Illustration of two barbershop quartet singers in hats and holding canes on a red background with black text above and below
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The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, or SPEBSQSA, is a society of barber shop or harmonizing quartet groups located in the United States. The society was founded by Owen Clifton Cash and Rupert I. Hall in 1938 when they had the idea to host a song festival for barber shop singers, a style of music that was slowly beginning to fade out of style. The two men invited twenty four other male singers to a meeting in Tulsa to discuss the festival, and the idea for the SPEBSQSA was born.
In 2004, the society changed its name to the Barbershop Harmony Society, or BHS. It now consists of more than 800 chapters and 38,000 members. Because the SPEBSQSA was originally a male-only club, a sister organization called Sweet Adeline’s was developed in 1945 for female quartet singers.
Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (1998 July 20). Barbershop quartet. Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/art/barbershop-quartet-singing#ref12858