You have reached the Homepage of the Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival. Here you will find important news and information about this significant Next Generation Barbershop.
The purpose of the Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival is:
to perpetuate the American institution of the barbershop quartet and to promote and encourage vocal 4-part harmony among the youth in Wisconsin.
to encourage and promote the education of its participants and the public in music appreciation.
to initiate, promote and participate in charitable projects, and
to promote public appreciation of barbershop harmony.
The Mission of the Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival is
to give the youth of Wisconsin some new tools to enhance their enjoyment and success in making harmony.
to provide coaching and classes on vocal techniques as well as methods to improve individual and quartet performance.
to identify the top youth barbershop quartets in Wisconsin.
to provide cash donations to the school music programs of the winners; and
to serve the musical needs of all current and potential participants by providing and actively supporting a wide variety of Barbershopping opportunities, which may include organized quarteting, pickup quarteting, and tag singing.
On May 22, 2021, the Premiere Show of the VIRTUAL Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival (WYHF) was televised on the Barbershop Harmony Society’s YouTube Channel! If you would like to see the recording, you can do so at:
According to Jim Rasmus, Co-Chair of the Festival Board: “The COVID Pandemic significantly limited the number of quartets participating in the WSMA State Solo and Ensemble Festivals in 2020-2021. Despite that, we were able to field a representative group of young singers for our virtual contest. We even had two Very Large Quartets submit videos and get feedback from our judges.”
The winners of the 2021 VIRTUAL Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival were:
In the Barbershop (Men’s) Category:
Hawk-Appella, from Arrowhead Union High School in Hartland WI.
JELI, from Burlington High School.
Clintonville Barbershop from Clintonville High School.
Taking the Schmitt Brothers Trophy in the Treble Division:
Kickapoo Keys from Kickapoo High School in Viola, WI.
The Treblemakers from Manitowoc Lutheran High School in Manitowoc.
MeLadies of East Troy from East Troy High School.
The Schmitt Brothers Traveling Trophy goes to the school of the winning quartets and then is exchanged the following year for a permanent trophy to remain with the school. Plaques are awarded to the members of the top three quartets in each category, and cash prizes in the amounts of $300, $200, and $100 are given to the music departments of the schools they represented. This year’s awards were delivered to the school during the week of May 24-28.
Ken Bester, the other WYHF Co-Chair, remarked: “This Virtual WYHF would not have been possible without the capable expertise of Christian Kocinski! The biggest loss in 2021 was not being able to provide the Harmony University style classes that are a critical component of our Festival. We hope that was offset by the video input provided by the judges who adjudicated the contest.”
Because of the virtual nature of the contest, WYHF was thrilled to have a triple panel of BHS Certified Judges from across the country:
Serving as Contest Administrators were Peter Maddeaux (St. Paul, MN) and Randy Rensi (Houston, TX).
Judging the Music Category were John Bugarin (Denver, CO), Mark Hale (Parker, CO) and Jeff Taylor (Oakville, Ontario, Canada).
In the Performance Category we had Joe Hunter (Union, KY), Allen Otto (Houston, TX) and Sandy Wright (St. Louis, MO).
Judging the Singing Category were James Estes (San Francisco, CA), DC Nash (Bartlett, TN) and Nate Ogg (Lancaster, Ohio).
Bill Jenkins, WYHF treasurer, noted: “Like all barbershop activities, the Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival suffered financially in the past year. We only had enough resources to put on our Virtual WYHF after canceling in 2020 because of the reduced expenses involved. Any support individuals, quartets or Chapters can provide us will be important to our future success.
If you missed the Virtual WYHF, and would like to offer financial support t the effort, follow this link anytime to watch it:
With sufficient support, the Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival will return as a live event in Stevens Point in May 2022. Bookmark this website to keep up with news and information about this and future events!
The WYHF Board is composed of: Ken Bester, Bob Brey, Bill Jenkins, Heather Johnston, Tim Kunze, Jim Rasmus, Bill Schmitt and John White.