Thursday, December 2, 2010

Barbershoppers Show Their True Colors

This past weekend, the daughter of an a member got married. Randy has been a passionate member for many years and has been hanging out with the Quartet Club guys. The QC guys got together a VLQ (very large quartet) and performed at the reception with Randy front and center. Here's his note back to the men who sang with him.

Bo and all my QC brothers in harmony, I cannot thank you all enough for taking time out of your holiday weekend to perform at my daughter's wedding reception. I'm humbled by the generous contribution of your precious time, not to mention your outstanding talents.

I was so fortunate to be positioned front center during our performance, and therefore able to hear the pure ensemble sound everyone produced. It was gorgeous! My daughter also noted the same in the ensuing ruminations on the days' events. She was so impressed with number of guys who participated!

Nathan - the groom - had his favorite cousin and his wife in attendance, who also sing semi-professionally. (You may have heard them perform the beautiful and sentimental "Aurora Borealis" song during the reception.) The feedback from them was equally enthusiastic. And, obviously my brother, Rick, is a huge fan. Thanks for putting up with . . .er, I mean teaching him a tag!!

Since I was preoccupied high-fiving you all after we finished, I was completely unaware of the "standing O" occurring behind me. As I turned toward the 150-person crowd, I was taken aback by their overwhelmingly enthusiastic response! I couldn't have imagined a more gratifying reward for all your efforts!

(There is a video of the performance, which I hope to share with you all sometime soon!)

Special kudos to Bo & Bill for their extra efforts to make this happen. The fraternity we share in this incredible hobby is just indescribable, and again, I thank you all. Your performance transformed an already-memorable event into a life-changing one for all in attendance.

Your eternally grateful brother in harmony,


Monday, October 18, 2010

Reminicences ... An Oral History of the MVE - Scott H

As part of our 20th anniversary celebration in 2009, the chapter newsletter editor asked several of the founding members to share some comments with the rest of the chorus. These are their stories.

I’m a Charter Member who joined in January 1989. My first Contest was April 1, 1989 – and I’ve been in every one since (except one Badger contest in ’97 to witness the birth of my son, Nick). Also, I’ve been at or in every show performance (except maybe one or two. Not bad for 20 years!). I haven’t missed a single Division, District, or International competition in which the MVE performed.

The special thing about the MVE is that a group of regular guys – no stars – can come together and just sing so well. We can be entertaining to the point where we make a difference. We can touch someone’s heart for a moment. Even as a regular guy, you can still make such a difference through the power of the group.

I have so many favorite memories. The one that sticks out is 2003 in Montreal, the Green Army Set. We drew the first performance position for the International contest that year.

Beforehand, our bus was slowed due to a parade, and we were late arriving at the contest site. We were running like crazy to set up; on top of that, the contest officials wouldn’t allow us to use our smoke machine (at first). The rushing around made everyone sweat like crazy inside our green plastic suits, and we were all frantic. One of the toy block pieces was missing, and I ran all the way back to the loading dock in my socks to get it!

My heart would not stop racing. Finally – the curtain goes up. I’m frozen in my toy soldier position, eyes closed, feet glued securely to my platform. The audience applauded forever, just from seeing us. I was crying.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Reminicences ... An Oral History of the MVE - Walt Z

As part of our 20th anniversary celebration in 2009, the chapter newsletter editor asked several of the founding members to share some comments with the rest of the chorus. These are their stories.

I am a charter member of the MVE. I had been singing with the Menomonee Falls chapter, and realized one day that because of business travel requirements, I would miss both the spring contest and the spring show.

Some of the Falls members had been talking about this “new” chorus that was starting up at a church in Caldwell, WI. It was composed of quartet guys who wanted to compete at higher levels than any of thelocal choruses were willing to commit to (or were capable of). I walked into the rehearsal in Caldwell that first night and heard the best, cleanest barbershop sound I had ever heard. I have been hooked on the MVE ever since.

I have held a variety of MVE chapter officer positions over the years, including chapter secretary and Music VP. I have also been active in a number of chapter quartets over the years, the most popular being The Chord Sharks. I have sung with Last Minute Decision, Vocalion, Breaking News, Sonix, and Easy Days over the years - and I’m probably forgetting a couple others.

The MVE is special in many ways. First, I think the camaraderie of the guys is second to none anywhere in the society. We have all grown older in the years that followed the formation of the chorus, and I don’t think any of us party as well as we used to - but the party attitude and having fun doing what we do has always been, and continues to be, a big part of the MVE culture.

Second, our goal is to change lives by entertaining people, and we are one of few choruses who can really do that well. I get great comments after every show from people who have never seen us, who are just blown away by what we do. They don’t understand why we aren’t better known. We ARE solving that problem, and changing lives in the process.

Our first medal in Portland in 2002 was my favorite memory I think, after we did the Waiter Set. When they announced the MVE as the 5th place Bronze Medalist, our section just went nuts and held up the next announcement for a few minutes. It was a great moment. We had a huge party in the hotel afterwards and everyone was just immersed in the celebration of our success.

My second favorite moment was Anaheim in 1999. We did the first version of our New Orleans Set that year. It was our first time at International and we were all pumped. There were three standing ovations during the chorus contest that day: The Masters of Harmony, who won the contest; the second place chorus, Northbrook, IL (second by only 2 points out of 3000 - ask Dennis S. about this); and the 9th place Greendale Midwest Vocal Express. Dick Van Dyke was a special guest of the Society that year and was one of the first to stand for us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reminiscing . . . Favorite MVE memories from Bill K

Bill blows the pitch for the National Anthem
I moved down from North Dakota in the Fall of 1989.  An acquaintance told me about the “New Chapter on the Block” and I showed up the next Monday at the MVE meeting.

During my twenty years in the MVE, I have been involved with the Administration, Performance, Music, Show and Quartet Promotion.  Oh yes - and setting up and hauling risers.

In my opinion, there are several things that make the MVE so special:

  • The Fellowship and Family feeling in the Chapter
  • The Quality Sound (singing) of the chorus
  • The informality the MVE maintains.
I set a personal goal many years ago to:
  1. Sing on the International Stage with a Quartet;
  2. Sing on the International Stage with a Chorus; and
  3. Sing on the International Stage with a Seniors Quartet.
Mission accomplished thanks in great part to the MVE, and all the Men of the MVE!

My most memorable moment:  The Standing Ovation in Anaheim in 1999
My most exciting:  The announcement of our first 5th place Medal (in Portland, 2002).
My warmest fond memories:  Singing in the hotel lobby at 1999 (Anaheim) and 2000 (Kansas City) Internationals (not to mention some of the great hospitality rooms the MVE provided at LOL District Conventions!)
My most prideful memory:  Our first LOL District Championship (2002)

My most embarrassing:  Thanks for not asking!
My most personally satisfying:  Receiving the Barbershopper of the Year Award (BOTY) my second year with MVE.

But - perhaps my favorite memory (which gets renewed, maybe not every week, but at least once a month) is the MVE getting truly involved with a song.  The emotional atmosphere and musicality is truly wonderful.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Quartet Highlight - Easy Days

This is another posting that features of the many quartets associated with the Midwest Vocal Express - Easy Days. The current edition of Easy Days was formed in March of 2008.

From l-r, Bill K, Frank M, Dick R and Bo G

Bill is 40-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), and has sung in many Land O'Lakes District (LOL) quartets. Bill has been a District officer, judge, coach and is on staff at Harmony University.

Frank, a 43-year member of the society, was MVE's first director. He is known throughout the BHS and Sweet Adelines International as a composer, arranger, coach and director. He was honored in December by the BHS, and recognized for his achievements and efforts in promoting our art-form around the world. Frank sang lead with the popular show quartet Shear Delight for 25 years.

Bo is a 58-year member of the BHS, a 3-time LOL District Quartet Champion and 3-time International Finalist with The Fanfares Quartet. Bo sang with Frank and Shear Delight, entertaining audiences throughout the Midwest.

Dick is a 12-year member of the BHS, and has sung with several MVE quartets in competition and performances. Dick is Easy Days' newest member, and it's hard to believe that he started with MVE singing lead.

Easy Days has competed in the Senior's International Prelims, achieving the Top 10 in the Illinois District in the fall of 2008, and qualifying for the competition in Anaheim, CA. In May of 2009, Easy Days won the LOL Senior's District Championship, and competed in the District contest in October of 2009.

Easy Days sang 150 performances in 2009. They are featured performers at the Harmony Inn the Village in Greendale, and are proud to represent MVE at all of their performances.

Top Ten Best things about being in Quartet (collectively speaking!):

10. Experience unusual, novel venues
9. Meet great people
8. Self improvement
7. Expose our art-form to new audiences
6. Entertain audiences
5. Sing great music, arrangements & ring chords
4. Allows us to fulfill our “Ham” urges
3. Fellowship
2. Change people's lives through music
1. IT'S FUN!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reminicences ... An Oral History of the MVE - Harry H

As part of our 20th anniversary celebration in 2009, the chapter newsletter editor asked several of the founding members to share some comments with the rest of the chorus. These are their stories.

After 13 years in the Society I decided it was time for more challenge. Rather than transfer my membership to another competitive chorus I decided to explore the possibility of creating a more highly motivated chorus in our area.

I called 12 or 13 quartet men that I knew were hungry for a challenge as well, and we held a meeting to determine if this was a feasible undertaking. After a short time at this meeting it was determined that we would form what has become the Midwest Vocal Express we know today.

I served as President for the first two years and Music VP a couple of times. I have
been very involved in the Performance Team, and have taken on the costume and prop design for several of our most memorable contest packages (notably the Green Army, Fish and Penguin sets – Ed.). I have also served on our Director Selection Committee twice.

I love the environment created when 75 men have a common goal of changing people’s lives through our excellent performances. It feels good to be a part of something so special that people all over the Society talk about our performance packages, and set us as their benchmark.

There have been so many great memories. Our first International competition (New Orleans Set, Anaheim, 1999) was special. I remember that after the curtain closed following our performance, I was literally picked up and bear hugged by one of our “Big Guns” Keith S. 

I’m not sure anything will top the feeling I had when we got the 38-second standing ovation in Montreal before we even sang a note as the curtain opened to reveal our “Green Army” set. And then there were the “Fish”.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Choosing Our Future

The Midwest Vocal Express (MVE) recently raised a large banner at our rehearsal hall that hangs on the front wall facing our risers. On it is the phrase that we are going to be using and referring to as we push forward this fall and winter and throughout next year on new music and membership.

You see, after twelve consecutive appearances at the Barbershop Harmony Society's annual International Chorus competition, the men of the MVE decided to take a year off from formal competition. Instead, we will focus our energies on growing the chorus, both in terms of our musicality and our membership.

Like many great organizations, we chose to adopt a phrase as our rallying cry for these efforts.  Many great suggestions were put forth, but one stood out:

Bigger is obvious. We are aggressively working to grow the chapter with the strongest of performers, and each man should work to bring a person into the fold that is a better singer than he is.

Better is meant to be taken two different ways.  First and most important is that we need to take this opportunity to make ourselves better.  We only become better if each man gets better.

The second meaning of this part of the phrase is that if we attract better performers to our ranks, we will become better. Our talent pool will be deeper, our performances more exciting and vibrant and meaningful to the audience.  We will change more lives.

Notice, this does not say that we will be better because we are bigger, but we will be better if we grow bigger with better performers.

Best is both the result of the other two legs, but also an important reminder. We will be at our best ever, if we choose to work our BEST at becoming Better and Bigger – at the same time.

Let us know what do you think...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big Band Christmas CD

The MVE is proud to announce the release of our latest recording - Big Band Christmas!

The CD was recorded live on December 12, 2009 in the Henry Ross Auditorium inside Greendale High School's Reiman Family Arts Center.

The CD features the Midwest Vocal Express singing a number of our favorite Christmas selections, along with special guests Gary Christensen's All-Star SUPERband and Premiere Quartet.

Call 888-240-4426 to order yours

Track Listing

1Songs of Christmas - MVE - Arr. Jim Clancy
2White Christmas - MVE - Arr. Tom Gentry
3We Need A Little Christmas - MVE - Arr. Dave Briner
4Sleighride - All-Star SUPERband - By Leroy Anderson & Mitchell Parish
5Let It Snow - Premiere - Arr. Ann Minihane
6The Man With The Bag - MVE - Arr. Jim Franklin
7Here Comes Santa Claus - All-Star SUPERband - By Gene Autry & Oakley Holdeman
8Toyland - MVE - Arr. Jim Clancy
9Believe - MVE - Arr. Jim Clancy
10Jesus Jesus Rest Your Head - MVE - Arr. Greg Lyne
11Simple Holiday Joys - Premiere - Arr. Russ Foris
12Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - All-Star SUPERband - By John D. Marks
13O Holy Night - MVE - Arr. Jim Clancy
14Mary Did You Know - MVE - Arr. David Wright
15Happy Holidays/Holiday Season - MVE with All-Star SUPERband - Arr. Scott Turnbull

Recently named best big band in Wisconsin, and winner of the 2009 WAMI Award for best swing/big band, the All-Star SUPERband is an acclaimed group of jazz musicians.  Each member of the SUPERband is a soloist who delivers the essence of jazz with improvisation and creative new ideas.

With 60+ years of barbershop experience and seventeen regional gold medals among them, Premiere is the 2009 quartet champion of Region 22 of Sweet Adelines International.  This classy quartet connected with our audience, bringing their unique and entertaining a cappella style.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Songs and the Memories They Evoke

The editor of this blog saw this "tweet" on the Twitter home page:

"I love hearing old songs I used to love. They're like memories you can always go back to."

The members of the Midwest Vocal Express actively link music and memories as we try to create those life changing moments - for ourselves and the audience - through our "Storytelling through Song" approach to performance. Our coaches, directors and leaders often ask us to recall something from our past as we try to convey the meaning of a particular song and that is usually tied to a specific emotion.  We don't all have the same memories, but by tying it back to personal memories, the emotions we portray as we sing the song are heartfelt and genuine.

Scientists have even attempted to answer the question of Why Do Songs Trigger Specific Memories?

What songs evoke the most powerful memories for you?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen - Start Your Hankies

A few men within the ranks of the Midwest Vocal Express chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society have taken it upon themselves to amplify the chapter’s efforts to promote the purest form of barbershop singing – the quartet.  After all, the original name of the society was and continues to be SPEBSQSA – the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc.

These men have created the Quartet Club (QC), which meets regularly at the Harmony Inn the Village in downtown Greendale, WI to rehearse and perform for the patrons.  The venue’s web site includes a calendar showing when the QC and various quartets will be performing there.  Stop in for a great meal and a few tunes and who knows what you might witness.

Here is an account from a QC leader regarding a recent performance:

All of us in QC on Saturday experienced the wonderful performance "moment" that Grant, Josh and all of our leaders talk about relative to "Changing Peoples’ Lives."

QC, as usual, sang in both dining rooms for the guests.  In the Fountain Room, we gathered in front of a table occupied by an elderly man (even older than me!), his wife and their daughter enjoying a great breakfast.  Our first song was "My Wild Irish Rose," during which the wife and mother sang every word with us, all the while just beaming.

Lips did his normal great job, asked the wife her name (she responded "Jan"), and then we sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."  Once again, Jan beamed and sang along with us.  We noticed that the daughter had tears flowing, and was tenderly holding Jan's hand during the songs.  We all were touched, and fought to finish the set while keeping our composure.

It gets better....a few of us stayed at the table to chat with the family, and that's when the daughter briefly mentioned that her mom was struggling with late stage Alzheimer's.  The daughter was surprised that "Jan" could remember her name!!...much less chat a bit and sing along with QC.

After we returned to the Harmony Hall to rehearse, the daughter followed us in, apologized for interrupting and then shared more details about her mom and how un-responsive she had been until we had started to sing.  At this point, she was crying so hard, frustrated that words alone couldn't express her feelings of joy for her mom as well as her thanks to us.  I tell you.... there wasn't a dry eye in the hall!

She left after a few minutes.  We all stood speechless...looking at each other, trying to digest what had just happened.  The light went on...We had just changed someone's lives!  WOW!  What a powerful gift we have that allows us to bring a person in Jan's situation back to the present so she can not only enjoy the moment, but recognize her family and be the mom and wife they've known and loved once again...if just for a few moments.

That, my friends, is the power of music.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quartet Highlight - Expedition

In this post, we will introduce you to one of the many quartets associated with the Midwest Vocal Express that we highlighted in an earlier post.

Expedition, the 2009 Land O’Lakes District Quartet Champs, boast two young men who both hail from lifelong barbershop families.

Bryan Z (Bari), now 20 years old, joined the MVE in 1999 at the age of nine. He had the experience of performing in his first International competition that same year in Anaheim, CA. (Rumor has it he was the youngest performer in the entire contest that year.)

Bryan has consistently competed in District contests with various quartets, as well as College prelims, since 2007. He’s currently matriculating at the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a major in vocal performance, under the tutelage of none other than the incomparable Jim Henry.

Left to right:
Jeremy Ganswindt, Tenor (MVE)
Jake Umhoefer, Bass (MVE)
Bryan Ziegler, Baritone (MVE)
Jay Fahl, Lead (seated)
Likewise, Jeremy G (Tenor) grew up hearing barbershop, and joined the chorus at the ripe old age of 11. His first claim to fame was as the “Kid playing with toy soldiers, vamping & unflappable for 15 minutes, while the chorus got organized & squared away with the stage crew” moment at the Montreal competition in 2003.

At 15 years old, his quartet, J-Crew, qualified for the International Collegiate quartet competition in 2007 at Denver, finishing eighth. His second quartet, Expedition, also competed in the 2009 Collegiate competition in Anaheim, finishing tenth. Their LOL District Championship in Oct. 2009 was Jeremy’s first experience competing on the District stage in a quartet!

Josh and Jake U. also lay claim to a deep family heritage in barbershop. Their Mom, DeAnne H. (wife of our own infamous Scotty H.) sings with 2 Sweet Adelines quartets, and has competed multiple times on the International stage.

These talented brothers have both won district championships twice – including Jake’s win with Expedition this year. Josh currently serves as MVE Performance VP, yet somehow finds the time to travel between Milwaukee & Kansas City to rehearse and perform with Central States District Champs Skyline (along with our very own Christmas Show director Tim Z.).

Expedition has been together for just over one year. At the 2009 International contest in July, they took 10th place in the Collegiate Competition, then at Land O’ Lakes District in October, won the District Championship. Jeremy has been a member of the society for 8 years, Bryan for 12 years, Jake for 4 years, and Jay for 3 years.

Top Ten Best things about being in a Quartet: 

10. Getting the chance to do what we love: SING!!
9. Learning from well known coaches
8. Becoming a better singer
7. Singing in shows
6. Learning new music
5. Sharing success with friends (MVE)
4. Meeting lots of people
3. Competing
2. Traveling together
1. Weekend Rehearsals

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lock & Ring! . . . . Spotlight on the MVE’s award-winning quartets!

As any man who’s spent even a week in the barbershopping hobby knows, quartet singing is the heart of the sport. Therefore, chapter quartets are, by extension, the heart of every chapter.

The MVE is no exception! The men who step forward to “Lock & Ring” those seventh chords take that extra step of commitment to the art form. Anyone ever seen that BHS T-Shirt, “Singing is Life. The rest is just details”….?

These guys make the art form - and their chapter – their main purpose in life. It’s a labor of love that commands the respect and admiration of their fellow members.

The hours they’re not singing or learning about singing, they’re working hard to improve their chapter life through Board and committee service, and training other members to step into their shoes some day.

It is this spirit that we recognize our quartets in this special feature. The diversity of age, experience, and accomplishment among these men is truly astonishing!

Easy Days
At Ease
Rich Tones
Side FX May Vary

Thanks to the editor of the MVE's in-house newsletter Expressions - Randy Will - for the material for this post. Additional posts to follow that will highlight some of these quartets accomplishments in more detail.

Monday, July 12, 2010

MVE Takes 8th Place at International Contest in Philadelphia, PA

The Midwest Vocal Express male a cappella chorus competed against the best choruses in the world at the annual Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention July 2, 2010, in Philadelphia, PA. and finished in eighth place.

This was the 12th consecutive appearance in the contest by the 50 man Midwest Vocal Express chorus.  There are over 800 Barbershop choruses worldwide, and MVE was the only competitor from Wisconsin in the 27 chorus field.  Invitations go to high-scoring groups from the previous year’s district competitions.  Each chorus presents two songs, scored by a panel of 15 judges.  In eleven of the last twelve years, Midwest Vocal Express has placed in the top ten, with three finishes in the top five.

Midwest Vocal Express, known for their “Storytelling through Song” style, brought a “Male Synchronized Swimming – Olympic” theme to the contest.
Photos posted via the Dan Proctor Fotki site. All photos are by Lorin May and are the property of the Barbershop Harmony Society
Previous appearances on the International Stage have seen the MVE as fish in an aquarium, Broadway waiters looking for a showbiz break, green plastic army toy soldiers come to life, penguins at the South Pole longing to go “up North” where it’s warm, and a workshop full of naughty “Pinocchios.”

Past Midwest Vocal Express contest entries are chronicled in the DVD MVEvolution available at

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Barbershopper Who Gives Back

The performing chorus pictured at the top of this blog is the most public face of the MVE.  However, many of the members of the Midwest Vocal Express are involved in what can be considered the purest form of barbershopping – the quartet.  One of those members is John "Bo" Gibson, and he has been barbershopping for a lo-o-o-ng time.

Bo performs regularly with Easy Days at the Harmony Inn the Village in Greendale, WI.  A few weeks ago, he coached a quartet made up of members of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus for their performance with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s recent Americana concert.

Shown are photos of Bo (in the middle) with the quartet at the Monday night rehearsal, the quartet in their ready room and with Maestro Marvin Hamlisch.
Since the quartet appeared nameless, the Maestro made one up for the quartet during the first performance right in front of 2200 people - Below The Town.  It was the humorous opposite to the bluegrass group, Above The Town, that also performed on the program.  The Maestro’s interview schtick before and/or after they sang helped the foursome have even more fun in those brief minutes singing "This Land is Your Land" linked to "America the Beautiful."  Audiences, the Maestro, Lee Erickson (the MSO Chorus director) and management offstage were all beaming every time.

After the performances, the quartet sent out an email about Bo, saying, “His willingness to work with us, his generosity of time, and kindly manner were simply awesome--and it showed in the 3 performances.  Special thanks go to Bo!”

Bo – thanks for all you do for barbershop and the MVE!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MVE's Appearances at the Barbershop Harmony Society's International Convention & Contest

Each year, always around the 4th of July, the Barbershop Harmony Society holds an International Convention & Contest where between 8,000 and 10,000 barbershop singers and their family members gather to eat, sleep and drink barbershop harmony.

For the past 11 years, the Midwest Vocal Express (MVE) has had the honor and privilege of representing the Land O'Lakes District of the Society at this contest.  Two weeks from now, on Friday July 2, the MVE will make their twelfth appearance.

The contest involves each chorus performing two songs, which are judged across three categories - Singing, Music and Presentation.  Many choruses choose a theme for their performance that links the two songs together for the audience.  The MVE is known worldwide for their “legendary” theatrical presentations.

Below is a list of the MVE's appearances, including year, city and contest set theme, along with links (where available) to photo collections of the perfomance.

1999 - Anaheim, CA - Tin Roof Blues
2000 - Kansas City, KS - County Fair
2001 - Nashville, TN - Tin Roof Blues
2002 - Portland, OR - Waiters on Broadway (5th Place Bronze)
2003 - Montreal, QB - Green Army Men (5th Place Bronze)
2004 - Louisville, KY - New Dads
2005 - Salt Lake City, UT - County Fair
2006 - Indianapolis, IN - Fish (5th Place Bronze)
2007 - Denver, CO - Pinocchio
2008 - Nashville, TN - Penguins
2009 - Anaheim ,CA - Bond
2010 - Philadelphia, PA - ????

Many thanks to Dan Proctor and Lorin May for taking the photos and making them available via Fotki.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

20 Years of Barbershop Excellence

Founded in 1989, Midwest Vocal Express (MVE) male a cappella chorus specializes in “Storytelling through Song,” performing:
  • Traditional barbershop favorites
  • Show tunes
  • Spirituals
  • Popular music
Headquartered in Greendale, WI, and made up of singers from across Southeast Wisconsin, MVE is known locally for the best in family entertainment, and worldwide for their “legendary” theatrical presentations on the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Contest Stage.

There are over 800 chapters worldwide, and for the 11th consecutive year, Midwest Vocal Express will compete in the Barbershop Harmony Society's International Chorus competition. MVE has has held the 5th Place Bronze Medalist Chorus position three times. 

Under Director Grant Wilson, Midwest Vocal Express thrives on changing the lives of the audience through performance.

We hope you'll visit our web site, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
With this blog, the Midwest Vocal Express will share our experiences as we continue the musical odyssey started over 20 years ago.