Fall Convention Heads to Lawrence, Kan.


With the spring convention in the rear-view mirror, it's time to set our sights to the fall! We're excited to be heading to Lawrence, Kan. for the first of two planned fall conventions there (2019 and 2021).

Our contest venue will be the impressive Lied Center, located on the Kansas University campus. This theater was designed for acoustical perfection. I know that your quartet or chorus will enjoy performing on that stage.

Our headquarters hotel will be the Doubletree Hotel, just a short drive down the road. Because of the number of rooms within the Doubletree, we expect that we will need to use other hotels as overflow housing. These rooms will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, so I encourage you to book your hotel room sooner rather than later, as well as registering for the convention. Links for both hotel reservations and convention registration will be available soon on the convention page of the CSD website!

CSD Sends Four Quartets to International

The Central States District will be well represented at the BHS International Convention in Salt Lake City this July. After the CSD Spring Convention, the district has four quartets joining our four qualifying choruses on the international contest stage.



With a tie at the top, Harmonium is making their fifth consecutive trip to the international contest The 2016 CSD Quartet Champ is made up of Micah Jeppesen, (T); Mark Fortino, (L); Brian Bellof, (Bs); and Michael Troyer, (Br). They’ve been competing as a quartet since 2015. Between the four members, they have loads of international contest experience. This next contest will be Fortino’s 25th trip to the big stage. Jeppesen joined Fortino for many of those as a member of 12th Street Rag (1994 CSD Champ) and Voices Unlimited (2011 CSD Champ) along with Fortino. Bellof has his fair share of experience competing with 1998 CSD Quartet Champ 3 Men and a Melody.

Fortino will be sharing the international stage with his son Anthony for the second time. Anthony is currently the lead of Midtown who will be representing the Mid-Atlantic District.



Making up the second half of the tie at the top is 2014 CSD Quartet Champ BoomTown. Made up of Zane Sutton, (T); Caleb Fouse, (L); Shaun Whisler, (Bs); and Aaron Walker, (Br) – BoomTown will be making their fifth consecutive trip to the international stage. Last year in Orlando, they had their best showing by breaking into the Top 20 – finishing at 19th. 

The quartet took to social media after the spring convention to share their thoughts on the weekend saying on Facebook, “We are SO excited to get the opportunity to once again represent the Central States District … It never ceases to be a thrill and honor to hear our name called.”

Fleet Street


Making their third consecutive trip to the international stage, Fleet Street is looking to build off their 2018 CSD Quartet Championship as they head to Salt Lake City. Made up of Matt Suellentrop, (T), Aaron Zart, (L), Eeyan Richardson, (Bs), and Mike Bass, (Br), Fleet Street has been together since the summer of 2016. Between their previous quartets and chorus memberships, the members of Fleet Street are no strangers to the international stage.

Reacting to their qualifying for international, Suellentrop said, “Fleet Street is beyond thrilled to be returning to the international stage along with our other CSD quartet brothers. We look forward to representing the best district in BHS, and hope to make everyone proud!”



Making their international debut, Spitfire wowed the audience at the spring convention. Made up of Stephen Vandenberg, (T) Chris Pingel, (L), JT Reid, (Bs), and Drew Osterhout, (Br); Spitfire has been together since July 2018. They first appeared on the district contest stage in the 2018 Fall Convention in St. Charles, Mo.

All four members sing with the Ambassadors of Harmony. Osterhout is the only member with previous quartet experience on the international stage. He competed with HHHHHHHHHHHHHH, a collegiate quartet, in 2011 and again with Code Blue in the international quartet competition in 2012.

CSD’s four International qualifying choruses are:

Ambassadors of Harmony, St. Charles, Mo.

Central Standard, Metro Kansas City, Mo.

SmorgasChorus, South Central Kansas, Kan.

Pathfinder Chorus, Fremont, Neb.

Everyone in Harmony Roadshow Stops in CSD


When most of us think about a barbershop convention, we typically think of the singing on the contest stage; however, that’s only one piece of a Central States convention weekend. During our spring convention in Iowa City, we offered several activities in addition to the contest.

We hosted an “Everyone in Harmony” Roadshow.”  The purpose of the roadshow was to give participants an update and understanding about the Society’s Strategic Vision “Everyone in Harmony” (EiH).  Our Society CEO, Marty Monson, led the Roadshow presentation, along with Blair Brown.  Participants discussed the variety of options provided by EiH and how it may impact their chapter.

Each chapter is allowed to choose what EiH means to them and most in the room were still gathering information about what it might mean for their local chapter.  The response from the Roadshow was overwhelming. Presenters ran out of materials for each participant.  More information can be found at: https://www.barbershop.org/about/everyone/roadshow

The CSD convention team also put together a variety of classes led by the contest judges.  These classes included exploring performance elements, as well as using vocal expression to make a song come alive.  Our convention team is working hard to put together these opportunities to enrich each members’ experience at a convention, whether or not they are competing.  A listing of all of the upcoming activities can be found at singcsd.com.

The Program Administrative Team (PAT), the Board of Directors (BOD), and the House of Delegates (HOD) all met to engage in work that supports our district.

Recap of CSD Spring Convention

Four quartets qualified during CSD’s Spring Convention (April 26-28) to compete at the BHS International Convention in Salt Lake City this July. Congratulations to Harmonium, BoomTown, Fleet Street and Spitfire. (See Meet CSD’s International Quartet Qualifiers article.) Nineteen quartets competed on the Iowa City High School stage, including:

  • two vying for the CSD Super Seniors Championship

  • three competing in the Youth Quartet Championship

  • one Mixed Harmony Quartet and

  • 17 competing for an International qualifying score.

Over 450 members and guests enjoyed the hospitality and excellent planning of the local Convention Team led by John Marshall who has yearned for years to bring a district convention to Iowa City.

Congratulations to Black Hawk Metro Chapter Proud Image Chorus and Algona IA Cornbelt Chorus for winning the Plateaus A and B (respectively) Chorus Championships on Saturday morning. Four choruses entered the contest and one more performed for evaluation only. 

The CSD John Stucker Small Chorus Encouragement Award went to the Dubuque Music Men Chorus.  Iowa City’s Old Capitol Chorus earned Most Improved Plateau A Chorus recognition.

The morning started off with an all-volunteer “every man & woman) mic tester chorus made up of about 30 non-chorus singing men and women. They sounded great and had a fun time as well.

Antique Harmony won the CSD Senior Quartet Championship and Sound Factory won the CSD Youth Quartet Championship.

Links to Spring Convention scoresheets:

Quartet Finals

Quartet Semi-Finals

Chorus Contest

The Convention started Friday morning with classes lead by Brent Graham, Barry Towner and Dale Comer; all members of the weekend’s judging panel.  Brent Graham conducted a class on Tag Singing.  Barry Towner discussed Performance and Dale Comer covered Vocal Expression. CSD first introduced classes at our conventions in fall of 2017 and have been conducting them since. Utilizing judges coming in for the competitions plus local experts provide our members opportunities to learn from the best and hone their skills.

One of the many highlights of the convention happened Saturday afternoon during the “Everyone in Harmony” (EiH) Roadshow, led by none other than BHS CEO Marty Monson – making a whistle stop in Iowa City – along with the lead of the two-time World Mixed Quartet Champion Double Date and a proud new BHS member Blair Brown. They conducted a very interesting, informative and interactive session talking about EiH. (See CSD President Chad Schuetz’s article).

Saturday evening’s Quartet Finals featured 11 quartets and a Mic Tester quartet due to the addition of an out-of-district quartet qualifying for the Finals.  Marty Monson served as master of ceremonies.

The awards show rounded out the evening by featuring presentations to the qualifying and winning quartets and winning choruses, more singing by the International Quartet Qualifiers and anchored by the three-time International Chorus medalist Central Standard.  The show closed with a very rousing rendition of Keep the Whole World Singing directed by Rob Mance

But the fun did not end there.  CSD sponsored an afterglow at the Headquarters Hotel, along with the Pride of Iowa and a somewhat impromptu hallway afterglow organized by the Cornbelt Chorus. As usual the singing continued until the wee hours of the morning.

The District Board members and House of Delegates each met on Friday giving them the opportunity to catch up on district business. One of the important decisions approved by the District Board was inclusion of Everyone in Harmony in our conventions. CSD will open our conventions and contests to Everyone starting this fall. Watch for more information to come on this important decision.

If you have not been to a convention in a while, you sure missed a good one here.But there will always be the next time.And the next time is October 11-13, 2019 in Lawrence KS.The Convention Team is putting together what should be a fantastic and fun Fall Convention at the Lied Center on the Kansas University Campus. Watch the CSD Website at www.singcsd.com for more information to be posted soon. Looking forward to seeing you there!!!