Buckeye Invitational

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The Buckeye Invitational was an annual barbershop festival and competition hosted by the Singing Buckeyes of Columbus, Ohio.

Although it wasn't an official JAD contest, the Buckeye Invitational gained a following that went far beyond JAD's boundaries. The Invitational was hosted by the Buckeye-Columbus Chapter each August, and its goal was to provide "a place where choruses and quartets which fell just an inch short of qualifying for International could meet and compete in a multidistrict contest setting."

At the Buckeye Invitational, barbershoppers from around the world performed side-by-side with American and Canadian singers, and male and female barbershoppers competed on the same stage in the same contest.


First produced in 1989. Final contest in 2007.

The official announcement:


Each August for the past 19 years, the Singing Buckeyes Chorus has hosted the Buckeye Invitational in Columbus. We have had an enormous amount of fun putting on this event, and we trust our competitors, judges, guest performers and audiences have shared the smiles and thrills we have experienced.

Ultimately, though, everything has a life span, and it appears we may have reached that of the Invitational. There has been a significant drop off in participation and attendance at the Invitational over the past several years. The Singing Buckeyes are reluctantly, and sadly, coming to the conclusion that we may no longer be in a position to assume the substantial financial obligations required to present this event.

In the next 90 days, we will be making some very difficult decisions as to the future of Buckeye Invitational. Whether the Invitational will continue in 2008, and what its format will be if it does, are questions we will be resolving during that time.

We wanted to let our family and friends in the Barbershop community know now that there is a distinct possibility that Buckeye Invitational 2007 will be the final annual Buckeye Invitational. If you have ever thought about participating in or attending this event, this may be your last chance! Visit our Buckeye Invitational web site, www.buckeyeinvitational.org or call us at 614-459-0400 to register your quartet or chorus, or to purchase tickets for Buckeye Invitational 2007. We apologize for the abrupt and short notice. The possibility of ending something that has been such an important and gratifying part of our chapter's life is not a decision we have been approaching casually. We sincerely thank all our competitors and attendees who have supported our efforts in presenting Buckeye Invitational over the years. Whatever the future holds for the Invitational, the past 19 years have been a ball for us, and we hope for you too.

In Harmony,

The Singing Buckeyes Chorus Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The Buckeye Invitational contest was created by the Buckeye, Ohio chapter of SPEBSQSA (BHS) and first hosted in 1989 to recognize "the best of the rest" in an alternate international competition. The chapter invited the highest ranking choruses and quartets who had failed to qualify for the SPEBSQSA international competition from each district and foreign affiliate to meet in a historic theater in downtown Columbus in mid-August to vie among themselves for the Buckeye Invitational Grand Champion title. Over the years, the invitational was expanded to include contests for Small Choruses, Mixed Quartets and Comedy Quartets, a Barbershop Idol competition, a youth harmony camp, performances in conjunction with the Ohio State Fair, and a couple barbershop-star-studded shows.

In addition to contest music, competitors were encouraged to deliver a complete show package of up to 15 minutes in length. The audience was involved in the judging, providing the results for the Entertainment Category awards. A panel of certified judges provided scoring in the traditional contest categories, and these were combined with the Entertainment Category scores to determine an overall grand champion.

In 1996, in another change from "traditional" BHS, SAI, and HI contests, the Buckeye went co-ed as men's and women's choruses and quartets were invited to compete directly against each other. In addition to the BHS districts and foreign affiliates, Sweet Adelines and Harmony Inc. groups were added to the invite list using the same qualifying rules. The official judging panels were expanded to two complete panels, one made up of BHS/HI judges, and one of SAI judges, and winners were announced in the men's, women's, and overall categories.

The contests placed a higher emphasis on entertainment, proving to be a very popular event for competitors and spectators alike. One of its most popular aspects was providing a venue where comedy quartets could come and be judged on their comedy and entertainment value alone.

The Buckeye was not only a competition, but also featured some of the best barbershop shows of its day, starting first with a Saturday night show that was eventually renamed the "Barbershop Odyssey Show," and later adding a Friday night "Stars of the Night" show. Both shows featured several international champion and medalist quartets and choruses, and the Friday show also was the culmination of the Buckeye Harmony Camp, featuring performances by the Boys', Girls' and combined choruses.

With the introduction and expansion of the "wild card" concept in the BHS and SAI international competitions, the pool of international-caliber non-qualifiers shrunk, making the Buckeye less viable as a true international-level competition, and it ended its 19-year run in 2007. The harmony camp, first created as an offshoot of the Buckeye Invitational, is still being held each year.

Grand Champion Quartets

Year Quartet Representing
2007 the Summit BHS RMD
2006 Serenade BHS NED
2005 Magnum BHS LOL
2004 Good 2 Go BHS JAD
2003 Impulse BHS JAD
2002 Hi-Fidelity BHS FWD
2001 Pacific Standard Time BHS EVG
2000 Raise The Roof BHS SUN
1999 Crystal Clear SAI Reg 9
1998 Desperado BHS JAD
1997 Gotcha! BHS FWD
1996 Sterling BHS SWD
1995 Cornerstone BHS SLD
1993 Music Street BHS MAD
1992 Sound Legacy BHS CSD
1991 The Aliens BHS EVG
1990 Classic Ring BHS ILL
1989 The Bowery Boys BHS JAD

Grand Champion Choruses

Year Chorus Representing
2007 Circle of Harmony SAI 16
2006 TuneTown Show Chorus SAI 23
2005 Scioto Valley Chorus SAI 4
2004 American Barberboys BHS CSD
2003 St. Louis Harmony SAI 5
2002 Verdugo Hills Showtime Chorus SAI 11
2001 Greater Cleveland Chorus SAI 17
2000 Capital City Chorus SAI 4
1999 Harborlites SAI 21
1998 St. Louis Harmony SAI 5
1997 Midwest Vocal Express BHS LOL
1996 Crosstown Harmony Chorus SAI 22
1995 Midwest Vocal Express BHS LOL
1993 Summit City Chorus BHS CAR
1992 Ambassadors of Harmony BHS CSD
1991 Big Apple Chorus BHS MAD
1989 Pride of Indy Chorus BHS CAR

See Also

External Links