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Welcome! We're so glad you've joined our nationwide community of barbershop singers.
This page will give a rundown of how our competitions work, from regional qualification through to the annual national convention. If you don't find the info you need on this page, visit our FAQ for commonly asked questions, or contact us.
Each year between May and July, regional competitions are held around the country. Currently our contest regions are Christchurch, Wellington, Waikato and Auckland. Most of our participants are secondary school students, although sometimes we have intermediate students compete as well. Aside from our main category for school students, there is a 25 & Under Category open to groups containing members aged 25 and under.
Participants compete in choruses and quartets in three contest categories: Young Men in Harmony, Young Women in Harmony and Mixed Harmony. Contestants looking for good competition outcomes sing two contestable barbershop arrangements. You can read about what the judges are looking, and listening, for here. Judges will give a score and provide written comments for each competitor. At the judges discretion, a number of groups from each regional contest will qualify to compete at the national convention.
Groups who are unable to attend a regional contest in person can make a video submission in order to be assessed for nationals qualification.
The national convention is a two-day event which often sees over 600 students come together from around the country to take part. Groups who have qualified at their regional contest or through video submission are invited to compete. Each year the location changes. Venues the national convention has been held in include the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland, Founders Theatre in Hamilton, Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington and the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch.
The first day is the quartet finals and the second day is the chorus finals, followed by a final showcase concert called the Parade of Champions. The winners of each category perform in this concert - usually 1st, 2nd and 3rd place YWIH and YMIH, and 1st and 2nd place Mixed, but this can vary. This concert also features a special guest performer each year which in past years has included international champion quartets OC Times, After Hours and Musical Island Boys and Love Notes.
Typically the schedule is as follows, but exact event timings vary from year to year:
Quartet Finals 2-7pm
Chorus Finals 11-3pm
Parade of Champions 6:30-8:30pm
At the end of each finals event there is an awards ceremony where certificates, medals and trophies are awarded.
All events are open to the public. Entry to the daytime contest sessions is usually by donation (door sales only). The Parade of Champions is a ticketed event - ticket sales usually go live online about six or so weeks before the event.
Registration for the national convention costs $10 per competitor, capped at $700 per school. If a student is in more than one group, e.g. a chorus and a quartet, they are only charged once. Registration covers entry to all three events (quartet finals, chorus finals, Parade of Champions) for the competitors and their designated support people. Regional coordinators will inform schools when online registration is open - this is usually soon after the final regional contest has taken place.
When schools arrive at the venue they should head to the registration desk to sign in. They will receive a registration pack including entry passes or lanyards for the group's designated support people.
There will be designated seating in the auditorium for each school group including support people. We allow for one support person per 10 students - this could be a staff member, director, coach, parent or other supporter. E.g. a chorus of 40 people will have seating for four support people. Designated seating is generally the same for all three events (quartet finals, chorus finals and Parade of Champions), and is usually in the stalls if there is more than one level. We ask that everyone be respectful of the competing groups when they are spectating, and also be respectful of members of the public that may be seated nearby.
HITTING THE STAGE
Around four to six weeks in advance of the convention an info sheet will be sent out including runsheets for each event. Runsheets will show the order of appearance as well as the report time for each group - this is when you need to be at the registration desk. Until your report time you are welcome to sit in the audience and support your fellow competitors. A YSIH team member will then take you to your rehearsal room. You will usually be in here for 20-25 minutes before being taken to a final holding area before you go onstage. The traffic pattern will show the exact time you will spend in each phase of the traffic pattern, as well as your onstage time. After your performance you can return to your designated seating.
AFTER THE CONVENTION
Invoices will be sent to each school after the convention has taken place so we can take into account the exact competing numbers for each school (we know that this can be a moving target leading up to the event). We ask that these be paid as soon as possible upon receipt.
If we don't announce it in the previous year, we endeavour to announce the date and location of the coming convention in January of the year in which the convention is being held.