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The Chordlighters are a Barbershop Chorus composed of members from Greenwood to Columbus and surrounding communities. We are a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The chapter was formed in the 1980's from merging the Columbus and Greenwood chapters. Since then the Chordlighters have been a very active and dynamic group that takes pride in our performances and our quality of Singing.
What is Barbershop Singing?
Barbershop singing, like jazz and the spiritual, is a truly American style of music. It is a chromatic four-part harmony sung by four unaccompanied voices. In barbershop harmony the melody is sung by the lead, while the tenor part is sung above the lead. The bass sings lower than the lead and the baritone provides the in-between notes that complete the chords that give barbershop harmony its distinctive four-part sound. It may be sung by a quartet or a chorus as is done by the Chordlighters.
An introduction to the ...
The Chordlighter Chorus of the Barbershop Harmony Society, formally know as The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQA)
Q: What is The Chordlighter Chorus?
A: The Chordlighter Chorus is the Barbershop chorus of the Columbus-Greenwood Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. This means we sing music in the Barbershop style. The Society is an international organization, arranged in sixteen districts across the US and Canada. We are members of the Cardinal District, which consists of chapters located in Indiana and Kentucky. Our activities include organized quartets, tag singing, woodshedding, socializing and good fellowship, but we are all performers in the chorus with the responsibility of providing quality barbershop entertainment to our audiences. Our chorus strives to improve our singing and presentation. The chorus is a team, and as such, can excel only when each member of the team performs very well.
Q: What is Barbershop Harmony?
A: Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era (1940s – present), is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture. Each of the four parts has its own role: generally, the lead sings the melody, the tenor harmonizes above the melody, the bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completes the chord, usually below the lead. The melody is not usually sung by the tenor or bass, except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading, in tags or codas, or when some appropriate embellishment can be created. Occasional traveling may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.
According to the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), "Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies, whose tones clearly define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and barbershop (dominant and secondary dominant) seventh chords that resolve primarily around the circle of fifths, while making frequent use of other resolutions."
Q: What do I have to do to join the chorus?
A: Someone from the Music Team will listen to you sing and suggest a voice part for you to try. You will also be .musically approved. by the Music Team. During subsequent visits, you may try other voice parts if you wish until you find the voice part with which you feel most comfortable. Once you have filled out an application and paid your dues, the Board of Directors will vote on your membership. You will then be an official member of the Columbus-Greenwood Chapter and the Chordlighter Chorus.
Q: Do I have to read music? Do I have to dance?
A: No, and not really! The chorus will provide you with sheet music and learning tapes/CDs for new songs so that you may learn your notes and words without having to read music. Each tape is customized for your voice part, with the other three parts softer behind it. This has proven to be a very effective learning method for those who don.t read music or who would prefer to learn their music by hearing rather than seeing. It's true that the chorus does some choreographed moves when performing some of the songs. The choreography, part of Presentation, will be taught to the chorus move by move, with each move carefully explained to help you achieve the right look with minimum effort and coordination.
Q: When does the chorus perform, and for whom do they sing?
A: The chorus does a combination of several types of performances. We put on stage and cabaret-style shows in Columbus, Franklin, and Greenwood at various times throughout the year. We sing in area church services three or four times each summer. Our annual Christmas Concerts are a highlight of the holiday season. We also compete at district conventions and contests. In addition to these activities, we do a variety of performances throughout the year. Performances average approximately one every four to five weeks.