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Barbershop FAQ

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Here are some frequently asked questions about barbershop and joining our chorus.

bulletWhat is barbershop?
Barbershop is a form of a cappella (no accompaniment) singing.  Unlike most harmony singing where the melody is the top part (like soprano/alto/tenor/bass), in barbershop the melody is usually down in the middle of the chord:
       Tenor (higher harmony)
       Lead (melody)
       Baritone (middle harmony)
       Bass (low harmony)
bulletI haven't sung for a long time - can I still sing?
Singing is not something you lose, your vocal chord muscles are just out of shape. Like any muscle, you just have to get it back in shape. That's where the chorus can help - we'll teach you warm ups and breathing exercises to get all those muscles back in shape in no time.
bulletI'm not a solo singer, can I really do this?
Actually barbershop is best for those of us who are not solo singers. As long as you can carry a tune, you can sing barbershop.  You'll find when you visit us that we are all amateur singers with 'real lives'. We do this for fun.
bulletI don't read music, can I really do this?
You don't have to read music to sing barbershop, although it is of course helpful. We teach music using a variety of methods including recorders.
bulletWhen I come visit, what will happen the first night?
After you arrive the director or her designee will take you off to another room to voice place you. What that means is that she'll sing with you (and other first-timers) some scales to see where your voice is strongest. She'll also ask you some questions about your musical background (whatever that might be). She'll then place you into a part to try. This may not end up being the part you sing - if you are uncomfortable, please talk to the section leader or director about it. We want you to be comfortable singing and this first part might not be the best one for you.
bulletSo what does it take to join the chorus?
When you decide you're interested in joining us, you'll need to learn (memorize) 3 songs for the audition. We use songs we're currently singing so just talk with the director about the song choices. 
  
You'll choose 2 songs of the 3 to sing in a small group (at least 2 people singing each part), and the third song to sing in a quartet (1 person per part) while the director listens to you. The small group and quartet songs can be any of the three.  We suggest you discuss your song choice with the section leader and which song you plan to sing in the quartet, so that she can help you make the best choices for you to be most successful. They can help guide you through the process.   When you're ready (and definitely not required to be done in one night!), just let the director know at the beginning of the night that you're ready to audition on x song and whether it will be in a small group or quartet. She'll plan time at the end of rehearsal for you to do this.  After you've sung your song, the director will discuss with you privately if you passed or if there are things to work on. If needed, you are welcome to re-audition on that song when you're ready.

As long as you've attended 4 rehearsals within a 6 week period and after you've passed your vocal audition you're invited to complete a chorus application which you return with your dues check. The chorus board and then the chorus will vote on your application.  More information will be provided as you move through the process.

bulletStill interested? We hope so!  Please contact us to plan a visit!  membership@harmonymagic.org 

 

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Last modified: March 26, 2015