President’s Message

Here we are in the quiet days of January. The holiday season is behind us and weather is typically the thing we talk about the most. Unless, of course, you are a performer. Then our conversations circle around the timeline for getting back to the risers.

Thank you so much for filling in the recently-distributed survey regarding preferences for our next International Convention and Contests. I apologize for not including the option for a chorus contest, an oversight on our part. By the time I had heard from many of you asking why that option was not included, over 500 (in the first 48 hours!) had already responded. Please know that no decision has been made at this time. We are reviewing all your comments and working with the venue to see where we stand and what, if any accommodations, can be made.

One member reminded me of the dilemma we find ourselves in when we are simply trying to decide whether we should cancel a rehearsal because of road conditions. While IC&C is on a much bigger scale, the outcome will probably be the same – some will agree, and others will say, “But why? Roads are fine here.”  Just as it is on rehearsal night, your safety is our concern.

Please be patient with us – our intention is to make the best decision we can with the information we have. You are important to us and I know, when it is possible and safe, we will stand together in song again. You will hear more as soon as we know more.  Thank you for your understanding.


Board Activity

BY-LAWS – The International Board of Directors is using this time to review documents and take care of some updating. Be on the watch for some updates to the Harmony, Inc. by-laws that will need your vote.

CANADIAN CHARITY – We have some news for you – a little complicated to understand, but I’ll give you the short story. About a year ago the board formed a committee to investigate the possibility of having Harmony, Inc. declared a charity in Canada. The committee determined that Harmony, Inc. would first have to be incorporated in Canada and then apply for charitable status. This would require the services of a lawyer and it was estimated that the cost would be in excess of $10,000 with no guarantee of a successful outcome or obvious benefit to the organization. It was the decision of the IBOD not to pursue this option at that time.

While in discussion with the lawyer, we were advised that Harmony, Inc. income “earned” in Areas 1 and 5 (Area dues, AC&C Registrations) and other dues and registrations paid by Canadian members to Harmony, Inc. (Corporate dues, IC&C Registration) could be subject to Canadian Income Tax.  The lawyer cautioned that we could be penalized by the Canada Revenue Agency for not already having this in place and recommended that we apply for an exemption under the US/Canada Tax Treaty. On January 12, we were notified that the exemption had been approved and we had not been penalized.

While our American members can donate to Harmony or to the Harmony Foundation International (HFI) to receive a tax receipt, Canadians cannot. Sing Canada Harmony (SCH) is a registered charity and if Canadians are looking to receive a tax receipt, please consider making a donation through Sing Canada Harmony. If having a receipt is not necessary, you can always donate directly to Harmony, Inc.!

NEW COMMITTEES – We have recently seated our Philanthropy Committee and our Strategic Planning Committee. Over the next few months, you will hear more about their activities.

TEACHABLE MOMENT – Think of these days as a bit of a performance skill-building exercise. How well can people tell what you’re thinking/feeling by the look in your eyes (since that is all they can see of your face). This will be a real asset when we “smile with our eyes” from the risers again!


BHS 2021 MID-WINTER VIRTUAL CONVENTION, JANUARY 28-31 – The Barbershop Harmony Society is providing a discount code to any chapter that brings them in to their weekly Zoom rehearsal to give a 10-minute presentation about Virtual Midwinter, and that code is active for 7 days after that meeting. If you are interested, please send me an email and I will point you in the right direction.

In the meantime, if you are attending the BHS mid-winter convention, please check in with me to see what we can do to make our “Harmony Village” inviting. We are pleased to have Hot Pursuit hosting Harmony’s hospitality room on Friday evening from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. EST. Taken 4 Granite is also on the schedule for Friday evening at the afterglow from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m EST.

Stay well my friends, look out for each other and sing when you can. Stay the course and we’ll all get to the finish line together.

Submitted by Linda Brehaut

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