About Singing with the Mainliners Men's Chorus
Read about our Special 6-week Guest Program Here!
We encourage and welcome visitors to our Monday evening rehearsals,
both singers and non-singers. Youll find an abundance of
good music and fellowship, whether you simply choose to enjoy
the rehearsal with the audience, or jump on the risers and sing
along with the chorus. While we encourage all WEB visitors to
examine this information, it is meant specifically for those
men who are singers and who wish to join our organization and
our "Commitment to Musical Excellence".Of course, were
really hoping youre a singer who wants to sing with us!
Please contact our Vice
President of Membership with any questions. Below, we provide
a little bit of information about us.
Some facts about the Mainliners chorus
The Mainliners is actually the name of the performing
chorus of the Bryn Mawr, PA, chapter of the
Harmony Society. The chapter was incorporated in Bryn Mawr
in 1963 as a non-profit, educational, charitable, and fraternal
organization. Originally founded to provide a musical outlet
for men who desired only the finest music education and performance
standards, our members have always been dedicated to achieving
excellence in choral sound production and showmanship. The Chapter
also supports local and national charitable organizations through
contributions of the funds, time, and talent of the chapter and
its individual members.
Over the years, through dedication and hard work, the Mainliners
have had the good fortune to win many Divisional Chorus championships
and two Mid-Atlantic District championships. Some of the singers
you see on the risers at rehearsals have been with us since 1963.
Others have joined in the past few months. All of them are here
for the fun, camaraderie, and good singing that come along with
being a part of our chapter!
Here's some more information on who and how you'd be coming
to visit and hopefully choose to join:
1. What will I do during my first few Chapter visits?
Guest singers, provided with a guest music book containing
our current repertoire of songs, are invited to participate with
the chorus during the rehearsal. Our greeter will help you sign
in and introduce you to a "barbershop buddy" for the
evening. They'll help guide you through an evening of fun and
camaraderie! During one of your first few visits, we'll have
you meet with our Director or one of our Associate Directors
for a "Vocal Placement". This will help us get to know
you and your singing abilities, and it will allow us to direct
you to the proper voice part.
At the end of the rehearsal we'll probably encourage you to
join with us in singing a song or "tag" (song ending)
or by trying your hand at quartet singing.
After you've visited us a few times, if you're interested
in joining the chapter, we'll move on to the next steps, outlined
2. What you guys do looks too hard for me. Can I handle it?
We bet you can! Though you see us sing and dance, it's not
as hard as it might look at first. We're just a bunch of average
to good singers, who work at our craft. You'll also notice we
perform without music in our hands. That's not as hard as it
might look, either! We provide learning materials for everyone,
such as high quality, voice-predominant recordings of each song
in our repertoire. And every chorus rehearsal is like a voice
lesson, with our Directors providing continuous instruction and
feedback. It's a very supportive environment that is set up for
you to succeed.
3. I'm interested in joining the Chapter. What is the procedure?
We would like you to attend at least three meetings, preferably
for three weeks in a row, before requesting a membership application.
If after three weeks you like what we do and would like to become
a part of it, you can talk to our Vice
President of Membership to begin the process of joining the
Once you state your desire to join, we'll provide you the
learning materials (audio learning track plus sheet music) to
learn one of our repertoire songs. This is followed a week or
so later with a quartet "audition" in which you sing
the song with a quartet made up of the music section leaders.
Note that it's not a requirement that you be able to sing in
a quartet on your own, though it's great if you can! If needed,
we will have someone else from your voice part sing softly along
with you, to help keep you on track. You're also welcome to use
sheet music. Our goal is to make any singer a successful new
member of the chapter!
Upon successful completion of the "audition", you'll
fill out a membership application, which will be presented to
the chapter board of directors. Then you just pay your dues and
join us on the risers!
4. What is this "International" organization mentioned
in the introduction?
The Bryn Mawr Chapter is one of over 800 other chapters
in the US and Canada of the Barbershop Harmony Society, with
a combined membership of about 29,000 men. We're the largest
all-male singing society in the world. The Society's mission
is to "Enrich Lives Through Singing."
Each chapter has a chorus that performs at regular intervals
for the general public in their community, and some compete in
contests between chapters. There are also affiliate "clubs"
in Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South
America, Russia, and several other countries. For administrative
flexibility the Society is divided into Districts which are further
divided into Divisions. The District sponsors several conventions
each year to hold the various chorus and quartet competitions
and conducts educational seminars to develop our musical and
Our chapter is a member of the Atlantic Division of the Mid-Atlantic
District. Each year the best chorus and quartets from each of
the 16 districts is chosen to compete in an International Chorus
and Quartet Contest held in conjunction with the Society's annual
convention in a large US or Canadian city.
5. I thought this was a Barbershop Quartet organization.
What about quartets?
There are over 2,000 barbershop quartets registered with our
International Office who enjoy competing against other foursomes
and singing on public shows. Quartet competition usually takes
place at the same time and place as chorus competition. Serious
quartet singing requires quite a bit of extra time in addition
to chorus rehearsals and shows. There are about 1,000 more quartets
who just get together for fun. Both groups are represented in
Locally, our quartets entertain at church, civic and educational
gatherings or wherever old fashioned harmony is enjoyed. You
may see us singing at a PTA meeting, a Church or Civic Dinner,
or even at one of our local ballparks, promoting barbershop harmony.
6. How about women, can they join too?
The Chapter charter limits membership to "male singers
of good character," but our wives and lady friends offer
support through an auxiliary organization—The Stokers.
They participate in our convention hospitality rooms, assist
with the chapter shows and performances, and attend many of our
social activities. For those ladies who wish to sing barbershop,
we encourage you to find a chapter of Sweet
Adelines International or Harmony
Now, why are you still sitting at the computer?
Come join our fellowship and song!
Check here for info on this week's meeting and location.
Send an e-mail to our Membership VP
with any questions or to let us know you're coming.
See you there!