State-Wide Youth Barbershop Festival Brings In Choir Groups From Across Idaho

Sep 24, 2019

Wednesday, Sept. 25 is the third and final night of the 12th annual Idaho Youth Barbershop Festival in Boise. More than 1,000 high school and junior high students from across the state gather over these three days to showcase their a cappella, four-part harmony skills.


There are close to 200 high school women on the Morrison Center stage at Boise State University. Each is singing one of four barbershop harmonies. 

“We got here really early —well not crazy early — in the morning,” Aleja Longoria saya. She’s a junior at Vallivue High in Caldwell. It’s her first year singing at this festival.

“We rehearsed a little bit, went over our music and a lot of us definitely had not looked at the music, not gonna lie," she says. "So it was a lot of sight reading, looking over it, and rehearsing and a couple breaks in between, but basically just going through the music all day.”

A four-person ensemble aptly named “Literally Just Four Altos” from Timberline High School performed a song. After that on Monday, more than 300 men and women from high schools around the state flooded the stage with a performance of Bohemian Rhapsody.

“The singing that these kids do is at world class levels,” says Deke Sharon, one of the clinicians working with the high schoolers for this festival. “I’m able to do music with them, like a very complicated arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody here that you’d never be able to do in most states.”

Sharon was also music director and arranger for the Pitch Perfect movie and TV franchise. 

The festival is presented by the Boise Chordsmen, a 50-man barbershop ensemble. They are performing all three nights.

Wednesday, Sept. 25 is the last night of the Idaho Youth Barbershop Festival. You can find more information here.

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