History of the Harmony Brigade
In January of 1993, the North Carolina Harmony Brigade held its first rally in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It was the vision of Charles Rose, a member of the CHB. Charles’ idea for the NCHB was a weekend rally based on the CHB concept that would attract good quartet men from North Carolina interested in learning more difficult and interesting arrangements and provide two days of unlimited quartetting opportunities.
For the first few years, NCHB membership was limited to North Carolina chapter members. In 1996, the first of a few “outsiders” (brothers Alan & Neal Siegal, from New York) managed to garner invitations to the NCHB. Eventually other outsiders included Duane Henry and Terry Silke from Indiana. The secret was now out of the bag! These men quickly realized the value of such a quartet program and envisioned developing a Brigade in their home states. After a few years of “apprenticing” under the NCHB leadership the dream of the Indiana Harmony Brigade became a reality in October of 2003 in Indianapolis, Indiana, followed by the Atlantic Harmony Brigade in August of 2006 in Wilmington, Delaware.
With the advent of two additional Brigades, word suddenly began to spread. Men from most states, Canada, Germany, and Sweden have attended one or more of these three Brigades. This participation, along with the exposure received at the 2006 International Convention, where a chorus made up of the three Brigades performed as mic-testers for the chorus competition and performed on World Harmony Jamboree, plus articles in the Harmonizer, has led to a groundswell of interest in starting other eXtreme Harmony Brigades.
Each year, Eight Core Songs are selected by the AXQHB Music Committee (comprised of representatives from each Brigade). These common songs form the basis of the repertoire sung at each Rally throughout the year. Many Brigaders attend multiple Rallys thus leveraging the songs they've learned and take the opportunity to travel the country and perform eXtreme Quartetting with hundreds of great quartetters.
There are eleven active Harmony Brigades:
North Carolina Harmony Brigade
January 18-20, 2019, Pinehurst, NC
UK Harmony Brigade
February 8-10, 2019, Nottingham, England
Northern Pines Harmony Brigade
February 23-25, 2019, Plymouth, MN
Lone Star Harmony Brigade
March 8-10, 2019, Richardson, TX
Great Lakes Harmony Brigade
May 17-20, 2019, Okemos, MI
European Harmony Brigade
Aug 31, Sept 2, Berlin, Germany
Harmony University Brigade
July 22-29, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Atlantic Harmony Brigade
August 12-14, Wilmington, DE
High Sierra Harmony Brigade
August 25-27, Reno, NV
New England Harmony Brigade
September 14-17, Marlborough, Mass.
Indiana Harmony Brigade
November 10-12, Indianapolis, IN