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Barbershop Harmony is Alive & Well in Brookhaven

Written by Long Island  |  12. September 2011

For over forty years, the Harbormen Barbershop Chorus has provided the Town of Brookhaven with their very special sound of Barbershop harmony. The chorus, which is based in Stony Brook, has 40 members and is the North Brookhaven Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The society headquarters are located in Nashville, TN. The Harbormen were charted as a non-profit musical organization in 1968. Through its ongoing membership, it has kept the unique sound of a-cappella harmony (with out instrument accompaniment) alive and well in Brookhaven. As much a part of American culture as Old Glory, Mom, and apple pie, barbershop quartet singing is one of America’s native art forms. No one knows where the “Barbershop” style originated, but it is probable that is was a product of musical evolution during the settling of the West. Later it flowered in countless small towns where the local barbershops were the principal gathering place. It reached its heyday in the early 1900s, but is still a beloved tradition and art form today. Quartets singing in the barbershop style were among vaudeville’s most popular entertainment. In 1938, the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. was founded in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a membership of twenty six men. Over the years the society grew, changed its name to the Barbershop Harmony Society and now has over 30,000 members in eight countries. The Harbormen sing through out Long Island at a variety of venues, such as county fairs, Long Island Duck’s baseball games, Dickens’s Festivals, Christmas tree and menorah lighting ceremonies, public libraries, nursing homes, hospitals, veteran’s homes, Brookhaven Town Council meetings, shopping malls, MacArthur Airport and memorial services for local service personnel and 9-11 first responders. The Habormen’s local community project is the Good Shepherd Hospice at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson. They have two major fund raiser programs during the year, singing valentines in February and Christmas Carol singing during the Christmas holiday season. The chorus like a barbershop quartet has four singing parts, Lead, Bass, Tenor and Baritone. The chorus represents the Brookhaven area at the society’s yearly chorus competition, and it has three society registered quartets which also perform through out the Long Island area. Membership in the chorus is open to all male singers. Knowledge of music is not necessary. This article was written by Herb Mordkoff. For more information The Harbormen Barbershop Chorus, please email or call Herb. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Long Island Media, LongIsland.com staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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