Want to become a member?
The best way to learn if you'd like to join the SeaChordsmen is to visit a rehearsal. Please see this page.
Here is the information we offer to guests who visit our rehearsals:
Guest Welcome Sheet
A Note for Our Guests
Welcome! Whether you are singing with us on the risers or watching from the gallery, it is wonderful you could join us tonight! You will have an opportunity to sing with us on the risers and see how energetically we conduct our rehearsals.
We rehearse from 7:30 to 10:00 every Tuesday evening. After rehearsals on the first and third Tuesdays, we get together a few blocks away at Via Tribunali (317 West Galer) for libations and food at happy hour prices and a bit more harmonizing. Please join us!
The SeaChordsmen – a Welcoming Chorus
We hope that you enjoy your evening with the SeaChordsmen and encourage you to continue attending. It is easy to join. Our chorus philosophy is:
- We welcome ALL LEVELS and ALL KINDS of singers. Any male who wants to sing with us may do so. Guests are invited to sing with with us from their very first visit, although there is no pressure and you can ease in at your own pace.
- We (the chorus members and chorus leadership) work together as a team to help one another become the best we can be. We celebrate our success as we grow together. We embrace the idea that each singer is at a different place in his journey of musical and vocal development and that we are able to have such a rich experience with other men who are at different stages than ourselves.
- Individual improvement leads to chorus improvement.
- Singing in a group is also about relationships, so spending time to connect with one another, making new acquaintances, learning about one another are important to our chorus life.
Consistent with our philosophy, we have a simple process for joining. We have a vocal placement and assessment for each prospective member. There is not an audition.
Initial placement. Each guest who wishes to sing will be placed in a part that is comfortable for him. In barbershop the parts are tenor, lead, baritone and bass. Most of the time, our director will make this initial placement. You will be introduced to the section leader or other experienced singer in your section, who will help guide you through the rehearsal.
Vocal Assessment. After attending at least three rehearsals, you may apply for membership in the chorus. You will be given a membership application to fill out and we will schedule a vocal assessment with the director and section leaders. It is not a pass/fail endeavor. It is to gain a better understanding of your vocal characteristics, skills and areas to work on. Usually the assessment will consist of:
- Singing some simple scale exercises selected by the director to determine the range of your voice.
- Singing a song by yourself, such as My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Star Spangled Banner, Happy Birthday, Amazing Grace, or anything else you know. You will be encouraged to sing the song as a performance with full expression and with your best tone.
- Singing your part in a song of your choice in a quartet. The song can be one of the “polecats” (universal barbershop songs found in Barberpole Cat blue book). Keep the Whole World Singing or any other song in the current chorus repertoire are other possibilities.
If you are interested in joining the chorus or wish additional information, please see Gary Ackerman, our Membership VP, at rehearsal or contact him at email@example.com.
Barbershop Harmony Society
The Seattle SeaChordsmen is a men’s chorus affiliated with the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). BHS is an international society that organizes and encourages four-part a cappella singing for men in the barbershop genre. Information about BHS is available at www.barbershop.org. You will be joining BHS when you join the SeaChordsmen.
A Few Notes about the SeaChordsmen
We are the oldest barbershop chorus in the Puget Sound Region, having been founded in 1949 and singing ever since. Although our primary repertoire is barbershop music, the chorus also sings other four part harmony a cappella music from a variety of sources.
We do two shows per year – a holiday show in December and a summer show in June. In addition to these performances, the chorus has a variety of “singouts” and sings at the local annual BHS convention. Our singouts include the Folklife Festival, summer evenings at Westlake Park, caroling in Magnolia and other events.
At this time, we are not a competition chorus – a chorus whose primary goal is qualifying for international competitions. Our focus is on producing shows that engage our audiences and having fun while doing it. Under the leadership of our new director, Ted Chamberlain, we are engaged in a process of consistent improvement so we can all experience the great joy in ringing chords. Ted is professional music educator and one of the most experienced and skilled barbershop singers and directors in our area.
Introducing Ted Chamberlain – Director of The SeaChordsmen
In February 2013, Ted Chamberlain accepted the position of Music Director for the Seattle SeaChordsmen. Thus begins a new era for our chorus where the sky is the limit.
Coming full circle, Ted first started singing barbershop with the SeaChordsmen while still in high school, back in 1980. He has sung in numerous quartets, including, most notably, Evergreen District Champion quartets Vocal Attraction (1989 – baritone) and Vocal Magic (2005 – bass). He currently sings tenor with 4.0, who recently made their debut in the Quartet Competition at the BHS International Convention in Toronto.
Ted began directing barbershop choruses in 1987. He has been a public school choir (and orchestra) teacher since 1988 and is currently teaching music part time in the Kent School District. He is in high demand as private voice instructor and coaches quartets and choruses around the Northwest. Ted has degrees from Seattle Pacific University in Vocal Performance and K-12 Music Education and earned his National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards in choral music in 2005.
In addition to giving private and quartet lessons at his studio in Puyallup, Ted is also available for lessons on Tuesday afternoons at our rehearsal church on Queen Anne.
One of the great benefits of the chorus is the opportunity to sing in a quartet, whether a pick-up quartet formed on the spot or a quartet that sings on our shows or at our conventions. Since many members of the chorus know much of the same repertoire, it is easy to mix and match various people and parts to help find a good combination. Singing in a quartet is strongly encouraged since it is one of the best ways to improve the musical capabilities of the individuals and the overall quality of the chorus.
Tools for Members
The chorus provides tools to help members learn their parts. These include part predominant learning tracks on our website, working in sectionals with section leaders and sheet music. You will typically be paired up with a buddy in your section also to use as a resource in learning the music and about the chorus.