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Re: A View from the Summit...a hypothetical...and an apology...

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  • tom campbell
    This is an interesting stat. When the latest chapter was formed in Portland, they didn t want to raid existing chapters but did come up with a list of 362
    Message 1 of 10 , May 3, 2009
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      This is an interesting stat. When the latest chapter was formed in Portland, they didn't want to raid existing chapters but did come up with a list of 362 names of guys who had dropped out in the past 6 or 8 years. That was who attended the first formative meeting.
       
      ( That was the important part designed to galvanize chapters who are looking to increase membership (who isn't?).
       
      At the meeting I espoused my platform of variety and fun and quartetting but most of the guys wanted a super chorus to get to International (they're almost there). Still, they offered me the post of Music V.P. which I declined. It's been my experience that they didn't accept my song choices, arrangements, and improvements anyway ( which are good ) and I'd be stuck on the risers for 2 1/2 hours every week, so why go through all that effort again? Years of work is too big a chunk out of my life for 6 minutes on stage and a 18th place finish. I will say that most directors try to make it fun and keep a few laughs going in the process, the Bobby Gray Jr. method - lots of positive encouragement. It's not a dismal experience, it can be very rewarding but it's not for everyone. Fortunately there is plenty of room under the barbershop umbrella for everyone to enjoy whatever facet they like best.
       
      I'll close with a story about one of my most memorable members. He came to us one day, loved the chapter, was visibly moved when we drummed him in ( We sang "Keep The Whole World Singing", softly, while reading the stuff on the back of the membership card ) , knew more jokes than anyone at every afterglow, volunteered for stuff, and was one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. Couldn't sing a lick, though to his credit he did tend to sing the melody an octave low. Our director didn't want to take him to contest. I told him this guy is a great chapter member, for goodness sakes he had tears in his eyes when we inducted him into our fellowship, we're going to finish last again anyhow, you gotta bring him. And we did. )




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    • Charlie Davenport
      Tom, since I can t see any chapter in the Portland area with 362 members, do you have any thoughts of starting a chapter using a model that would be different
      Message 2 of 10 , May 4, 2009
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        Tom, since I can't see any chapter in the Portland area with 362 members, do you have any thoughts of starting a chapter using a model that would be different from the others in the area that have apparently attracted you to their meetings?

        Wouldn't you agree that a market would be saturated when all the men who want to, or potentially could, sing barbershop are singing barbershop in a chapter? So, why not clearly define what you want, and, if it does not exist in your area, let's create it.

        But then some will say "But this will hurt the other local chapters!" I say it will hurt only the other chapters that are not as attractive as the new chapter. If the other chapters are solid, attractive places to be on a weekly basis, then a new chapter will only add more barbershopping in the area, and likely help the other chapters.

        Thoughts?

        Charlie Davenport
        Director of Membership
        Barbershop Harmony Society

        --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, tom campbell <tom_raconteurr@...> wrote:
        >
        > This is an interesting stat. When the latest chapter was formed in Portland, they didn't want to raid existing chapters but did come up with a list of 362 names of guys who had dropped out in the past 6 or 8 years. That was who attended the first formative meeting.
        >  
        > ( That was the important part designed to galvanize chapters who are looking to increase membership (who isn't?).
        >  
        > At the meeting I espoused my platform of variety and fun and quartetting but most of the guys wanted a super chorus to get to International (they're almost there). Still, they offered me the post of Music V.P. which I declined. It's been my experience that they didn't accept my song choices, arrangements, and improvements anyway ( which are good ) and I'd be stuck on the risers for 2 1/2 hours every week, so why go through all that effort again? Years of work is too big a chunk out of my life for 6 minutes on stage and a 18th place finish. I will say that most directors try to make it fun and keep a few laughs going in the process, the Bobby Gray Jr. method - lots of positive encouragement. It's not a dismal experience, it can be very rewarding but it's not for everyone. Fortunately there is plenty of room under the barbershop umbrella for everyone to enjoy whatever facet they like best.
        >  
        > I'll close with a story about one of my most memorable members. He came to us one day, loved the chapter, was visibly moved when we drummed him in ( We sang "Keep The Whole World Singing", softly, while reading the stuff on the back of the membership card ) , knew more jokes than anyone at every afterglow, volunteered for stuff, and was one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. Couldn't sing a lick, though to his credit he did tend to sing the melody an octave low. Our director didn't want to take him to contest. I told him this guy is a great chapter member, for goodness sakes he had tears in his eyes when we inducted him into our fellowship, we're going to finish last again anyhow, you gotta bring him. And we did. )
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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