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Re remaking our SPEBSQSA (BHS) Structure

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  • larry4lead
    Charlie D,      I concur that there are many programs, schools and materials available...at various levels within our hobby....and you are correct, any one
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 31, 2013
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      Charlie D,

           I concur that there are many programs, schools and materials available...at various levels within our hobby....and you are correct, any one of us can avail ourselves of these school and opportunities. And my sweeping generalization of funding are not that accurate.

      But...I spent several years,  as a Chapter Coach, District VP and Area Counselor, banging my head against the wall...trying to get "Joe Barbersopper" to "act" on those very programs.

           Perhaps the backwater of Seneca Land District does not reflect the average level of Society wide participation in these programs (personally I think it probably is representative of the BHS norm...).

      And, although I have not compiled any data...it appears to me that these materials and opportunites are used, almost exclusively by the active competitors in our ranks...and creates the appearance of "favoritism.," (e.g. At the COTS schools, when I was still attending them, they included a "Top Gun" feature, which offered free coaching to quartets that had performed well at recent contests...).

           I am sure the Society spends a fair percentage of its membership dues on these schools and programs...and this is, more or less, what I was referring to, when I said the elite (meaning the active competitors who are attending these special offerings), should be grateful to the masses (who are the guys who just want to be left alone, so they can ring a fews chord with their friends...and while they don't begrudge the creation of those programs....they shouldn't be looked on as less of a barbershopper, just because they choose not to participate.) Our founders were just proposing a friendly pick up quartet experience, not a formal musical education. So there is a precedent for isolationism.

           I realize this is a form of "sour grapes" on my part. But over the years we seem to elevate our competitors as "winners," and therefore somehow better than those who for one reason or another were unable (or unwilling) to avail themselves of those Society opportunities.

           When I first joined this hobby, the chapters were more autonous, and didn't expect nor search for outside help. We used to have numerous inter-c hapter meetings...now they are rare. The Society used to have a program of traveling  teachers, who visited the Districts/Chapters teaching and encouraging. There was also a program that recognized chapters for achievements and community activities. These program s,  "touched" Joe Barbershopper,  in a format he could handle and enjoy ...and though I can understand why they have been stopped...I miss them.

           While I can also, understand your umbrage to my remarks....Those non-participants probably provide a significant percentage of the dues funding our Society programs. I have met many poor singers who are passionate barbershoppers...they know they fall short (of even the average) singing levels required to be successful...so they don't eagerly seek out these benefits...but they cheerfully pay their fair share, and frequently attend and support our events. It only bothers me when I hear someone say that poor singers shouldn't be allowed to sing in public....or that a struggling chapter can fix their prob lems if they just take advantage of the Society programs an d learn to sing better.

            This rambling reply,  probably isn't improving your inital impression of me...but, maybe you can understand my frustration. I have always cheered for the u nderdogs.

      Larry Robinson

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Charlie Davenport
      Larry, we’ve exchanged comments before and I enjoy and highly respect your thoughts.. There is some chicken and egg happening here… Here’s the question
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 31, 2013
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        Larry, we’ve exchanged comments before and I enjoy and highly respect your thoughts..



        There is some chicken and egg happening here… Here’s the question to be asked:

        1. Are the higher achieving chapters using more of Society’s resources or

        2. Are the Chapters using more of the Society’s resources higher achievers?



        I believe it is 2 above… As you state, you got frustrated with chapters because they didn’t take advantage of what the District/Society offered… TOTAL POINT OF FRUSTRATION from most leaders I know in the Society… It kinda boils down to what we see here on the Harmonet… Seems a lot of people know what other people should be doing.. and way too many want others to solve the problems… I was asked MANY times during my brief tenure with the Society “What are you going to do for our chapter?” The answer was pretty easy… Nothing… I could (and still can) show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc. but, the “doing” is on the local chapter level… No one from the outside is going to do it..



        Sadly, so many solutions offered here in this thread look for “those other people” to do the fixing… Nope, needs to happen on the local level…



        Don’t give up.. Keep doing on the local level and it the Society will eventually feel it as a whole.. I am very heavily involved with my local chapter and can only encourage everyone to think about what can be done, but make sure you are DOING something on your local level… EVERYONE doing something can’t really be a bad thing!!!



        Charlie D.



        From: larry4lead@... [mailto:larry4lead@...]
        Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2013 6:29 PM
        To: SEND TO HARMONET; charliedbhs@...
        Cc: LARRY ROBINSON
        Subject: Re remaking our SPEBSQSA (BHS) Structure




        Charlie D,

        I concur that there are many programs, schools and materials available...at various levels within our hobby....and you are correct, any one of us can avail ourselves of these school and opportunities. And my sweeping generalization of funding are not that accurate.

        But...I spent several years, as a Chapter Coach, District VP and Area Counselor, banging my head against the wall...trying to get "Joe Barbersopper" to "act" on those very programs.

        Perhaps the backwater of Seneca Land District does not reflect the average level of Society wide participation in these programs (personally I think it probably is representative of the BHS norm...).

        And, although I have not compiled any data...it appears to me that these materials and opportunites are used, almost exclusively by the active competitors in our ranks...and creates the appearance of "favoritism.," (e.g. At the COTS schools, when I was still attending them, they included a "Top Gun" feature, which offered free coaching to quartets that had performed well at recent contests...).

        I am sure the Society spends a fair percentage of its membership dues on these schools and programs...and this is, more or less, what I was referring to, when I said the elite (meaning the active competitors who are attending these special offerings), should be grateful to the masses (who are the guys who just want to be left alone, so they can ring a fews chord with their friends...and while they don't begrudge the creation of those programs....they shouldn't be looked on as less of a barbershopper, just because they choose not to participate.) Our founders were just proposing a friendly pick up quartet experience, not a formal musical education. So there is a precedent for isolationism.

        I realize this is a form of "sour grapes" on my part. But over the years we seem to elevate our competitors as "winners," and therefore somehow better than those who for one reason or another were unable (or unwilling) to avail themselves of those Society opportunities.

        When I first joined this hobby, the chapters were more autonous, and didn't expect nor search for outside help. We used to have numerous inter-chapter meetings...now they are rare. The Society used to have a program of traveling teachers, who visited the Districts/Chapters teaching and encouraging. There was also a program that recognized chapters for achievements and community activities. These programs, "touched" Joe Barbershopper, in a format he could handle and enjoy...and though I can understand why they have been stopped...I miss them.

        While I can also, understand your umbrage to my remarks....Those non-participants probably provide a significant percentage of the dues funding our Society programs. I have met many poor singers who are passionate barbershoppers...they know they fall short (of even the average) singing levels required to be successful...so they don't eagerly seek out these benefits...but they cheerfully pay their fair share, and frequently attend and support our events. It only bothers me when I hear someone say that poor singers shouldn't be allowed to sing in public....or that a struggling chapter can fix their prob lems if they just take advantage of the Society programs and learn to sing better.

        This rambling reply, probably isn't improving your inital impression of me...but, maybe you can understand my frustration. I have always cheered for the underdogs.

        Larry Robinson



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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