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
Roxanne Powell – 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 quartet and chorus singer for 41 years as a member of Sweet Adelines and Harmony, Inc. 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 ShowTime Singers, a mixed-voice community chorus of 55 men and women. She has sung, as well, in three SAI medalist choruses — Mission Belles, Arundelairs, and Elkridge/Harbor City Music Company — and in several quartets, most recently Joint Venture Quartet who retired this year after 25 years entertaining over 450 audiences.
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, Mid’l Antics, and Harmony, Inc.’s semi-annual 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, a fellow barbershopper (and currently president-elect of the Barbershop Harmony Society) and 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.
Lured into the first meeting of the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association in 2016 by Gerry Borden, Roxanne was immediately hooked on the idea of spreading the joy of barbershop harmony beyond the bounds of traditional single-sex ensembles. She and Dick are charter members of the organization and are fervently committed to its successful growth.
Roxanne and her husband live in Crofton, Maryland. She can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 443.454.0604.
Ronald Morden – Immediate Past 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. He competed at the International level 6 times with 1972 CSD quartet champions, the Jax of Harmony, plus competed in International 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. He 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.
Barry Towner – Vice President
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.
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 national 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, 2016 (their contests are held every other year). He was 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 Barbershop Harmony Society.
Bill Colosimo – Treasurer
Bill is a passionate and experienced vocal music performer, educator, coach, clinician and choral director with over 40 years of active professional engagement in the vocal arts. Trained at Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) and Brandeis University in vocal music and choral direction, Mr. Colosimo has produced, performed in or directed over 300 professional or educational vocal music programs and workshops all over the East Coast, particularly in the Washington, DC area, including such venues as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Constitution Hall, Lisner Auditorium, Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, the National Mall and countless places of worship, Georgetown and Salisbury Universities, as well as major concert venues like Nationals Park, RFK Stadium, Camden Yards, the Patriot Center, Verizon Center and convention centers nationwide.
Having achieved regional and international recognition as an award-winning quartet and chorus singer in the Barbershop Harmony Society, Bill currently sings in Serendipity, the 2017 MBHA Mixed Quartet Champion. Bill was elected as a Director-at-Large on the Board of the MBHA in July 2017 and elected Treasurer in February 2018. He is Music Director of the 80-voiced mixed gender pops chorus, The Alexandria Singers. From 1991 to 2017, he was Music Director of the award-winning Barbershop Harmony Society’s Singing Capital Chorus.
A sought-after clinician, workshop leader and ensemble coach, Bill’s passion for music education and vocal performance for children and teenagers prompted his establishment of the Choral Foundation of Northern Virginia, providing vocal music educational and performance opportunities to young people, in 2005. He is currently the Foundation’s Founder and Artistic Director. He serves (or has served) on numerous boards and advisory committees dedicated to vocal music activity, including the Alexandria Arts Alliance, the Arlington Arts Commission, the Barbershop Harmony Society, and the Curriculum Committee for the Diocese of Arlington. He taught music for ten years in Arlington Diocesan schools, currently directs the St. Luke Catholic Church Contemporary Ensemble in McLean, Va., and maintains a private vocal instruction practice.
Bill is a member of NAfME (formerly MENC), VMEA, ACDA, VCDA, National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and numerous nationwide men’s vocal music organizations, in which he holds executive and committee chair posts dedicated to education and choral director development. He is a faculty member at the Barbershop Society’s Harmony College-East and Harmony University, and currently keeps his own tenor voice active as a regular soloist and cantor in the area and by serving Saint Luke Catholic Church as a cantor and Festival Choir Section Leader.
Bill and his family live in Arlington, Virginia. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 571.213.7376. You can review his most recent activity on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/billcolosimo.
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.
Janine Roberts – Director
A passionate barbershopper with over twenty years Sweet Adelines experience as well as over a decade competing with various quartets, Janine took over as Membership Chair for the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association in November 2017 and was appointed to the Board of Directors in January 2018.
After seeing an ad in the local paper for “free singing lessons,” Janine joined SAI Region 26 Westcoast Harmony Chorus in late 1995. She transferred a couple of years later to Lions Gate Chorus, where she held numerous Music and Management Team positions.
In 2005, she attended the Buckeye Invitational and caught the mixed barbershop bug. She sang briefly with mixed quartet By Invitation Only, which included members from Manhattan, NY, Indianapolis, IN, and Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is also a founding member of Afterglow Quartet, a mixed quartet based out of the BC lower mainland which started in 2003 (Janine was replaced in 2006 when she left barbershop but has continued to sub in for holiday performances over the years).
Following a 12- year hiatus from barbershop during which she served on the board of a newly formed non-profit and continued her administrative and management career, Janine returned to barbershop as a sub in for Afterglow at the Evergreen Division 2 contest in the spring of 2017.
Among the experiences she counts as highlights of her life are:
- traveling to England and Scotland with mixed chorus Pacific Coast Sound in June 2017;
- starting mixed quartet Full Measure in late spring of 2017;
- re-joining Lions Gate Chorus in November 2017; and
- getting the opportunity to serve as MBHA Membership Chair and being appointed to the Board of Directors.
Assistants to the Board of Directors
Sharon Towner – Executive Secretary
Sheryl Berlin – Senior Staff Writer
Sheryl Berlin is an experienced vocal music teacher and choral director. She most recently served as the Director of Choral Music Programs at Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland until her retirement from public school teaching in June 2016. Her 37-year Montgomery County (MD) Public
Schools career provided vocal music education for children, grades Pre-K to 12. A graduate of the prestigious University of Maryland’s music program (BS in Music Education, 1979, with a concentration in vocal music), and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota (Music Sorority) and the Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society, Ms. Berlin has dedicated her professional work to the education of young people in the choral arts throughout the Washington area.
Sheryl has earned the honor of Certified Director in the Barbershop Harmony Society, having gone through their intensive education curriculum, and most recently served as the Associate Director of the BHS’s DC Chapter performing ensemble, the Singing Capital Chorus, from 2007-2017. She has been on the faculty of the Mid-Atlantic District’s Harmony College East for the past eight summers, serving as an instructor in Beginning and Intermediate Music Theory and Intermediate Directing, as well as instructing and coaching youth choruses and quartets and providing private vocal instruction to HCE participants. She also serves as co-coordinator for the Alexandria Harmonizers Youth Harmony Festival.
Not only is she a voice teacher, adjudicator, clinician, workshop facilitator, director and advocate of the vocal arts, but she is an accomplished singer as well, having performed under such nationally and locally-known conductors as Antal Dorati, Paul Traver, Leon Fleming, Roger Folstrom, Edward Polochick, Jeffrey Rink, Phyllis Isaacson, Paul Skevington, Cheryl Branham, A. Scott Wood, and Thomas Colohan. Local churches and synagogues have benefited, too, from her vocal talents in ministry, including St. Luke Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, where she has been alto section leader since 2006, and her own congregation, Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, Maryland.
Sheryl is proud to be the tenor singer in Serendipity, the Mid-Atlantic District’s 2017 MBHA Mixed Quartet Champion. She is also happy for the opportunity to serve MBHA as a writer and blogger. Sheryl lives in North Potomac, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, and is the proud mom of two grown sons and an energetic 45-pound lab mix named Camden, who thinks he is a lap dog.