from the Convention website.
Head to the Merchandise tab of the Convention website and order away!
Please note, to allow time for manufacturing, no further orders will be received after Wednesday 6 September 2017.
Sydney Convention T-shirt - A$25.00
Congratulations to all quartets who have qualified through our Regional contests for the Pan Pac Convention in Sydney in September. To those who missed out, my sincere commiserations. I’m sure our expert judging panels have given all groups plenty of “food for thought” of what things to work on going forward so that you can enjoy your signing even more.
It was a busy time for your scribe, being involved in three quartets and one chorus. I know there are other members who possibly sing in more groups, and I know how exhausting it can be sometimes – but it’s all great fun right?
I am honoured to have been asked to sing as a guest with our champion chorus, Sound Connection, in next month’s International contest in Las Vegas. They have picked some challenging, but wonderful songs, and I’m sure they’ll do extremely well (despite my singing). I also extend every member’s best wishes to our two competing quartets, Blindside (competing in Youth and Open) and Lockout (competing in Open). We know you will do well, and come back full of new ideas and information to share.
And then it won’t be long to our Pan Pac Convention in Sydney in September. Our delegate numbers are strong, and we thank you all for supporting the Convention, which can be a nervous time for your National Council hoping that the member numbers stack up and we don’t lose money. The Convention business these days is big bucks. You’ll be interested to know that we expect turn-over of around $300,000.
Don’t forget to sign up for Harmony University straight after the Convention. The teaching faculty, including the members of Crossroads, are amongst the world’s finest. You will learn so much and have such a good time. How can you even consider missing it?
Elsewhere in this newsletter there is a report on the feedback we received regarding the chorus category contests (currently done by size). There was quite a divergence of responses, so the Council will keep thinking about this issue before any action is taken.
Your Secretary and I have been working on re-casting our Constitution to meet the requirements of the new Act. Soon we’ll have a draft out for members to review and eventually vote on.
Keep Australia (and the whole world) singing!
Make your Sydney Convention experience complete by participating in the A Cappella Festival conducted by BHA, for some time during the Tuesday and Wednesday of Convention week.
There are classes and workshops all led by Deke Sharon, the “father of contemporary A Cappella”. The details are at the FESTIVAL WEBSITE.
The Festival is open to everyone – youth, students, adults, singers in choirs and ensembles, music directors and music teachers. And of course all BHA members and friends.
Each day, there are three sessions (10.00am – 12noon, 1.00pm – 3.00pm, 4.00pm – 6.00pm). Each session includes classes lead by Deke, as well as a chance for groups to receive feed back from Deke. He will also work with ensembles and choirs to help refine their sound.
You can come for a day or both days. Day tickets are available at www.trybooking.com/251208. .
Session tickets will be available at the door each day.
Delegates should definitely plan to attend the Wednesday 4.00pm – 6.00pm session which happens just before the John Little Show, at the same venue – Sydney Boys High School. (There are lots of nearby venues for dinner before the John Little Show at 7.30pm).
Please have a look at the FESTIVAL WEBSITE.
Make a commitment now to join in the BHA sponsored Sydney A Cappella Festival for some time during Convention week.
Entry for the Pan Pacific, BHA & BHNZ contests are now available online.
We are introducing a new contest management system that requires all entries to be completed on-line by one representative member of each quartet or chorus. This will include nominating songs that are going to be sung, confirmation of the members of a quartet and, in the case of a chorus, those members who will be singing on stage. A link to the contest entry website can be found in the Convention website https://www.barbershopconvention.com.au under the 2017 Convention tab or by entering http://contests.barbershop.org.au directly into your browser.
One very important matter that must be attended to before entries can be completed is that all singers listed in the quartet / chorus must be registered as convention delegates. (Chorus lists can be added to up until Sept 1st)
BHA and BHNZ Quartets who have qualified, are eligible to enter the relevant contests as per qualification. Entry into a PanPac contest section, will automatically also enter you into the relevant BHA or BHNZ contest (eg entry in the Pan Pac Open Quartet will automatically include the BHA or BHNZ quartet competitions.
There is a couple of steps you need to be aware of as you commence the entry process. You will need to set up a username and password on the contests website. This is separate from either the BHA or BHNZ websites or from the main part of the convention website. You will be asked for your surname, BH membership ID and the email address with which you are registered on either the BHA or BHNZ websites. You pick the username and password for use on the Contests website.
In the case of BHA members, the BH membership ID is your BHA membership ID. For BHNZ members, it is the User ID for the BHNZ website + 100000. For those from outside New Zealand or Australia, it has been generated from the convention delegate list and has no other meaning.
BHA members should know their BHA ID, but those from outside Australia are welcome to contact Linda Vinall (firstname.lastname@example.org) or John Faris (email@example.com) for their BH member ID. Please note that your surname, BH member ID and the email address registered with your BHA membership, BHNZ membership or, in the case of those from outside New Zealand or Australia, their main convention registration, must all match.
Usernames cannot contain spaces. Passwords must be at least 8 characters in length and contain at least one upper case letter, one lower case letter and a digit.
Once you have selected the submit button to request a login, you will be notified that you have been sent an email to allow you to complete the user account registration process. Click on the link in the email to do so.
Once the account is established, return to the login screen and proceed with the entry process.
The online system is designed so that anyone on any device or platform can complete the entry.
You will be emailed a confirmation which will include printable documents. Whilst you are able to print them you do not need to send them onto the relevant CA. At the convention, the CA briefing you will countersign this paper work (provided by the CA’s). An automated receipt of entry is sent to designated CA's at the same time you receive your confirmation email.
Once the entries close, a draw will be completed and communicated on the website. Further details will be emailed to the individual who has submitted the entry on behalf of the quartet / chorus.
Further help on the registration process is available on the Contests website under the About menu.
For those of you who have been fortunate enough to see the Tokyo Barbers Chorus perform previously, you will need no reminder on what a fantastic and entertaining bunch of guys they are. For those of you who have not yet had this pleasure, you are in for a treat because they are coming to Sydney to participate in the 2017 Pan Pac Convention. Aside from being the most delightful guys you could ever hope to meet, their performances are always unique and enjoyable. Don't miss out on meeting and seeing this terrific Chorus.
|Late in April, a paper regarding Chorus Size and Contest Scores was distributed to all members. Discussion centred around small, medium and large chorus awards or alternatively grade based awards.|
Responses were received until June 3.
Attached is a copy of the original paper, also a summary of members' responses.
While there was support for a grade-based system, there was also significant support for maintaining the status quo.
The BHA National Council will continue to consider this issue and will take no action this year to change the current system.
|Late in April, a paper regarding Chorus Size and Contest Scores was distributed to all members. Discussion centred around small, medium and large chorus awards or alternatively grade based awards.|
Responses were received until June 3.
Attached is a summary of members' responses.
While there was support for a grade-based system, there was also significant support for maintaining the status quo.
The BHA National Council will continue to consider this issue and will take no action this year to change the current system.
|For more information, see:||sydneyonbusiness.com.au/|
Our panel of BHA and BHNZ judges have finished reviewing all the entries for the Pan-Pacific Medal Design Contest and the results are in! After much deliberation we can announce that the recipient of two VIP registrations to the 2017 Pan-Pacific contest in Sydney is Avery Vaughn! Avery's design will now go through some final tweaking before it is sent off to the medal producers to become a part of Barbershop Harmony Australia and Barbershop Harmony New Zealand history.
As we enter our “season” of regional contests, it’s a busy time for Australian barbershoppers.
There will be Regional contests held in Sunshine, Central, Victorian, Eastern and Western Regions, held as qualifying contests for our National contest in September to be held at the Pan Pacific Convention in Sydney. A big vote of thanks to our judges and CA’s, and of course Chairman of Judges Alex Morris, for making this all happen so seamlessly.
I had the honour to be a judge at the recent Central Region contest in Adelaide. The preparation and performance of the quartets and choruses was impressive! All groups were eager to receive feedback from judges, and successful workshops were also held, making it a fabulous weekend of barbershop for all involved.
My view is that the whole build up to contest encourages your group to work harder, with some focus, and that’s a good thing. You can be motivated to rehearse and you have a goal. Successful people and teams have goals. They make practical and achievable plans to reach their goals.
A great example of this happened last year when my chorus, Vocal Evolution, was planning its contest songs for Newcastle. We had chosen our songs earlier in the year and even performed them at International. Then, 3 weeks out from Newcastle we finally got word that the copyright permission for our up-tune had not been granted. It was a major setback and a crisis.
Instead of complaining and whingeing about this (which we were probably entitled to do), we just accepted it and got straight into planning an alternative. We didn’t have another contest up-tune in our repertoire that we could just slot in. So our Music Team got mobilised. Lots of emails began flying about and lots of ideas. What could we do? A key point was that every comment was positive.
Within 24 hours a plan had evolved. We’d use an up tempo song that we had been working on and make it a parody about copyright. It came together in about 2 days. Everyone contributed, some ideas were cast aside, no egos were involved, and we had our new contest song. We had the music ready to send to the guys on Friday and by Monday’s rehearsal everyone showed up knowing it. It was a triumph of planning, effort and coordination.
This is a great example of how to positively approach a contest. That experience has drawn our chorus even closer together than we were. We all shared that adversity and we all stood up to it, and made a plan to conquer it. Next time your contest score is lower than you think it should have been, just think about making a plan to ensure that next time it will be higher. Get advice from the judges and execute a good plan. We’re all here to help you.
If your group doesn’t go to contest I think you are missing out on a lot. Sure, you may not be able to afford or undertake the travel to National contest, but you can go along to your Regional contest and get just as much out of it. You can set some goals, learn some songs, learn more about barbershop, and share your love of our hobby with others in your Region. Give it a go!
Our BHA Music VP, Andrew Howson, has assembled an impressive national education faculty (NEF), and it is Council’s plan to roll out educator visits to every Club and chorus during the next year. It won’t cost you anything except perhaps a billet of the coach for a night to so while they are visiting. Apart from that the NEF members are donating their time for free. Watch out for this new initiative, which has been a great success in the Sweet Adelines organisation.
Youth members I’m sure are looking forward to the Deke Sharon workshops in Sydney in September with great anticipation. After all, Deke is world famous, and we’re so lucky to have him coming out to run two days of workshops in modern A Cappella singing. Deke is also a Life member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, so he knows barbershop too! BHA Secretary Trevor Rootes, and BHA Youth VP Kieran O’Dea are organising Deke’s visit, so if you have any questions please drop them a line.
There is a huge amount of planning and effort going into the Pan Pacific Convention in Sydney, and I want to thank BHA Events VP Dan Millgate, and local organising coordinator Warren Lewis (and his team) for the fantastic effort they are putting in. When you see them in Sydney please make a special effort to thank them.
Good luck in the coming contests to all, and I hope to see as many of you as possible in Sydney in September!
HarmonySite, the easiest to use chorus-management tool in the world, is going from strength to strength. Recent sign-ups include Toronto Northern Lights and A Cappella Showcase (current Harmony Inc champions), as well as dozens of BHS and SAI choruses in North America and the UK. The latest release is out, with dozens of improvements.
What is HarmonySite, you ask? It's a gorgeous, mobile-ready website for your chorus, plus a comprehensive chorus and member-management system, plus a full member communications suite (emails, mailing lists and SMS). Most of the choruses in BHA use HarmonySite already, and can attest to how easy it is to use, and how much it reduces the admin overhead within a typical club.
BHA itself uses HarmonySite, for its website and member database, fully integrated with the HarmonySites of each club in the country. It even powers the convention website.
BHA is keen to get every club in Australia using HarmonySite, to further reduce the workload of each club's admin team, and the admin team of BHA itself.
For more information, visit www.harmonysite.com, or contact Mark Virtue on 0411 170517, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Sykes from Sydney Harmony contributed to an online story about Barbershop Quartet Day which was published recently on the Australian news & opinion website The Big Smoke. It includes videos of quartets Signature and Ringmasters and Blindside gets a mention.
|A reminder to all members that if you are purchasing items from the BHS Shop (music, clothing, audio, merchandise, books etc) you are entitled to a 25% discount off the retail price.|
Just enter the 2017 Affiliate Discount Code - 2017AFF25 - at checkout for your discount.
See their full range at http://shop.barbershop.org/
|Barbershop Harmony Australia (BHA) is starting up a new program to send skilled individuals to every club once a year to aid our choruses in developing their skills musically, vocally, in performance as well as offering organisational guidance and mentoring. We want to be able to touch base with our members and provide a forum to engage with BHA leadership. This group of individuals will be known as the Education Faculty and the visit will be of no cost to your club. Like any coach coming to visit, you will need to provide food, accommodation and transport for the duration of the visit.|
The Education Faculty Program has been run for many years, very successfully, by Sweet Adeline’s International. We want to take advantage of this great initiative and run this program as well. We look forward to giving our members more opportunity to engage with BHA leadership and provide easy access to more education. This program will also allow us to gather information from the membership that will provide us with much needed data to help the BHA Council devise outstanding events for the membership.
Before we can get started on sending Education Faculty to our clubs, the council needs to develop the Education Faculty team. If you are interested in giving back to our organisation and think you have something to offer this team, we are now taking applications. Simply click on this link and fill out the online application form for the BHA Education Faculty. You will need to also email your Music Resume to email@example.com.
All applicants will need to meet the following criteria:
The deadline for receiving applications will be on the 31st March 2017.
Vice President, Music
Barbershop Harmony Australia
The 2017 Pan-Pacific Convention website is now open and ready to accept registrations for both the Convention and the Harmony University which will immediately follow the Convention.
This promises to be one of the most exciting Barbershop Conventions and Harmony Universities ever held in the region. Aside from the anticipated high level of performances and the rare fellowship opportunities it will provide, highlights will also include the amazing, just completed, performance venue and the exciting Darling Harbour precinct surrounding the centre.
In addition to the Pan-Pac competition, both BHA and BHNZ will be concurrently holding their respective National Competitions including Australian and New Zealand open, seniors, mixed and youth barbershop choruses and quartets all sharing the same stage in a series of competitions promising to be the most inclusive convention ever.
How about jumping online now and registering?
Oh, and by the way, don't forget to check out the great accommodation on offer. Don't leave it to the last minute and find all the good locations booked out.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.com.au|
I would like to remind everybody that a Memorial service for Linc Abbott is scheduled for this coming Saturday, March 18th at 2.30pm. Metropolitan Funeral, 224 Newnham Road, Mt Gravatt.
The family has asked that the gathered barbershoppers sing 2 x 2 sets of songs during the service with three of the songs being Linc's arrangements of:
"I Still Call Australia Home", "The Irish Blessing" and "My Country" and the fourth one of Linc's favourite polecats "Shine On Me"
Thank you to all who have provided material for the audio visual presentation to play during the memorial. If there are any more contributions of video footage or scanned photo/clippings, as time is running out, please send to my email as soon as possible and I will forward it on.
|This contest is now closed.|
A big thank you to all entrants in the Design a Medal contest, and congratulations to AVERY VAUGHN, the winner of a free VIP double registration to the 2017 Pan-Pacific contest and convention in Sydney, 28 September 2017 to 1 October 2017.
This contest is now closed.
A big thank you to all entrants in the Design a Medal contest, and congratulations to AVERY VAUGHN, the winner of a free VIP double registration to the 2017 Pan-Pacific contest and convention in Sydney, 28 September 2017 to 1 October 2017.
Recently the BHA National Council (the “Council”) met for its annual face to face meeting, this time in Adelaide, so that the facilities for the 2018 Convention could be inspected. All Councillors attended and a wide ranging discussion was had. Key points are listed below.
The Council encourages comments and input from members on any of the topics discussed, or even not discussed. Please contact the Secretary with your input.
The meeting began with a Strategy Discussion, with a number of questions considered:
WHAT is Barbershop Harmony Australia?
HOW can we most effectively promote BHA?
Strong clubs with strong musical leadership underpin our organisation and are the conduit for:
BHA National Council Guiding Principles:
The key outcome from all of this is that the Club is our most important conduit to new members and communication with members. Our chorus music directors are incredibly important, not only in guiding our music, but attracting and retaining members.
We then discussed initiatives in the various portfolios.
The Secretary noted that he mostly receives communications from Clubs and members regarding renewal of membership and re-registration of quartets etc. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the process involved (although the forms are all on the BHA website). One possible cause could be the annual turn-over of Club Secretaries, with the incoming person not familiar with the process, and not receiving guidance from the outgoing Secretary.
Quartets too, do not seem to understand the need to re-register each year. Members, Clubs and quartets who do not re-register are not covered for insurance or performing rights, and are not eligible to participate in BHA affairs, including contests. Re-registering with BHA every year is essential.
The other issue we considered were the dates of the membership year. Currently these are 1 October to 30 September, but most Clubs operate on an annual basis, so a calendar year would make more sense.
Under Membership we considered communication issues that seem to continue. Despite Council’s best efforts, via this newsletter, it seems many of our members do not bother to read it. It potentially leads to a misunderstanding of what your Council does for you. While we occasionally undertake surveys of members to get feedback, we now also plan to undertake a process whereby each Councillor will contact three or four Clubs to discuss your issues and your ideas. That will roll out sometime in the next month or two.
We also want to help Clubs with access to contemporary repertoire, assist those Clubs who feel they have inadequate structures and processes for promoting membership, and we want to encourage clubs to help each other more.
Marketing is all about communication, with Clubs and with the public. Some of you will have noticed the new format for our bi-monthly newsletter, In Harmony. Apparently the format has not suited everyone, but we do feel it has been well received by the majority of members.
Addressing member communications and noting that many members still do not appear to read In Harmony, it was decided that:
We are also getting very active on social media, but a number of “unofficial” Facebook pages have sprung up, all representing BHA, and these need to be amalgamated into the one page. We will also undertake an upgrade of our BHA website to make it more user-friendly.
HarmonySite continues to be an excellent platform for our Clubs, especially since it shares information with the BHA website, therefore minimising Club secretarial work in maintaining membership records. BHA continues to support and recommend HarmonySite to Clubs.
Another marketing issue discussed was building our archive and promoting our brand through media such as YouTube. BHS is now doing this very successfully. Many of our early Conventions were recorded on video, so these will be digitised and displayed on BHA’s own YouTube channel.
Finally, our external communications need to have pertinent messages that describe who we are and what we do. The Council brainstormed some ideas on this, including: “fun, changing men’s singing culture, inclusiveness, men’s health benefits, contemporary music, inspiring music, benefits of barbershop in every school, Australia’s most recognizable music/vocal organisation, it’s cool to be a barbershopper”. If you have any ideas to add, please send them through!
In the Events portfolio, we are very squarely focussed on the forthcoming Pan Pac Convention and Harmony University in Sydney in September. The Convention will be preceded by two days of workshops with Deke Sharon, the “father” of modern a cappella singing. These workshops will be open and free to all BHA Youth members. BHA full members can purchase tickets for the two days for $50.
The Council considered and approved the Convention program and budget. Key points are:
Dates: Thursday 28 September to Sunday 1 October 2017
Venue: International Convention Centre Sydney (ICCS)
Registration Cost: Early Bird (by 31 May 2017) $360 delegate, $340 partner Full (after 31 May 2017) $420 delegate, $400 partner
No Youth discount because of the free Deke Sharon workshops
There are many hotels in the Darling Harbour district of Sydney and a list of these can be found here www.darlingharbour.com/stay/. The “headquarters” hotel will be the Oaks Goldsborough. Our Welcome Gala event is included in registration, and will be held at the fabulous Doltone House, a short 10 minute walk from the ICCS. At this stage only delegates and partner delegates will be able to attend the Welcome Gala. There may be separate ticketing available later, but that will depend on delegate numbers.
Our Harmony University will be held at the Naamaroo Conference Centre in Lan Cove, close to the city. Details are:
Dates: Sunday 1 to Wednesday 4 October 2017
Venue: Naamaroo Conference Centre, Lane Cove
Registration Cost: $340 per person
After Sydney, our next Conventions will be Adelaide (2018) and Hobart (2019). The next Pan Pac will be in Auckland in 2020.
The Council continues to be concerned about the Regional Contest weekends being held. Some involve an educational component but others do not. Providing the judges for these events is a major item in our annual budget, and these educators have agreed to be available for educational workshops. It is clearly the best use of member’s funds if an educational event is attached.
A review of the current regional structure is planned to determine if it is the most sensible and efficient way to run these events, and the local affairs of BHA in the regions.
In the Contest area, we voted to bring us into accord with the other world Affiliates by changing the rule for mixed quartets from a two and two (“2 + 2”) male/female mix to a three and one (“3 + 1”) male/female mix. This will allow our BHNZ contestants to join in the Pan Pac mixed quartet contest. We will review this rule for National contests in 2018 and 2019 after the Pan Pac contest. Rules of mixed choruses (i.e. 60/40) will still apply.
Our triennial judge training school will take place in Sydney from Sunday 24 to Tuesday 26 September. This school re-trains and certifies our existing judges as well as new candidates who have been in training programs for a year or more. Participation is by invitation only. Contact the Chairman of Judges for more information.
We continue to have great aspirations in the Music education portfolio. Last year we offered some scholarships to Harmony College, and these will continue. We will re-brand our college as Harmony University, and offer five (5) scholarships (worth $340 each) to members to attend. We are also offering five (5) Harmony University scholarships (worth $340 each) to school music teachers who undertake to use barbershop music as part of their school learning program. Application forms will soon be available on the BHA website.
A new initiative to be brought in this year will be the establishment of a National Education faculty (NEF), who will undertake annual visits to Clubs. These coaches will be trained to support clubs with coaching, management structure matters, etc., and will report back to Council on Club status so that further assistance can be planned if necessary. Our aim is that every Club will receive an annual visit at no cost except for the provision of local transport and billet accommodation. This is a similar program to that run by the Sweet Adelines.
The Deke Sharon workshops will undoubtedly be the highlight of the Youth Development program this year. Many of you will have heard of Deke. He is regarded as the leader of modern a cappella music, but he is also an honorary life member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The workshops will run in Sydney on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 September. Entry and participation will be free to all Youth members as part of their Convention registration. BHA members >25 years old can attend and observe with a day ticket for $30, or a two day ticket for $50. It will be an event not to be missed!
We are also looking at other opportunities to promote barbershop singing in schools with attendance at the annual Australian Society of Music Educators conference in July planned. We are also planning to contact every school in the Sydney area to promote the Deke Sharon workshops and barbershop in general. Over the next year or two, we hope to roll that school contact out to every school in Australia. But we need help with this. If you have some time (you don’t have to be a Youth member) to help us compile lists of music teachers, please contact the VP Youth Development.
As far as Finances and Treasury goes, we are now back on our feet after our “near death” experience following the Perth Convention. We certainly hope that never happens again, and that Eastern states members will support a Convention in Perth from time to time, just as our Western state members continually support conventions in the Eastern states. We have approved significant budgets for music education, youth development, marketing, membership and contest and judging. At this stage the Council considers these programs are an efficient and beneficial use of members’ funds replacing the previous regional subsidies that were paid.
Running Conventions is a significant financial risk to BHA and members’ support is necessary if these are to continue to be viable.
So a very successful annual face to face meeting was held. If you have any questions please contact the Secretary who will direct the question to the appropriate Council member.
The Sydney 2017 Pan-Pac Convention is to be held in the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour from Wednesday 27 September 2017 to Sunday lunchtime 1 October 2017. This will be immediately followed by Harmony University at Naamaroo Conference Centre, Lane Cove from Sunday afternoon 1 October 2017 to Wednesday 4 October 2017. This promises to be one of the most exciting Barbershop Conventions and Harmony Universities ever held in the region. Aside from the anticipated high level of performances and the rare fellowship opportunities it will provide, highlights will also include the amazing, just completed, performance venue and the exciting Darling Harbour precinct surrounding the centre.
In addition to the Pan-Pac competition, both BHA and BHNZ will be concurrently holding their respective National Competitions including Australian and New Zealand open, seniors, mixed and youth barbershop choruses and quartets all sharing the one stage in a series of integrated competitions promising to be the most inclusive convention ever.
The Harmony University at the nearby Sydney suburb of Lane Cove (a short drive of around 30 minutes from the Convention Centre) will offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with a faculty of top Barbershop educators .
The Convention website and registration information will be up and running within the next few weeks.
Definitely a Convention and Harmony University not to be missed!
MR BARBERSHOP HARMONY AUSTRALIA, Linc Abbott, passed away on Monday, February 27, 2017. Many long standing barbershoppers called Linc this name because of the massive contribution he made to the introduction, expansion and development of the barbershop harmony movement during the first 25 years of barbershop harmony here in Australia.
Linc came to Australia with his family in 1972 and brought significant experience in barbershop harmony obtained in Maine, USA where he began as a chorus member and quickly became the musical director of the DOWNEASTERS CHORUS located in Yarmouth, Maine.
When Linc came to the Gold Coast, Queensland he quickly organized a barbershop quartet named DREAMWORLD QUARTET and it became very popular roaming and entertaining the crowds at the DREAM WORLD Amusement Park on the Gold Coast. The popularity of this quartet led to his organizing the BANANA BLENDERS BARBERSHOP CHORUS which he directed for many years and led in entertaining audiences throughout Australia and to numerous medal performances.
About 1995 Linc moved to Musical Director of the RIVER CITY CLIPPERS BARBERSHOP CHORUS and lifted them to medal contention. Linc was made a LIFE MEMBER by each of these choruses for his significant musical leadership to good barbershop harmony and fellowship.
Linc freely coached many of the developing choruses during the period 1990-2008 period. He was the Dean of the first weekend Harmony College held in Bathurst, NSW in 1987. He was Associate Dean at the first Australian Harmony College held on the Sunshine Coast in April 1994 (Mel Knight of SPEBSQSA was the Dean). He was a prodigious arranger of popular songs in the four part barbershop harmony style many of which such as ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR, I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME, WALTZING MATILDA, and MY COUNTRY we all sing regularly.
He was made a LIFE MEMBER of the Association of Men Barbershop Singers/Barbershop Harmony Australia in 1998 in recognition of his massive contribution to the introduction and development of barbershop harmony in Australia.
Yes, Linc Abbott was a major mover and shaker of good barbershop harmony during most of his life. We will all miss his great musical direction and remember in harmony his deep bass voice always encouraging us to blend, balance and enjoy barbershop harmony at its best.
Dr Melvin (Mell) McMichael
Past President AAMBS/BHA
LIFE MEMBER AAMBS/BHA
On Friday afternoon 24 February 2017, over sixty barbershoppers from throughout the Eastern Region wended their various ways to the Myuna Bay Sports and Recreation Complex on the shores of the beautiful Lake Macquarie, 90 minutes drive north of Sydney. They were all heading, with great anticipation, to the 2017 BHA Eastern Region Harmony College organised by the ER Council. This workshop was the latest in a long series of similar annual events which first started way back in the early nineties.
The sixty plus delegates were drawn from almost every Chorus in the Region including; Soundwaves, Novatones, Hills Harmony, Sydney Harmony, Penrith Harmony and Canberra Chordsmen.
Special Mention should also go to Sydney based youth chorus, Vox Canvas who attended with virtually all their members and to our newest Chorus, South Lakes Harmony, who attended with their entire membership of eight enthusiastic "non-youth" barbershoppers including long time MC extrordinairre Bob Fritz who showed us that he still had it by expertly MC'ing the Showcase on Saturday Night.
The faculty comprised highly experienced and personable Kiwi educator, Jill Rogers together with the guys from medal winning quartet, Cataylst including the very talented Rob Sequeira (who had the unique experience of coaching his dad, Malcolm who was one of the delegates) , the dynamic Jonathan Bligh, David Reid, one of the most unassuming (not!) and talented basses around and, lastly, but not least, the inimitable Richard Reeve.
The program ran from Friday evening through to midday Sunday with a great mix of work and fun. The late night (read early morning) afterglow sessions were, as always, a feature and continued to develop the fantastic camararderie existing amongst the eight choruses represented. The highlight was the Saturday night showcase where we had the opportunity to perform in front of our peers as well as a paying audience at the Wangi Wangi RSL Club.
The show included a very creditable performance by the combined singers, masterfully conducted by Rob Sequeira, performing the new song we had all learnt from scratch during the weekend "The way we were".
Special mention must go to the guys from Soundwaves and Novatones who provided most of the manpower and organisation and, in particular, Stuart Adey and his wife Beth who provided virtually all the catering for the weekend enabling the overall cost to be kept extremely low. Well done and thank you Stuart and Beth.
Eastern Region President, Brian Bleakley, confirmed during his wrap up, that we would be back again around the same time next year.
With regional contests approaching, all quartets intending to compete will need to be registered or re-registered with BHA.
At the moment, only 22 quartets are registered across our six regions.
For each quartet, a representative should complete the Quartet Registration or Quartet Re-Registration Form. It is available at https://www.barbershop.org.
Once complete, the form may be forwarded to our admin officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you please make this important reminder to the quartets within your club
Trevor Rootes - BHA Secretary
Welcome to 2017, a new year of barbershop fun and expectation. The big event, of course, will be our hosting of the Pan Pac Convention in Sydney in September, and the opportunity to meet up with our Pacific brothers from New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere. There’s also a harmony college running straight afterwards, and with the quality of the faculty we’re bringing you, it’s not to be missed.
Amongst that faculty will be the Crossroads quartet, 2009 International Quartet Champions. Comprising Fred Farrell (tenor), Mike Slamka (lead), Brandon Guyton (baritone), and Jim Henry (bass), Crossroads are one of barbershop’s most famous quartets, with countless appearances on TV in America and a worldwide following. Their three CD’s are permanently on my “play list”.
In addition, we will be host to some very distinguished judges in Kevin Keller and Rob Mance.
Kevin is a past Chairman of Judges for BHS, so there’s nothing he doesn’t know about it. He wrote the book! Many of you will have sung Kevin’s marvellous arrangements, so it will be a real thrill to work with, and be coached by Kevin.
Rob Mance is the music director of Central Standard, a chorus that has risen from nowhere five years ago to finish second at International last year. Rob will hopefully share with us the secrets behind that success, and then we’ll have no excuse!
And there’s more to come than this! During April and May most Regions will be holding their annual regional contests and workshops. These are qualifying events for the National contest (to be held at the Pan Pac Convention), so don’t miss them. All groups (choruses and quartets) must be registered with BHA and all these members must be financial.
I have been advised that some of our members have not yet renewed their memberships for this year. Many quartets, and even a few choruses, have not re-registered.
In one case I have been reliably informed that they “will renew in time for contest”. I’m sorry, that’s just not fair. Those of you who have renewed are carrying the costs for these members (in terms of insurance policies and APRA performing right’s licences). BHA has fixed costs that must be shared by everyone, not members who choose to come and go as they please.
This is exactly why two years ago the BHA Council introduced a re-joining fee for any member who suspends their membership for more than six months. It is not fair that paid up members have to carry these members for free. Of course there is a counter argument that the re-joining fee deters members who might have drifted away from re-joining. That may be so, but I think everybody can understand the principle here - everyone should pay to run BHA, and that’s fair.
As we start a new year I would like to take the opportunity of welcoming our new Councillors, Kieran O’Dea (VP Youth Development) and Daniel Beckitt (VP Marketing & Development).
Your BHA National Council for 2017 is:
President: Ian Mulholland
Secretary: Trevor Rootes
Treasurer: Trevor Bruger
VP Events: Dan Millgate
VP Marketing & Development: Daniel Beckitt
VP Membership: Paul Adams
VP Music: Andrew Howson
VP Youth Development: Kieran O’Dea
Chairman of Judges: Alex Morris
Last year I told you of Vocal Evolution’s new show, “Funhouse” to be staged at the Perth Fringe Festival this February. Well it has been an outstanding success. I believe we have put barbershop on the “mainstream” entertainment map in Perth. I know that The Festival Statesmen are doing a new show “Pretty Boys” at the Adelaide Fringe Festival (after a spectacularly successful show last year). So why don’t you try it? Not only is putting on something a little different from a “standard” barbershop show great fun, but it’s a real learning experience for members as well. I highly recommend it!
Over the last two or three years, it has become the responsibility of each club to update its details in the BHA database. This has cut administrative costs.
At the beginning of the new year, each club is asked to please take the time to update its contact details, office bearers, member email, address, phone number, emergency details, etc. Many clubs, for example, will have recently conducted an AGM.
Updating Club, Chorus and Member Details
Please take the following steps:
If you do not know how to update these details, please contact Mark Virtue (details above).
Thank you for your assistance in completing this task.
Trevor Rootes - BHA Secretary
Novatones are searching for a new MD. Ian Miller, Novatones MD since 2009 has decided to call it a day and step back after 26 years of directing and another 20 years of quartet singing prior to that. Ian also spent time as a Singing category judge, 4 years as VP Music for BHA, act as Dean of National Harmony colleges and become certified as a Director (BHS) through Director’s College in the USA. He will be sadly missed by our chorus members as he has been an inspiration in attempting to get the best from each individual at each practice and performance. Like all MD’s his patience was tested on many occasions but we always seemed to finish each session with a laugh, a song or two, and a cuppa. As we all know it is not so easy to get the music out of those weary bones and Ian is already considering quarteting and maybe a bit of coaching in the future. One of our members, Cliff Hoskings, painted a portrait of Ian in a few of his many poses and this was presented to Ian and his wife Kay at the Novatones Christmas party on the Hunter river. We wish Ian and Kay all the best in life after Novatones and will be sure that the close bonds formed over the last 7 years will continue.
|Welcome to the following new member |
3505 Joel Bolitho High Altitude Harmony
|Click on this link to see registration details|
|Expressions of interest are sought for the position of Music Director of the Miner Chords who are based in Ipswich, Queensland.|
contact David Green email@example.com 0407831326
We are excited to bring the internationally renowned musical genius Deke Sharon to Sydney, Australia on Tuesday 26 & Wednesday 27 September 2017 for the Sydney A Cappella Festival.
"The Father of Contemporary A Cappella" - Entertainment Weekly
"A one man a cappella revolution" - Boston Globe
"Deke Sharon makes a cappella cool again" - NPR
Deke Sharon is the musical director of Pitch Perfect 1, 2 & 3 and The Social Network.
The world's most prolific a cappella arranger, with over 2000 songs to his credit, he has also produced television's The Sing Off worldwide (US, Holland, China, South Africa).
Don’t miss this once in a lifetime chance to work with the man responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella – keep in touch at www.ysihau.com.
Learn more about Deke at www.dekesharon.com.
Go to The Guy Who Made Choir Cool Again
|For more information, see:||www.ysihau.com|
Looking for a challenge?
A group of expatriates located on the Indonesian Island of Batam, a rapidly growing city of around 1.5 million people just 12 miles and an hour by modern fast ferry from Singapore, is looking for an MD.
We are seeking a confident, energetic and competent musical director with a true spirit of adventure to create a chorus presence from scratch in a musical desert littered with talent and latent enthusiasm but devoid of inspiration and leadership.
And if that’s not sufficient challenge, you also need to know that we cannot pay a salary!
But, we will provide accommodation and as we develop a chorus presence we would expect to generate modest income from memberships and sponsorships. Be aware also that Batam is an ideal place from which to inexpensively explore the fascinating Indonesian archipelago and the countries of South-east Asia.
You probably will be a self-funded retiree, single and preferably with some knowledge, experience of or interest in Asia and the cultures of South-east Asia. You probably will have a background in barbershop or male or mixed choruses but also have an interest in other genres like Doo Wop (with instrumental backing) and a cappella gospel.
The challenge will be to develop male, female, mixed and children’s choruses and inspire and support the development of quartettes or other small break-out groups.
Batam has a sizeable and growing expat community, a surprising number of whom are interested in music and singing. But the really rich opportunity lies in introducing choral singing to members of the Indonesian community.
There is wonderful harmony singing among Indonesian ethnic groups like the Batak community of northern Sumatra but overall there is little tradition of choral or chorus music in Indonesia - yet there is a rich abundance of talent waiting to be awakened…
It’s an opportunity for an aspiring and committed musical leader to create and launch something new and potentially very special.
Tel – Doug +62 813 6470 3361 (mobile – cell)
|Welcome to the following new members who have joined BHA over the past two months|
The recent Annual General Meeting of The Westcoast Barbershop Harmony Club marked the end of an era, with Bruce Okely no longer accepting nomination as its Music Director. Following the election of Kim Sebbage as our Music Director, nominated by Bruce, Life Member John Christie moved that, in recognition of Bruce’s long standing service to the club, he be awarded the position of Music Director Emeritus. This motion was carried unanimously and with acclamation.
Bruce Okely opened the eyes and ears of Australian men to the enjoyment and satisfaction gained through singing four-part barbershop harmony. A talented singer and gifted music teacher, he formed Australia’s first men’s barbershop club, Perth’s Men in Harmony in 1985, becoming its inaugural Music Director. In his 13 years with the club, Men in Harmony won a gold and two silver medals at national conventions. At the national level, he was the AAMBS Founder, its inaugural Secretary 1985-1991 and is now a BHA Life Member. In 1998, Bruce left Men in Harmony to form a new club, with singers known as the Westcoast Chordsmen. The majority of this chorus were former members of Men in Harmony, many a little older than those who continued with Men in Harmony. For 19 years, the membership of the Westcoast Chordsmen has ranged from the low 30s to the high 40s, but as a predominantly seniors aged group, chose not to compete as a chorus in barbershop or other competitions.
During his 32 years in barbershop, Bruce has arranged many songs for singing in four-part barbershop harmony, arrangements which have now become a permanent part of the Australian barbershop repertoire. The position of Music Director Emeritus, a mark of distinguished service awarded on retirement, recognises Bruce Okely’s outstanding service to the club and allows him to continue to exercise some of the roles and duties of a Music Director.
Merry Christmas to All
2016 has been a good year for BHA, and we should all be proud of our individual and collective barbershop achievements. Whether that means you sang in a quartet for the first time, learned your notes and words of a new song in record time, or contributed to your Club in a significant way, it doesn’t matter. The goal is to continually find something to do better than you have before, and to have pride in that effort.
The Annual General Meeting has just been and gone, and the Motions carried were 7, and 9, while Motion 8 was defeated. The National Council continues to take all views into account when making decisions, but will always defer to the wishes of the majority of members. The AGM Results have been sent to Clubs and lodged on the BHA website (Click Downloads/Tab) here, while the Minutes will follow in due course from the Secretary.
As promised, the Secretary has compiled the Minutes from the BHA Forum held in Newcastle, and interested members can view these on the BHA website (Click Downloads/Minutes tab) or by clicking here.
(It should be noted that the two documents linked above are available to Members only and you will need to be logged into the members area of the BHA website to view them)
The introduction of a new Incorporated Associations Act in Western Australia (the home base corporately for BHA) will require a re-write of our Constitution to bring it in line with the new Act. Members will be asked to vote on that at a Special General meeting to be held about mid-2017.
Next year will be an exciting year with a Pan Pac Convention in Sydney, and the opportunity for camaraderie with our Pacific brothers from New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere.
Congratulations to two of our founding members, Bruce Okely and Andy Aberle, who have been honoured recently. An article about Andy appeared in the last newsletter, while there is an article about Bruce in this newsletter (click here).
You may have heard of Vocal Evolution’s new show, “Funhouse” to be staged at the Perth Fringe Festival next February. Hope you like the photo below taken at rehearsal recently.
As the festive season approaches, on behalf of the National Council, I wish you a Merry Christmas! May you have a bright and successful New Year.
The Webcast videos taken during the various performances at Newcastle have now been uploaded to YouTube and are available for viewing.
They can be viewed by either Clicking on the embedded link in the Webcast page of the Convention website https://www.barbershopconvention.com.au/Webcast and using the >> and << buttons as shown to navigate between the various videos.
Alternatively, the separate YouTube addresses are listed below.
Quartet Semi-Finals – Session 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPfxT9zJ-qs
Quartet Semi-Finals – Session 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya8-9U4pI5E
Quartet Finals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp7nKHzwmWI
Chorus – Session 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpC8CpkyHxE
Chorus – Session 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XzfxZyz55U
Chorus – Session 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y-Fm0SYlho
Chorus – Session 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBwbSlaQnUM
Showcase – Session 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15QRdlOqqU4
Showcase – Session 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ7OBhKpoJI
The following schedule may help you to locate a specific performance.
|2017 Regional Conventions |
Central Region – Saturday, 22 April 2017
Sunshine Region – Saturday, 22 April 2017
Victorian region – Saturday, 29 April 2017
Eastern Region – Saturday, 06 May 2017
Western Region – Saturday, 13 May 2017
Tasmanian Region – Saturday, 13 May 2017
(NB : could the organisers of each of these events please ensure full details are listed on the BHA Events Calendar)
2017 PanPacific Convention - Sydney - 27 September to 1 October 2017
BHA Schedule of Events
Make sure you list all your public events on the BHA schedule of events located on the BHA website.
You can do this either by getting your webmaster to tick the appropriate box on your own listing of the event on your Harmonysite website or by emailing Jeannie Hattendorff on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do this it will give more profile to your event and, even if we can't attend, let all our members know what your Chorus or quartet is up to.
In July I was fortunate to be invited to attend category school at Belmont University, Nashville along with a small contingent of AGBJ members. Being the only Contest Administrator, I joined my BHS and Harmony Inc counterparts as we spent several long days (8:30am – 10pm) discussing and sharing our challenges and learning from each other about how contests are facilitated. I was invited to share with the class the AGBJ experience and to discuss the differences in how we operate and what roles CA’s have in Australia and New Zealand. We certainly do way more in the preparation and planning for a contest than the CA’s do in USA. I am grateful for the grant assistance that I received towards the cost of attending the school from BHA. Some of the learnings have already been enacted with the recent BHA and BHNZ contests and will be incorporated into the forth coming regional events. As with any barbershop gathering, there is lots of fun singing, fellowship and of course ice-cream.Linda Vinall CA CS
Photo : front row L-R: Dan Millgate, Charlotte Murray, Alex Morris Second row: Matt Gifford, Linda Vinall, Richard Reeve, third row: Sarah Bradley, Andrew Carolan, Eddie Klimowicz, Michael Markham
Well, didn’t we have a great time in Newcastle? What a great Convention! A huge vote of thanks to Keith Thornton, Trevor Rootes, Brian Bleakley and the team from Novatones and Eastern Region. And our visitors from the USA – Forefront – Drew, Kevin, Aaron and Brian, and our judges – Steve, Joe, Dusty and Tony – a nicer bunch of blokes you’ll never meet, not forgetting Henrietta and Michael from New Zealand, and Linda and Vicki from Australia!
Congratulations to all who competed. Your contribution to the festival atmosphere was greatly valued. We had four fun filled days of harmony at the highest level.
And now, on with the show! Next year’s Convention is already creeping us on us with the special deal of being a PanPac, and featuring quartets and choruses from New Zealand, Japan, west coast USA etc. We’re really looking forward to being in the brand new Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour, which should be a blast.
Your Council continues to work behind the scenes for you. Every Councillor had a role in running the Convention, or assisting in some way, and we’re also working to make our organisation run smoother and more efficiently for every member’s benefit.
A few Council decisions and actions of late, which you may be interested in were the approval of a Code of Ethics, a Policy on International Subsidies, application for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status for BHA (still in progress), Life Membership Criteria, Champions Code of Conduct – “What Do We Expect of You?”, and modifications to Standing Orders concerning contests, to name a few.
We held a well-attended BHA Forum in Newcastle, and the topics covered included: the cost of the welcome dinner and the quality of food served, associate members (i.e. females) being able to sing in mixed groups, the size criteria for chorus awards (currently 16 and less = small, 17-30 = medium, >30 = large), the excellence of the judges and evaluations, sharing ideas complied from Club of the Year entries and sharing these with all Clubs, marketing of barbershop (and BHA) to schools, coaching next year, leadership training for Clubs and MDs, the concept of a “festival” rather than a “convention”, availability of Council meeting minutes to members, music copyright and publishing issues, World Voice Day and World Barbershop Quartet Day, communication with members at large, and arrangement of a modern song to become a polecat. While the Council answered a lot of the questions at the Forum, we will follow-up some. In addition, in the next edition of In Harmony we will give a fuller account of the Forum, the topics discussed and the answers provided.
Many of you will know Andy. He was one of the founders of AAMBS (now BHA) and was Convention Chairman for the 1993 and 2003 Perth Conventions. Andy was also a talented show producer, and was a stalwart in that capacity for Men In Harmony for many years.
Andy returned fire with a stirring rendition of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle poem, “Bendigo” which enthralled the crowd. In his speech Andy said that he only started barbershop singing when he retired from full-time work. He remembered the start of AAMBS back in 1985 and the book he wrote “The First Twenty Years of AAMBS, 1985-2005”. After the event Andy spent some time signing copies of his book for his adoring fans. Andy also gave recognition to his wife Gwen, who has always supported him in his barbershop activities.
It was a wonderful afternoon, and while we will miss Andy singing with us on the risers, we’re sure he’ll still be coming to concerts and barbershop events in the future. We wish Andy well in his retirement from retirement.
AUSACA is a well-established annual A Cappella event conducted in Melbourne by Vocal Australia.
In September, barbershop ensembles were successful in the finals with Festival Statesmen Chorus (mini) taking first prize in the League Division. They also won the award for the best contemporary song.
Individual awards for members of Festival Statesmen went to Jono Webb for best soloist, and Daniel Maley for best vocal percussion.
Topping off the success of barbershop in the finals was Hi-Jinx, the champion Sweet Adelines Adelines quartet, who won second prize. Hi-Jinx also received the award for the best barbershop song.
Also, congratulations to Blenders Chorus director Jono Albertini who took his mixed Griffith University group Serotonin to the finals of the University Division.
Our youth members brought a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and quality to our recent Newcastle convention.
Overall, there were nine quartets and two choruses contesting in both the youth and open events.
In addition to contests, youth joined the Combined Youth Chorus that performed at our Welcome Dinner and at the Youth Concert. No doubt this was the best combined chorus to date. Thanks to Jonathan Bligh, Jono Albertini and Lionel Pierson. Forefront also held a separate workshop with the chorus.
Youth members also had the opportunity of working with David Holst a member of the Swedish quartet Trocadero, the 2015 international collegiate contest winners.
Finally, the Youth Concert attracted a large crowd of delegates on the Friday morning. It was a great celebration.
Trevor Rootes - BHA VP Youth
Photo courtesy of Genik
Delegates started converging on the NSW port city of Newcastle on Wednesday 28 September 2016 to attend the 14th National BHA Convention. This was the first annual Convention following the switch from biennial conventions after Melbourne last year. Newcastle is the second largest city in NSW and the eighth largest in Australia. It also has the distinction of being the first non-capital city to host a BHA Convention.
The competition kicked off on Wednesday with the BHA Youth Contests which were combined with the Young Singers In Harmony Contests. Both were keenly contested in their various Categories. The BHA Youth Quartet Contest was won by Skyline with the BHA Youth Chorus contest won by the Blenders Youth Chorus. The Young Singers in Harmony Ensemble Contest was also won by Skyline with the Chorus competition taken out for the second year in a row by the Baden Street Singers.
A full summary of the Youth winners and placegetters, together with their respective scores, can be found on the BHA Website under the
Convention results tab
Wednesday evening saw the John Little Quartet show give competing quartets the chance to perform in front of their peers. This undoubtedly helped them hone their skills for the competition the following day as well as providing a very enjoyable and relaxed show for an enthusiastic audience.
The open quartet competitions got underway on Thursday in the fantastic Newcastle City Hall. Thirty four quartets competed in the various categories including Open-Semi Final , Seniors and Mixed following several last minute withdrawals due to illness. The Current BHA Quartet Gold Medallists, Lockout were unable to compete this year under new BHA Rules precluding the winning quartet from the previous year competing in the convention the year following their win.
|The symbolic Pitchpipe was recently passed on at the Newcastle Convention farewell luncheon by Novatones President, Brian Bleakley to Hills Harmony President, Dick Bushell who was representing the three Sydney Clubs, Sydney Harmony, Hills Harmony and Penrith Harmony who will be co-hosting the Convention in Sydney next year. "This is going to be a big Convention as it will not only be a PanPacific Convention but also the National Competition for both Australia and New Zealand" said Dick. "We have some big shoes to fill as the Newcastle team have done a fantastic job but with the resources of our three clubs led by Keith Thornton, the dynamic BHA VP for events, I am sure you are in for a great convention".|
The new Harmony Foundation Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest dominated day one of Nashville International Convention. The Quartet Contest was held in the Schermerhorn Symphony Centre, one of the most beautiful and acoustically perfect locations ever to host a BHS International event.
Pratt Street Power (MAD), 82.0% won gold from 29 contestants.
Our Australian quartets did well. Blindside 8th, 78.9%, Skyline 15th, 74.6%, and The Grand Angus 18th, with 73.6%
Congratulations to our youth for taking on the best on the international stage.
The level of enthusiasm and commitment that the participants brought with them meant we achieved great things in a very short time - exploring the meaning behind the song an inspiring the kids into giving a powerful performance of "Titanium".
We (the Baden street singers) were so impressed that we decided to invite the kids to join forces again with us and perform "titanium" on stage with us in our upcoming concert on the 19th September. Already, 6 kids have grabbed the opportunity to do so.
We're very excited to have had a chance to work with alex, Carole and Bec, and feel confident about running more of these workshops in the future.
We're also grateful at the opportunity to strengthen our collaboration with these mentors over the next few weeks, in the lead-up to Newcastle.
The 2016 BHS International Contest was held in Music City, Nashville, TN - the home of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Over 8000 people walked through the doors of the Bridgestone Arena on the bustling Broadway for 5 days of brilliant entertainment. I once again, had the privilege of hosting the webcast alongside Debbie Cleveland and this year also joined by Matthew Gifford, of Music Island Boys fame.
BHA was proudly represented by not 1 but 3 quartets in the Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest (formally Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest) with The Grand Angus (Western Region, featuring Jeremy Conner from Alabama) placing 18th with 73.6, Skyline (Central Region) placing 15th with 74.6, and Blindside (Sunshine Region) placing 8th with 78.9. The Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest was won by newcomer, Pratt Street Power with a score of 82.0.
Our youth representatives along with our open quartet representatives, The Mellow Diners, joined forces to perform the Australian National Anthem at the opening of the second Quartet Quarter Finals session.
The quartet contest was the largest since the 2011 BHS International Quartet Contest in Louisville, KT, with 58 quartets crossing the stage in what was a long but incredibly entertaining day of competition. The Mellow Diners sang 58th and placed 33rd (the highest placing for an Australian quartet) with a score of 78.8. The contest was won by Forefront (Cardinal District) with a score of 93.3, who will be our guest quartet at the BHA National Convention in Newcastle later this year.
Vocal Evolution, who were joined by members of all competing quartets, took to the stage second (directly following Vocal Revolution) placing 27th with a score of 77.9 in what was one of the most exciting chorus contests to date. The chorus contest was won be the Ambassadors of Harmony with a score of 96.8.
Congratulations to Vocal FX from Wellington, New Zealand who placed equal 6th with a score of 89.6 with a truly unforgettable performance.
This year, we saw the World Harmony Jamboree moved to Saturday afternoon, giving audience and performers a little more time to enjoy what this fabulous concert has to offer. Featured on the show, were Blindside, The Mellow Diners (in their final performance as a quartet) and Vocal Evolution.
Only one and a half weeks following the international contest, 10 members of the Australasian Guild of Barbershop Judges (with 7 from Australia) attended the 2016 BHS Category School. This school, held every 3 years, is a fantastic opportunity for judges to hone their skills and learn more about this wonderful art form through the lens of their category.
Those Presentation (PRS) judges in attendance had the opportunity to be part of history as the category was re-written and transitioned to the Performance (PER) category. BHA were able to support 5 of the 7 Australian attendees with a scholarship to assist in registration for this event. We are so excited for our judges to bring back a new breath of energy and education to our judging program!
Directly following Category School was the 2016 BHS Harmony University. This incredible week of education is second to none and this year, it was fantastic to see both Dan Millgate and Richard Reeve from Australia as well as a number of attendees from New Zealand. I was very honoured to be on faculty at this years’ Harmony University, an experience that I will never forget.
Congratulations to all who represented BHA so brilliantly over the busy month of July. Personally, I cannot wait to see everyone in Newcastle! All the best with your preparations for what is set to be an exciting week in BHA history!
Alex Morris - BHA VP Contest & Judging
|Music Director - Miner Chords|
Applications are invited for the position of MD at The Miner Chords Ipswich, Queensland. .Email Howard Kennedy at email@example.com
Educating Students and Teachers Alike with this Full Day of A Cappella Singing
2016 Regional Contest Season and Hunter Harmony Convention
Congratulations to each region on a fantastic season of regional contests. A total of 32 quartets qualified for the open contest, 9 for the seniors contest, 7 for the youth contest and 7 for the mixed contest. Alongside what will surely be an action packed chorus contest, Hunter Harmony is set to be a huge week of entertainment.
AGBJ Reporting and Feedback Procedures
As part of the continuing development of the AGBJ and to ensure that we are serving our competitors in the best possible way, the AGBJ will soon implement Reporting and Feedback surveys following all contests. If you were a competitor in a recent Regional Contest, I ask that if you receive a request to provide feedback that you do so as promptly and succinctly as possible. We want to know how we can ensure that the contest experience is always a positive one!
BHS Category School 2016
I am very excited to announce that the BHA Council was able to provide scholarship funding to 5 BHA members of the AGBJ who expressed interest in attending the 2016 BHS Category School in Nashville, TN directly preceding the 2016 BHS Harmony University. Linda Vinall, Alex Morris, Dan Millgate, Richard Reeve and Sarah Bradley, along with Eddie Klimowicz and 6 BHNZ members of the AGBJ will be representing ‘down under’ with a record attendance for the AGBJ and the largest affiliate organization represented at this year’s school.
I thank and congratulate each and every one of these Australian barbershoppers who are willing to dedicate their time, energy and a lot of money to not only develop their own skills but also continue to develop the skills of our membership through the judging program.
Transition from PRS to PRF
As you may or may not be aware, as of the 2016 BHS Category School, the Presentation (PRS) category will transition to the Performance (PRF) category. This is an incredibly exciting initiative by the BHS C&J Committee and one that will most certainly ensure that our artform continues to thrive and engage with audiences through the art of performance.
Below is an extract from the proposed new Performance category description.
One significant goal of any art form is communication. A barbershop performance refers to how the artist communicates his/her message and vision via the transformation of a song into an entertaining experience for an audience. The performance of a song is the artist’s gift to the audience; whose experiences, memories, and imagination transform that gift into an emotional experience. The performers’ goal is to create a high level of entertainment through the performance. The means to that end are as varied as the personality, abilities and creative skills of the performers.
All currently certified BHS Presentation judges will attend Category School to certify as Performance judges. There are 5 AGBJ Presentation judges attending this year’s Category School who will train as Performance judges with the remaining AGBJ Presentation judges training later this year. The BHA and BHNZ National contests will both be judged using the Performance category.
Practice Panels at International
As always, members of the AGBJ were invited to sit on practice panels at the BHS International Contest in Nashville, TN. As a member of a practice panel, you not only get an opportunity to hone your skills at a very high level but you are also guaranteed the best seat in the house!
2016 BHS International Contest
My best wishes to all those BHA representatives competing in Nashville in just a few weeks time! To our Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest (YBQC) representatives: Blindside, Skyline and The Grand Angus and to my fellow quartet mates in The Mellow Diners as well as the men of Vocal Evolution, we all wish you the most amazing experience as you take to the international stage! We know you will do us proud!
Alex Morris - BHA Vice President - Contest and Judging
CONTESTS: make sure you don’t miss the youth contests this year. The very entertaining youth and schools contests are on Wednesday 28 September at the main convention venue, Newcastle City Hall.
HELP NEEDED: we are hoping to have a good number of ensembles from surrounding areas in New South Wales. Members in these areas are particularly invited to spread the work regarding the Youth Festival. A separate poster is available at the Young Singers In Harmony Festival website www.ysihau.com and can be downloaded and forwarded to music teachers and others.
YOUTH SHOWCASE CONCERT: another will be the Youth Showcase Concert on Friday at 9.00am-10.30am. It will be a real treat with the best of the youth performances. Plan to be there to support our young performers.
Many clubs are unaware that there are many funding opportunities available throughout the year, every year, for arts-specific activities such as the things YOUR barbershop chorus does all the time.
The world of funding and grant applications might sound like a real headache at first. All of the paperwork aside, many clubs don’t even know where to start looking for funding for their activities.
Well, the good news is that BHA can make things much simpler for you and your club!
Firstly, there are people who can help you and your club out! Your BHA Vice President, Marketing & Development, Dan Millgate, has a comprehensive and current database of grants available all over the country. The database is continuously updated and includes all new and recurring federal, state and local government, philanthropic and corporate grants available to you. So, if you have some project ideas, get in touch and Dan can tailor a selection of appropriate funding options for you.
Dan also has some fantastic resources for you, such as tips and tricks on winning grants, advice on how to make money whilst having fun, resources on how to run successful fundraising events, and much more. Contact Dan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, don’t forget to check out the Marketing Resources page on the BHA website, www.barbershop.org.au.
Another way to get help with your grant applications is understand that funding bodies actually want to help you to be successful in your application!
Applying for the first time can be scary, but all funding bodies can provide you with a contact officer to talk you through the process of applying, make sure your project fits within the funding requirements, help you to make sure your application is the best it can be, and much, much more.
A great example is the funding on offer from the Australia Council for the Arts, whose Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups fund a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences. Grants are available from $10,000 to $50,000.
For 2016, the closing dates are at midnight on the:
If you are planning to apply to the Australia Council for the first time, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the grant programs on offer by reading the program summary pages, read the relevant case studies that give examples of the projects supported in the past, and understand the assessment criteria for the relevant grant program by reading the program summary pages. You can find all of this information at http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/funding/new-grants-model/.
The next step is to contact a Grants Officer to discuss your idea before you submit an application. This can save you LOTS of time and energy!
Australia Council for the Arts
Phone: 02 9215 9000
What can be applied for?
Peers will assess your application against the following three criteria.
1. Artistic merit
3. One of the following criteria
The third criterion will help to tell how your project may contribute towards delivering the goals of Australia Council for the Arts’ strategic plan to support the arts in Australia. They will ask you to choose one of the following, which you think best reflects the primary outcome of your project.
Peers will assess the contribution to the creation of new work. They may consider how the proposed activity:
Peers will assess the contribution to audience engagement. They may consider how the proposed activity:
Access and Participation
Peers will assess the contribution to access to, and participation in, the arts. They may consider how the proposed activity:
Peers will assess the contribution to the international profile of Australian arts. They may consider how the proposed activity:
Don’t forget that this process takes time – at least 12 weeks from the time you lodge your application. So you need to be proactive in managing these timeframes.
Most importantly though, don’t forget that you aren’t alone! There are resources and people to help you out and we want you to be successful. Ask for help!
VP Marketing & Development
Music Director Wanted
Wollongong Harmony Chorus (Ladies)
Wollongong is a University town in the heart of the picturesque Illawarra region of the south coast of NSW, just 80km down the road from Sydney. It was chosen to host this year's Region 34 Convention.
After 10 years at the helm of WHC, Director Jan McCarthy is now handing on the baton.
Jan's legacy is a mid-sized chorus of well-trained and technically aware musicians, committed to advancing together, to delighting our audiences at every outing, and to competing with success.
Credits so far include everything from 5th to 2 nd place at Regional Competition, as well as wins at Eisteddfod and local choir competitions.
We are now seeking a dynamic director to take us to the next level.
We envisage this person will be a musical leader with a strong barbershop background and a passion to match.
For more information, email email@example.com. or visit wwwg wollonqonqharmonv.orq.au.
Just about every week each one of you will attend a rehearsal of some sort or another. It could be your chorus/club regular rehearsal, or it could be your quartet rehearsal. It could be a performance or a workshop even. Whatever the occasion, take the time to say “G’day” to your fellow singing mates. They are sharing this wonderful hobby of barbershop harmony singing with you and you owe it to them to acknowledge their participation and contribution to making you sound so good.
Sometimes we go to rehearsal in a negative frame of mind. We might have had a bad day at work, or something is bothering us at home. Put those worries aside for the few precious hours you have each week, and immerse yourself in beautiful harmony singing. Let yourself be transported spiritually to another place where the issues of your normal world aren’t pressing anymore. Just for a few hours, leave all your cares and worries behind (sounds like the title of a song doesn’t it?).
Have good relationships with your fellow singers and set the scene for actively honouring the music and efforts of those around you by learning and performing it well.
So what level of singer are you? Be honest. Are you new to barbershop? In this case you are now learning the body of skills and knowledge necessary to become a good barbershop singer. Everything is new, but you are eager to learn. You are actively moving from becoming unaware to becoming aware, as you practise your new and exciting skills and apply the knowledge you are learning. You are moving from being a “novice” to being an “apprentice”.
An apprentice is someone who is well aware of the knowledge and skills required to sing and perform well, but is still actively moving towards competency in those skills. Soon you will acquire the competency you are after, but you still have to think about it when you do it. You have become consciously competent – a “journeyman”.
Many of our singers get to this journeyman stage of development and are happy with their achievement. After all, you know all there is to know about barbershop singing and you can execute it reasonably well. But your chorus or quartet is still scoring somewhere between 58 and 72, and you never seem to improve much anymore. It’s now time to aim for “mastery”. This is the unconsciously competent level, where you can execute great singing and performance technique without even thinking about it (you “just do it”). You have internalised the skills and knowledge and you can now teach others all about it.
How cool would it be if we all were “masters” of our artform? It’s not beyond anyone. It just requires dedication and practise of the right things. Good luck in reaching your goals.
|There are a lot of youth development activities going on around the country. Some recent highlights include:
Other activities are planned for the near future including:
Vice President - Youth
Open this article and click here to see a great little video of some of the atttactions and scenery in store for you. When you come to Newcastle make sure to leave some time to enjoy some of these wonderful features of the region.
|For more information, see:||www.visitnewcastle.com.au|
|A number of the major Convention events are to be held at the newly refurbished Wests City Club in Newcastle including the Welcome Dinner, the Quartet Competition Final, the Chorus Competition, the Showcase of Champions and the Farewell Lunch.|
The Club also has excellent restaurants providing a very convenient eating location throughout the Convention.
Being a registered Club, all non-Club members will be required to sign-in each time they visit this venue. This will inevitably cause some queueing at times as large numbers of delegates converge on the Club for the various events.
To help avoid these possible queues, Wests are providing online facilities to enable conference delegates to pre-join the Club thus avoiding possible sign-in delays when attending events at the Club. For a modest fee of just $12, or $5 for Seniors and Pensioners, you can become a full member of the Club for 12 months. Membership will also entitle you to various discounts throughout the Club.
Go to this link and complete the application process.
Or… fill in the application form and take it with you, and complete the process when you arrive in Newcastle.
NOTE: be aware that when either completing the process online, or, filling out the form, you will need to produce ID (Driver’s Licence is OK) when going to reception to collect your membership card.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.com.au/dbpage.php?pg=venue|
|Now is the time to register for Newcastle (Click here to Register) |
The substantial Early Bird Savings only apply providing you register BEFORE 31 May 2016.
* Youth must be under 26 years of age on 1/10/2016
Cancellations: Prior to 1 July: 50% refund; Prior to 1 Aug: 25% refund; Thereafter: 10% refund
The Regional qualifying rounds are now almost done and dusted with just WA to be held on Saturday 14 May. It is now time to get your arrangements in place for Newcastle.
Accomodation is also filling up fast so don't delay in booking your accomodation. Click here to see some accomodation options available in Newcastle.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.com.au/Registration|
The Crowne Plaza have offered a special deal for BHA Members attending the Newcastle Convention, as follows:
Crowne Plaza Newcastle
Cnr. Wharf Rd & Merewether Street, Newcastle, NSW Australia 2300
Cityside Suites including breakfast for one guest $245.00 per room per night
Harbourside Suites Including breakfast for one guest $275.00 per room per night
King Spa Suites including breakfast for one guest $305.00 per room per night
These rates provide a significant discount on their usual rates and for members looking for this level of accommodation they represent great value…!
The direct booking website is now active and ready to accept bookings for the Barbershop Harmony Convention in September.
Guests wishing to book by phone should call through to In-House Reservations on 02 49075062 during business hours, Monday-Friday, and quote booking code "BSQ"
**Please note that our central reservations team does not have access to your reduced rates, the above direct number or link must be given to your guests**
Please review the website and let me know if you would like any changes made. If you would like any photos or logos added please let me know.
|For more information, see:||www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/gb/en/newcastle/ntlwr/hoteldetail/photos-tours#scmisc=nav_photos-tours_cp&|
New Memorandum of Understanding signed between BHA and BHNZ
Previously, under an informal understanding between BHA, BHNZ and Hawaii, Pan-Pacific Conventions have been run every 3 or 4 years since 1994, rotating between New Zealand, Hawaii and Australia.
Hawaii has been a difficult location for Australians to get to (mainly due to the cost), and Hawaii has struggled to get numbers to Australian PanPacs. Recently, Hawaii indicated that they may be unable to meet their anticipated rotation for 2017. BHA and BHNZ wish to continue to run PanPacs, and with Hawaii’s understanding, have entered into an MOU to operate future PanPacs.
Massed sing at the last PanPac in Wellington NZ in 2014
The goals of PanPac Conventions are to:
PanPac Conventions will alternate in future, between Australia and New Zealand, with participation from all countries bordering the Pacific and/or Australia invited (i.e. Japan, West Coast USA, Asia etc.). Each Association may run its own National contest (with associated medals and awards) within the combined PanPac contest.
The 2017 PanPac Convention will be held in Sydney, Australia, with subsequent locations to be agreed, typically three years in advance (the 2020 PanPac is likely to be held in Auckland, New Zealand). When agreed between BHA and BHNZ, a PanPac could be held outside of Australasia.
We look forward to continuing our barbershop brotherhood across the ditch!
An update from your President, Ian Mulholland.
Your Busy Council
Over the last two months, since our face-to-face and goal setting meeting, your BHA National Council has been getting down to the various tasks that we set ourselves. Some of the most important outcomes that affect members are outlined below.
Music scholarships are available to both BHS Harmony University (up to $3,000 available) and BHA Harmony College (this year termed “Masterclasses” due to the shorter duration) (up to $500 available). Please contact our Music VP, Andrew Howson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an application form if you are interested.
We are also making available scholarships to assist with the re-training of BHA judges in the Presentation category to the new Performance category (to a maximum of $1,500), and funding of BHA Judges to attain International accreditation (to a maximum of $1,500) upon application to the Chairman of AGBJ, Alex Morris (email@example.com).
A special Youth Harmony College will be incorporated into the 2016 Convention Masterclass programme, with the second half to be run afterwards, utilising members of the National Education Faculty (NEF), subject to there being sufficient numbers. Youth Development VP, Trevor Rootes has more details (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with BHNZ for the future running of PanPac Conventions (see separate news item).
Your Council has been trialling new technology to conduct its meetings to save the costs of across the monthly country teleconferences. We still have some way to go, but our goal is to save money for members.
A new policy manual (containing policies on membership, scholarships and subsidies and a number of other relevant issues) is being assembled. In due course, when completed, this will be a valuable resource for all members to consult on the website.
A review of our Regional structure is also underway to ensure that we are operating with maximum efficiency and non-duplication. At present the preliminary outline of this is being worked on by a subcommittee of Councillors, with Regional Chairmen to be involved in the next stage.
Training for Club Secretaries in using our website (especially for updating membership details) is available upon request. Please contact our Executive Assistant, Jeannie Hattendorf (email@example.com) if you would like this arranged.
A new Charter document for the continued operation of our Australasian Guild of Barbershop Judges (AGBJ) (shared with BHNZ) is being drawn up by the Chairman of AGBJ, Alex Morris. This will ensure that our judging standards are maintained and improved into the future, and that our judges are utilised to full effect and efficiency.
Owing to recent changes in copyright law in the USA, some of our Clubs and quartets have been experiencing difficulties in securing song arrangements. After an extensive investigation, the Council has drawn up some guidelines that we hope will help. These are referred to elsewhere in this newsletter, and have been posted to the BHA website. Please note that while every effort has been taken to make these guidelines as complete as possible, BHA does not take any responsibility or accept any liability for them. If you are in doubt about a copyright issue, you should contact the relevant authority for advice. BHA does require all of its members, quartets and choruses to follow copyright laws.
Our Secretary, Kieran Hutton, is working on securing DGR status for BHA, which allows tax deductible gifts to be made to BHA, and allows us to more effectively raise funds for such things as Youth Development.
We continue to trial our Mixed Harmony contests in the same format as last year, with the intention of then putting the issue to a vote by members at the next AGM.
We eagerly look forward to our first Annual Convention in Newcastle this year, with the PanPac Convention to follow in Sydney in 2017. The Council is currently calling for Expressions of Interest for Clubs or Regions to assist in hosting a Convention in their home town in either 2018 or 2019 (the Convention in 2020 will be the next PanPac in Auckland, NZ). If your Club or Region is interested, please contact our Events VP, Keith Thornton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
So, you can see your Council is working very hard for members behind the scenes, and the above activities are just a snapshot of what is going on.
I will have the pleasure of attending both the Sunshine Region and Western Region contests this year, and I look forward to catching up with those members then. Otherwise, see you in Newcastle!
|2016 will provide plenty of action for BHA Members, with Youth BBDO’s, Regional Contests, numerous concerts and, of course, our BHA National Convention “Hunter Harmony" coming up in Newcastle in late September.|
Next up: Regional Contests…
If you haven’t already entered your Quartet or Chorus, do it now before it’s too late, most entry closing dates are not far away. Regional Contests are scheduled for:
Sunshine Region – Sunday, 24 April
Central region – Sunday, 01 May
Victorian Region – Sunday, 01 May
Eastern Region – Saturday, 07 May &
Western Region – Saturday, 14 May
Preparations are well underway for our 2016 Convention, Hunter Harmony. Newcastle City Hall will be the venue for most of our events and specially our Youth contests and BHA Quartet contests. The newly refurbished Wests City Club will be the location for our Welcome Dinner, Chorus Contest and our Saturday evening Showcase of Champions. The Convention Website is now up and running, you can access this via the usual BHA site.
Points to note:
Obtaining the appropriate Copyright approvals for new songs has become a most vexing issue for many Choruses and Quartets. Gone are the days when we could just order what we wanted from BHS and then just wait for the required number of copies to turn up in the mail.
After much discussion with BHS and copyright authorities, BHA have now updated the guidelines covering the process to obtain copyright approval by BHA members. These guidelines can be found by clicking the following link:
...or by going directly to the BHA website under the 'Downloads/Documentation' tabs.
|The East Coast Harmony College was held again in February at the picturesque Myuna Bay Conference facility by the shores of Lake Macquarie on the NSW Central Coast.|
This annual event attracted around 60 singers mostly from NSW Clubs but also several representatives from Queensland and Victoria.
The first class faculty was made up of Andrew and Jen Howson, Lea Baker, Jonathon Bligh and Rob Sequeira.
The interesting and enjoyable program was ably arranged by Jen Howson which kept us all engaged for the whole weekend. I am sure we are all now better singers as a result of the weekend.
The College ran from Friday evening until after lunch on the Sunday. The many highlights included the fantastic interaction and fellowship (and just a “little” communal singing complete with essential “lubrication”) between all the members of the nine choruses who attended and the great Saturday night show which was held at the nearby Wangi Wangi Workers Club and was attended by all delegates as well as a number of paying members of the public.
Congratulations and thanks must go to the host Chorus SOUNDWAVES and in particular, Stuart Adey and his long suffering wife Beth who organised and provided virtually the entire catering for the whole weekend at an unbelievably low cost.
THANK YOU STUART AND BETH.
Planning is already underway for next year’s event and is eagerly looked forward to be all us Eastern Regionites.
Brian Bleakley – Chairman
|A new barbershop chorus has been formed at Wangi Workers Club. They sing Thursdays from 7pm and are tentatively called Southlakes Chorus. It has been operating now for four weeks and has 8 new members with singing interest attending.|
The first night was attended by members of Soundwaves Gosford who have offered their support to the new guys. Gary Kirk and Stuart Adey are teaching polecats and new songs including Don't Blame Me from the Myuna Bay workshop.
Five of the new members attended the day activities on Saturday 27th February at Myuna Bay and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The death occurred in Perth last month of Laurie Russell, following a long illness. The funeral was attended by many lovers of singing and admirers of Laurie’s many skills – including John Christie, David Macgill and Bruce Okely.
Very few in the Australian barbershop movement would be aware that, had it not been for Laurie’s initial enthusiasm, there might not have been such a movement in Australia.
Laurie, as the founder and leader of a quartet called The Four Notes, was largely responsible for the fact that the quartet, and their wives, attended the 1984 Convention of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (Inc), held in St Louis, Missouri.
The Four Notes (from left): Laurie Russell, Bruce Okely, David Macgill, John Little
The other quartet members were John Little, David Macgill and Bruce Okely. When they returned to Perth the latter three, full of enthusiasm (and only a limited amount of knowledge of barbershop) set about forming firstly, a barbershop quartet, then a barbershop chorus, which led to a State barbershop association, which led to the National barbershop association – currently known as Barbershop Harmony Australia.
Laurie Russell chose to continue performing and teaching traditional and classical vocal performance. However he never lost interest in his old friends and the progress of the barbershop movement.
John Brigatti President, West Coast Chordsmen
New BHA Membership, Chorus and Quartet registration forms
Application forms to register members, quartets and clubs with BHA have undergone a makeover and are now available through the BHA website.
If you have any of the older forms included on your Club website please delete them in favour of the new documents. Better still, just include the following links on your website to make sure you always have the latest form available without the need to upload new documents each time there is a change!
Also, please check the BHA website for the latest information regarding membership fees.
Membership Application Form
Membership Application Form - Club at Large
Quartet Registration Application Form
Club Registration Application Form
|WELCOME to our new BHA members!|
Your National Council extends a BIG welcome on behalf of all BHA members to the following members who have joined us in recent months.
Newcastle offers a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from budget rooms in backpackers or pubs, to self-contained apartments and 4.5 star hotel options.
Below is a summarised list of accommodation options located in close proximity to Newcastle City Hall and The Wests City Club. Many of these hotels are also within easy access to the fare free bus zone, which operates between 7:30am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday.
*(Approximate walking distance from Newcastle City Hall)
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.com.au/dbpage.php?pg=accommodation|
One of the main Convention venues will be the newly refurbished Wests City Club located in downtown Newcastle on the corner of King Street and Union Street Newcastle. It is open seven days a week and is one of Newcastle’s favourite entertainment and functions destinations. Their large auditorium and other Club facilities will host a number of key events including :
Save time- Save money - Become a member of Wests City ClubTo save time signing in each time you go to this club, apply for membership NOW.
Go to this link and complete the application process.
Or… fill in the application form (see link below) and take it with you, and complete the process when you arrive in Newcastle.
NOTE: be aware that when either using the link and completing the process online, or, filling out the form, you will need to produce ID (Driver’s Licence is OK) when going to reception to collect your membership card.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.com.au/dbpage.php?pg=venue|
The BHA Convention website is fully functional and jam packed with great information about the coming Convention in Newcastle which is due to start on Wednesday 28 September 2016. Visit the website via the link below to find the following information about this, the 14th National BHA Convention. It also has the distinction of being our first annual Convention.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershopconvention.com.au/dbpage.php?pg=home|
|Check out this awesome arrangement of "White Christmas" performed by our 2015 Gold Medal Chorus Sound Connection and its sister chorus Vocalescence.|
This spectacular mixed-harmony collaboration is getting some great response from people all around the world.
The arranger of this version of White Christmas is Deke Sharon, is known as the Godfather of modern A Cappella music, and is the vocal arranger of Pitch Perfect, The Sing Off, and many Glee songs.
You can copy and past this into a new email to send to your friends if you so wish. Otherwise, feel free to share to video on your Facebook page!
Merry Christmas and enjoy watching!
|YouTube Video URL:|
The attached document outlines the many benefits of being a member of Barbershop Harmony Australia, including Our Purpose and Our Values. and what the Association does for you.
|Dates for BHA’s Contests and Conventions have been locked in for next year. |
Sunshine Region (QLD): Friday 22 April - Sunday 24 April
Central Region (South Australia/NT): Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May
Victorian Region (VIC): Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May
Eastern Region (NSW/ACT): Friday 5 May - Sunday 8 May
Tasmanian Region (TAS): Friday 5 May - Sunday 8 May
Western Region (WA): Friday 13 May - Sunday 15 May
These events are fully inclusive of male, female and mixed groups, and are designed to allow barbershoppers lots of opportunity for competition, education and friendship, and each event in your area will be run over two days to allow us time to get as much as possible out of our time together.
The basic structure will be:
Friday night: master classes/other educational activities
Saturday AM: contests – including male, female and mixed groups
Saturday PM: critique sessions, coaching sessions
Saturday night: public concert and afterglow
Sunday AM: mini-Harmony-College-style events
Male quartets need to compete to attain a qualifying score for national contest. However, groups may also nominate to perform for evaluation only. There will be the usual youth, open and senior categories.
Sweet Adelines quartets are invited (by you) to compete in their own category. Many Sweet Ads use this opportunity as a dress rehearsal for their national contests in May. In 2016, the SAI Region 34 contest is in Wollongong on 19-22 May.
Mixed quartets, which have historically been allowed to compete at regional contests, will now also need to attain a qualifying score if they wish to compete at a national level.
Local schools may also wish to compete in a separate category. If you need more guidance on how to do this, please contact BHA’s VP Youth Development, Trevor Rootes, at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Make sure you put these dates in your diary now!
Need further info? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|The attached summary was prepared by Mike Matthew (President of The Canberra Chordsmen) of the key points from the Sydney workshop, attended by about twenty executive management representatives of ER barbershop choruses and facilitated by Richard Reeve (BHA VP Membership)|
|Blindside are off to Pittsburgh to compete in the Collegiate Barbershop World Championships. They have appeared on the ABC, with Eddie Klimowicz. See the link below...|
|For more information, see:||www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4262921.htm|
|Quartet qualifying scores for the 2015 National Convention and Contest in Melbourne have now been determined, after review and recommendation by the Contest Administrator and endorsement by the BHA National Council.|
The list of quartet qualifiers is attached.
Some other interesting facts. Ten (10) Open quartets scored >70%, with an additional two (2) Mixed quartets >70%. Twenty Seven (27) quartets (including 2 Senior and 3 Mixed) scored >65%. All quartets that qualified for the Youth category also qualified for the Open (i.e. scored >61%).
Ian Mulholland (President), and Linda Vinall (Contest Administration Specialist), on behalf of
Alex Morris (Chairman of Judges) and Vicki Donnelly (National Contest Administrator)
|We are pleased to announce that the 2013 BHA Perth Convention DVDs are now available for sale in our Harmony Marketplace store.|
We have two DVDs available: The chorus contest (plus bonus Champions of Harmony concert), and the quartet contest.
Click on the link below to order yours now!
|For more information, see:||www.barbershop.org.au/dbpage.php?pg=merchandise|
|This is plenty of Perth 2013 merchandise still remaining in the Harmony Marketplace store, including shirts, hats, caps, stubby holders, etc.|
This high-quality equipment won't last long, so get your order in soon!
As a special offer, we've reduced the postage on all items down to only $3.00 per item.
See the link below for the full merchandise catalog.
|For more information, see:||www.barbershop.org.au/dbpage.php?pg=merchandise|
|AAMBS Members can borrow Manuals plus Videos, CDs, DVDs from National and International Barbershop Conventions, and of individual Choruses and Quartets. Just contact Linda Vinall at email@example.com and she will be happy to send them out to you. All it costs you is the postage to return the borrowed items to Kevin.|
BHA Members can also buy BHA Badges, Pitch Pipes and other BHA merchandise via our Harmony Marketplace page.
|Members can borrow videos, CDs, DVDs and manuals from National and International Barbershop Conventions, and of individual choruses and quartets. Contact the Secretary, Kevin White at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 6026, West Gosford NSW 2250, and he will be happy to send them out to you. All it costs you is the return postage!|
You may all be familiar with the concept of flash mobs â€” groups appearing suddenly in public, performing, and then, just as quickly as they appeared, disappearing back into the crowd.
Recently, the lads from the Vocal Evolution chorus had the chance to stage an awesome flash mob at Karrinyup, a large shopping centre in Perth, WA, which was performed in conjunction with the SIDS WA branch. This flash mob is designed to raise money and awareness for Red Nose Day, which helps support research and services for SIDS (or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS claims between 120â€“140 babies each year in Australia alone.
Each time someone views the clip on YouTube a donation is made by Google ads. The previous flash mob at Karrinyup was viewed over 800,000 times, was in the top ten viewed YouTube clips in Australia last year, and raised many tens of thousands of dollars for a very worthy cause. So, jump onto the following link and support a worthy cause â€“ and enjoy seeing Vocal Evolution surprise the crowd! We want to push this clip past the 1,000,000 views mark, so please send this to all of your friends, colleagues, family and workmates â€“ itâ€™s for a great cause and only takes a couple of moments!
To make a donation to help research SIDS and support parents who have tragically lost a baby to SIDS go to www.sidsandkidswa.org.
If you want to hear more of our National and Pac-Pacific Champions, Vocal Evolution, buy a CD by going to www.vocalevolution.com/cd/like-a-song.
What is this new name and logo all about?
Logos are an important part of an organisation’s public image.
Common sense and standard industry practice dictate that maximum public impact can only be obtained through the consistent use of a single, recognisable logo.
The name and logo of an organisation have two distinct audiences.
The first audience is the members of that organisation. To this group of people, the name and logo give a focus on which they attach their membership. It has heritage, giving a sense of history and origins. It represents ideas of those who have gone before and also the work which they have done.
The second audience is basically everyone else â€“ our potential audiences and our potential members. They are most in need of a name which grabs interest and informs, as it is they who we are trying to attract to our concerts and to join us.
Why did we need a new logo?
For many years, many of you may have had the experience of needing to explain the old AAMBS name and logo and describe what AAMBS meant.
Your National Council thought long and hard about the best ways to represent our organisation â€“ to you, the members, to the general public who needed to be able to identify with us, and to the world-wide barbershopping fraternity, and we are thrilled to be able to move ahead with this exciting new branding.
Therefore, we decided that we should have a public “trading name” which succinctly informs who we are and what we do.
What does this all mean?
Branding is more than simply getting a new name and logo onto your letterhead.
We still have a way to go to bring the operation of our organisation up to date, and your National Council is working hard on many other ideas. The first step, though, is to reinvigorate our brand name. It is what we want people to think and feel when they see us or join us, or any representation of us. It is all about the philosophical considerations such as organisational values, target audiences, target recruits, etc.Â We want you, the members, to be proud to be a part of this wonderful organisation.
The current association name and logo will not cease to exist; rather, AAMBS will simply have a new name and logo that is more contemporary from a design point of view, more informative to those who see it for the first time, and more in line with the visually pleasing, simple and descriptive logos in use in the 21st Century.
It is important to restate that AAMBS will remain the official name of our cherished organisation. It will remain the name for bank accounts, incorporation etc. The new name and logo will be a trading name, our “brand” â€“ Barbershop Harmony Australia!
|Welcome to the new Barbershop Harmony Australia website which has launched to coincide with the rebranding of our Association. We are very excited to be able to update the look and feel of our online presence and we hope that you will enjoy using it.|
We have plenty of items on the to-do list for the site that are yet to be implemented but if you have some feedback about the site, feel free to drop a line to email@example.com.
|The Fishbowl Boys have their very own CD, Smile, out now featuring the following tracks:|
You can buy them for $15.00 each (which includes postage within Australia) through firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Our Gold Medal Quartet Benchmark appeared in the Semi Finals of Australia's Got Talent on Tuesday 7th June and received a standing ovation and accolades from all three judges. This has promoted our beloved art form right across Austalia.|
|This is a detailed History of the first 20 years of the Australian Association of Mens Barbershop Singers Inc researched and written by Andy Aberle, a Founding and Life Member of AAMBS. |
Cost: $15.00 + $2.00 handling and postage
Enquiries: 08 9330 4159 - email@example.com
Anthem - the first CD from Alliance, Australia's Medal Winning Quartet who recently represented AAMBS at the 2009 Anaheim, USA International Convention.
You can order Anthem either on their website www.alliancequartet.com or by phoning 0409 084 491. We know you will enjoy many hours of listening to this great quartet.
|For more information, see:||www.alliancequartet.com|