Visitors are cordially invited to come to our rehearsals to listen and, if they wish, to join in on some of the singing. Please arrive around 7:15 pm so we can greet you and provide you with a guest music book. Rehearsals run until 10:00 pm, but visitors are not required to stay until the end.
Who are we ?
The Singing Capital Chorus is a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, an international organization of over 25,000 men across the continent who love to sing. We have been entertaining audiences all over the Washington DC metropolitan area for over 50 years. We've sung at anniversaries, birthdays and block parties, larger scale events such as local business, town and church functions, and even big industry conventions. Since the Washington Nationals arrived in the Nation's Capital, we have been privileged to sing the National Anthem at Nationals Stadium annually. Our Christmas caroling, special Singing Valentines and Annual Show are seasonal specialties. We also entertain senior citizens and hospital patients at facilities around the area.
What do we do ?
Our singing is primarily in the a cappella barbershop style, that original American musical art form combining four-part close harmony with rich melodic sound and lots of emotion. The repertoire includes ballads sung from the heart as well as toe-tappers and swing melodies that instantly put a smile on your face; it includes traditional barbershop, swing tunes from the 50’s and 60’s, show tunes, and much, much more. We take our craft seriously and enjoy working hard and continually improving, while making time for quartetting and other fun activities. Each rehearsal runs the gamut from focused performance rehearsal to informal tag (the ends of songs) and quartet singing. We regularly compete against other barbershop choruses at fun local and regional conventions.
Quartet and Tag Singing
Quartet singing may be casual or intensive. It may be aimed at having a little fun in one's own living room with three friends, or at winning a championship. Our organized chapter quartets sing privately for their own enjoyment, entertain at chapter meetings, and perform in public. Four men may simply get together at chapter meetings, informally, to sing old favorites or songs from the chorus repertoire. At times, we sponsor contests for such informal quartets, as a means of encouraging quartetting. In the Singing Capital Chorus, we encourage everyone to try his hand at quartet singing, but whether you prefer a quartet, the chorus, or both, there's something for everyone.
What is a tag?
In barbershop harmony singing, we love to hear the chords ring, especially at the end of the song. That is why a barbershop song usually ends with a short embellished section with enhanced drama, called a “tag.” We love tags so much, that often we just sing the end of the song by itself! A tag provides a quick and fulfilling way to learn a bit of music that a group of men can sing together.
Barberpole Cat Songs
The roots of barbershop harmony lie in quartet singing, so how best to encourage four men from any chapter to sing together whenever they should meet? Answer: a common repertoire! Barberpole Cat songs are classic barbershop standards that are relatively easy to learn and sing, so that Society members can sing with each other at conventions, inter-chapter meetings, or anywhere else.