An Orgy of Harmony

The Barbershop Harmony Society (formerly known as the S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., Inc.) holds its annual convention each year during the week of the Fourth of July.  This year that convention is being held in Indianapolis, IN. 

For the last several years because of improvements in technology and the spread of broadband access to the Internet, the Society has produced a real-time Webcast of the significant events during these conventions.  These Webcasts make it possible for Barbershoppers and friends of Barbershopping to “attend” those events (in a virtual sense), if they choose.  The Webcasts aren’t free (unless you are willing to tolerate 32 Kbps access to monophonic sound only), but they aren’t nearly as expensive as attending a convention itself.  In fact, for $85 you can gain a Premium access to all the events that are being Webcast.  Or if you prefer, you can sign up for only some of them.  The individual daily prices are listed on this page.  Prices range from $5 for high quality stereo audio only all the way up to that premium package mentioned above.  It is possible to get video and audio with only a 56 Kbps modem, but you’ll enjoy the whole thing a great deal more if you have broadband access.

Here are the instructions for how to sign up for the Webcasts.  And here is a schedule of the events for the Webcasts.   Although all of the events are enjoyable, particularly for the die hard fans, the culmination of the week is the Saturday night International Quartet Finals where the top ten quartets who have survived the process of elimination earlier in the week compete for the honor of being named the International Champion Barbershop Quartet.  Reaching that goal represents an enormous amount of hard work, long hours of practice, and a high level of commitment to the art of singing Barbershop harmony, and though you’d be astonished to believe it once you’ve heard most of these quartets sing, all of the participants are amateurs. 

If you’d like an evening or two of wholesome entertainment for a small cost, check out these events.  I think you’d enjoy it.  It’s the next best thing to being there.

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