Toast of Tampa Show Chorus is an a cappella, female-only chorus, composed of 100 women singers of all ages. The non-profit group, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, competes and performs around the world, and is considered locally to be among the best barbershop music choruses in the world.
Toast of Tampa was founded in 1987 as a vehicle for women to sing in four part harmony and express their love of music.
The chorus is composed of women from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds, from working women, stay-at-home mothers, students, and retirees. Some are professional musicians, though most are passionate amateurs. Musical training is not a pre-requisite, auditions are required to join.
The chorus sings and dances together, and some members also perform in quartets, including Viva! (Sweet Adelines International 2019 2nd place medalist). On Valentine's Day, many quartets deliver singing telegrams.
Tony De Rosa, is the chorus's Master 700 Director. He is a four-time Barbershop Harmony Society International Gold Medalist who sang with 1992 champion Keepsake, 2000 champion Platinum, 2007 champion Max Q, and (currently) 2017 champion Main StreetHe also directs the Barbershop Harmony Society's Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony. In 2013 was named a level Master 700 Director in the Director Certification Program (DCP) of Sweet Adelines.
Rehearsals are held in Tampa, and chorus members come from all over the state of Florida.
In October, 2014, several chorus members joined fellow singers from the Big Orange Chorus, and Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony, on a trip to Great Britain where they performed at Bath Abbey, King's College Cambridge University, and numerous other churches.
A barbershop quartet is a group of four singers who sing music in the barbershop style, characterized by four-part harmony without instrumental accompaniment, or a cappella. The four voices are: the lead, the vocal part which typically carries the melody; a bass, the part which provides the bass line to the melody; a tenor, the part which harmonizes above the lead; and a baritone, the part that frequently completes the chord. The baritone sings either above or below the lead singer as the harmony requires. Barbershop music is typified by close harmony— the upper three voices generally remain within one octave of each other.
The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA), is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C. Cash and Rupert I. Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1938, the organization quickly grew, promoting barbershop harmony among men of all ages. As of 2014, just under 23,000 men in the United States and Canada were members of this organization whose focus is on a cappella music. The international headquarters was in Kenosha, Wisconsin for fifty years before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 2007. In June 2018, the society announced it would allow women to join as full members.
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era (1930s–present), is a style of a cappella close harmony, or unaccompanied vocal music, characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a primarily homorhythmic 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 baritone, except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading, in tags or codas, or when some appropriate embellishment can be created. One characteristic feature of barbershop harmony is the use of what is known as "snakes" and "swipes". This is when a chord is altered by a change in one or more non-melodic voices. Occasional passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.
Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers, established in 1945, committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. This independent, nonprofit music education association is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women. "Harmonize the World" is the organization's motto. It has a current membership of 23,000 and holds an annual international singing competition.
Gotcha! is an American barbershop quartet formed in 1996 by four members of the Masters of Harmony chorus.
The Rich-Tone Chorus is an all-female, barbershop chorus, located in northern Texas in the United States. The group was founded in 1968 in the city of Richardson. The musical director (1976-current) is Dale Syverson.
Joe Connelly is a barbershop quartet lead singer, competition judge, chorus director, and full-time coach for various barbershop quartets. Connelly is the first man ever to have become a Barbershop Harmony Society International Championship gold medalist four times, first with Interstate Rivals in 1987 at the age of 22, then with Keepsake in 1992, with Platinum in 2000, and with Old School in 2011. In 2000, he had already become the first person to win the gold medal three times. Quartet-mate Tony DeRosa joined Connelly as a four-time gold medalist in 2017. A few other singers have achieved the honor of being three-time champions, including quartet-mate Kipp Buckner.
Max Q is the barbershop quartet that won the gold medal Barbershop Harmony Society International Barbershop Quartet Contest at Denver's Pepsi Center July 7, 2007. The quartet's run for the title is featured in the 2009 feature documentary American Harmony.
The Heralds of Harmony is a Tampa, Florida-based men's a cappella chorus that has been entertaining Florida audiences in the barbershop style continuously since 1945, and is currently ranked among the nation's best male vocal ensembles. The Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony is a semi-professional chorus affiliated with the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). The Heralds of Harmony are multiple-time Florida state barbershop chorus champions, and consistently represent the state at the BHS international chorus contest. The Heralds have ranked as high as 6th in the world.
Singing Valentines is the name for a fundraising program that is popular with barbershop choruses in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The delivery of Singing Valentines is usually done by a barbershop quartet from a chapter affiliated with the three major International barbershop societies:
The Pride of Baltimore Chorus is an all-female, a cappella chorus based in metropolitan Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in the early 1990s, the chorus once boasted over 110 members hailing from 5 different states: Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. They are a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, the world's largest women's singing organization.
The Melodeers are an all-female, a cappella barbershop harmony chorus based in the metropolitan Chicago area.
Martini is the barbershop quartet that won the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Championship for 2012 on October 21, 2011, in Houston, Texas. SAI, "one of the world's largest singing organizations for women", has members over five continents who belong to more than 1200 quartets.
Tim Waurick is a barbershop tenor singer, and coach for various barbershop choruses and quartets. Waurick creates learning tracks – recordings in which one part is dominant and the others are sung softly in the background – for the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International, and various other quartets and choruses around the world. His learning track company is named TimTracks.
Main Street is a barbershop quartet that started singing as a group on March 20, 2011.
The Sweet Adelines International Competitions are the annual global championships for women's barbershop harmony a cappella singing – in quartets and choruses – for members of Sweet Adelines International (SAI) and have been held annually between September and November since 1947. They are now the largest women's singing competition in the world with over 8000 participants at the 2014 convention. There are two competitions for choruses, and two competitions for quartets. Currently, the first three of these competitions are held together and form the Sweet Adelines International Convention. Over the course of competition history, the most successful chorus has been Melodeers Chorus from Chicago with seven championship titles, and the most successful quartet singer was Connie Noble who won with four separate quartets. Lustre Quartet from Baltimore holds the record for highest quartet score, and Rönninge Show Chorus from Stockholm for highest ever chorus score.
Harmony, Incorporated, is an international organization of women singers whose purpose is to empower all women through education, friendship and singing. Founded by 1959 by Peggy Rigby, Charlotte Sneddon, Mary Avis Hedges, Jeanne Maino and Mary Perry in Providence, Rhode Island, the organization currently has just under 2000 members in the United States and Canada and is closely affiliated with the Barbershop Harmony Society.
James Henry, most commonly referred to as "Jim Henry", is a vocal music professor, barbershop bass singer, and co-director of the Ambassadors of Harmony (AOH). He is a multiple international award-winning quartet member, whose quartets have appeared nationally on the NBC, PBS, and Fox television networks. Henry is the current director of choral studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a contributing author of widely used musical reference works.
Diablo Vista Chorus (DVC) is an amateur women's a cappella singing group, based in the "East Bay" of the San Francisco Bay area. DVC is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, the world's largest singing organization for women, with over 21,000 members worldwide. DVC primarily performs four-part-harmony works, often in what is traditionally called "barbershop" style.