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Frequently Asked Questions: Society Membership and Associate programs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you raising membership dues?

Membership dues for the Barbershop Harmony Society have remained at the same rate for the last 4 years, while inflation and other economic forces have increased the cost of doing business and services provided to our members, associates and chapters. The Society Board of Directors and staff recognize that we must increase dues revenue in order for the organization to remain financially viable.


Why are you offering a discount for members/associates who renew early or on time?

On-time renewal is better for everyone! You receive fewer email reminders, there’s no danger of your status lapsing, and it’s a weight off of everyone’s mind. More than 50% of our members already renew early or on-time, so they will receive a 5% discount without doing anything differently.


Why are you offering a discount for members/associates who join or renew online?

Our Customer Service Team members who answer your phone calls and respond to your emails are trained to provide excellent service and assist with a wide variety of member questions and issues. The less time they can spend on administrative work like processing payments and renewals, the more time they can spend working with you on questions that require more staff time and expertise. The time of our CS team is so valuable that we’re willing to offer you a discount for NOT using them for your renewal processing. Modern technology can take care of the easy stuff automatically, so we encourage you to take advantage!


Why are you changing the Society Associate Program?

While associates are not members of the Barbershop Harmony Society and are not able to join a chapter or register a quartet, these barbershoppers are actively supporting and participating in many BHS programs and receive most of the same benefits as Society members. These benefits include The Harmonizer magazine, discounts on music and merchandise purchases at shop.barbershop.org, access to our Member Center, discounted registration for the Midwinter and International conventions, discounted registration for Harmony University, and an associate pin.

Bringing the associate price more in line with Society membership and offering the same discounts for youth and seniors recognizes the alignment and similar benefits received by associates and members.


I’m an associate over 70 years of age. Do I get the senior discount?

Not quite yet, but soon! The senior discount for both members and associates is achieved by a combination of age (70+) and years of service (10+). The Society Associate Program launched at the beginning of 2009, so we look forward to recognizing the first group of senior associates in 2019.


Do I still get a free lifetime membership after 50 years of service?

YES! We look forward to honoring you when you achieve that milestone and thank you for your loyalty and dedication!


How do these changes affect lifetime membership?

Members who currently hold lifetime membership are not affected. Anyone who would like to purchase a new lifetime membership will pay $2,400 until April 30 (20 x $120) and $2,880 (20 x $144) starting on May 1.  Lifetime membership purchases do not qualify for the early renewal or online discounts.


Does this affect my chapter or district dues?

No, it does not. Chapter and district dues are set independently from Society dues by chapter and district leaders.


Does this affect my quartet dues?

No, it does not.  As was recently communicated, starting April 1, registered quartets will pay $60 per quartet ($15 per additional member).  The discounts for online and early renewal do not apply to the quartet fee — only to the Society dues of the individual members.


Why is this happening on May 1 and not January 1?

Any change to membership dues impacting the budget requires both Society Board approval and 60 days notice. It was not possible to meet both of these requirements for an implementation date of January 1, 2018. Now finalized, these changes are being communicated as early as possible.


My renewal date is coming up soon. When can I renew? How much will it cost?

As usual, you are able to renew anytime starting 60 days before your renewal date. Renewals due on May 1 or later are able to be paid on March 2 and will fall under the new annual rate. Renewals with a due date of April 30 or earlier do not change until 2019.


I’m paying my dues through the EZDues monthly program. How does this change affect me?

Because you are paying dues a year in advance, your monthly payment will increase to the new rate with the payment at the end of March 2018. This will happen automatically and you do not need to do anything differently.


Will I get the discounts for renewing early and online if I’m paying through EZDues?

No, those discounts are applied only to dues payments for a full year. However, you will continue to get any senior or youth discount for which you qualify. While there isn’t currently a discount, the advantage of EZDues is all about providing members with an alternative to a single payment — smaller amounts each month instead of a large lump sum once per year.