Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Combining Orgs (long)

Expand Messages
  • Bob Sutton
    My fellow Harmonizer tenor Dan O Brien raised a topic that is really several topics. A dozen years ago there might have been, on the Harmonet, a month s worth
    Message 1 of 2 , May 28, 2009
      My fellow Harmonizer tenor Dan O'Brien raised a topic that is really several topics. A dozen years ago there might have been, on the Harmonet, a month's worth of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth as we fought out every conceivable angle, invoked Dave Stevens' name, and both sides would be shooting long after the sun set. That there wasn't a great deal of back-and-forth this time may be a combination of the fact of (A) Munson no longer being with us; (B) the issue(s) having been kicked around a lot since; (C) nice weather; and (D) all the above.

      But I really feel it to be a reflection of the multiplicity of topics that are really at play. For example, in just the first couple days discussion, I believe that the postings discussed:

      Combining conventions
      Combining contests (not the same as the prior one)
      Combining organizations (not the same as either prior one)

      The answers aren't really all that simple. For example, though I need to be careful what I say because Dan is my tape-listener and I need to qualify for Anaheim, I find the first two to be untenable, but the third reasonable. Logistics of accomplishing this notwithstanding, having some economies of scale by including multiple organizations (and we're talking BHS, SI, HI, and whatever other a cappella societies make sense) under one support staff is a reasonable discussion topic. But that is only because the costs of managing a non-profit are high, and there is enough similarity in the type of thing we do to where it isn't a DOA thought to consider it.

      HOWEVER - where the BHS is concerned, the other thoughts are far less viable. Why? It comes down to mission. Our mission in the BHS is specifically to preserve barbershop (quartet) singing in America. Forget what "America" means for the moment; the point is that our Society mission is the preservation of a specific art form. If that is true, than to dilute our conventions and contests (musically) is to subvert our mission, and I would oppose that. The missions of our sister organizations are not (I think) the same thing. They're similar, sure, but what is good for their organizations isn't, a priori, good for ours, and vice versa. That's not to say that a common support staff isn't both economical and reasonable, but the staff isn't the mission.

      Now, I also do not believe that the mission of the BHS is to preserve the BHS, nor is it to preserve the chapters, and I might get bashed for that. I believe that the mission is to preserve and encourage the art form, and there's nothing innate in our current chapter form that makes it the be-all/end-all best way to preserve barbershop. In fact you could argue that it is antithetical to the growth of American barbershop singing, but that's another topic.

      The thesis is that the BHS can happily cohabit in certain areas with our sister organizations that practice a cappella, but only to the point that our musical mission remains protected. We have one, and we need to honor it.

      Cheers
      Bob Sutton bsutton@...<mailto:bsutton@...>
      Alexandria Harmonizers www.harmonizers.org<http://www.harmonizers.org>
      Member, Society Archives Committee



      ________________________________
      This e-mail may contain confidential or otherwise protected information. If you are not the intended recipient, please advise by return e-mail and delete immediately without reading or forwarding to others.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan O'Brien
      Very thoughtful post Bob. I guess I feel like 1 and 3 are doable, not just 3. That is, it seems to me possible to combine conventions and organizations. The
      Message 2 of 2 , May 29, 2009
        Very thoughtful post Bob. I guess I feel like 1 and 3 are doable, not just 3. That is, it seems to me possible to combine conventions and organizations. The convention could then have contests for more than one style. The contests themselves wouldn't be combined, unless someone felt that was an interesting idea. There could be an "open" category. It might be interesting. There would still be a "barbershop category," of course.

        I understand and appreciate (and agree with) the goal of preserving barbershop and the role the BHS plays in it. As you point out, that goal is not inconsistent with combining organizations into some kind of umbrella organization, which could provide for more organized support for a cappella styles more generally, cross-fertilization that would benefit all styles, etc.

        There would be some culture clash. However, that would not be anything new. There already is culture clash within the BHS! You've got 1) kibbers; 2) guys who want to shoe-horn songs into the style; and 3) crazies like me who just get frustrated that the chord vocabulary doesn't permit things like suspensions. A lot of us like singing all the songs. An umbrella organization would make that easier, I think.

        DanO


        --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, Bob Sutton <bsutton@...> wrote:
        >
        > My fellow Harmonizer tenor Dan O'Brien raised a topic that is really several topics. A dozen years ago there might have been, on the Harmonet, a month's worth of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth as we fought out every conceivable angle, invoked Dave Stevens' name, and both sides would be shooting long after the sun set. That there wasn't a great deal of back-and-forth this time may be a combination of the fact of (A) Munson no longer being with us; (B) the issue(s) having been kicked around a lot since; (C) nice weather; and (D) all the above.
        >
        > But I really feel it to be a reflection of the multiplicity of topics that are really at play. For example, in just the first couple days discussion, I believe that the postings discussed:
        >
        > Combining conventions
        > Combining contests (not the same as the prior one)
        > Combining organizations (not the same as either prior one)
        >
        > The answers aren't really all that simple. For example, though I need to be careful what I say because Dan is my tape-listener and I need to qualify for Anaheim, I find the first two to be untenable, but the third reasonable. Logistics of accomplishing this notwithstanding, having some economies of scale by including multiple organizations (and we're talking BHS, SI, HI, and whatever other a cappella societies make sense) under one support staff is a reasonable discussion topic. But that is only because the costs of managing a non-profit are high, and there is enough similarity in the type of thing we do to where it isn't a DOA thought to consider it.
        >
        > HOWEVER - where the BHS is concerned, the other thoughts are far less viable. Why? It comes down to mission. Our mission in the BHS is specifically to preserve barbershop (quartet) singing in America. Forget what "America" means for the moment; the point is that our Society mission is the preservation of a specific art form. If that is true, than to dilute our conventions and contests (musically) is to subvert our mission, and I would oppose that. The missions of our sister organizations are not (I think) the same thing. They're similar, sure, but what is good for their organizations isn't, a priori, good for ours, and vice versa. That's not to say that a common support staff isn't both economical and reasonable, but the staff isn't the mission.
        >
        > Now, I also do not believe that the mission of the BHS is to preserve the BHS, nor is it to preserve the chapters, and I might get bashed for that. I believe that the mission is to preserve and encourage the art form, and there's nothing innate in our current chapter form that makes it the be-all/end-all best way to preserve barbershop. In fact you could argue that it is antithetical to the growth of American barbershop singing, but that's another topic.
        >
        > The thesis is that the BHS can happily cohabit in certain areas with our sister organizations that practice a cappella, but only to the point that our musical mission remains protected. We have one, and we need to honor it.
        >
        > Cheers
        > Bob Sutton bsutton@...<mailto:bsutton@...>
        > Alexandria Harmonizers www.harmonizers.org<http://www.harmonizers.org>
        > Member, Society Archives Committee
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > This e-mail may contain confidential or otherwise protected information. If you are not the intended recipient, please advise by return e-mail and delete immediately without reading or forwarding to others.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.