The Marcsmen – 13th in the World
ORLANDO, FL (July 6, 2018) – The Marcsmen, a local a cappella chorus from San Antonio, competed last week at the 2018 Barbershop Harmony Society International Chorus Contest in Orlando, FL. The group placed 13th overall, tying their best placement at an international competition, out of 30 choruses competing which included choruses from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The Marcsmen earned a score of 84.3 (out of 100 possible points) besting their previous high score of 82.0 at the 2013 International contest in Toronto, Canada. The chorus has competed at the International Contest in three previous years: 2011, 2013, and 2015 – all three were top 20 finishes, including 13th place in Toronto in 2013.
“It was wonderful to return to the International stage as a competitor,” said Brent Dunavant, Director of the Marcsmen. “Sharing the stage with some of the greatest choruses in the world was quite an honor. We put 29 men on stage and competed against ensembles with 150 men on stage and still came in 13th in the world. We are immensely proud of that accomplishment.”
With almost 700 registered choruses in North America alone, the Marcsmen were one of three choruses from the Southwestern District of the Barbershop Harmony Society to compete in Orlando. The other two choruses were Space City Sound (Houston, TX) who placed 14th, and The Vocal Majority (Dallas, TX) who finished in first place taking the gold medal.
“The chorus membership and musical expectations are continuing to steadily grow,” commented Dunavant. “We accept members throughout the year and more and more singers are finding us and falling in love with what we do.”
Members of the Marcsmen were also represented at the Mixed Barbershop Showcase at the International Convention. Southern Stride, a mixed quartet made up of three Marcsmen and one of their wives, performed a few songs for the Showcase.
“We were honored to sing at the event not only as a representative of The Marcsmen and San Antonio but also as a supporter of mixed harmony,” said Wallace Stanley, who sings bass for the quartet. “We love seeing the variety of configurations whether it be four friends or spouses or a mix of both. It has given many people in the barbershop hobby more options to enjoy singing together.”
The Barbershop Harmony Society just recently announced that women are now welcome to join the 80-year-old organization, previously only open to men. “Barbershop districts have begun hosting a mixed division in their contests, and perhaps at some point there will be a national stage for mixed barbershop harmony here in the states,” Stanley said. “The interest and excitement are growing rapidly.”