LABBS forms an Alliance with the Barbershop Harmony Society

LABBS forms an Alliance with the Barbershop Harmony Society
Type of post: LABBS news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Debi Cox
Status: Current
Date Posted: Fri, 19 Mar 2021

The Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) becomes the first all-women international organisation to enter an alliance agreement with the US-based Barbershop Harmony Society.


Building on histories stretching back to 1938 for BHS, and to 1976 for LABBS, the historic alignment will provide greater access to education resources for all, judge training, and access to the Society’s International Contest stage for LABBS quartets and choruses.

"The resources BHS offers makes sense for our singers," said Nancy Philbin, Chair of LABBS. "The pandemic has given us the breathing space to really work on our strategic plan, and taking this step helps us become greater contributors to all aspects of the barbershop world."

Marty Monson, CEO of the Barbershop Harmony Society, placed the agreement in the context of the Society’s strategic vision. "We have so many shared goals as barbershop organisations," he said, "including preserving single-gender experiences for men and for women. Aligning with LABBS reflects our commitment to helping all people find the singing setting that's best for them. Partnering with LABBS will help both organisations learn from one another and raise the total volume of singers everywhere."

Natalie Feddon, incoming Chair of LABBS, notes that the services provided build on and formalise some long-standing practices. "For many years, LABBS has trained judges to the standards of the BHS system. Now, under the Memorandum of Understanding, we will gain more support for all our contest activities."

The new Alliance Agreement took effect March 1, 2021, with annual review of services and successes.


Founded in 1976, LABBS represents more than 2,200 female barbershop singers in around 60 choruses, including a youth chorus and a national chorus, and more than 60 quartets stretching the length of the United Kingdom. Visit LABBS online at or on Facebook.


Founded in 1938, the 16,000-member Barbershop Harmony Society includes more than 1,600 singing communities, including nearly 700 choruses and 900 quartets, and encompasses men’s, women’s, and mixed harmony ensembles. Visit BHS online at or on Facebook.


Read the announcement on the BHS website