“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.” ~ Ralph Marston

We sing for the joy and pleasure of it, but part of that pleasure is continually improving our skills. In our organization, we have the opportunity to be evaluated at Harmony, Inc. conventions and contests. These evaluations focus on three categories, represented by judges in each category who are overseen by a Chairman of Judges (COJ). The categories are:

Music – the appropriateness of the song to the barbershop style, and the singers’ artistry in delivering the song with consonant harmonies and taking advantage of elements of its arrangement to effectively express its message

Performance – how effectively each song is brought to life using physical and emotional expressiveness to communicate its message in an entertaining manner that connects with the audience

Singing – the consistently effortless production of balanced, resonant chords that have a rich vocal quality and expressive unity, considering both individual singers and their ensemble skills

Those of us who attend contest performances can feel daunted by the judges’ abilities to translate what they experience into scoring metrics – but considerable training is available to those who are interested in honing their skills in this direction. New England Voices in Harmony is proud to currently have three judges as members. We celebrate their achievements and are grateful for the internal coaching they provide us!

Diane Patterson - Certified Chairman of Judges; Certified Performance Judge

Diane has been an active participant in Harmony, Inc. choruses since 1981, and certified since 1986, sharing her talents and passion for barbershop performance. As a mental health therapist, she well knows the value of music in each of our lives to allow us to share joy and express emotions. In addition to bringing her certified judge skills to Harmony, Inc., she is proud to have judged many Barbershop Harmony Society contests, as well as providing her coaching and judging insights to support the growth of many choruses and quartets throughout the broader barbershop community. Diane says: “You have the opportunity to move the audience every time you perform, and only you can do that….Happy songs are joyful, sad songs are real, every song plays a part in your life. I hope you are inspired to share your 100% every time you rehearse…” 

Renee Tramack – Certified Singing Judge (Harmony, Inc. Category Director)

Renee has had music in her life for as long as she can remember, and her experiences as a young girl give her the passion to support women of any age in their ability to experience the joy of barbershop. Her own musical skills – as a vocalist and a director – are expressed not only through her work with New England Voices in Harmony, but in various quartets – including the first-place quartets “Showcase” and “Taken 4 Granite” – as well as with her musical family.  We especially love to watch performances when three generations of the women in Renee’s family take the stage together!  Renee is always willing to provide personal training and coaching and to support the growth of each singer to be the best they can be.  Renee says: “The stronger we become as individual singers, the stronger we become as a unit as well.  Every single one of you has the skill and talent necessary to…make so much difference in our performances.