Membership FAQ


What is the Midwest Vocal Express?

The Midwest Vocal Express chorus is an all-male performance choir in the Milwaukee
area.  We are an affiliate chorus of the  Barbershop Harmony Society, an organization

of over 30,000 men of all ages, from all walks of life, who love to sing a cappella harmony.

If you love to sing, we encourage you to attend one of our rehearsals on Monday nights.


What is Barbershop music?

Barbershop is a musical style based on 4-part a Capella harmony, based in the US and
has a rich and exciting history. Barbershop is always sung by single voice groups in four
parts, named after the male voices who traditionally sing them. The parts are: 

Lead – sings the melody.
Bass – sings the lowest notes, giving the harmonic foundation to the sound.
Tenor – sings high descant-like notes, providing harmony above the lead.
Baritone – sings extra “fill” notes in the chord, either above or below the lead, which

gives barbershop its special quality.


Who is eligible for membership in the Midwest Vocal Express?

Anyone who is interested in singing! The membership includes men of all ages, size and shapes, and from a wide variety of careers.  Our current membership comes from all over the southern Wisconsin area and some coming from over an hour away to sing with us. We look for men with a passion for performing, a desire to sing challenging music, and a commitment to perfecting your best sound and visual elements possible.


Is there musical training required to join?

Not at all!  Our chorus members range from first time singers to trained, experienced musicians.  On your first few visits with us, we will provide you with a guest music book and place you next to a strong singer of the same part to make your visit more enjoyable.

We expect that all members will learn music (notes, rhythms, choreography) - but don’t let that scare you!  Members and guests are provided help to learn the music with a variety of different tactics at your disposal including learning tracks, video, sheet music, and of course, rehearsals!


How Often do you perform?

-The MVE puts on two major shows during any given year - a spring show (around April) and a holiday show (early December).

-We also participate in annual Barbershop Harmony Society contests ranging from area Division or District, to Internationals.

-As often as possible, Midwest Vocal Express performs the National Anthem for local sporting events (Brewers, Wave, Admirals, etc).

-Local community events or fundraisers.  Examples of this may be local Tree Lighting Ceremonies, Farmer's Markets, or festivals.

-Corporate events, retirement homes, or other locations that may hire us.  We also do several altruistic performances during the year.

The expectation is that all performing members of the MVE participate in these performances.


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