Mixed Choruses at a District Convention?

  • Posted on: 9 June 2017
  • By: Barry Towner

Who would have thought! Well, it is going to happen this Fall in Brantford.

This Spring the District had a mixed quartet contest, sanctioned by the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association (MBHA), as part of their Friday night quartet contest. In order to compete, quartets had to join the MBHA ($20 USD per member plus $20 for the quartet – total $100 USD). Since we had fewer than 25 quartets on Friday night including the mixed quartets, it allowed us to have the International Prelim Quartet contest and the Mixed Quartet Contest in the same session. Judging by the overwhelming feedback from attendees (and the judges) it was a roaring success. Congratulations to Ripple Effect who won the inaugural contest and were the first recipients of the MBHA Ontario District Mixed Quartet Champion trophy.

Another byproduct of this contest was it also served as a preliminary contest for the World Mixed Quartet Contest to be held in April 2018 in Munich Germany. Following all of the District contests, the highest scoring quartets will be submitted to the BinG! (Barbershop in Germany) committee for them to determine invitees to the World Mixed Quartet contest. Each country is allowed one competitor, and if after all entries are finalized there are still slots available, the next highest scoring quartets, regardless of country will be invited. As the World Mixed Quartet Contest is only held every two years, the Mixed Quartet Contest next Spring will only be for District champion. In 2019, the Spring contest will again be a qualifier for the 2020 World Mixed Quartet Contest.

But this article started out talking about choruses. Well, MBHA also encourages mixed choruses and BinG! have announced that in 2018, in addition to the World Mixed Quartet Contest, there will be a World Mixed Chorus Contest. To support this, the Ontario District has decided to hold a District Mixed Chorus Contest, sanctioned by the MBHA, at the Fall convention. Now what comprises a mixed chorus? For a mixed quartet, there must be at least one member of each sex in the quartet. For a mixed chorus there must be at least 20 % of the chorus made up of each sex. That means that, for example, a 20 member chorus must have at least 4 members of each sex (male or female). To be eligible all members of the chorus must be members of MBHA and the chorus must also be a member of MBHA ($40 USD). The plan is to mix the regular choruses with the mixed choruses in the same session. So talk to your friends and get a mixed chorus together. It will be lots of fun.

For more information on the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association, go to their website www.mixedbarbershop.org.

By the way, the MBHA is going to have a mixed quartet showcase at International in Las Vegas on Friday night following the International Chorus contest, in the Harmony Marketplace area. Confirmed so far to perform at the showcase are Double Date (2016 and 2014 World Mixed Quartet Champions), and Vintage Mix, plus more to come.

If you have any other questions, please email me and I will provide an answer. 

Barry Towner
ONT VP, Contest & Judging