Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Barbershop Style of Singing?

Barbershop is a type of a capella (unaccompanied) singing born in the mid- to late-19th century, about the same time jazz and the blues were emerging from African American roots. The barbershop style requires the harmonization of four voices: the lead, who carries the melody; the bass, who grounds barbershop chords under the melody; the tenor, who provides light harmonization above the melody; and the baritone, who completes the chord structure. Barbershop singers perform for the joy of it, but also to help preserve a traditional American art form.

What Is the Barbershop Harmony Society?

The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA), is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C. Cash in 1938, the organization quickly grew, promoting barbershop harmony among men of all ages. Just under 25,000 men in the United States and Canada are members of this organization whose focus is on a cappella music. The international headquarters is in Nashville, Tennessee.

What Is the Relationship between Harmony Express and the Barbershop Harmony Society?

Harmony Express is a local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society incorporated in the state of Maryland. It is one of two chapters in Montgomery County and one of 16 in Maryland.

Are Harmony Express Rehearsals Open to Visitors?

Harmony Express welcomes visitors at all times; however, our Covid policy requires participants to be vaccinated and we require the same of visitors.  If you would like to give Barbershop Singing a try, or are just curious, we would love to see you at an upcoming rehearsal.  Harmony Express meets every Sunday evening from 7:00 to 9:30 PM in the choral room of Pathways Baptist Church, 200 W Diamond Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.  The rehearsal space is handicapped accessible.  Please call or write in advance, in case a particular rehearsal has been cancelled.

How Can I Contact Harmony Express?

Take a look at our Contact Us page.