Everyone has a rare opportunity to attend a Barbershop singing contest in Louisville, KY, today and tomorrow. Just tune in to the webcast that the society is providing and you’ll be able to watch and, more importantly, hear as the best quartets in America compete to see who will be this year’s International Championship Quartet. For the last three or maybe four years the Barbershop Harmony society has used the web to bring the contests to people who can’t attend the event in person, as well as those who may never have attended a Barbershop contest.
Annually nearly 10,000 people attend the convention and contest, held this year in Louisville, but the advent of the webcast makes it possible for anyone with an Internet connection and Windows Media Player to watch and listen to the activities. The first broadcast today is the MBNA America Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest and it begins at 11:30 AM and goes until 5:00 PM. This event, as the name implies, involves college age men and is intended to introduce them to singing Barbershop and give them a taste of what it is to be a member of the society and to compete. Then tonight at 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM, the Quartet Semi Finals will be broadcast where the top 20 quartets in the society sing two songs each for the right to be among the top ten that will participate in the Finals on Saturday night.
On Saturday, the Barbershop Chorus contest will be held (and broadcast) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Choruses from around the world, though primarily the U. S., will send from 50 to 150 men to the stage to sing two songs and be judged as the Championship Chorus for 2004. It’s an event that almost anyone can enjoy.
On Saturday night, the quartets that have made it to the top ten will sing their final 2 songs. Then based on the accumulated scores from the quarter finals, the semi finals and the finals, the quartet that has amassed the highest score will be crowned the champ. This semi final contest is the climax of the convention because it is what the society is all about, and YOU can be there thanks to the miracle of the Internet.
Do yourself a favor and spend some time with a great American pasttime, listening to Barbershop Harmony, this Fourth Weekend, and drop me a line to let me know how you enjoyed it. Remember just follow this link, http://webcast.spebsqsa.org/ and then click on either the 28K Audio Only link or the 56K + Audio & Video link. Though the picture is small, the audio is quality is very good, and I believe you’ll enjoy the show.
“See you” there!