Commencement Day

IMAG1204[1]A heartfelt note from our beloved director, Donny Rose.


noun \kə-ˈmen(t)s-mənt\
: the time when something begins
: a ceremony during which degrees or diplomas are given to students who have graduated from a school or college


As I depart for a new job far away, you begin a new journey with the next director of Northwest Sound.

I can not think of a more perfect time to depart… NWS is growing, has fabulous leadership, has a lovely mix of ages in the chorus, and has the culture that is the envy of the district and society, and is firmly positioned as a top notch chorus that can (and has) attracted people to apply. Gentlemen, you get to be picky. You already have several candidates that have applied, and with your district win, you will have more.

But now, I get to take a breath after this weekend and reflect about November of 2006 to September of 2014. … “I have so many emotions… »

Director Wanted

To: Outstanding Choral Directors,

The Northwest Sound Men’s Chorus is in search of its next great front line director.  We are a fifty-plus member, competitive a cappella men’s chorus that regularly performs for the public and on the contest stage across the continent.  The chorus’s current director, Don Rose, has accepted a position with the national Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) in Nashville creating a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead a top level chorus.  Northwest Sound has a strong culture of positive growth and individual excellence along with a first-rate administrative and musical team that allows the director to focus on making great music.

The ideal candidate will have the following attributes –

  • Previous choral directing experience preferably in the Barbershop style
  • Solid musical background – music degree, performance experience and/or musical educator all desirable
  • Inspiring, positive attitude
  • Willingness to grow personally and invest in the membership and music team’s growth
  • A strong communicator and team player

This is a paid directing position and includes yearly compensation for attendance at the week-long BHS Harmony University or the BHS International Convention.  Pay rate is negotiable based on skills and experience.

To express your interest in this position or make a recommendation, contact Dan Keating ( or Dick Gode ( for application material.  October 15th is the cut-off date for applicants though interested parties are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

The Qualification Conundrum

donny and amy matching

With our Division 2 contest this coming weekend, Director Donny Rose discussed the tricky matter of “who gets to sing” at contest.

He writes,

We have several men who have not qualified for our Division 2 contest and won’t be singing with us.

This is always so loaded for any volunteer organization. Leadership is trying to balance…

  • clear music expectations against a standard
  • clear performance expectations against a standard
  • the needs of the many versus the needs (wishes/desire) of the few
  • trying to encourage guys who hurt us vocally (but hope to make it)
  • trying to encourage guys who look bad and hurt us visually (but hope to make it)

Is the bar too high? »

A Record Number Of ‘Sing Sing Sing’ Graduates

SSS 2103

Click to enlarge

Northwest Sound Men’s Chorus just completed its fifth “sing, Sing, SING!” program, a free six-week course teaching American a cappella and the joy of locking chords in harmony.

The program is part of our service to Bellevue and the surrounding community. In SSS, we cover the foundation of singing, connecting with the emotion of song, and show performance.

Meet the Graduates! »

Happy Thanksgivukkah and a Song from the Boys

holiday music chorus mens bellevue washingtonOur very own Chuck Caplan and the Northwest Sound Men’s Chorus wish you a Happy Thanksgivukkah with this special song we’ve prepared for the holiday show.

This year we had 50 men attend our annual sing! Sing! SING! program which welcomes men from the community to join us for six weeks of free instruction and song in the barbershop style. We expect many to “graduate” this coming Wednesday.

Their graduation present from us is a spot on the risers for our December 14 shows.

Will we see you there? Tickets are available online now and proceeds help us pay our fabulous director Donny Rose, rehearsal space rental, and music royalties. Please join us!

Our Best Performance In Years

Last week at the Evergreen District Competition, your Northwest Sound Men’s Chorus placed third in a historically close race.


If you’re a barbershop lover, here’s the video you won’t want to miss.

Know someone who wants to sing with us? Our annual free singing lessons program (known as sing! Sing! SING!) starts October 30, 2013. All men, regardless of vocal training, are welcome!

Learn with Donny: What About Tempo?

Sometimes we, as a chorus, aren’t keeping the tempo Donny wants.

What should we do in this case, Donny answers in the video below.

Drew’s Star Rises

Northwest Sound Drew Osterhout

Northwest Sound favorite son Drew Osterhout, along with his girlfriend Maria Daoust, are making a big step today.

They are on their way to St. Louis, Missouri where Drew will study under Dr. Jim Henry, director of the multi-gold-winning chorus the Ambassadors of Harmony.

Drew’s planning to get a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting and do barbershop “for reals,” as he says in the sweet video below.

The boy even gets a little teary-eyed about what barbershop and your Northwest Sound Men’s Chorus means to him.

Good luck, Friend.

And readers, leave a note for Drew in the comments, won’t you?

2013 International Gold Medal Chorus Toronto Northern Lights

The Barbershop Harmony Society just added a video of this year’s international gold medal chorus, Toronto Northern Lights.


Lucas’ First Tag Party

barbershop tag party

Barbershop truly is fun for the whole family but not every family member is ready to sing a tag.

Such was the case at last weekend’s second annual “Best Tag Party,” another reason to hang out with our fun group outside of a performance setting.

9-year-old Lucas refused to sing with his dad – until we created a tag just for him.

For your listening pleasure, we present “Toilet.”
What do you think? A barbershopper in the making?