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History of the Clipper City Chordsmen

Chordsmen Barbershop Show

Performing Chorus Name 
Clipper City Chordsmen

Chapter Name
Manitowoc County Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Inc.

The Chordsmen are members of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Inc., with 16,000 members and associates (70,000 worldwide) in almost 800 chapters with over 950 registered quartets. We are affiliated with the Society’s Land O’ Lakes District (LOL) and part of the Packerland Division. Read more about LOL events and information in the district’s publication, The Pitch Piper.

Schmitt Brothers Quartet

Date Chordsmen Chorus Founded
The Chordsmen Chapter was established in March of 1945. The founder of the chapter was O.H. “King” Cole, a former Kingsbury Brewery Executive. Milt Detjen was the first director. 

The Manitowoc Chapter is the home of the world-famous International Champions Schmitt Brothers Quartet, and features an outstanding barbershop chorus and several talented and entertaining chapter quartets. Join us at our rehearsals on Tuesday nights at 7pm or contact us if you are looking for a group to entertain at your next function.

Society Vision, Mission, Motto, and Theme Song 
Vision: “Everyone in Harmony”
Mission: “The Barbershop Harmony Society brings people together in harmony and fellowship to enrich lives through singing.”
Motto and Theme Song: “Keep the Whole World Singing”

Origins of Barbershop-style Singing

Barbershop harmony is music…a fraternity…a way of life — a truly American artform.

Early Chordsmen Chorus Photo

Barbershop-style singing originated in the U.S. between 1890 and the 1920s. It was revived in 1938 with the formation of “The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Barbershop has expanded beyond the quartet and is now sung in choruses of all sizes as well as by all-women and mixed-voice quartets and choruses. From the highest tenor to the lowest bass, man or woman, the style offers everyone the opportunity to sing, whatever their vocal range. Many different types of music are adaptable to the barbershop style, from traditional hymns and southern gospel through to doo-wop, swing and show tunes. Many popular songs have been successfully adapted to be sung in barbershop style. (From Deke Sharon’s Article, Barbershop: A Cappella’s Martial Art.)

History of Barbershop Society

Learn more about the Barbershop Harmony Society’s vision, motto and theme song, as well as programs, outreach work, charitable activities, and more.

Download the Barbershop Harmony Society Fact Sheet.

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