2022 Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival Results

After the annual Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival (WYHF) had to be done virtually last year, everyone was happy to be back in-person on Saturday, May 21st at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point. It was a great day of singing and competition,

Chordination, a barbershop quartet from Arrowhead High School in Hartland, WI sang their way to first place in the Bass-Clef Division. Second place was awarded to Four Guys, One Beard, from Shell Lake High School, while third place went to MetaFour from Arrowhead.

In the Treble Division, The Harmonistics, four young women from Solon Springs High School, took first place. Second place was awarded to Big Time Rush from Arrowhead High School, while Arrowhead’s The Melodic Misses took third place.

These six quartets will be invited to compete at the newly established Next Generation Junior Quartet Contest at the Land O’Lakes District Convention in Minneapolis, October 14-15, 2022.

We had two guest quartets who performed and were active teaching tags to our young quartets: It’s About Time, Members of Sweet Adelines Int’l and Harmony Inc.; and Coulee Classic, our 2021 Land O’ Lakes District Champions.

The WYHF day started with students participating in warm-ups led by Julie Stoffel, director of the Stevens Point Chapter and music educator at Wisconsin Rapids. Then the whole group learned a TAG taught by Chris Vander Pas from Lomira High School.

The group was then broken down into sectionals to work on the Star-Spangled Banner. The young women were provided with the Joni Bescos arrangement and learning tracks by Sweet Adelines, with the members of It’s About Time serving as section leaders. The young men got the Val Hicks chart and learning tracks from the Barbershop Harmony Society and their sectionals were led by Ken Bester (tenor from Appleton), Joe Larson (Lead from Stevens Point), Dave Buss (teaching baritone from Manitowoc), and Chris Vander Pas (teaching bass from Lomira).

Before lunch the BHS judging model was briefly described to the participants by the judges. This year’s judges/coaches were: Paul Wigley and Roger Williams (Music); Mike Lietke and Matt Hall (Performance); Brad Charles and Dan Heike (Singing). Our Administrative Judges were Peter Maddeaux and Doug Miller.

Co-founder Bill Schmitt reminds everyone: “The Schmitt Brothers Traveling Trophy goes to the school of the winning quartet in each division, along with cash prizes for the music departments of the schools they represent. We also give plaques to the members of the top three quartets in each category.”

Jim Rasmus, Co-chair of the WYHF Board of Directors observed: “We were delighted to welcome 15 quartets from across the state to our 2022 Festival. It was so inspiring to hear these fine quartets representing eight Wisconsin High Schools and to share our passion for barbershop harmony with them.”

Co-chair Ken Bester, commented: “The facilities and support people at Pacelli High School performed admirably, and the Stevens Point barbershoppers outdid themselves with seeing to the details of keeping the activities running smoothly.”

“Once again we received good support from barbershop choruses and individuals throughout the state,” reported Bill Jenkins, WYHF treasurer. “We’re thankful to the following chapters for their financial support: Appleton, Dunn County, Greendale, Manitowoc County, Oshkosh, Ripon, St. Croix Valley, and Stevens Point. The Association of District Champions also provided financial support. If you would like to support this event, send your check to Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival; PO Box 482; Stevens Point, WI 54481.”

The Wisconsin Youth Harmony Festival Board of Directors is: Bill Schmitt (Founder), Ken Bester & Jim Rasmus (Co-Chairmen), Bill Jenkins (Treasurer), Bob Brey, Tim Kunze, John White, and Penny Yanke.