Music. Harmony. Community. Barbershop.
Sweet Adelines International was founded in 1945, and what began as a small group of women who loved to sing has developed into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that bridges continents and unites singers from around the world in their mutual love of music.
With more than 70 years of barbershop history, Sweet Adelines International provides a legacy of joy and passion for singing. As one of the largest associations of singers to date, Sweet Adelines continues to positively impact lives and helps people find their voices, build confidence, enhance their vocal abilities, improve leadership and management qualities, and create a lifelong support system.
Harmony Heartland Region 4 is a thriving region of Sweet Adelines International devoted to teaching and performing a cappella barbershop style harmony. Our mission is "To engage, educate, and support members of Harmony Heartland Region 4 and future barbershop singers." We are proud members of Sweet Adelines International, and we'd love for you to be a part of this international musical journey.
Our members love to perform for our communities, our families, and our friends! Choruses and quartets can be found entertaining at various community events and at their own chorus shows. We have great fun together as singers and performers and life-long friendships are made in our choruses, between choruses in our region, and throughout our worldwide organization!
In the spring of every year, Harmony Heartland Region 4 holds a chorus and quartet competition. This is a time for quartets and choruses from throughout the region to come together for the purpose of singing for one other, getting constructive feedback from a panel of international judges, and especially to see old friends. The winners of the regional competition in both quartet and chorus categories are invited to travel to international competitions, which are held in selected cities each fall.
What Is Barbershop?
Today's barbershop is not your grandfather's (or great-grandfather's) barbershop, but the principles remain the same. Today, the songs come from many genres, including modern pop and rock, jazz and old standards, Broadway musicals and gospel, all arranged using a certain set of chords.
Barbershop is a cappella (unaccompanied), four-part harmony built around a melody. The a cappella style and the ear training necessary for independent part singing is a very challenging but rewarding accomplishment. When the music is sung accurately and with good breath support and vocal technique, barbershop harmony produces overtone vibrations that create a unique, resonant ring.
Vibrato, a hallmark of many other music styles, is used minimally. Wide, obvious vibrato tends to hamper the chord "lock and ring" and the expanded sound characteristic of barbershop harmony.
Singers of all backgrounds and skill levels can learn to sing barbershop and become chorus members. It's the coming together of unique voices, talents and experiences that creates the space for an exciting ensemble.
BASIC SINGING REQUIREMENTS
You need to be able to:
- Sing in tune.
- Hear those around you and blend your voice with theirs.
- Hold your own part. In a barbershop ensemble, you often are singing next to someone who isn’t singing the same notes as you.
- Have a home practice plan. Practice equals improvement. Do it on a regular basis and reap the benefits.
- Do a vocal warm-up routine at home before you practice. Depending on what you choose to use for warm-ups, you can specifically work on many different skills at once.
VOICE PARTS IN BARBERSHOP SINGING
Many of us are familiar with SATB or SSAA choral music. The melody is usually in the Soprano I line, above the others. The voice parts in barbershop harmony, from highest to lowest, are Tenor, Lead, Baritone, and Bass. Tenor, Baritone, and Bass are harmony parts, while Lead is the melody. The Tenor and Lead read from the treble (top) clef and the Baritones and Basses from the bass (bottom) clef, but they sing an octave higher than written.