About Northwest Sound
We are a men's a cappella chorus, and the Bellevue Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. We perform in a variety of musical styles including Americana, jazz, show tunes, pop and more, all done with distinctively rich barbershop harmonies. Come to one of our shows and you might hear Songs from classics like Puttin’ on the Ritz and Wonderful World to popular hits by artists like Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr., Queen, and the Beatles, from songs featured in Disney films to songs from great stage musicals like Man of La Mancha and Forever Plaid. We produce and perform concerts several times per year featuring different groups from within Northwest Sound, local community choruses, and other local and nationally known a capella performers. We also perform at local festivals, community events and for private functions.
Northwest Sound is a teaching chorus with over 30 years of providing regular vocal coaching and instruction for its members as well as special programs teaching a capella singing to members of the community. We are the premier barbershop chorus in the Northwest with a reputation for quality that attracts members from as far away as Tacoma and Vancouver, BC. We have a highly trained and accomplished music team and coaches with decades of experience, awards from regional and international competitions, and qualification as contest judges. We use instructional techniques and materials from Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) to enable singers with a wide variety of musical backgrounds and talents to learn, improve and enjoy developing their skills to the fullest.
Part of the barbershop culture is to showcase the skills we’ve gained and share the joy of our accomplishments in regular friendly competitions. Northwest Sound won its first competition in just the 3rd year of existence and has continued to perform at a high level throughout its history. We have been regional champion and International competitors 12 times in our 32 years, including each of the last 3 years. With the inspiration and expert direction from our Music Director Ken Potter and our greatly expanded musical team, we have steadily improved scores over last 3 years moving from 27th to 13th place among choruses at the BHS International competitions.
Barbershop is about harmony in human voices coming together to create beautiful and inspirational music. It is a brotherhood where men of all ages can join together in this truly American art form and form friendships that last a lifetime. It provides challenge, growth, and commitment - singing great a cappella harmony is continuous journey of learning. The combination of delight in music, friendship, and personal growth makes barbershop singing a joyous and fulfilling hobby. Will we see you at our next rehearsal? We rehearse most Wednesday evenings at 7pm at First United Methodist Church in Bellevue (1934 108th Ave. NE). All are welcome to visit or join in.
Northwest Sound Mission
The mission of Northwest Sound is to impact lives and build community through artistic and emotionally driven a cappella performances for diverse audiences.
Northwest Sound Vision
The vision of Northwest Sound is to be recognized as one of the premier choral organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
Northwest Sound Culture
The culture of Northwest Sound is based on the following eight pillars:
Committed Members – We are a band of brothers, committed to creating art through vocal expression. There is no weak link among us; we lift and support each other to create art through our music. Everyone chooses to participate, prepares for each rehearsal, and shares both their time and energy with each other for the brief hours we allot to Northwest Sound each week.
A Strong Foundational Organization – Northwest Sound is a chorus first, supported by an organization that seamlessly provides all the operations a chorus needs. Everyone has an important role to play, and each member fulfills his duties diligently. We have the freedom to enjoy the music that we are creating.
A High Membership Skill Level – Each Northwest Sound member has become a better singer after joining. We understand what we can do to produce a more artistic presentation.
Rehearsals Are Both Work and Fun – We are exhausted at the end of each rehearsal, but we never understand how the time went by so quickly. It was not because we spent any time on mundane tasks like learning words, notes and breaths. We learned them outside of rehearsal time, well before Northwest Sound began rehearsing the song for the first time. Rehearsal time is almost sacred, not to be wasted. Each week is a new opportunity to increase our performance level, whether the song is new, or a well-known repertoire piece.
Continual Growth – Northwest Sound is both a teaching and learning organization. No matter what level of singer you may be - the new guy just learning, a young stud with a booming voice, or an accomplished senior quarteter - everyone has a place, because everyone can either learn or teach. From the moment a guest shows up until he graduates to the eternal chapter, he is growing from singer, to musician, to performer, and finally, to artist, all within the Northwest Sound barbershop framework.
Artistic Music – Barbershop is the core of what Northwest Sound does. Realizing that variety creates interest and that our goal is to entertain, we embrace other vocal art forms and perform many such pieces. In everything Northwest Sound does, quality is the key. We have allied ourselves with other quality groups and routinely combine to present varied musical packages to a wide audience base. Northwest Sound is known for our repertoire of privately arranged signature songs that we are proud to present to our appreciative audiences.
A Competitive Heart – While competing may not be Northwest Sound’s only goal, it is an important part of our growth, and it has provided us with benchmarks along the way. We always present artistic performances, both on the contest stage and off.
A Culture of Respect – We work diligently developing a culture of respect within Northwest Sound. During rehearsal time, we pay strict attention to those leading the activities, to maximize our efforts and enjoyment of the ensemble time. We care sincerely for our brothers in our chapter and in those chapters around us. We respect other choruses and work to earn their respect.
OUR CULTURE SIMPLIFIED:
Northwest Sound is a brotherhood of men united in a cappella harmony, predominately in the barbershop style, to provide joy and entertainment to all who hear and participate. Northwest Sound seeks to achieve the highest level of artistry in all of our presentations so that we might properly preserve our musical heritage by bringing it to life for ourselves and for our audiences in today’s setting. Through our music, we endeavor to lift those who need lifting, cheer those who need cheering and serve those who need serving.