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Local men’s chorus will begin recruiting women at the first of the year

August 18, 2018
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Mark Webb/The Herald-Dispatch Current and former members of the Huntington Tri-State chapter of the Thundertones Chorus gather for a reunion and picnic on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at Barboursville Community Park.

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - The Huntington Tri-State Barbershop Chorus, known as The ThunderTones, will begin formally admitting women into their group on Jan. 1, 2019, the group announced Tuesday.

Jan. 1 is the formal admission date set by the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) for local chapters; however, recruiting efforts and participation will begin sooner.

Including women in barbershop harmony has traditionally been limited to the Sweet Adelines International organization, a group that has been, and plans to remain, exclusively available to women, according to a news release from the group.

The BHS has adopted a new philosophy, “Everyone in Harmony,” trying to embrace the rich and rewarding sound achieved by including all types of voices and voice ranges, including women.

The ThunderTones Chorus fully agrees with this new approach and has elected to establish their new identity as a “mixed chorus” under BHS guidelines, as local chapters have total control over decisions regarding this new option.

Plans for these personnel changes will be rolled out over the coming months. The ThunderTones are currently learning and refining new music for their annual fall show to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, inside the Huntington High School Auditorium. This program will revolve around a music icon, the jukebox. Music from the ’50s and ’60s will be featured by the chorus and from special guest quartets and smaller groups.

Immediately following that event, those who have expressed interest in the new, mixed-gender barbershop chorus will begin meeting to work on Christmas music for public performances.

Applications for chapter membership and continued participation will be ready to go for the Jan. 1, 2019 date. But the BHS is currently allowing full membership application for the larger Society organization.

The ThunderTones encourage anyone who is interested in participating in this new, modified version of the group (both women and men) to contact the director, Steve Patrick, at steve@reliantdrugtestsolutions.com or 304-552-2375 or contact the club’s president, Ric Keaster, at ric.keaster@wku.edu or 270-320-4510.

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