The Barbershop Harmony Society 2016 International Convention will take place July 3-10 in Nashville. The organization has been headquartered in downtown Nashville since 2007.
A uniquely American art form, barbershop is four-part, a cappella, close-harmony singing style. It will be spotlighted in competitions hosted at venues across Nashville, including Music City Center, Bridgestone Arena, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the First Baptist Church.
The convention is expected to attract more than 6,000 singers and generate more than $11 million for the local economy.
“Barbershop harmony is improvisational music at heart,” said Marty Monson, CEO of the Society. “Although we’ll have all of our superstars here on stage and in competitions, a huge number of our guests come just to sing with each other, to meet up casually to sing their favorites with new friends. That singing spills out of the hotels and convention center, and engulfs the entire city. We are the opposite of a hide-in-conference rooms convention.”
With 23,000 members, the Society is the world’s largest all-male singing organization. Today, it has more than 800 chapters across North America with 4,500 affiliates in nine additional countries. Affiliated and female organizations around the world bring the global barbershop movement to more than 80,000 singers. Groups from England, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Germany, and Ireland travel to Nashville this summer for a week of a cappella singing.
Among the highlights of the week are two performances at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center of “Pitch Perfected: An Evening of Vocal Harmony,” which features championship quartets, on July 6-7. “A Better World Singing Day” will also take place on July 9, offering families the opportunity to be a part of making music together while enjoying free shows at The Walk of Fame Park and Bridgestone Arena.
The full week schedule includes quartet contests for singers under age 25, and the open division contest, the International Chorus Contest, and hundreds of classes ranging from vocal techniques, songwriting to comedy, to music history.
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