Fall 2014 House of Delegates Bulletin (HoD)

Fall 2014 House of Delegates Bulletin


You all read The Harmonizer and LiveWire. You’ve pored over the annual plan in January, the annual report in May, the house of delegates update in April. You’re all tied into district communications and conference calls. So why a bulletin? Three main reasons:

  1. To update you on info and policy changes you may have missed elsewhere

  2. To spur actions you need to take now

  3. To make you aware of opportunities on the near horizon

So, quickly and compactly, here is what is new and notable.


A. What has changed since the last bulletin?

  1. We had our biggest convention in years

    • Official count passed 7,000

    • Facilities widely praised, especially under-one-roof convenience, stage sound

    • HIgh attendance translates into profitability, better rebate

  2. We reached more people than ever before thanks to the free webcast

    • Nearly 1200 viewers were educators and students

    • Over 7100 total streams during contest sessions, Over 28,400 hours yielded

    • 25% growth in viewership, helped fund the free webcast for educators

    • Webcast studio in public walkway made it visible, engaging for all

  3. We staged a memorable Saturday Night Spectacular

    • More variety, more entertainment

    • Tighter focus on demonstrating direct fulfillment of Society vision and mission

  4. We had the biggest Harmony University in years, in our new home at Belmont University in Nashville

    • Total enrollment 618, a 45% increase!

    • We had the most diverse group of students, including 40 young men, 29 young women, and 29 music educators, a 25% increase

    • Four full choruses attended in 2014, and four already have signed for 2015, plus a waiting list!  Consider having your chapter attend in 2016, and start planning now.

  5. We kept our business running with revenue over expense

    • Increased marketing of sheet music sales through expanded offerings, fresher titles, expanded learning tracks and direct promotion of new publications at major events. Top twenty sellers are now are being distributed globally by Hal Leonard, with growth to one hundred titles by next year.  

    • Seen significant merchandise sales increases at events:

      • Las Vegas Marketplace – up 29% over 2013 Toronto sales

      • Harmony University Marketplace – up 7% over 2013 sales

    • We have maintained membership at

      • 22145 members, compared with 22659 this time last year

      • 335 Associates, compared with 336 this time last year

      • 1286 registered quartets, compared with 1317 this time last year

  6. We’ve filled major staffing needs

    • Donny Rose joined team in August as Director of Harmony University, bringing 27 years of classroom experience and a great track record of outreach

    • Erik Dove has been hired as Chief Financial Officer and legal counsel, adding strong skills in strategic finance, board governance and community outreach

    • Erin Harris has assumed full time duties as project manager, adding process support, documentation, improvement and sustainability to Harmony Hall

    • Harmony Hall interns added more than 700 hours of labor. More than 20 local volunteers supported our inaugural Harmony University at Belmont University.

  7. We’ve touched more lives

    • Camps/Workshops/Festivals since May 1 have reached 23 events (43 YTD)

    • Harmony University engaged the Nashville Music City community by hosting  a dozen new singers in boot camps, etc


  1. We have expanded our reach in social media
    Since May 1:

    • Facebook Likes have grown 20% to 14,338

    • Twitter Followers have grown 16% to 4,797

    • YouTube Views have topped 7.5 million lifetime, with 10% of those in the last four months, and 25% of all minutes watched in that same time frame. Subscribers to our YouTube channel have grown 19%


B. What do you need to do right now?

  • Review the new grants process – great chances for you to become more relevant
    In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing a revitalized program of grants from the Barbershop Harmony Society and underwritten by Harmony Foundation donors. Full details are coming soon, but in the meantime, start dreaming. What can your chapter and district do to become better leaders in your communities? How can you have more relevance by making a difference in more lives?  www.barbershop.org/grants

  • Study and consider the Chapter Open Boards concept — how can your chapter benefit from expanding its circle of advisors and influencers?

  • Sign up for New Orleans Midwinter and Pittsburgh 2015

  • Sign up for Harmony University 2015, July 26 – August 2, 2015


C. What is on the near horizon?

  • A revitalized Harmony Foundation International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Competition with new ways to enter and participate

  • An incredible outreach opportunity in Pittsburgh, combining the best in performance with the best in community involvement

  • Streamlined, automated new-member application processing



D. What Society policies have changed?


  • Chapter Open Board pilot program will allow chapters to include community members as part of chapter boards without requirement of BHS membership — further details and application are oinline at www.barbershop.org/openboards  

  • Approved Society Board minutes are posted here.  Topics cover:

    • Executive Board elections and new Board member elections: Don Fuson, President; Skipp Kropp, Executive Vice president; Dwayne Cooper, treasurer; John Donehower and John Santora, Board Members at Large

    • Hall of Fame inductees:
      Mo Rector (Gay-Notes, Mark IV)
      139th Street Quartet
      The Boston Common quartet

    • Updated the Society’s Bylaws, Membership Application, and Chapter Bylaws to include commitment to BHS Youth Protection Policy

    • Changes to article XVI, Chapter and District Incorporation to require use of Society name/initials in incorporated name of new chapters

    • Updated Nominating Committee’s candidate selection process, amend Society Bylaw 7.01 (c) (2)

    • Harmony Foundation International Board of Trustees Elections resulted in three new members: Debbie Cleveland, Don Laursen, and Casey Parsons