Following the formation of the British Association of Barbershop Singers in 1974, contests for choruses and quartets have been held since 1975. Throughout that time, the Guild has provided judges to rank and evaluate contestants, as well as organising and managing contests.
The Guild is an important resource for the Association. Apart from its contest duties, it also provides skilled evaluators, who visit all competing choruses after the annual convention to provide a debrief on their performances and to assist in providing new skills for the future.
The Guild also provides most of the educators at the annual BABS Harmony College as well as coaches for quartets, trainers for Learn to Sing courses and probably a few other things too.
Within the Guild there are four categories – Music, Presentation, Singing and Contest Administration. Each category is headed by a Category Director, normally holding the position for three years.
The Guild is run by a Chairman and small committee, elected each year by the membership.
Membership currently stands at 26 certified members together with a further 9 candidates in training.
All Guild members are recertified every three years, based on their knowledge and scoring ability, ensuring standards are maintained.
Performance assessment by the judges is governed by a definition for each category, which will be found under the Document Centre section of this web site. In addition, contests are run under a set of Contest Rules, which will also be found on the same page.
Contestants are strongly encouraged to be familiar with the rules and category descriptions before making their preparations for contest.
If you are uncertain whether your chosen songs or presentation package fit within the rules, you are advised to discuss them with the appropriate category director. Contact details will be found under Organisation.