The Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association (MBHA) is a 501(c)3, non-profit charitable organization serving the needs of mixed barbershop harmony in North America. Established in 2014, its leadership comprises men and women with vast experience and participation in the barbershop style and performing in the mixed barbershop harmony genre. The MBHA is an affiliate of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
The MBHA seeks to provide a “voice” for the community of barbershop singers whose ensembles include a mix of men and women singers. Through the MBHA, mixed barbershop harmony ensembles will find opportunities for competition and the ability to represent North America on the world stage at the World Mixed Harmony Competition in Germany, hosted by Barbershop in Germany. (BinG!)
Board of Directors
Ronald Morden – President
Ron has been a member of BHS for over 50 years, was formerly CSD President & Treasurer, served on 2012 BHS Mixed Harmony task force. Competed at the Int’l. level 6 times with 1972 CSD quartet champions, the Jax of Harmony, plus competed in Int’l. chorus competitions 4 times with American Barberboys and Ambassadors of Harmony. Has sung in mixed quartets with wife, Jayne, for nearly 15 years until her death in 2014. Their first mixed quartet, Celebration, placed 3rd when it competed at the Buckeye Invitational mixed quartet contest.
Ron organized the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association in 2014 and subsequently gained IRS approval of it as a 501(c)3 charitable entity. Currently sings with Pride of Iowa chorus (Des Moines, IA area) and serves as that chapter’s VP-Music & Performance. He also sings in a popular central Iowa based mixed quartet, QuadratoniX.
Roxanne Powell – Vice President
Roxanne has over 40 years of leadership and management experience as a teacher, religious education assistant director, and managing editor of two community newspapers. She has been an active q
uartet and chorus singer for 39 years as a member of SAI and HI and is a founding member of the Bella Nova chorus in Northern Virginia. She founded and directs Full Circle, a mixed voice barbershop ensemble in Ellicott City, Maryland, and is the associate director of a mixed-voice community chorus of 55 men and women.
She is a founding member of the Women’s Harmony Brigade and manages the referral process for new members. In her spare time she serves as the editor of the quarterly on-line bulletin of the Mid-Atlantic District of the BHS and serves on the HI international board as Vice President of Education and page designer of their online magazine, The Key-Note.
In her youth, Roxanne was a wall flower who never got to swing. (Except in the red velvet swing at the San Francisco Steak House . . . but we don’t talk about that.) She poured the punch and chatted with all the guys who were too shy to ask the gals to dance. Roxanne sings bass with the gals and bari in mixed ensembles. She is married to Dick, the only man she ever found who talks faster than she does. The mother of seven and grandmother of five, she spends her time singing and helping others to find their voices in song.
Howard Donley – Treasurer
Howard is a 47-year member of BHS and currently belong to the Frank Thorne chapter in the Rocky Mountain District. He and his wife were charter members of the Orloff’s MHBQA in the early ’90’s with Champaign Edition quartet, and were also a part of the Mixed Harmony Affiliate Task Force chaired by Joe Cerutti in 2012.
On Saturday, October 3, 2015 President Ron asked me to be the treasurer for the new Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association that he had incorporated in 2013 and got the IRS approval for a 501c3 status in 2014. On Monday, October 5, 2015, we had a bank account and funding. Per recent events, we are now the first US/Canadian Affiliate of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Barry Towner – Director
Barry has been a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1975, when he joined the Scarborough Dukes of Harmony in the Ontario District. He has won two International Chorus Gold Medals with them, and also had the privilege of directing them in the 1988 International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. He is presently a member of the Toronto Northern Lights (2013 International Chorus Champions) and the Hamilton Harbourtown Sound and also directed the Barrie County Chordsmen for 12 years. He has sung in many District level quartets, and has two 5th place bronze medals in International Seniors Quartet contests. Barry is a certified BHS Performance judge and is the current Category Specialist of the Performance Category.
Barry’s wife Sharon is a Sweet Adeline, singing with the 4 time SAI Chorus Champion North Metro Chorus. They have three daughters, all of whom sing with North Metro and whose husbands are all barbershoppers (two with Hamilton and one with Barrie), Their three grandsons are all barbershoppers, singing with Hamilton and Barrie chapters, and the Ontario Youth A cappella (O YA) Chorus which Barry and Sharon founded 7 years ago for young men between the ages of 12 and 25.
Barry’s involvement with mixed quartet and chorus singing began with his involvement with BinG! (Barbershop in Germany, a mixed organization and affiliate of the BHS) in 2006. He has judged 4 of their national contests which pits male, female, and mixed quartets in the same contest against each other. He and Sharon have also coached for 6 years at the BinG! Harmony College, as well as coaching many quartets and choruses (male, female, and mixed) in Germany. Barry was instrumental in assisting BinG! to make the step to host the First World Mixed Quartet Contest at their Narional Contest in 2012, and worked with Renate Klocke from BinG! in the development of the rules related to that contest. He has been on the judging panel for the first three World Mixed Quartet Contests in 2012, 2014, and 2016 (their contests are held every other year), and will be on the judging panel in Munich Germany in April 2018 for the Fourth World Mixed Quartet Contest, and the First World Mixed Chorus Contest. Barry and Sharon are committed to the growth of the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association and are charter members. Barry serves as a Director of the MBHA with major responsibility being interfacing with the Contest & Judging Committee of the Barberhop Harmony Society.
Gerry Borden – Director
Gerry is an active member of the Barbershop Harmony Society (also known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc.), and serves in several capacities. Locally, he is the Director of the Chilliwack Harmony Chorus and Assistant Director of the Greater Vancouver Gentlemen of Fortune, and sings lead in the quartet, Abby Road. He recently complete a three year term on the Society’s International Board of Directors, overseeing the management of the 23,000 member Society.
He is also Chair of the Sing Canada Harmony Scholarship Committee, the official charitable arm of the Barbershop Harmony Society in Canada, and supported by the women’s organizations of Sweet Adelines International and Harmony Incorporated. His duties include the awarding of scholarship funds in support of vocal music education in our schools and communities across Canada.
Gerry is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University, with a degree in music education; and completion of the Volunteer Management program at Grant MacEwan Community College in Edmonton. He also took studies in Parks Management from Lethbridge Community College. He is married to Linda and lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.
Dale Summer – Director
Dale grew up in a barbershop family, and refers to the “old songs” as her lullabies. When she saw and heard the the Gold Standard Chorus singing Christmas carols in a restaurant, she knew she had to join…it was a mixed chorus!
She is now Co-Director of Gold Standard Chorus in Santa Cruz, CA, a BHS chapter and a mixed chorus when they perform locally for community events and fundraisers thanks to Kim and Jerry Orloff who sang with GSC for many years. Dale has been singing baritone (and sometimes tenor and lead) with GSC for 10 years. She is also an active member of SAI and sings bass with Mission Valley Chorus in Los Gatos, California, the current Region 12 Champions. She has sung tenor in three mixed quartets: the Long and Short of It (Novice champs in 2010), Coastal Blend, and now with Premium Blend.
Dale has a BA in Music/Voice from the University of California at Santa Cruz, certification in Orff Schulwerk, and a Masters in Education from University of Phoenix. She taught general music in elementary schools and received a grant from the Packard Foundation to produce a musical for each grade, K-6, each year.
As a member of GSC, Dale has chaired various chorus events including the annual Cabaret Show, the Fall Show and the Sing For Your Life Fundraiser for local high school choral programs. She is also a member of various quartets sent into the high school choirs to sing and teach barbershop harmony.
Besides loving to sing, Dale also performs with Watsonville Taiko, and is an avid photographer, potter and quilter.
Carlos Aguayo – Director
After singing in an auditioned, 16-voice jazz choir in high school, where he got his first taste of barbershop singing such classics as Coney Island Baby and Walking Through The Park One Day, Carlos felt right at home returning to the risers with the Duke City Sound in Albuquerque in 2009. From the first tags sung after that first rehearsal, he knew he had found his tribe among the BHS, and jumped in with both feet. His first quartet, Paramount, formed in 2011, and were novice champs their first year out, and were Rocky Mountain District’s 3rd place quartet champs in 2012. Carlos moved to Portland in search of more fruitful opportunities in the burgeoning high-tech sector, and he now sings bass with Hometown Harmony and the Bridge Town Sound chorus.
Carlos studied computer science and engineering at UC Davis in California, and works as a systems architect. He also loves to get away from glowing screens in favor of hiking, bicycling, skating, or, more often than not, singing. He serves on the board of the BHS Portland Metro Chapter as Program Manager, and has been advocating for mixed harmony opportunities since well before connecting with the folks who would become founding members of the MBHA board. He lives in Portland with his wife, Clara, who also makes beautiful music at every opportunity.