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Westminster Chorus From California Wins International Barbershop Contest

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 2, 2010). In a competition jam-packed with high excitement and musical talent, Westminster Chorus from Westminster, California has won the Gold Medal in the 2010 International Barbershop Harmony Society Chorus Competition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The group edged out the competition with their touching rendition of “It Only Takes a Moment” and the energetic “Mardi Gras March.’

Directed by Justin Miller, and composed of younger-than-average singers for a barbershop chorus, Westminster in its current formation began singing in 2002. Their vocal range and precision won them a previous gold at the 2007 Barbershop Harmony Society International Competition, and in 2009 they were named “Choir of the World” Pavarotti Trophy winner in the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod Festival in Wales, UK. They have just released their second CD, “It Only Takes a Moment.”

Rounding out the five medalist positions were Silver Medalist Vocal Majority from Dallas, TX; Third Place Bronze winner The Northern Lights from Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fourth Place Bronze Sound of the Rockies from Denver, CO; and the Alexandria Harmonizers from Alexandria, VA with Fifth Place Bronze.

About the Barbershop Harmony Society: Founded in 1938 in Tulsa, Okla., the Barbershop Harmony Society is the largest all-male singing organization in the world with nearly 30,000 members including 1500 quartets in 800 chapters. Another 4,000 barbershoppers are members of affiliated organizations in Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden. The Society is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and is home to the Old Songs Library; the world’s largest privately held collection of sheet music, containing 750,000 sheets and 125,000 titles from the heyday of Tin Pan Alley. The Heritage Hall Museum of Barbershop Harmony, also located in Harmony Hall, serves as a repository for barbershop memorabilia, early recordings, costumes, research materials, and historical documents tracing the roots of the barbershop style. www.barbershop.org.

About barbershop-style a cappella music: Barbershop harmony is a uniquely American musical art form. It is known for its four-part harmony and the “expanded sound” created by its unique chord.