Canadian Barbershop Harmonies - Where Are They?

  • Posted on: 3 December 2016
  • By: Tom Holden

With Canada's 150th coming up, there has probably been no better time to add some Cancon to our chorus repertoires. Searching through the BHS catalogue to find arrangements of Canadian songs is like looking for a needle in a haystack - there are so few. Having rearranged The Maple Leaf Forever, I realized that there was no good medium through which I could communicate its existence to Canadian chapters and that would be true for other composers and arrangers.

So I started a Facebook group a couple of days ago to try to bring together Music Team leaders for men's and women's barbershop choruses from across Canada with composers and arrangers of Canadian songs. Initial invitations went to most of the BHS Chapters outside of the Ontario District but, through the magic of social networking, there has been uptake from members of Sweet Adelines International, too. Already, there have been new connections made and the exposure of much more Canadian material.

I was going to plough through the BHS Chapters map to contact Ontario District choruses but there are so many and the group has been so active that I'm hoping this article will reach somebody in each one. If you are not on your chapter's Music Team, please let them know about it.