[Dixielandjazz] now Barbershop Quartets (long)

Bill Biffle bbiffle at swcp.com
Thu Nov 6 16:06:16 PST 2003

Well, Tom, the Barbershop Harmony Society has over 33,000 members.
Barbershop is sung in an "organized' fashion in eleven countries from South
Africa, through Europe, to Australia and New Zealand.   There's even
barbershop being sung in China and Japan!  By Chinese and Japanese men (The
Tokyo Barberboys are a big hit!)

The Harmonet, barbershop's equivalent to the DJML, has almost 3,000 members
(how many on DJML?),  The men's organization has over 830 chapters all
across North America with more the 1,500 registered quartets - plus
thousands of others that are not "official".  The Society holds more than 45
competitions each year in which more than 13,500 men participate, judged by
men from a pool of almost 150 certified contest judges.  Countless men and
women staff the faculty of more than 25 separate weekend schools each year -
plus a week-long school held each Summer that has more than 65 faculty
members and over 650 students.

There is a headquarters in Kenosha, WI, http://www.spebsqsa.org with  almost
50 full-time staff members.

Sweet Adelines, International is a world-wide organization of more than
25,000 women with much the same participation rates.

It may be a well-kept secret, but it's tough keepin' the lid on it, I can
tell you!

Bill Biffle
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <TCASHWIGG at aol.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 3:34 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Re:wasThe Pineapple Chord/now Barbershop Quartets

> In a message dated 11/6/03 2:15:46 PM Pacific Standard Time,
bbiffle at swcp.com
> writes:
> > Bill Biffle
> > 28 year member of the
> > Society For The Preservation and Encouragement Of Barber Shop Quartet
> > Singing In America, Inc.  (SPEBSQSA)
> >
> > Trumpet and Leader
> > The Duke City Jazz Band
> >
> >
> Now see here Bill, here is a great example of out of sight out of mind!
> How long has it been since I heard a Barbershop Quartet sing in
> California????
> Humm maybe twenty years or better, now there is an art form that has less
> media exposure than Dixieland Jazz currently does, at least according to
> reports on this list from most of the country.
> Seems to me an old promotion guy that they certainly would fit nicely in
> Traditional Jazz Society program or festival, nice wholesome art form and
> never too loud,
> Excellent showcase of the human voice as an instrument, and a Hell of a
> less boring than Opera.
> I grew up listening to Southern Gospel quartets like J.D. Sumner and the
> Stamps, The Blackwood Brothers, The Speer Family, The Statesmen, Oak Ridge
> and many others.
> Used to have a regular circuit they toured and sold out almost every show,
> great entertainment and also a wonderful art form that made a lot of
people very
> happy, saints and sinners alike.
> They might have smaller audiences these days, but if they were invited to
> participate in many of the jazz society festivals they could bring some
new folks
> to the dwindling audiences and help preserve their art form as well.
> And I don't mean to leave out the Sweet Adelines either, invite them too,
> more the merrier, with all that diversification everybody can and will
have a
> good time.
> Maybe we could all even get along   :)   for a few days anyway.
> Cheers,
> Tom Wiggins
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