Wonderful job getting this started. Keep it up. Looking forward to
Just a few pieces of feedback:
(1) The college quartet contest is indeed youth. The age limit is 25
and the millennials are as old as 28.
(2) I am not sure what you are referring to when you say
"Unfortunately, there is not much evidence that anything much ever got
off the ground." I guess that depends on where you live. In the FWD,
we now have five clinics in SoCal and AZ and a weekend camp in NorCal.
One of the clinics and the camp have been running for a decade. And
there is a high school quartet contest over two decades old. The HSQC
has produced quartets like The Crush (2007 silver at college contest
and top twenty in the big show). The Masters of Harmony clinic
produced quartets like OCTimes and The Vagrants (2009 college champs).
Also, the college contest produced two champions and several medalists
in the regular contest.
(3) We indeed do NOT have a YIH course at FWD COTS (aka Leadership
Academy) any longer. This is due to a lack of funds. But I went to one
a few years ago and got involved and now coordinate San Diego YIH and
clinic. There is also no longer a music educator's curriculum at
Harmony College West. It fell off because of lack of attendance, but I
contend that there wasn't enough organized substance to the course
(and thus in the syllabus) to attract them. We need to teach the
teachers so they are comfortable teaching it to their students or
reinforcing what we teach the students. They are willing to go and we
can't afford to send many to HU.
(4) In addition to contacting classroom teachers, it is also a viable
strategy to contact an administrator at the district level. If they
have a Visual and Performing Arts Director, they may be enticed by the
idea of using barbershop, a recognized male art form, as a means of
attracting more young men to choir. Their job is to help teachers do
that and they have resources and influence to open doors and introduce
you to the potentially enthusiastic teachers.
(5) But the real job is where the rubber meets the road, in the
classroom and with the kids. Clinics and camps are fine, but we need
to provide the follow-up opportunity to practice the craft. If the
teacher can't take class time, offer after-school coaching at a
student's home with parents present, or Saturday's (after football is
over) have a mini-clinic at a rec center. Remember, they have busy
lives and aren't particularly well-organized and conscientious, but if
they get hooked, they'll be working hard at it.
(6) It will take a lot longer than three months to establish a
program. Don't expect to wow them into acceptance in the first try.
Three years is more like it. This is a cathedral-building exercise; we
may not be around when it is "finished". Three years is long enough
for you to demonstrate your perseverance and commitment and
reliability so as to gain their trust. Don't preach and don't "teach"
Three months is a good target for making first contact.
Good luck, this is our future,
Youth In Harmony Chairman
Pacific Coast Harmony
La Jolla Chapter
Barbershop Harmony Society
O[\\ \\ \\ \\]
On Dec 1, 2009, at 12:34 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Youth Enrichment Program---Pt 3----Let's Roll
> Posted by: "Montana Jack Fitzpatrick" mtjack@... mtjack77
> Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:32 am (PST)
> First, since New Zealand has proven it can be done, let us head
> toward the schools.
> The society has, for years, been suggesting that we get involved
> with youth. Of late, we have been moving strongly in that direction
> with the College Quartet Contest (not exactly youth) and through a
> nascent Youth Chorus Contest at our Mid Winter Convention (in its
> third year). We even have a Youth Programs Specialist on the society
> staff (James Estes). A former COTS dean tells me that youth programs
> were a part of the COTS curriculum. Unfortunately, there is not much
> evidence that anything much ever got off the ground.
> That is where the Harmonetters enter the arena. What I propose is
> that we travel to America's (or your own nation's) high schools in
> an effort to encourage and assist the music teachers in enriching
> their vocal program with the inclusion of some barbershop music.
> Let's just do it----TODAY.
> Blessings to all and thanks for supporting this MAJOR program. Let's
> be ENRICHERS!
> Montana Jack, keeping the faith and keeping it barbershop
> Make certain that this is the best day of your life
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