Frequently Asked Questions

We're Glad you Asked!

If you have more questions, just email us at

How do I know what part I sing?

When you visit a rehearsal, there will be a member there to do a quick review of your voice range, and ask just a few questions about your musical experience. Most beginning barbershoppers start out singing lead (the melody) or bass. But it's not set in stone! You can start in one part and then move whenever you feel comfortable.

I'm a girl. Can I join?

Well, yes you can!. Let me explain. The Asheville Chapter of BHS welcomes any members without any restrictions. It's part of the Everyone in Harmony movement which began in 2018. We have a few active female members, including our director and a member of our Board of Directors.

Everyone is welcome at rehearsals; however, our Land of the Sky Chorus is male only. If you join us, you can sing through the warmups and see what a full rehearsal is like! (with Covid exceptions.)

For more information about the many options, check the BHS Info page.

Within Asheville, there are two other barbershop choruses for women to check out: the Song of the Sky Chorus (part of SAI) and A Cappella Alive!, an independent chorus.

Is there an age limit? Am I too young/old to join?

No! All that we require is that you enjoy singing and are able and willing to participate in chapter meetings, rehearsals and events. We have had members as young as age 10, and our oldest members are well into their 80s.

I can't read music. What are my options?

Reading music is not a barrier! We provide the sheet music, but also professionally produced learning tracks for each of the four parts. We often break into sectionsals to focus on each part. Our members come from a range of musical backgrounds and skills but in fact a number of our members learn all their music from listening and studying these learning tracks. Wherever you start, we will strive to help you become a better singer and performer.

Why do they call it 'barbershop' harmony? Are you guys all barbers?

The history of barbershop harmony and its roots go back to the late 1800s. AfroAmerican slaves in the fields developed many of the a cappella harmony forms we still sing today. In fact the Blues, Jazz, Dixieland, and Bluegrass all share a common heritage with “Barbershop.” Greats like Louis Armstrong, JellyRoll Morton and others began as “Barbershoppers.” At the turn of the century, barbershops and street corners were popular gathering spots for the men of the community; manly men got together to sing and harmonize the songs of their day. Once the first melody singer found the first bass, tenor, and baritone, the rest was a matter of inevitability. While some barbers have been members of the BHS (Barbershop Harmony Society), you don't need to know how to cut hair in order to join. Heck, you don't even have to shave!

If you'd like more information on the history of Barbershop, a few articles and this video lecture will be very informative!

Are you guys professional musicians?

The LOS is an all-volunteer organization. We're amateur singers who come from a wide range of professional and musical backgrounds.

Who are you affiliated with?

We are the Asheville  Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, an organization of approximately 18,000 members across North America. Affiliated men’s and women’s organizations in more than a dozen countries bring the total number of active singers to more than 80,000 worldwide. It's a huge community, and we love being a part of the movement!

Is this a church-based organization?

The Barbershop Harmony Society and the Land of the Sky Chorus are organizations who sing and perform songs from many musical genres, including spirituals and gospel tunes. However, most of our repertoire is drawn from the "Great American Songbook," modern popular songs that lend themselves to our style, and favorites that are just plain fun to sing.

LOSC and BHS are open to everyone who likes to sing. We are independent, non-affiliated, educational, singing organizations.

I'd like to join, but I'm not sure I can commit that amount of time. What should I do?

Like all activities, the more you participate, the more enjoyment you'll get. But we understand that "life" intervenes, and we have members who join us for part of the year, when their schedules permit. All we ask is that you come and check us out. See what we do, how we do it, and how much enjoyment we get from this hobby. Fair warning: once you get those first barbershop goosebumps from really nailing a chord, you might be hooked for life!

Can I come to a rehearsal and just watch/observe? Are your rehearsals open?

All rehearsals of the LOS are free and open to the public. Check us out, or give us a call!

How much of a financial commitment is it to join?

Dues for the Society, the District, and the Chapter come out to less than $4.00 a week. Participation in District competitions involves additional individual registration fees. We do have a number of programs to assist members for whom finances are a barrier. Our LOS chorus has long held a policy that no person should be prevented from full participation in the hobby for purely financial considerations. In particular, those under the age of 25 can become members for only $10 their first year.

I'm not convinced yet that this might be right for me.

Then please, stop by on a Tuesday night and join us! You can come as often as you like before joining while you "try us on." Or, go to our event calendar, and see where we might be performing next. 

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