Barbershop is alive and well in San Diego, CA

On Friday night at Balboa Park in San Diego California, I was fortunate to attend the first of 2 nights celebrating “December Nights”, a festival celebrating the Holiday Season for people who come from all across Southern California, with various booths set up within the many areas and buildings of Balboa Park. 

The booths included food of all kinds, crafts from many local merchants, displays of many different kinds of trees with many different styles of decoration, and many different music styles were being highlighted, both on the main pavilion stage and various locations around the park. 

I stumbled upon a group singing in an alcove with some men I have known for years.  It was a privilege to be able to hear an the a cappella ensemble named “Royce’s Voices”.  

This group was formed and is currently directed by Royce Ferguson, BHS International Champion Quartet member (Revival – 1998), and former director (2006-2007) of BHS International Chorus Champion Chorus (Westminster Chorus2007)


Royce's Voices Balboa Park San Diego, CA 2008Here Here are the names of the men who sang at this event in Balboa Park this year: 

Back Row- starting from Left: Jonathan Tappan, Larry Thorpe, Tom Powell, Jerry Kudrick, Steve Bates, Allan Webb, Mark Clement, Jason James, Jeremy Saye, Bryan Soland.

Front Row- starting from Left: Mark Reich, Royce Ferguson


Royce Ferguson comments on the group’s development… “We essentially started as a class I taught at San Diego State (SDSU). The class brought together a few friends from the Sun Harbor Chorus (San Diego chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, BHS), SDSU, and other SoCal singers.


Mark Hale (Director of 7 time International Champion Chorus, and current International Champion Chorus The Masters of Harmony chapter of the    Barbershop Harmony Society, BHS) generously provided much of the music that we learned.


This group paved the way for PCH (Pacific Coast Harmony chapter of Barbershop Harmony Society) and the vocal approaches that were refined here eventually defined the vocal model for Westminster (Westminster chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, BHS and International Champion chorus – 2007).  

Singing informally at “December Nights” is always a highlight of the year for all of us. And some listeners have even made it part of their own holiday tradition!”  You can find more information about the group and some history at:

What a terrific way to spend a Friday night in December.

Jerry Braack

California, USA


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