About Gentlemen of Harmony

The Gentlemen of Harmony (GOH) is the chorus name of the Thunder Bay, Ontario chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the largest all-male singing organization in the world. The chorus was formed in 1972 when a few men interested in singing barbershop four-part harmony got together and organized and chartered a chorus. GOH was incorporated as a chapter in the Barbershop Harmony Society – Land O' Lakes Division, in 1975 and as a not-for-profit corporation in 1999. The chorus was originally known as the Northern Notes (also Thunder Bay Barbershop Chorus) until 2009, when they renamed it to the Gentlemen of Harmony.

Many members are “Frank Thorne Members”, allowing the chorus to have access to various musical and educational resources. There are many leadership and educational opportunities within the district and the Society, including Chapter Operator Training Seminars (COTS), District Mini-HEP, Harmony Explosion Youth Music Festivals, Harmony College, and Directors College.


Our chorus supports the speech therapy department at George Jeffrey’s Children’s Center and the Thunder Bay Food Bank program. We also sing at special events such as Confederation College Pastoral Care and Homes For the Aged throughout Thunder Bay. Our quartets and VLQ's also sing at birthdays, weddings and anniversaries as well as special events all over the city.


What Is Barbershop Music Anyway?

Barbershop music is not so much a kind of music as it is a style of singing. Barbershop harmony is a unique artform that originated in the United States in the late 1800s and has been enjoyed for over 100 years. The Barbershop Harmony Society (originally SPEBSQSA), formed in 1938, is dedicated to preserving this American heritage.

Barbershop singing is a folk style of singing that developed in the late 1800's ostensibly by men socializing while waiting for shaves and haircuts at the barber shop, hence the name. The hallmark of our sound is the four part harmony. The leads (almost) always sing the melody while the basses sing a foundation part establishing the harmonic chords. What sets barbershop apart from other styles is the tenor harmony above the melody, and a baritone part that fills out the chords somewhere between the tenor and bass.

Barberhop music is rich in chords often having all four singing parts on different notes. You'll see a lot of use of the "7th" note in the scale to complete the "barbershop 7th chord." Our style also takes advantage of playing with various other embellishments in music such as deviating the tempo to accomplish more emotion and definition of the lyric (especially in ballads). You'll also see added swipes to further stylize the music (the "bari's" are well-known for always finding places to suspend the chord and then resolve it). Many of the song endings have been enhanced for a more dramatic effect on the audience. Many times one of the voice parts will "post", or suspend the final note while the other three parts repeat lyrics or simply change the chords only to finally resolve back to the final chord of the song.


Singing is a great hobby; you can share the camaraderie on
Tuesday evenings at Superior High School, 333 N. High Street
from 6:45 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Come along and join in the fun!




The main purpose of Gentlemen of Harmony is to get out and sing for our community. We sing at annual shows, a number of community events, and at annual competitions. We also perform Singing Telegrams around Valentines Day and Mother's Day. We are available to sing at your next function or event. If you're looking for a unique musical experience to liven up your event, please check out our Hire Us section.


In addition to sharing our music with others, another great passion of ours is learning more about the art of acapella singing. Vocal instruction is a regular part of chorus rehearsals, and a very important component of the chorus experience. A couple of times a year, we will get coaching from a visiting master in the art of barbershop, where we learn many fabulous tricks of the trade.

Competitionlogo toronto smCompetitions are a special time for quartets and choruses from our region to come together to sing for each other, and get some constructive feedback from a panel of judges. The winners of the regional competition in both quartet and chorus categories get to travel to International Competition, which is held in the fall in a city selected each year. In 2013, International Competition will be held in Toronto. Click here to learn more.


Most choruses have a number of members who form their own vocal quartets in addition to singing with the chorus. Gentlemen of Harmony currently is home to a number of wonderful quartets, and we are very proud of them! Click here to see our quartet section to learn more about them.



Gentlemen of Harmony is a chapter of Barbershop Harmony Society, a non-profit organization of approximately 25,000 members in choruses and quartets, worldwide. The Headquarters is in Nashville, TN.

© 2018 Gentlemen of Harmony
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