The An-O-Chords barbershop chorus is one of over 800 chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society (formerly known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, or "SPEBSQSA." What a mouthful that was!
We're members of the BHS's Evergreen District which includes the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, and Alberta. Chartered in 1955, the An-O-Chords have earned a national reputation as one of the happiest chapters in the country. For the last 59 years, the annual An-O-Chords Weekend has been held the last full weekend in July and features Broadway Quality performances Saturday nights by National Champion quartets, local favorites, and of course, the full 40+ voices of the An-O-Chords Men's Barbershop Chorus. The weekend is always capped by the fabulous An-O-Chords Salmon Barbecue with its delicious food, more appearances by the guest quartets, a novice quartet contest and an afternoon of fun at beautiful Sunset Beach in Washington Park at the west end of town. The An-O-Chords announce an exciting new show concept for 2015. This is the 60th Year for the An-O-Chords and we think this is a fitting new direction for our "Diamond" Anniversary.
In an effort to expand the Youth Outreach Mission of our non profit chorus, we decided to change our show to a time of the year when the kids from the schools can participate with us in our show.
This new format will feature the An-O-Chords Chorus and singing groups from the local area schools and local quartets. The shows will start at 7:00 PM and be 2 hours in length. The admission will be Free although we will ask for a donation to support the local school music programs.
Our first Concert was held on May 9th 2015 at Brodniak Hall at Anacortes High School. The second Concert was held on May 16th at Bethany Covenant Church in Mt Vernon. The Third Concert was held on November 21 at Oak Harbor High School. The performances had free admission and we requested donations to be used to support the participating high schools music programs. The results were fantastic with Over $4,400 received in donations for the music programs.
The roughly 40 men of the An-O-Chords are from all walks of life and hail mainly from Island and Skagit Counties. Our members are drawn together by a common love of singing in harmony, the excitement of performing and the wonderful fellowship of friends. We're based in one of the most beautiful spots in the country -- Anacortes, Washington -- gateway to the famous San Juan Islands of Puget Sound -- about 70 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia; 90 miles north of Seattle and about 20 miles off the beaten path between the two. The An-O-Chords Chorus is a registered non-profit organization and net proceeds from all projects and performances are returned to charities and projects in our community. Our major charitable effort involves teaching the joy of singing to young people in our communities through our Youth Outreach Program, and the Evergreen District's fabulous Summer Youth Chorus Camp, Harmony Explosion.
Chorus practice is held every Thursday night from 7:00 to 9:30 pm at the NW ESD Educational Service District, l, 1601 "R" Avenue [off Seafarers Way], " Following practice, most of the stalwarts adjourn to Village Pizza Parlor for a few refreshments and a lot more songs. It’s a slice of life and we’re always looking for new singers! Drop-ins are warmly welcomed!