Jim Burbidge is a 41 year barbershopper and a valued member of the bari section for Northwest Sound. He got his start in barbershop with what was, at that time, the Green River Chordcasters. He heard this chorus at SeaTac Mall while shopping with his family. He says he kind of stood around and acted interested and three guys came over and asked him to sing a tag and right away he was hooked. The Green River Chordcasters later became the Federal Way Harmony Kings. About 15 years ago he sang with Northwest Sound for awhile but had to delay joining. Running his own dental practice, as well as raising his family, kept him too busy to do both. Since 2015 he has held dual memberships in the Harmony Kings and Northwest Sound.
Over the years Jim has sung in a number of quartets. He was a member of the Evergreen District Senior Champion Country Squires for several years and sang at the International Senior Quartet Contest in Tucson. At the time this bio is written Jim is having fun singing in a quartet named Generation Gap, part of Northwest Sound’s Quartet Initiative program. The combined ages of the other three singers is less than Jim’s age!
Jim doesn’t just come to chorus to sing. He was President of the Harmony Kings for a couple of years as well as holding other offices. At present a major project is as one of the Chairs of the Division II contest. The Federal Way Harmony Kings and the Seattle SeaChordsmen have combined as host chapters for the last three or four years. This is a really good way to share the job as it is too big for one chapter to host year after year and can be difficult to pass around among chapters as has been done before. Having the contest at the same venue in the same city is a real plus. At Northwest Sound rehearsals Jim is the go to guy for information on how to get registered for the contest.
For the last four years Jim has concentrated on barbershop to indulge his musical addiction, but prior to that he was a founding member of the Federal Way Chorale, a classical choral ensemble, singing second tenor. He has also performed semi-professional musical theater. Some of his favorites were The Fantastics, Fiddler On The Roof, and three times in The Music Man.
Jim is a Life Master in duplicate bridge which he really enjoys for its social qualities. He has served as president of his local Kiwanis Club and was the president of the Kiwanis Foundation of Federal Way for a number of years.
Born and raised in Stanley, North Dakota, Jim attended the University of North Dakota for three years and then the University of Minnesota for graduate work. He worked as a dentist until retiring. He sang in an all male group called “The Varsity Bards” at UND. They sang a little barbershop but they didn’t really know what they were doing. Their repertoire was mainly show tunes and fun songs with a lot of drinking and carousing on the side.
During his dental career Jim was active with the Seattle/King County Dental Society and the Washington State Dental Association. He was State President of the Washington State Society for Preventive Dentistry.
Jim and Jeanne have been married for fifty years and have three children.
Jim adds that he is very proud of his wife. Jeanne has been an elected member of the Federal Way City Council for twenty years. She has been Deputy Mayor at times and currently holds that position again. When the city had a full time City Manager Jeanne held the position of Mayor for two years. She is very active in the city and on regional boards.
These are two very committed people and Northwest Sound is lucky to have Jim giving his time and talents. He adds “I enjoy singing with NW Sound very much. The quality of the singing and the commitment to excellence set it apart, and the fellowship of the members is an added bonus.”