Both the Barbershop Harmony Society and the Prescott Chapter have always reached out, welcomed and supported young men who like to sing. Even Prescott's founding group in 1974 included four young men! Most seasoned Barbershoppers cherish this "awesome" hobby and enjoy passing it on to the next generation. Easier said than done, as musical styles and recreational habits have changed and singing is not at the top of the list for many of today's young men with so many competing acivities. But that may change, as singing is becoming "cool" again, as witnessed by the new popularity of TV shows such as Glee and Sing Off. The Society's fastest growing demographic today is youth, and here are some examples of what's been going on:
Westminster, our 2010 chorus champion from California, has an average age of well under 30. The Ringmasters, our 2012 quartet champion, are fresh out of college in Sweden.
Watch and listen: Westminster Chorus Ringmasters
Harmony Explosion Camps let young people really experience what Barbershop is all about. Learn more at Harmony Explosion Camps
Youth in Harmony is strong in our own Far Western District. Check us out: FWD Youth In Harmony
The Prescott Chapter has always welcomed young men into the chorus, featured young talent on our shows, and supported our local schools' music programs. As far back as 1974 our founding group included four young men. In 1998, for example, we hosted the Festival of Harmony, a youth outreach program to help keep singing and harmony alive in our schools. Forty young people participated in two choruses and the event raised $1,200 for local school programs.
More recently, in early 2009, we brought the Ringmasters quartet to town. They were then the Society's Collegiate Champion and the idea was to have them tour local schools and see how the young people would react. They were an absolute smash hit everywhere they went! At a free concert before they left town, young people were bringing their parents to witness this phenomenon!
Read all about it in the Prescott Daily Courier! Ringmasters Visit Prescott
The success of the Ringmasters tour led to the 2009 Real Men Sing! choral festival at Mile High Middle School. This all day event, sponsored by us in collaboration with local music educators, was aimed at young men in local schools, for them to experience the joy of singing with other men and encourage them to join their school choruses. Over 50 young men attended and were joined, not only by chorus men, but by other men from all over the area and as far away as Tucson! It began in the morning with harmony workshops taught by Society clinicians and quartets, and concluded with a rousing evening public performance by nearly 100 male singers, ranging in age from 10 to 82! The young men loved it!
Real Men Sing! was so successful, we did it again in 2010! Here's the Daily Courier again: Real Men Sing- a macho job!