Vocal Expressions – November 2019

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Fall Convention 2019 Wrap-up

Jim Campbell, RMD Events

The Rocky Mountain District Fall Convention in Cheyenne is now in the books, and by all indications, it was one of the most successful and popular conventions in several years.

Competition was keen, with 11 choruses and 27 quartets competing. District Quartet Champions Sound Logic and International Quartet Qualifiers Maelstrom led the quartet competition. RMD had our first-ever Mixed Harmony Quartet Champion, X&Y. Velcro is the new RMD Senior Quartet Champion, and Naturally Aged emerged as the International Senior Quartet Qualifier.

Sound of the Rockies is the 2019 RMD Chorus Champion and International Chorus District Representative. 52Eighty is the first-ever RMD Mixed Harmony Chorus Champion, and Denver MountainAires took the honors as Most Improved Chorus. And the Harmony, Inc. women’s chorus OnQ appeared on the stage for evaluation, the first women’s chorus to do so in RMD.

With more than 550 attendees at the convention, the Little America Hotel and Conference Center rang with tags and pickup singing throughout the weekend. There were 36 youth registered for the convention, and their enthusiasm was contagious! Comments from attendees were overwhelmingly positive, although as always there were a number of suggestions for changes to improve everyone’s Convention experience.

The Denver Mountainaires, who have recently merged with the Colorado Chord Company to form a larger chapter, provided outstanding volunteer service in acting as the Host Chapter for this convention, even though it was not in their hometown. As always, the Host Chapter’s assistance was vital in making this Convention so successful.

Looking forward, the 2020 Fall Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, September 24-26, 2020. This is the first time in many years for the Fall Convention to return to Denver, and Sound of the Rockies has stepped forward to host the 2020 Convention. It will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Barbershop style to audiences in the Denver community. So, start making your plans now to make 2020 an even larger and more successful event![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][minti_imagebox img=”18392″]

Sound Logic – District Quartet Champs


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Maelstrom – International Qualifiers


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X&Y – Mixed Quartet Champs


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Velcro – Senior Quartet Champs


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Naturally Aged – Senior International Qualifiers


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Fastlane – Audience Favorite Marco A. Gonzales Award


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Sound of the Rockies – District Chorus Champs


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52Eighty – Mixed Harmony Champs


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Denver MountainAires – Most Improved Chorus


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Sound of the Rockies Award Presentation

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MountainAires Most Improved Award Presentation

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John Coffin Receives Hall of Fame Award

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John Coffin Receives Contest Judging Committee Award

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Mark Andromidas Receives Barbershopper of the Year Award

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Chapter Officer Elections

Tony Pranaitis, RMD Secretary

Elections should have begun in September, completed by October 15. Leadership Academy is Nov 2 in Taylorsville (Utah) or Nov 16 in Broomfield (Colorado).  Please remember to post new officers on the BHS Member Center (this can only be done by the current chapter Secretary, President, or Treasurer) once you have completed your elections.  Please also list your Chorus Director(s) even though this is not an “elected” office. This information is essential to ongoing communication.

Minimum officers required are President (who cannot hold another office) and Secretary and Treasurer (which may be one person doing both jobs).  Any number of “at large” officers may hold various functional offices (may be “VP” or not) on the operations team related to internal or external operations.

Consider holding a planning retreat or at least a team meeting to set strategic goals. You could do this on Skype or Zoom or with FreeConferenceCall.com to hold the meeting by phone (if meeting face to face is impractical). Try to do this before Jan 1 or soon after.

Required Reporting

ASCAP reporting is not included in the BHS Member Center under “Compliance Reports” (for some unknown reason) but it IS a required report for every BHS chapter.  It is due Dec 31 (which is easily forgotten during the holidays, so best to do this NOW). The report is found on the District website https://rmdsing.org/Docs/FormsToFile/ASCAP%202019%20BHS.pdf .  If your chapter does not do public performances (see ASCAP instructions) then you indicate that by completing Section A, sign the form, and send to BHS with no payment (can send by Email to library@barbershop.org ). Most chapters have gross income (all shows for the calendar year) of less than $31,477.56 so they would pay the standard annual fee of $256. If your chapter gross income for performances exceeds $31,477.56 then use the table provided to calculate your annual fee.  Send the form and the check to BHS.

The three required reports on the BHS Member Center are:

  1. Financial Review

As you close the books for 2019 on Dec 31, you need to conduct a Financial Review, a simple audit of your checkbook register, to provide necessary information to BHS. The non-profit status of our entire organization includes every one of our chapters, including yours. This report is due Feb 28 so that BHS can pull all this information together during the first quarter of the year and report to IRS. Download the printable PDF form from https://rmdsing.org/Docs/FormsToFile/Annual%20Financial%20Review%20-%20Form.pdf

  1. IRS 990

Every chapter is required to report, although most chapters owe $0. For most this is a simple postcard. Failure to file is unlawful and especially dangerous if you do owe. Deadline is May 15.

  1. Secretary of State (SOS) Periodic Report

This is due on the date of your incorporation anniversary (either annually or bi-annually depending on your State) and is an online report that takes minutes to complete with a very modest fee ($10 in Colorado). This maintains YOUR non-profit status under the BHS umbrella which protects you from financial devastation in many ways.

Your chapter is required (by resolution of the HOD) to be current on your IRS 990, Financial Review, and Secretary of State Periodic Report (your corporation must be in “good standing”) to receive a BMI SESAC show license. This license is for each performance, calculated using a table on the application, and almost always it is $28 per performance. The form on the RMD website can be accessed here: https://rmdsing.org/Docs/FormsToFile/BMI_SESAC%20-%20License%20Request.pdf

The BMI SESAC is sent to the District Secretary:

RMD Secretary
c/o Tony Pranaitis
12713 West 8th Avenue
Golden, Colorado 80401

with a check payable to BHS.

Only one application is needed per performance. The date cannot conflict with major BHS events, RMD events, or nearby chapter shows (unless both chapters consent). Once cleared, you receive a PDF digital copy of the signed license and a copy of your check. Keep the digital copy in your chapter records (print if needed), and a digital copy will be kept in the RMD records, while the original with the check is sent to BHS.


  • ASCAP is sent to BHS with check payable to BHS
  • Financial Review is sent to BHS and uploaded to the Member Center
  • 990 is sent to the IRS and uploaded to the Member Center
  • SOS Periodic Report is done online and uploaded to the Member Center

That’s it…now you’re legal and can get a BMI SESAC show license!

BMI SESAC is sent to District Secretary (only one copy) with check payable to BHS

New Chapter By-Laws

Please remember to review the new Standard Chapter Bylaws where your chapter must select your option regarding Everyone In Harmony (relating to female members). Posted on the district website here:  https://rmdsing.org/Docs/BHSForms/BHS%20Standard%20Chapter%20Bylaws.pdf

While on the subject of Everyone In Harmony, member feedback regarding contest changes will remain open until October 31…make your voice heard.      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BHScontests?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Feedback%20Form&utm_campaign=%20%20%20

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Tony Pranaitis
RMD Secretary
303 233 6234

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America the Beautiful Chorus


The America the Beautiful Chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner to open the naturalization ceremony on July 22 at Colorado Springs’ Library 21C.  The chorus then enjoyed watching the swearing-in process for 41 new American citizens before taking the stage again to close the program with America the Beautiful and God Bless America.

In addition to remarks by officials from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, the new citizens were welcomed by remarks from Doug Lamborn, U. S. Representative from the 5th Congressional District.  Representatives from Colorado Senator Michael Bennett’s office were also in attendance.

The America the Beautiful Chorus, under the direction of Jim Clark, was well received by all in attendance and has been invited to perform at the next naturalization ceremony scheduled for October 21, 2019.[/vc_column_text][minti_divider style=”3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_id=”MMEA”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Treasure State Sound hosts MMEA Event

The Yellowstone Valley, MT Chapter, Treasure State Sound, co-hosted the 2019 Montana Music Educators Association’s host night concert featuring Sound of the Rockies and Storm Front. Four years in the making and Sound of the Rockies and  Storm Front did the BHS and Rocky Mountain District proud! After a few delays, the 2 SoR buses arrived just in time for a sound check and then the house was opened up for the roughly 600 music educators from all over Montana, 300 high school music students and 150 college Music Majors. Of course, in true RMD fashion, Sound of the Rockies and Storm Front collectively, killed their performances! It was an inspiring concert and many music educators are now looking to develop barbershop into their music programs. Barbershop. In addition to the Host Night Concert, Darin Drown from Storm Front was on convention staff to lead a Coaching Under Glass session with Treasure State Sound. He also facilitated a class on Just Intonation.

The planning and executing of this event did not end our efforts! It is truly the beginning – This event, along with the awarded grant monies and matching funds allows for Treasure State Sound to spring-board into the next phase: Helping Music Educators in their locations with off-setting costs to host barbershop festivals at their schools and helping with the cost of music and resources for their programs, promoting Next Gen opportunities and Harmony University for Music Educators.

In fact, the first such High School Barbershop Festival is already scheduled for late January in Billings with around 200 high school students participating![/vc_column_text][minti_gallery ids=”18370,18369,18368,18367,18366,18365,18364,18363″ columns=”8″][minti_divider style=”3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_id=”Clark”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

jim-clarkYou Only Think You’ve Heard This Before…

An Important Message from Jim Clark!

“Put away your wallets, fellas!  Here it comes!  That Clark guy wants our money!”  …………



Before you skip the rest of this message, consider the following:

  • Is your Chapter looking for ways to raise funds, but can’t because no one wants to be in charge of a bake sale, car wash, silent auction, charity golf tourney, or other fundraiser?
  • Is your Treasurer caught between wanting to raise & accept charitable gifts for the Chapter, but dreading having to administer the annual recordkeeping of donations and gift receipts after January 1st each year?
  • Is your Chapter Board made up of the same 6 guys for the last 40 years, and they are so burned out from trying to do 95% of the work 100% of the time that they cannot stomach the idea of adding some sort of fundraiser to their plates?
  • Is your District passionately hoping to grow its support for Youth and Education Activities around RMD, but does not yet have enough resources to make a large-scale impact?
  • Would you like to support Youth/Education/Singing outreach within your Chapter, your District, and in the greater world, but you hate the idea of having to make individual gifts toward each individual effort and keep all those gifts straight in your mind?

Well… YOU can accomplish all these goals and AVOID all these negatives by giving ONE gift to Harmony Foundation!

By giving an Annual Gift to Harmony Foundation, and utilizing the Donor’s Choice program, you can make a substantial impact on the Chapter, the District, and the Global level.

Up to 30% of your Annual HFI gift can be directed back to the Chapter or District level, or may be split between the two.

Currently, Donor’s Choice is being severely underutilized in RMD.  On average, current donors are only directing around 10% of their gifts to their own Chapters, and only about 3% to the District.  That means only about HALF the dollars available to your Chapters and the District are being USED!

If we current HFI Donors in RMD would choose to direct 20% of our Annual Gift totals to our Chapters and 10% to RMD, it would mean tens of thousands more dollars coming right back into RMD to enrich lives through singing right here IN RMD!

BUT… We cannot simply ask the current donors to increase/redirect their Donor’s Choice dollars.  RMD needs to increase the total number of donors within the District to see an even greater multiplying effect!


Instead of trying the same old labor-intensive/too-little-return-on-investment efforts your chapter has tried before, start talking to your Chapters about Harmony Foundation Giving.

  • Do this on a regular basis (at least once a month).
  • Celebrate your current donors every 6 months when you receive your Chapter Donor’s Choice checks from Harmony Foundation.
  • Encourage more guys to give to HFI so they can make a difference at all levels.
  • Help them understand they can make a tremendous impact on thousands of lives (including their own).
  • Show them this is the EASIEST way for Individuals/Chapters/Districts to raise money for themselves while participating in a global campaign to enrich lives through singing.

And when you have questions, ask me.  

And when you want to change/update your Donor’s Choice, tell me.  

And when you’re ready to increase your giving, or start giving for the first time, let me know!  


We already of have some of the Society’s Top-Giving Chapters right here in RMD.

Let’s see if we can’t jump that number in 2019/2020!


Make a difference in your own back yard, in your own regional neighborhood, and at the global level with one easy annual gift to Harmony Foundation.


All the best!

Jim Clark
Western Regional Director of Development

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Brett FosterCARA Award Winners!

Brett Foster, RMD EVP




2018 CARA Award Winners:

Plateau II – Longmont 1717 Points

Plateau IV – Casper 1085 Points

These chapters are receiving scholarships to Leadership Academy this year!


Chapter Activity Recognition Awards is a voluntary program that allows your chapter board to perform a monthly diagnostic check on the wellness of your chapter and chorus. You have the opportunity to evaluate your progress toward the goals as defined in your chapter mission and vision statements by utilizing this handy form.


CARA program is run in the spirit of friendly competition, as chapters of like size try and garner points in major areas of chapter health, such as:

Membership, Activities, Leadership, Music Education and Communications

Winners from each plateau receive recognition at the Spring HOD meeting and winning chapters have their tuition paid for the upcoming Rocky Mountain District Leadership Academy


Use the forms that can be found here https://rmdsing.org/home/documents/ to continue your great work of tracking your chapter’s activity and receiving the peer recognition you so richly deserve.


It is not too late to submit for 2019, which will award at the 2020 Rocky Mountain Harmony College Spring HOD meeting. Winners will be announced and awarded scholarships to 2020 RMD Leadership Academy. But don’t delay, submissions need to be received by January 10th, 2019.


Submit your monthly forms:

Scott Anderson

RMD VP Chapter Support/Leadership Training


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