NORWICH – Members of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) recently made their way to Norwich with hopes of forming a local chapter of their organization.
BHS began in 1938 when Owen Clifton Cash, an Oklahoma attorney, hosted 26 men at a rooftop garden who shared his love for singing four-part harmony. By the third week, 150 men were attending the events, and today there are more than 20,000 BHS members, making it the world’s largest all-male singing group.
BHS Seneca Land District Vice President of Membership Art Zelesnikar and Executive Vice President Bob Conant both stated there was a barbershop harmony chapter in Sidney from 1949 to 1954.
“A capella singing has had a huge resurgence recently and it has been almost 50 years since a barbershop group has been in the Norwich area,” said Conant. “It’s about time there was singing going on again.”
Chapters take part in many activities. During weekly chapter meetings members rehearse for both public and private shows, charitable events for churches, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and additional community functions including singing the National Anthem at sporting and community events.
Zelesnikar added the various members of BHS chapters refer to themselves as “barbershoppers” and take great pride in being community oriented.