Harmony, Incorporated is a nonprofit international barbershop singing organization for women of all ages. Members are dedicated to: performance, promotion, and preservations of four-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style; friendship; personal growth and development through music and education; and the practice of democratic principles.
Harmony, Inc. was founded on February 26, 1959 in Rhode Island by a group of 150 women from five chapters of Sweet Adelines International. In the fall of 1957, without a poll or vote of the membership, the International Board of Directors of Sweet Adelines International amended the admittance policy of the bylaws to say white women were accepted for membership. By the summer of 1958, after all efforts failed to have this discriminatory clause in the Bylaws reconsidered, five chapters, led by Providence, Rhode Island, left the organization to form Harmony, Inc.
Since then, the organization has expanded to include over 3000 singers in chapters across the United States and Canada, from California to Newfoundland, and from Alaska to Florida.
Harmony, Inc. is governed by an elected international board of directors. Each area is represented on the board of directors by an area director and managed by an area council.
International Contest and Convention (IC&C) is held annually in November. It provides an opportunity for qualifying choruses and quartets to compete, for the organization to conduct meetings, as well as provide educational opportunities for members.
The 2009 International Contest and Convention celebrated Harmony, Inc.'s 50th Anniversary and was held in Providence, Rhode Island, where the organization was founded.
International Chorus Champions sit out one year and may not compete in the following Area and International Competition before they can compete again. However, the winners of the international quartet contest (Harmony Queens) are lifetime champions and do not compete again.
Harmony, Inc. offers its chapters and quartets the opportunity to compete annually in the spring at Area Conventions & Contests held geographically throughout the organization. Participation in the contest is strictly voluntary.
Following each contest, all contestants receive direct feedback on their performance skills through evaluations, at which time they meet individually with those who have judged their contest performance. Competing at the Area level is also the means by which contestants earn the right to compete at the annual international contest.
Harmony, Inc. choruses are divided into six geographic regions.
- Area 1: Quebec east of 70 degrees longitude, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
- Area 2: Ontario east of 77.5 degrees longitude to Quebec 70 degrees longitude, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. Expansion areas: Delaware and Maryland.
- Area 3: Ontario south of Highway 401 from Oshawa to Port Dover, New York, Ohio (east of Route 77), Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
- Area 4: Ontario west of 85 degrees longitude, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio (west of route 77) and Wisconsin. Expansion areas: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
- Area 5: Ontario between 85 degrees and 77.5 degrees longitude, north of Highway 401, Ontario, west of Port Dover and east of Cambridge, effective April 1, 1997, to 77.5 degrees longitude.
- Area 6: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Expansion areas: Virginia.
- Barbershop Harmony Society
- Sweet Adelines International
- Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers