The Californians of Berkeley, CA, under the direction of Dave Stevens, won the 1957 BHS International chorus contest in their own backyard.
With chorus contest being held in the Far Western District city of Los Angeles, the members performed with suit jackets and ties up top... and bermuda shorts below! They sang "Give Me a Night in June" and "Smilin' Through" to improve 191 points from their 7th place finish the previous year. The 62-point differential between 1st and 5th place proved to be the tightest contest, yet, in the brief history of BHS chorus competition.
The Far Western District had not sent a representative to the 1953 contest, were represented by a 17th-place finish in 1954 (San Diego), and again had no representative in 1955 before Berkeley's 1956 7th place finish.
The 2nd and 3rd place finishes were 18 and 36 points out of 1st, respectively, and the Californians remained active and competitive under Dave's direction for many more years. However, they never again won the ever-improving Far Western District chorus championship after the 1962 championship which sent them to 1963 contest.
Through mergers and other structural changes over time, the Berkeley Chapter became the Oakland-East Bay Chapter, which later merged with the Eden-Hayward Chapter, and is now defunct. The newer Fremont-Hayward Chapter is loosely related to Eden-Hayward as a spinoff chapter, but is not directly the same chapter.