What We Offer
The Men of Harmony have much to offer with our program centering on the Barbershop Style of Singing.
So what is the Barbershop Style of Singing?
Barbershop Style or Barbershop Harmony is four-part, a cappella, close-harmony singing using the names Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass. The melody is carried in the second part, called the Lead. The Tenor harmonizes above the melody, the Bass sings the low notes, and the Baritone sings the “other harmony”, sometimes above and sometimes below the melody.
Barbershop Harmony can take one of two forms:
A Quartet made up of one voice of each part.
A Chorus made up of many men but singing the same basic four parts.
We're all about singing, that's our main focus. And as such, we do everything in helping our members enjoy and improve their singing talents. At the local level, we have sheet music for all of our songs and learning CD’s for many of them. In addition, support is available at our chapter meetings as we rehearse as a group and have break-out practice for each section (Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass) as needed. We want everyone to sing to the best of his ability and will help each member to achieve that goal.
Our chapter is managed by an elected Board of Directors, all of whom are active chapter members. When we elect new officers, training is offered through the Chapter Officer Training School (COTS). COTS provides each new officer with basic training for the position to which they’ve been elected.
At the national level there are many resources provided by the Barbershop Harmony Society. For one example, in mid-summer, the Barbershop Harmony Society conducts Harmony University, a week-long experience for Society members to learn better vocal techniques, improve presentation skills, and study non-singing aspects of barbershopping. For those wanting to develop their music leadership abilities, the Society holds Directors' University in concert with Harmony University.
Every joining member must abide by the “Code Of Ethics”:
The Society aspires to preserve for its members and for all future generations of Prospective members the sacred right of men to seek haven from the burden of their daily cares through indulgence in old-fashioned vocal quartet harmony, and to that end we do hereby solemnly pledge ourselves to abide by the precepts of the Code Of Ethics:
We shall do everything in our power to perpetuate the Society.
We shall deport ourselves and conduct the Society's functions in such manner as to reflect credit upon the Society and its membership.
We shall conform in all respects to the bylaws of the Society and the rules from time to time promulgated by its Society Board of Directors.
We shall accept for membership only congenial men of good character who love harmony in music or have a desire to harmonize.
We shall exhibit a spirit of good fellowship toward all members.
We shall refrain from forcing our songs upon unsympathetic ears.
We shall not use our membership in the Society for personal gain.
We shall not permit the introduction of political, religious or other similar controversial issues into the affairs of the Society.
We shall by our stimulus to good music and vocal harmony, endeavor to spread the spirit of harmony throughout the world.
We shall render all possible altruistic service through the medium of barbershop harmony.
Last but not least, we offer you fellowship. The Men of Harmony offer additional activities as well as the local Area Council, the Central States District (CSD) and the Barbershop Harmony Society that provide opportunities to meet other barbershoppers from the St Louis area and around the world. The CSD hosts both spring and fall conventions each year and we have the option to compete with other chapters of our size. The Society, during the 4th of July week each year, hosts a week-long international convention and competition, featuring the best quartets and choruses from around the world. These events, along with other hosted by each of the 16 districts, provide us multitude of opportunities to mingle with other barbershoppers and practice our craft.
For our communities and the organizations and companies that are part of them, we can provide quality, wholesome entertainment for all types of events. For more than 50 years, we have sung for many groups of all types and look forward to more. Check the “Hiring Us” section for more information.
We have two shows each year – one at Christmas when we share the program with local High School performing groups, and one in the spring which allows us to showcase our form of entertainment in the form of a stage show. At this performance we do it all; scripts, scenery, staging, lighting, etc., treating our audience to a variety of musical entertainment. In 2009, we held our 50th annual show at the Florissant Civic Center (Eagan Center) in Florissant. In addition to the chorus, our show features chapter quartets, and a variety of award winning society quartets.
A successful Barbershop Harmony Society chapter needs resources to operate. Our expenses include rehearsal hall rental, director’s fees, uniforms, show expenses, insurance, advertising, and other related items. We do everything we can to be self-sufficient by earning money from our annual show tickets, program ads, and chorus performance fees. Participation in this aspect of our program is another opportunity for fellowship and building of friendships. Singing with friends truly brings a feeling of good will … and helps a guy forget all the cares of the day!