Orange Quartet Chapter SPEBSQSA

First, visit us! You do not have to be a Society Member or part of a quartet to visit our meetings. Prior experience helps, but we provide a supportive environment to sing and listen to others sing, to get experience singing in a quartet.  All membership is subject to chapter board approval, but we want to find a way to bring good men into our barbershop family!

In terms of the Society structure, we have the same status, rights and responsibilities as any other Society Chapter.

What differentiates us from many other chapters is that we choose to emphasize Quartet singing in our chapter activities. The majority of our meeting time is spent taking turns singing in quartets. Organized quartets are welcome to participate, but we also give time to randomly assigned quartets, both for the growth experience it provides and to ensure that everyone who wishes to sing has an opportunity to do so.

We are one of roughly 800 Chapters in the U.S. and Canada of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), now doing business as the Barbershop Harmony Society (aka “The Society”).

The Society is divided geographically into Districts and we are part of the Far Western District. Because the Far Western District is itself geographically large (includes all of California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona, and the southwestern corner of Utah), it is further subdivided into Divisions and Orange is in the Southeast Division, shown here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other sites already have good answers to these questions.
The Wikipedia page on
Barbershop Music is very informative.
The Barbershop Harmony Society page “
What is Barbershop Harmony?” goes a step further (with videos!) to explain why we are so passionate about it, and how our Society promotes the artform.

What is Barbershop Music?

Where is the Orange Quartet Chapter’s (organizational) place the world of barbershop?

What distinguishes a “Quartet Chapter” from other Society Chapters?

What do I need to do to join?

Whatever we want! (Well, with the caveat that our chapter audience is happiest if we “keep it barbershop.”)

Our chapter has no assigned repertoire. (One exception are songs chosen for events such as Singing Valentines or Christmas Caroling, participation in which is voluntary.)

Some members stay with tried and true classic barbershop songs, while others are eager to learn the latest published titles. Its up to you (and your quartet if you join one).

Quartetting is easiest if all four singers already know the song*, so chapter members do work together to pick out songs that everyone would like to learn. Listening to other quartets at chapter meetings, or informal singing together (the unstructured time before meetings and at afterglows is great for this) are all opportunities to discover new songs to learn.

[*Aside: it is not always necessary for everyone to know the song. In the art form of woodshedding, experienced harmonizers learn to sing the harmony to any melody as soon as they hear it. This is an advanced skill and those interested will want to check out AHSOW (“the Ancient and Harmonious Society of Woodshedders”), a Society affiliate which promotes this art. The Orange Chapter has experienced woodshedders but currently our chapter meeting program emphasizes learned music.]

Members are responsible for purchasing their own music. The Society’s online store,, is one great resource for barbershop music. In addition to printed music available in sheet music and songbooks, for many of the songs there are learning tracks (recordings of the song with each of the voice parts predominant) available for purchase.

If you are new to barbershopping, the Barberpole Cat series of songs is a good place to start. This is a set of 12 songs that all barbershoppers are encouraged to learn, both as a basic quartet skill builders and to give some songs that any random quartet can readily sing. Once you’ve become proficient on those songs, most members are exited to move on to other songs, old or new!


What do you sing at Chapter Meetings?

This Page Last Updated: 1 November 2011

Webmaster: oqcmark [at] yahoo [dot] com

Wonderful! You are welcome to join us and maintain your membership in one or more other chapters— it’s your decision.

If you are already a Society member, currently Orange Quartet Chapter dues add $5 to you annual dues bill.

We have a number of dual members who belong to another chapter. If their other chapter emphasizes chorus singing, they find that singing in the Quartet Chapter helps sharpen their individual singing skills and in the process makes them a better chorus member.

At the same time, singing in a chorus provides more opportunity to practice with others singing the same part, and so can help a singer become confident in singing their part when they step into quartets. It’s win-win!


What if I am already a member of another SPEBSQSA Chapter?

Have fun! We do not require attendance or commitment to any activities.

Other than paying dues, the only regular expense asked of Orange Chapter members is to contribute to the weekly kitty to pay for refreshments.

The chapter does not have official uniforms. We use basic barbershop attire (classic red vest and bowtie) for our few public outings (such as Singing Valentines or Christmas caroling), and can help members who don’t already own them, but wish to participate, find them to purchase.

If you form a quartet, your responsibilities to the quartet are between the four of you. Quartets manage themselves and the Chapter just gives them a place they can choose to sing once a week.

What are my responsibilities if I join?

We are aware of two other Quartet Chapters in the Far Western District:

· The San Francisco Bay Cities Quartet Chapter, and

· The Arizona Quartet Chapter (which meets in Tucson)

Please see our Links page for links to these chapters’ web pages.

We are aware that there are other chapters which don’t call themselves quartet chapters but which have a greater emphasis on quartetting in their program than most chapters.

If you are associated with a chapter not already mentioned here that emphasizes quartetting, we would like to know about it! Please contact the webmaster.

Where are there other Quartet Chapters?

If you are comfotable quartetting, and can find others in your area who are also interested in the concept, see if you can get together and form a new quartet chapter! The process is the same as for any other chapter; the Society can answer basic questions about the process.

Very Important: Don’t let the lack of a Quartet Chapter nearby discourage you from barbershopping. It is more likely that there is already a chapter accessible to you, and there is much to gain from participating even if their format is not everything you wish it were. After all, any group’s program is built to serve the needs of all its members. There is also much to be said for being experienced and active in the Society before setting out to start a new chapter.

If you are active in a chapter and want more ideas to increase the quartetting activity in your chapter, you may want to contact Casey Parker with the San Francisco Bay Cities Quartet Chapter. Casey publishes a quarterly (paid subscription) bulletin called the “GUBOQS Gazette,” which offers shared experiences of other quartetters.

I don’t live near an existing Quartet Chapter but would like to participate in one. What can  I do?

Please see our “Quartets” Page for more information.

What Quartets are Associated with this chapter? How do I hire a Quartet to Perform?