BHS Intl Chorus Contest 1953
BHS Intl Chorus Contest 1953
- Detroit, Michigan
- date, 1953
1953 Dec Harmonizer- Chorus Contest At Washington page 9
Why The 1953 International Chorus Contest was not the 'first'.
"Chorus Contest At Washington- Last June at Detroit the winning chorus (Great Lakes Chorus of Grand Rapids, Mich. Chapter) was crowned Convention Chorus Champion. This title was decided upon because not all the Society's Districts were represented and not all the competing choruses had won the honor of competing by first winning a contest in their own District. This year at Washington, D.C. will be different. Each District has the privilege of entering two choruses, BUT they must be chosen by an intra-District Contest. In that way, the twenty-eight choruses competing at Washington, D.C. will be as nearly as possible the best the entire Society has to offer. Then, it will be justifiable to crown the winning chorus-SPEBSQSA International Chorus Champions."
1953 March Harmonizer- Update Of Upcoming First International Convention Chorus Contest, page 7
There's been some debate as to 'when' the decision was made to distinguish the 1953 International winning Chorus (Grand Rapids Great Lakes Chorus) from all those to follow. Here is a quote from the rules 'before' the contest was held and is even quoted in an earlier Dec 1952 issue.
"Title- The title bestowed on the winning Chorus will be 1953 International 'Convention' Championship Chorus, not International Champion Chorus"
The reasons are stated in the 1953 Dec Harmonizer but some are also hinted here in this March issue that it was an 'invitational' with choruses chosen by their District President and not necessarily by District contest.
"Eligibility-Not more than two Choruses from each District will be eligible to compete. These may, or may not, include the current District Champions, according to the decision of the District President."
Because of these distinction the 1953 International Chorus Contest was considered a onetime separate competition of those since 1954. For this reason the winning Chorus had the annotation "Convention" added to their title International 'Convention' Championship Chorus by the SPEBSQSA (now the Barbershop Harmony Society) to distinguish that contest from future ones. Therefore in 1953 the Grand Rapids Michigan Chapter Great Lakes Chorus was recognized as the first 'and only' winner of the International 'Convention' Chorus Championship while in 1954 the Washington DC Singing Capital Chorus was recognized as the first winner of the still running International Chorus Championship, and titled International Champion Chorus. Because of these subtleties the 1953 victory's place in history has been confusing. They're considered winners of 'a' BHS International Chorus Championship Contest but not 'the' BHS International Chorus Championship Contest. Although their name is engraved on both the original and replacement Chorus Championship Trophies used in the 'the' International Chorus Championship Contests since 1954, they did not receive their Gold Medal pins and the BHS Barbershop Harmony Society's history officially recognizes the following year's 1954 International Champion Chorus as the first. One update, in 2010 on behalf of the BHS the surviving members of the 1953 Great Lakes Chorus were presented with their Gold Medal pins, 57 years later, and also made available posthumously to the rest of the 1953 members' families.
|1||Great Lakes Chorus||MICH||2340 = 86.7|
|2||"Q" Suburban Chorus||ILL||2247 = 83.2|
|3||East York Barbershoppers||ONT||2246 = 83.2|
|4||Cascade Chorus||EVG||2238 = 82.8|
|5||Spencer Chorus||CSD||2125 = 78.7|
|6||Canton Chorus||JAD||2198 = 81.4|
|7||London Chorus||ONT||2177 = 80.6|
|8||Terre Haute Chorus||IND-KY||2144 = 79.4|
|9||Precisionaires||MICH||2129 = 78.9|
|10||Wichitones||CSD||2126 = 78.7|
|11||Middletown Chorus||JAD||2115 = 78.3|
|12||Muncie Chorus||IND-KY||2144 = 79.4|
|13||Sheboygan Chorus||LOL||2102 = 77.9|
|14||Gowanda Chorus||SLD||1949 = 72.2|
|15||Alexandria Harmonizers||MAD||1858 = 68.8|
|16||Franklin Oil City Chorus||SLD||1791 = 66.3|