Power Quartetting

It was more than just another great weekend of chord ringing and fellowship for me. It provided a much needed charge to my barbershop battery.
Paul O.

I just wanted to publicly thank everyone for a great weekend. I look forward to singing with you guys again next year!
Mark E.

I had a fantastic time, and will definitely be recommending this event to all my friends for next year!
Drew O.

WOW! Wall-to-wall singing, all weekend! What a good time we had! The rest of you missed a marvelous weekend!
Bob T.

Variations on Power Quartetting

As the Harmony Brigade events are similar in concept (and prior) to the Power Quartetting but on a larger scale, so there are any number of variations on the Power Quartetting idea but on a smaller scale. Some of these might include:

Tags at the Glow

At the Portland Metro Chapter we are in the habit of going out to a local restaurant after the chapter meeting for an afterglow. Besides eating, the main activity at these glows is teaching and singing tags. One of our members will teach a tag to the group, and then four guys will jump up and sing it in a quartet. Another four guys will follow, whoever jumps up first until all have sung that want to. Then the whole process is repeated with another tag.

Chapter Retreat Contest

As we were testing the Power Quartetting idea, we decided to have a similar contest at a chapter retreat. Participants learned four easy songs (we had regular learning and review sessions), and during the retreat they would form up in random combinations and sing during leisure time. At the end of the retreat we had a contest with randomly-drawn quartets. About a dozen guys participated.

Chapter Mini-PQ

Our chapter is holding an event in which participants arrive an hour before the rehearsal and sing our two contest songs in quartets. At least eight or ten different combinations of people would be able to sing in this amount of time. And the section leaders can listen and get a sense of how well people know their music.

Chapter Break-Outs

On a smaller scale, a chapter can divide up randomly into quartets and go to various locations to sing any song(s) in the current repertoire. This is great to give people a quartetting experience. If some singers aren't strong enough to quartet, they can be teamed with a "buddy" singing their part.

Potential Mini-HEP Session

We are exploring the possibility of holding a Power Quartetting session in our local Harmony College. In a ninety-minute session attended by both men and women there could be three songs that are assigned to learn ahead of time. One song could be an uptune in the men's range, another a ballad in the women's range, and a third an eight-part arrangement including both men and women. Participants could learn a part and participate in any or all of the three. The entire group would sing a song together as a review, and then individuals would come up to sing it in quartets (or octets).

Choir Camp Workshop

I often attend a choir camp outside the barbershop tradition where I teach workshops on various topics, including barbershop music. A projected workshop for a future session involves taking one easy barbershop song, encouraging participants to learn a part ahead of time, and spending the hour session learning the song and giving people a chance to sing it in quartets (or octets). This gives people a sense of the barbershop experience that they can't get listening to lectures.

These suggestions are only the beginning. You can think up variations that fit your situation. Maybe you teach in a school music program and something like this would give you a fun activity. Maybe you have a crowd listening to your quartet and you can teach them a tag and let them sing it. The possibilities are virtually endless.