Contests at Conventions: How We Choose Our Champions

During the year, quartets and choruses compete at the divisional, district and international levels. Their performances are judged by men rigorously trained to analyze and objectively rate these performances according to fixed standards of artistry.

The Music judge evaluates the song and the arrangement, as performed. He adjudicates the musical elements in the performance: melody, harmony, range and tessitura, tempo and rhythm and meter, construction and form, and embellishments. He judges how well the musical elements of the performance establish a theme, and the degree to which the performance demonstrates an artistic sensitivity to that theme, as well as the degree to which the musical elements of the song and arrangement display the hallmarks of the Barbershop style Technicality

Intensity On StagePresentation
The Presentation judge evaluates how effectively a performer brings the song to life; that is, the believability of the theme in its musical and visual setting. He responds to both the vocal and visual aspects of the presentation, but principally evaluates the interaction of those aspects as they work together to create the image of the song. He adjudicates the quality and appropriateness of the overall effect. The Presentation Judge evaluates everything about the performance that contributes to emotional impact upon the audience.

The Singing judge evaluates the degree to which the performer achieves artistic singing in the Barbershop style. This is accomplished through precise intonation, a high degree of vocal skill and a high level of unity and consistency within the ensemble. Mastering these elements also creates a feeling of fullness, ring or expansion of sound throughout the performance. When artistry is present, these elements will be natural unmanufactured and free from apparent effort, allowing the performer to fully communicate the theme of the song.

International Conventions
Each summer, the Society holds an international convention that includes contest sessions. These conventions are held in a different city each year, to give as many members as possible the opportunity to attend and participate. Society conventions are family affairs, with wives and children cordially invited to enjoy the singing and special events that are planned for them. Many lasting friendships among families have developed from attending Barbershop conventions.

During this week-long event, the international quartet and chorus champions for the coming year are crowned. More than fifty quartets and at least sixteen choruses compete.

In addition, the Society has an annual midwinter convention, usually in a different location each year, during the last weekend in January. A contest for seniors quartets (men 55 years of age or older with a cumulative age of 240 years or more) is a highlight of the midwinter convention, which, like the summer convention, includes a meeting of the International Board of Directors.

Warming Up for Contest   Next Contest? Evergreen District - October, 2005
What's it like? Look at Last Year or Look at the preceeding year
As many of us as possible will be going to this convention to support our Division III Chorus from Calgary Footholls and Quartet "No Time For This" from Calgary. As well, we can get an idea of what it will take to get in the running for this level of competition. Care to join us?

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