Thursday, October 19, 2023

Barbershop in Colby on November 2nd

Wanted. Northwest Kansas men and women, boys and girls, to travel to Colby, Thursday, Nov. 2, to join in a night of barbershop singing. 

The Colby United Methodist Church, 950 S. Franklin, is the location of this special guest night from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Central. Sponsored by the Tumbleweed men’s Barbershop Chorus and the women’s Prairie Rose Harmony Chorus, members of both groups will be on hand to lead guests in the joys of signing harmony. Guest night means there is no obligation to join either sponsoring group.  Refreshments provided.

Thomas Annis, Oakley, is the music director for both groups. This is a special weekly rehearsal, not a show.  Plans are to have a large number of men from the Hays Chorus present in Colby, in addition to all present and many past Tumbleweed and PRH chorus members.

Eighty-five years ago, the founders of The Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) stumbled onto something quite profound: The joy and transformation that comes with four voices singing together. The BHS wants more people to have the opportunity to experience the joy of singing.

“Our mission is to bring people together in harmony and fellowship to enrich lives through singing,” said Dan Obrien, president of the Tumbleweed Barbershop Chorus, Colby. The Colby Chapter meets regularly most Thursday nights throughout the year, and one night a month carpools to Hays to harmonize with their men’s group. The Tumbleweed Chorus is affiliated with the Rocky Mountain District of The Barbershop Harmony Society. 

The women of Prairie Rose Harmony regularly meet Tuesday nights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Central. Both groups normally gather weekly at the Colby United Methodist Church. Prairie Rose Harmony is independent.

Both harmony groups form inter-generational bonds and encourage youth to join in the fun. Many men and women choose to become members of their choruses from the time they join for the rest of their lives.

Barbershop harmony inspires us to blend, create musical beauty and to make friends. Our vision of everyone in harmony means every person who loves to harmonize has a place in our family. We invite singers across diverse cultures and groups.

Barbershop harmony is a style of unaccompanied four-part vocal. The music is written with its greatest emphasis on chord structure. 

Barbershop harmony is rooted in African-American traditions of the late 1800s in the South. Many of the earliest groups of men harmonized while visiting their neighborhood barbershops. Men’s choruses and quartets formalized in 1938, while women’s groups trace their history from 1945.

Visit for further information about the history, structure and opportunities of barbershop singing. Director Annis may be reached by phone at 785-672-2654.

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