Illinois District

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ILL logo.jpg

District Geography

The Illinois District covers exactly the same area as the State of Illinois.


  • Frank Thorne Chapter-at-Large
Chorus Chapter
Arlingtones Arlington Heights
Bend of the River Chorus Rock Island
Black Hawk Chorus Joliet
Brotherhood of Harmony Lake County
Chicago Metro Chorus Chicago Metro
Chorus of Dupage DuPage Valley
Coles County Barbershop Chorus Coles County
Covered Bridge Chorus Bureau County
Danville Barbershop Chorus Danville
Decatur Chordsmen Decatur
Fox Valley Men of Harmony Elgin
Great River Barbershop Chorus Quincy
Greater Rockford Barbershop Harmonizers Rockford
Illini Statesmen Champaign Urbana
Kaskaskia Trail Chorus Waterloo
Kish-Wau-Keys Kishwaukee Valley
Chorus Chapter
Lamplighters Chorus Aurora
Land of Lincoln Chorus Springfield
Mississippi Valley Chorus Collinsville
New Tradition Northbrook
Okaw Valley Sandoval
Peoria Barbershop Chorus Peoria
Prairieland Barbershop Chorus Macomb
Rock River Valley Chorus Sterling Rock Falls
Second City Chorus Rockford Metro
Shawnee Hills Chorus Harrisburg
Singing Men of Note South Cook
Sound of Illinois Bloomington
Sounds of Harmony Belleville
Spirit of Illinois Kankakee
The Little Egypt Chorus Carbondale
West Towns Chorus Chicagoland West Suburban



Year Name (*Deceased) Chapter(s)
2023-2024 Terry Ludwig Bloomington
2021-2022 Jeff Lathom Northbrook
2019-2020 Brett Mulford Bloomington
2017-2018 Jim Waldorf Bloomington
2015-2016 Rich Hansen Coles County & Bloomington
2013-2014 Jeff Bowyer Coles County & Bloomington
2011-2012 Mike Bagby Northbrook
2009-2010 Dave Cowin Lake County
2007-2008 Phil Rolfs Bloomington
2005-2006 Will Thorndike Sterling/Rock Falls
2003-2004 Jerry McDonough* Peoria
2001-2002 Wayne Wright Sterling/Rock Falls
1999-2000 Bob Squires Lake County
1997-1998 Joe Sullivan Northbrook
1995-1996 Bill Stock* Belleville
1993-1994 Gene McNish* Springfield
1991-1992 Earl Meseth Joliet
1989-1990 Syl Wetle Northbrook
1987-1988 Jim Graham* Champaign-Urbana
1985-1986 Jack Windsor* Aurora
1983-1984 Bob Cearnal Belleville
1981-1982 Joe Shekleton* Arlington Heights
1979-1980 Jim Vliet* Champaign-Urbana
1977-1978 Walt Martin* Elgin
1975-1976 John Mulkin* Carbondale
1973-1974 Bill Everitt* Lombard
1971-1972 Fran Wright* South Cook
1969-1970 Wally Ryan* Decatur
1967-1968 Rollie Meyers* Peoria
1965-1967 Ken Haack* Fox River Valley
1964-1965 Frank Vechiola* Chicago #1 & Skokie Valley
1963-1964 Don Beasley* Aurora
1961-1963 Don Summers* Peoria
1958-1961 Tom Watts* Skokie Valley
1957-1958 Loren Bogart* Bloomington
1955-1957 Charles Snyder* Lombard
1953-1955 Charles Hecking* Pioneer
1951-1953 James Martin* Q-Suburban
1950-1951 Harold Kamm* Jacksonville
1949-1950 Charles Ward* Chicago #1
1948-1949 C. L. Morgan* Canton
1947-1948 Robert McKinney* Macomb
1946-1947 Henry Stanley* Chicago #1
1945-1946 E. Royce Parker* Peoria
1942-1945 Thomas Barry* Galesburg
1941-1942 Frank Jackson* Chicago #1


International Champions


Seniors Quartet

Collegiate Quartet


District Champions


Category Current Champ Year Full List
Men's Linc 182 2023 ILL Quartet Champions
Mixed Mixology 2023 N/A - Inaugural Champion
Senior Sangamon Valley Chord Company 2023 ILL Seniors Champions
Novice River City Rhythm 2023 ILL Novice Champions
Collegiate None 2023 ILL Collegiate Champions


Category Current Champ Chapter Year Full List
District Champion Sound of Illinois Bloomington, IL 2022 ILL Chorus Champions
Men's Champion Sound of Illinois Bloomington, IL 2022
Plateau AAAAA Champion Sound of Illinois Bloomington, IL 2022
Plateau AAAA Champion New Tradition Northbrook, IL 2022
Plateau AAA Champion West Towns Chorus Chicagoland West Suburban, IL 2022
Plateau AA Champion Land of Lincoln Chorus Springfield, IL 2022
Plateau A Champion None 2022
Most Improved Land of Lincoln Chorus Springfield, IL 2022
Small Chorus Award Brotherhood of Harmony Chorus Lake County, IL 2022


Long before O.C. Cash and Rupert Hall thought of starting a local singing club in Tulsa, Okla., a number of Illinois men were experiencing the thrill of singing a well-tuned chord. Men like “Molly” Reagan, Frank Thorne, Pete Buckley, “Little Doc” Nelson, Glenn Howard, “Cy” Perkins, John Hanson and others. These pioneers are prominent in the beginnings of the Illinois District of SPEBSQSA/BHS.

While the songs of the Haydn quartet, the American, the Peerless, the Criterion and others thrilled listeners to the old wind-up phonographs, men of Illinois -- later to be affiliated with the Society – enjoyed singing “close harmony.”

A picture from the early 1900s shows the Variety Four, including Molly Reagan, Little Doc Nelson, Pete Buckley and Ralph Morehouse. In 1912, Frank Thorne and Molly met at the University of Illinois where they had a mandolin/guitar duo and also ran a dance hall for students. In Illinois, quartet singing was popular with men of all ages, sparked by the influence of the many quartets that were popular acts in traveling vaudeville shows. Singing close harmony with friends on street corners, in barbershops or the local pool hall, became an important part of America at the turn of the century. Many of those early “harmony men” were to play a part in the development and growth of what was to become the roots of barbershop in Illinois.

Whiz Candy Makers.jpg
Frank Thorne & quartet.JPG

See Also

External Links

Districts of the Barbershop Harmony Society
Cardinal District Carolinas District Central States District Dixie District Evergreen District Far Western District
Illinois District Johnny Appleseed District Land O' Lakes District Mid-Atlantic District Northeastern District Ontario District
Pioneer District Rocky Mountain District Seneca Land District Southwestern District Sunshine District