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.

Mark Hale

Mark Hale is originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, but currently resides in Long Beach, California where he directs the 8-time International Champion Chorus the Masters of Harmony, a position he’s held since April of 2000. To add to his barbershop accomplishments he is a successful quartet singer, having won district championships in 1987, 1995 and 2008 and an international quartet gold medal in 2001 as the lead of Michigan Jake. He has been a Music Judge in the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1993 and is a much sought after arranger and coach, most recently of the 2008 quartet champions OC Times.

Born into a family of musicians, Mark’s mother and father were both professors of music at Western Kentucky University at Bowling Green. The third of four children Mark shares an aptitude for music with his sister and two brothers, who all attended WKU on music scholarships. Mark took some music courses as electives but, instead, used his academic scholarship toward a curriculum that led to his graduation from WKU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management.

His introduction into the Barbershop Harmony Society actually began in 1983, shortly after his participation in a high school production of The Music Man. Mark joined the Mammoth Cave Chapter (Kentucky) at age 16 and his nine-year relationship there allowed him to experiment with arranging and directing. As his interest in barbershop grew, Mark joined the Louisville Thoroughbreds chorus in 1990 and soon became a member of the music team. He won a silver chorus medal with the Thoroughbreds in 1990, oddly enough second to the Masters of Harmony in their first win. His interests in directing and arranging grew even more, and in 1992 he became a founding member of the Louisville Times Chorus, which he directed through 1999. During his six-year tenure as their music director, Mark led the 30-man chorus to the International Top Ten four times.

Now living in southern California, Mark is a corporate trainer. He is actively involved with vocal coaching including Harmony University where he has directed the Honors Chorus and provided a course on coaching techniques.

Hallelujah - This popular song by Leonard Cohen was arranged for the Masters of Harmony and recorded by them on the CD "The Dream is Carried On".

Nice and Easy - This light swing opener was arranged by Mark for the quartet Masterpiece, and was sung by them on the Masters of Harmony CD "Portait".

Stranger in Paradise - a ballad that was arranged for the Masters of Harmony and used by them in a recent competition. Excellent learning tracks are available from Tim Waurick.

The Beatles Sunshine Medley was arranged by Mark for the Masters of Harmony this year. This medley of popular Beatles songs includes "Here Comes the Sun" and "Good Day, Sunshine" and when used for a chorus has the opportunity for one or two soloists. It's also available from the BHS.

Contact Mark

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