Mid-Atlantic District's Mission Statement:
"To perpetuate the old American institution, the barbershop quartet, and to promote
and encourage vocal harmony and good fellowship among its members throughout the
Mid-Atlantic District by the formation in every city, town, and hamlet, of local
chapters, composed of members interested in the purposes of this corporation,
which shall be the same as the purposes of the Society; to hold annual, local,
and district contests in quartet and chorus singing, to encourage and promote the
education of its members and the public in music appreciation; to initiate, promote,
and participate in charitable projects; and to promote public appreciation of
barbershop quartet and chorus singing by publication and dissemination thereof."
Why compete in a contest?
Consider the following dialog...
PHIL: Hey, How ya doin'?
"If you don't know where you've been, or where you're at,
BOB: Compared to what?
PHIL: Well Ok, how about compared to the last time I asked you?
BOB: I don't know, Okay, I guess.
PHIL: Well, how are you doing as a Barbershop Performer? How did you do in the last contest?
BOB: We didn't compete. Contests are just another opportunity to get beat up by the "Big Guys".
PHIL: Well, I haven't met a barbershopper yet who didn't want to perform better. Don't you?
BOB: Yeah, but I don't care about contests, I just want to sing and have fun.
PHIL: I don't know about you, but I have more fun when I know I've performed well, and an audience reacts appropriately. Isn't that what you want?
BOB: Yes, we want that, too, but we never seem to actually get any better.
PHIL: What do you mean by better? How do you measure better?
BOB: Ya know, just better.
PHIL: Well, If you want to get better, you have to have a starting point,
and you need a way to measure your progress. You need to compete.
You arenít competing against another quartet or chorus per se, you compete against yourself.
You look at the scores you receive; apply what the judges tell you in the evaluation sessions;
maybe focus on one area; and set a reasonable goal of raising your scores in that area.
Then come back again and repeat the process.
You'll see that you will improve. It may be small at first, but do it consistently,
and you will get better. You'll know how you're doing. And believe me, you will
have more fun when you perform better and you know it.
By the way, those "Big Guys" weren't always big.
how can you tell where you're going?"