The Barbershop Harmony Society Convention and Competition will take over Indianapolis July 2-9. Just what is barbershop harmony? It is four-part, unaccompanied, close-harmony singing, with melody in the second voice, called the “lead.” Barbershop combines elements of African-American musical devices, European hymn-singing culture and an American tradition of recreational music.
Many events are open to the public, and some are even free. For a complete lineup and convention information, see www.barbershop.org/indy. Here are just a few of the upcoming open-to-the-public highlights.
• July 4, 8-10:30 p.m.: “Harmony Foundation Presents …” One of the best in the doo-wop world, the Alleycats will headline a concert celebrating the versatility of the human voice. Also performing: VoCA, a mixed-voice group, as well as barbershop international champions Realtime and the BUZZ. Tickets are $25-$75 through Ticketmaster or at the concert, which is at Conseco Fieldhouse.
• July 6, 7:30-10 p.m.: Association of International Champions Show. Ten of the world’s best quartets, plus a combined chorus of 140 male and female barbershop champions will perform at Conseco. Tickets are $15-$75 (www.aicgold.com).
• July 6, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Mixed Harmony Showcase. The late-night concert will feature men’s and women’s harmony groups at the Westin Hotel. Admission is free!
• July 8, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Sing with the Champs. Participants can sing with their favorite champion quartets. Spectators are free, but there is a fee for singers. See www.aicgold.com.
• July 8, 2:30-5 p.m.: World Harmony Jamboree. Some of the best men’s and women’s groups from throughout the world will perform at the Murat Theatre. Tickets are $25-$35 through Ticketmaster.
• July 8, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.: Chorditorium. A free sing-for-fun event that celebrates the conclusion of the competitions. Single tickets to contest sessions will be available only to Indiana residents who are not Barbershop Harmony Society members. They are available through Ticketmaster (317-239-5151), and students with valid IDs are half price. The Quartet Quarter Finals are $30 each session, or both for $50; Quartet Semi Finals, $40; Chorus Finals, $40 per session, both for $75; and Quartet Finals, $40.