NED Collegiate Champions

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Men in Black, BHS's 2005 International Collegiate Champions, were from the Northeastern District. (L-R: Oliver Merrill, Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson, Tony Nasto.)

About

Historically, 'collegiate' quartets have vied for the opportunity to compete in the Barbershop Harmony Society's international-level Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest. Prior to the 2016 contest season, a group was categorized as a collegiate quartet when all four singers were within 15-25 years of age (inclusive), regardless of affiliation with an educational institution. Early in that competition's history, quartets could have no more than two BHS members, but this restriction has since been lifted. As of the 2016 contest season, the minimum age requirement floor for a collegiate quartet has also been eliminated, allowing members younger than 15 to compete. Perhaps as a result of this change (coupled with a perceived misnomer falsely implying the necessity of affiliation with an educational institution), the contest has been rebranded as the Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest. Going forward in the wake of this change, all such quartets are more accurately referred to as youth quartets rather than as collegiate quartets.

All groups seeking to qualify for the YBQC must register their quartet name and personnel with a BHS official coordinating the international-level youth contest. Notably, this registration as a youth quartet is a separate process from a quartet's registration with the Society at large and from any registrations to participate in contest outside of the YBQC and its qualifiers—this is to preserve the independence of the YBQC from other Society contests, so that non-BHS-member quartets may also participate. With that said, a quartet's registration in a district- or division-level contest as a quartet within a youth/collegiate age bracket is not to be confused with registration for a YBQC qualifier—this is because some districts may hold separate contests that award district- or division-level youth/collegiate championships, which are distinct from the YBQC qualification process. A youth quartet's home district in the YBQC (regardless of Society membership or lack thereof) has historically been determined by the location of its singers' educational institution(s) and/or permanent residence(s). However, in light of recent of recent changes to the nature of the YBQC contest, competing quartets are no longer referenced as having district representation. [1]

As the Northeastern District did not officially award a district-level youth/collegiate championship prior to 2017, the lower of the two tables shown below lists the highest-scoring quartets that have qualified for the international-level YBQC (formerly CBQC) each year with the NED as their home district. At the time, these quartets were known colloquially as NED Collegiate/Youth Champions. Notably, it is possible for a quartet within the youth/collegiate age bracket in the district to score higher than another NED youth/collegiate quartet and, if they have not registered separately as YBQC competitors, still not be listed with the unofficial title of NED Youth/Collegiate Champion.

2017 Changes

For the 2017 cycle, the Barbershop Harmony Society made a number of changes to the youth contests. The deadline to register for the International-level Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest was moved earlier in the year than was previously customary. The early deadline predated the majority of Society districts' spring division and International preliminary contests, where aspiring competitors may have competed in front of live judges. Most were thereby forced to submit remote video qualification in front of a live audience of their choosing. With a judging panel scoring all video submissions simultaneously at a later date, the video qualification process remained as it was since its 2015 inception.

In addition to the deadline shift, the "raw" qualifying score was abolished from the YBQC, meaning that there was no score a competing quartet could attain in the preliminary round that would guarantee them a place in the finals for International's YBQC. A score of 73.0% or higher had previously guaranteed International qualification. The former policy of automatic qualification for the quartet achieving the highest score in each district, regardless of score, was also discontinued for the 2017 cycle. In fact, references to district representation were essentially removed from the 2017 YBQC, likely in order to highlight the contest's independence from Society districts. This change meant that some regions, despite having competing youth quartets, nonetheless went unrepresented in the 2017 YBQC. In direct response to this change, many districts, including the NED, began holding their own, separate contests for youth quartets to compete for the official title of NED Youth Quartet Champion. The upper of the two tables shown below lists the winners of this new contest.

In place of the previous qualification process utilizing district qualifications and raw qualifying scores, an entirely new system was put in place. First, a hard cap of 25 finals quartet competitors was instituted. Secondly, finals qualification was offered to the highest-scoring quartets in the following brackets: Varsity Experienced (2 or more members having previously participated in the C/YBQC and members 19-25 years old), Varsity Novice (fewer than 2 members having previously participated in the C/YBQC and members 19-25 years old), Junior Experienced (2 or more members having previously participated in the C/YBQC and members 18 years old or younger), and Junior Novice (fewer than 2 members having previously participated in the C/YBQC and members 18 years old or younger). Each bracket was capped at a certain number, with Varsity Experienced being the most represented in the finals. Regardless of finals qualification status, however, every youth competitor received an invitation to International and a stipend to attend courtesy of Harmony Foundation. Quartets not qualifying for the contest finals instead had the option to participate in a youth honor chorus. Finals competitors were also encouraged to participate in the honor chorus, which eventually grew into a C/YBQC reunion chorus.

District-Level Youth Quartet Champions

Year Quartet From Tenor, Lead, Baritone, Bass NED Contest Score Int'l Score, Placement (If Applicable)
2017 Greenlight Concord, MA; New Bedford, MA; Hartford, CT Louis Ades, Sebastian Massa, Will Rogers, Chris Cutler 73.7% 74.2%, 12


Highest-Scoring NED Youth/Collegiate International Representatives‡

Year Quartet From Tenor, Lead, Baritone, Bass Int'l Int'l Score
2017 The Reunion Concord MA; Caldwell, NJ; San Marcos, TX Nick Ruiz, Francesco Logozzo, Rodrigo Alvarez, Travis Roy 8 76.1%
2016 Last Chance Boston University, Providence, RI Antonio Lombardi, Chad Putka, John Castonguay, Cay Outerbridge 19 72.4%
2015 Key of H† Hanover High School John Kotz, Fletcher Passow, Isaac Jacobs, Max Greenwald -- --
2014 Timepiece Boston University, Brandeis University Francesco Logozzo, Kadin-Seth Binkley, Rodrigo Alvarez, Travis Roy 11 73.8%
2013 Epic Jazz Berklee College of Music, Boston University Nick Ruiz, Jayde Mitchell, Rodrigo Alvarez, Tracy Robertson 26 67.9%
2012 Timely Gents Fordham University, Boston University, Skidmore College John Castonguay, Sebastian Massa, Schuyler Borden, Rodrigo Alvarez 20 66.3%
2011 Timely Gents Fordham University, Boston University, Farmington Senior High School Benjamin Spar, Sebastian Massa, Schuyler Borden, Rodrigo Alvarez -- --
2010 SnapShot! Providence, RI; Lowell, MA; Appleton, WI; Concord, MA Antonio Lombardi, Alex Kuen, Joey Constantine, Ed Forman 24 68.7%
2009 Blend Tech McGill University Joshua Beswick, Drew Wheaton, Daniel Allison, Chris Jones 16 72.5%
2008 Storrs Four University of Connecticut Jordan England, Mark Bachiochi, Patrick Reardon, Daniel Allison 15 67.4%
2007 Storrs Four University of Connecticut Jordan England, Mark Bachiochi, Patrick Reardon, Daniel Allison 20 60.3%
2006 The Penn Fifteen Club 21 59.3%
2005 Men In Black University of Hartford Tony Nasto, Oliver Merrill, Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson 1 79.8%
2004 Men In Black University of Hartford Tony Nasto, Oliver Merrill, Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson 8 72.2%
2003 Men In Black University of Hartford Tony Nasto, Oliver Merrill, Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson 13 66.0%
2002 Men In Black University of Hartford Graham Nelson, Oliver Merrill, Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson 21 56.9%
2001 The Cutting Edge Western Connecticut State University, Norwalk Community College -- --
2000 Dean's List University of Connecticut 14 61.5%
1999 Basil's Boys Yale University 14 57.2%
1998 Minor Chords Memorial University of Newfoundland

† Key of H did not attend the 2015 International CBQC; The Reunion was the lone representative of NED as a wild card to that contest, having been invited as a result of achieving the highest score among the CBQC video qualifier submissions, representing Boston University, Brandeis University, and Texas Christian University. Members: Nick Ruiz, Francesco Logozzo, Rodrigo Alvarez, Travis Roy. Qualifying score: 72.4% (via video submission). International score, placement: 76.6%, 10

‡ Prior to the 2017 changes to the YBQC, the quartets in this table were colloquially known as NED collegiate/youth champions. From 2017 onward, official reference to district representation was not a part of the YBQC. Quartets' inclusion in this table from 2017 onward are therefore based on unofficial district affiliation.


External Links

  • Barbershop Harmony Society. "Official Rules of the Harmony Foundation Youth Barbershop Quartet Contest." PDF file. 27 March 2016. <http://www.barbershop.org/files/documents/contestandjudging/YBQC_Rules_2016.pdf>.