Junior Quartets (18 and under)


 Learn about changes to the program in the Frequently Asked Questions



  • The contest is open to young men’s, women’s and mixed quartets
  • All singers must be 18 years of age or under at the time of the Midwinter Event.
    • No exceptions will apply.  Should any quartet member be over the age of 18, the quartet will only be considered for the Varsity (18-25) quartet contest held at International.
    • There are no restrictions regarding membership in the Barbershop Harmony Society or any affiliate organization.


  • One quartet member may participate in more than one quartet in preliminary competition. However, they can only sing in one qualifying quartet.
  • All arrangements performed by quartets must be obtained in accordance with international and USA copyright law.  Further information may be found here.
  • One (1) song in the barbershop style must be sung. A quartet may use the same song it sang in the preliminary video contest and the live contest at the midwinter convention.  Suggested song list.
  • The video must be recorded in HD in front of a live audience without any edits or production enhancements. The live audience may be at public or private event or performance.  We encourage you to consider recording your performance in front of a local Barbershop Harmony Society chapter or district.  You can find local opportunities by searching our website (barbershop.org) or by emailing outreach@barbershop.org.


Entry & Qualification

  • Record your group singing. It doesn’t have to be a professional recording, so have fun with it.
  • Perform only ONE contestable barbershop song to qualify (a 2nd song is not required)
  • Post your video on YouTube.
  • Register your quartet using the online entry. (Registration form embedded below.)
  • Quartets must have their quartet names approved, so as not to conflict with names already selected and reserved by other competitors and registered Barbershop Harmony Society member quartets.
  • Certified Society judges will adjudicate all contests, both video preliminary and the live Midwinter competition, using standard Society contest rules. Invitation to the finals combines standard rules and other factors described below.
  • All videos must be submitted by YouTube link within the registration form no later than September 30.
  • Video must be recorded and uploaded between January 1 and September 30, 2018
  • All video/photo/audio submitted will be owned and used without restriction by BHS.
  • All quartets are required to participate in a pre-event and postevent survey.

Barbershop Style

  • Basic characteristics of barbershop harmony:
    • Four unaccompanied voices.
    • Melody in the second voice down (lead, or second tenor). The melody lies within the good quality range for the average lead singer and is free of awkward skips that make it difficult to sing accurately.
    • Consonant four-part chords on all notes of the melody, almost completely in root position and second inversion.
    • Easily understandable lyrics that are in good taste.
  • A chief characteristic of the barbershop style is its wholesome, “G-rated” entertainment values.
  • Forfeiture may result from one or all judges for:
    • Anyone other than quartet members appearing on stage during the performance.
    • Actions by any contestant that are deemed suggestive, vulgar, or otherwise not in good taste, as determined by acceptable, contemporary community standards.  The song in the barbershop style must not be either primarily patriotic or primarily religious in intent.
    • Any spoken words deemed excessive or detrimental to the performance.  Participating choruses should not introduce their selections.
    • Use of contestant’s own electronic sound equipment.
    • Instrumental accompaniment, including instrumental introductions, interludes, or conclusions.

Judging Criteria

  • Videos will be judged by a combination of Contest and Judging score and YouTube views for a total of 40 points
    • YouTube Views (up to 10 points).  For every 100 views you receive 1 additional point, up to 10 points (1,000+ views)
      • 1-100 views – 1 Point
      • 101-200 views – 2 Points
      • 201-300 views – 3 Points
      • 301 – 400 views – 4 Points
      • “ETC”
    • C&J Score
      • Each video will receive 1 score from a certified judge in any scoring category
      • Each junior quartet will receive a score based on a 30 point scale (converted from the standard BHS 100-point scale).  Should your junior quartet be interested on how your score converts to the BHS 100-point scale, this information can be provided to you after the festival by requesting the conversion from outreach@barbershop.org.  
      • Each judge will be required to write a brief 1-paragraph evaluation encouraging the competitor’s participation and improvement
    • Top 15 will be invited to compete at Midwinter based on overall combined scores
      • The live competition will be judged by a single BHS judging panel
      • Scores will be converted to the 30-point “YCF scale”


  • Junior quartet competitors will be eligible for scholarship assistance (assuming they are not also participating in the junior chorus invitational)