On Saturday, May 19, 2018, young voices will again be harmonizing and chords will be ringing in the Endries Performance Hall on the campus of Silver Lake College. High school barbershop quartets from all over the State of Wisconsin will be coming to Manitowoc to spend the day refining their presentations and then competing to see which quartet is the best in our state.

Invitations to participate in the Festival were sent to 76 high school quartets in the men’s and treble barbershop categories who scored either a *1 or a *2 at the Wisconsin State Solo / Ensemble Festivals held in late April and early May. 

The event is coordinated by representatives from several barbershop choruses from around the State. The day begins with students being engaged in three harmony classes to learn a bit more about this singing style. After a provided lunch, each quartet presents one song to the audience and a triple panel of judges from the Barbershop Harmony Society and Harmony, Inc. in the auditorium. Formal scoring from the judges and a follow-up evaluation period with detailed explanations from representative judges completes the day’s events.

This year there are two very special guest quartets who will also be entertaining the audience: Midnight Croon, the 2014 Land o’ Lakes District Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society and U4X, the 2008 International Quartet Champions of Harmony Inc.

The three top scoring quartets in the treble and men’s barbershop categories will receive plaques and their schools will receive a cash award. The winning quartet in each category will also receive a trophy and have their names engraved on the Schmitt Brothers Quartet Traveling Trophy, which is to be displayed in their school. 

Based on a review of video recordings of the Festival, winning quartets may also have the opportunity to participate in the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Midwinter Convention in Nashville January 23-27, 2019! If selected to participate, the quartet expenses for participation would be covered by the Barbershop Harmony Society. 

Committee member Bob Brey of Manitowoc says “It’s great to see students enjoying themselves and not wanting to stop singing at the end of the day. They are just sharing music together.”