Barbershop Arranging News

SemiQuaver: n. Music. A sixteenth note. British.

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Twice each month a different Barbershop arranger will be featured, along with 3-4 of his/her recent works. One of them might be great for your chorus or quartet.

Joe Johnson

This issue's featured arranger, Joe Johnson, is a relative newcomer on the barbershop scene. Since joining the Barbershop Harmony Society in 2001, he has carved out a unique niche for himself in the barbershop world. He brings a rich and varied musical background to barbershop music, resulting in some very creative and high-caliber arrangements. Although very few of his works have reached the contest stage, his show music has been performed by many quartets and choruses, including Saturday Evening Post, Realtime, Max Q, the New Horizon Chorus, and the Masters of Harmony, to name just a few. He is probably better known for his collection of hymn and gospel arrangements, which he makes available to everyone at no charge. Some of these arrangements are already in widespread use. They may be downloaded from the BHS website or Joe's own website,

The Water Is Wide - A lush and haunting rendition of the ancient Gaelic folk song recorded by James Taylor, Eva Cassidy and others. May be ordered directly from Joe. Learning tracks are available from either Tim Waurick or Gary Lewis.

Christmas Stays the Same - A very endearing and nostalgic contemporary Christmas song recorded in 2000 by the wonderful Linda Eder. This tasteful arrangement has been sung by Max Q, the Masters of Harmony, the Capital City Chorus of Ottawa, and others. May be ordered from BHS, catalog #114074. Learning tracks are available from Tim Waurick.

They Call the Wind Mariah - A fast-paced and compelling version of this old favorite from Paint Your Wagon. May be ordered from BHS, catalog #202224. Learning tracks are available from Daniel Gillis.

Just Between Old Friends - A Joe Johnson original, this song captures the poignant feelings of camaraderie and joy in harmony that we all share as barbershoppers. Conceived as a closing song for conventions, it has already been adopted by the Pioneer District and Seneca Land QCA Choruses as their annual theme song. May be ordered from Joe, and learning tracks are available from Tim Waurick.

Contact Joe

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