Years ago a Barbershop Bash in Bolton Landing had these singing groups serenading in the streets and spreading harmony wherever they went.
This year marks the return of this American music art form to the shores of Lake George as the region’s official district of the Barbershop Harmony Society hosts one of their 2017 conventions in the village of Lake George.
More than 40 competitor groups including quartets, choruses and others have signed-up for this international contest and convention.
There will be singing all weekend, and hopefully some spontaneous outdoor a cappella if the weather cooperates.
"It’s music in a very pure form created with nothing but human voices coming together to create a rich and satisfying texture that is pleasing to the ears and invigorating to the soul," according to a press release from the Northeastern District of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
The public is invited to the Saturday night BIG SHOW on May 6 at the Lake George Junior-Senior High School.
For $20 a ticket you can enjoy the entire Saturday evening events beginning at 5:45 p.m. with the "Top 10" District International Preliminary Quartet Finals Contest. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m.
The Big Show, which starts at 8:15 p.m., “has been arranged with Lake George and the community in mind... with special guest appearances brought in to Lake George just for the show — a TOP International champion chorus and 2 top International champion quartets. Voices of Gotham chorus from New York City will perform as well as the current #1 Top Quartet in the world — Forefront, plus a newly-arranged TOP 10 quartet, Category 4,” according to the press release.
Each of the districts in the U.S. compete annually and send top quartets and choruses to an International Contest, which is in Las Vegas this year. Affiliated groups around the world also come together and compete at the International Convention.
The Northeastern District is one of 17 Districts of the Barbershop Harmony Society — the largest all-male singing organization in the world.
There are organizations for singing women “barbershoppers” too! Harmony, Inc. is one national organization of women barbershop harmony singers, another is Sweet Adelines International, who has a local chapter– Saratoga Soundtrack. They have graciously offered to assist hosting the weekend events in Lake George.
The NED comprises an area from the Canada Maritimes to Poughkeepsie, New York, and from Montreal, Canada to Cape Cod, MA. It includes all of New England and the eastern most areas of New York state. The convention in Lake George is the regional contest event and encompasses two of five divisions and a district-wide International Preliminary Quartet contest.
The Northeastern District wishes to thank Lake George and the community, for the hospitality and support.
The Fort William Henry is also having a dinner buffet Saturday night for $15.95 per person. During this dinner at the hotel you may be able to see spontaneous a cappella breaking out with the barbershop quartets all around.
The full schedule:
- Friday, May 5, 2017 (Mountain & Yankee Quartet & Int'l Prelims Semi-Finals)
- 5:00 PM — 7:00 PM: Pre-Registration OPEN (Fort William Henry Hotel)
- 6:00 PM — 7:30 PM: On-Site Registration OPEN (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 6:30 PM: Auditorium Doors OPEN for the audience/attendees (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 7:00 PM — 10:15 PM: Mountain & Yankee Quartet & Int'l Prelims Semi-Finals
- 10:45 PM*: Announcements* (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 11:00 PM — 12:20 AM: Quartet Evaluations* (Fort William Henry Hotel)
- Saturday, May 6, 2017 (Mountain & Yankee Divisions Chorus Finals)
- 10:00 AM — 12:00-noon: Pre-Registration OPEN (Fort William Henry Hotel)
- 11:00 AM — 12:30 PM: School & Pre-Registration OPEN (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 11:30 AM: Auditorium Doors OPEN for the audience/attendees (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 12:00 noon — 1:50 PM: Mountain & Yankee Divisions Chorus Finals Contest (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 2:10 PM*: Announcements* (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 2:30 PM* — 4:10 PM: Chorus Evaluations* (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- (International Quartet Finals)
- 4:30 PM: School OPENS.
- 4:45 PM — 6:15 PM: On-Site Registration OPEN (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 5:15 PM: Auditorium Doors OPEN for the audience/attendees (Lake George Sr/Jr High School)
- 5:45 PM — 7:25 PM: International Prelims Finals
- 7:30 PM*: Announcements*
- 8:15 PM — 10:00 PM: The BIG Show! (See below)
- 10:00 PM — 12:00 AM: Quartet Evaluations* (Fort William Henry Hotel)
* Note: start times dependent on the previous event's ending time (via contest length)
*More on the Saturday Night Big Show at the High School!
Featuring an award winning line-up
of SPECIAL GUEST performers!
- "Voices of Gotham"
Chorus from Hell's Kitchen chapter, Manhattan NYC.
- "Category 4"
the new arrangement of the quartet "A Mighty Wind" with current NED'er Kirk Young on bass - and headed to 2017 Internationals in Las Vegas!
Current BHS 2016 International Champions, in the house, on stage! Yup - that's former NED'er Drew Wheaton on tenor!