Frequently Asked Questions

SVA FAQs


What is Southwest Vocal Alliance (SVA)?

Southwest Vocal Alliance is Arizona's premiere award-winning mixed barbershop chorus and 2024 Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention qualifier. We're a fun-loving a cappella chorus that sings and performs a wide variety of songs and styles, including barbershop, pop, rock, country, and doo-wop. SVA is part of the Far Western District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. To get a taste of our musical style, check out this video!


When does SVA rehearse?

We rehearse every Monday from 6-9 pm at Orangewood Presbyterian Church, Page Hall. 7321 N 10th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020.


Who can join SVA?

We’re open to all genders, ages, and vocal backgrounds! 1-2 years of musical experience is preferred, but no previous a cappella experience is required. Reading or sightreading music isn't required, and we have audio learning tracks to help you learn your part.


I’d like to come to a rehearsal!

You don’t need to prepare anything in advance, and you can drop by any Monday. Learn more about what to expect at your first rehearsal!


How do I contact you with questions?

info@svabhs.com

‪(480) 389-5125‬ 


How can I get updates about SVA?

Follow us on Facebook and Instagramsubscribe to our newsletter, and visit our website svabhs.com.


How can I support SVA?

Here are some ways to support SVA:

 

New and prospective members


How much does it cost to be an SVA member?

To join SVA, you must pay SVA dues and be a paid member of our parent organization Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). Please note that dues are non-refundable.

  • SVA chapter dues: $25 monthly, to the treasurer via Zelle (send to swvocalalliance@gmail.com), Venmo at @SVAChorus, cash, or check. Make checks out to “Maricopa County AZ Chapter of SPEBSQSA Inc”
  • BHS and FWD Dues: $246 annually or split monthly, paid on the BHS website.


What are the attendance requirements for members?

Rehearsal time is vital for the performance quality of our ensemble. While we understand we all have lives outside of this chorus, it is expected that each member attends at least 70% of the rehearsals. This is subject to director discretion.


What is the audition process? How do I become a member?

Here’s an overview of a typical joining process (usually 4-6 weeks):

  1. Prospective member fills out our membership interest form.
  2. Prospective member attends first rehearsal.
  3. Prospective member begins learning music, including the audition song (currently Hallelujah), and attends 4 additional rehearsals (5 total).
  4. (Optional) Prospective member has a practice audition with the music team, without the director, and receives feedback to prepare for the audition. This is completely optional, but can help if you're nervous about auditioning.
  5. Prospective member auditions for director. The audition typically consists of singing our audition song (currently Hallelujah) in a quartet, with three other harmony parts.
  6. The director may pass you immediately, or may ask you to work on the piece and try again. Please note that audition outcomes are at the director’s discretion.
  7. If the audition is passed, the prospective member completes the following steps:
    1. Officially apply for membership via our application form.
    2. Join the Barbershop Harmony Society and begin paying BHS dues.
    3. Begin paying SVA dues.
    4. Send SVA your member number.
    5. Agree to our policies and bylaws.


Where do you share important updates about the chorus with members?

All communication happens through Discord, a community app that's available on Desktop, iOS, and Android. When you attend a rehearsal, we’ll invite you to join our Discord!


How can I find the music to practice for my audition?

Music is available on our website (after you attend at least one rehearsal), and reading or sightreading music isn't a requirement. We have sheet music and audio learning tracks.

After your first rehearsal, you’ll have access to our audition song (Hallelujah). You can also borrow a guest book during rehearsals, but the guest book can't be taken outside of the rehearsal location.

Tip: listen to the learning tracks with headphones so you can hear your part in the left headphone.


Where can I buy official SVA merch?

You can purchase shirts, hoodies, and more on Bonfire.com. A portion of the sales goes directly to supporting our chorus.


About SVA and barbershop music


Who is the director of SVA?

Southwest Vocal Alliance is excited to have Danny Ryan as our Director, coach, and mentor. He was an instrumental part of founding SVA. Find out more about Danny here.


What is barbershop music?

Barbershop singing is a distinctive style of a cappella music characterized by four-part harmony, typically consisting of Tenor, Lead, Baritone, and Bass voices. The harmonies are close and ringing, creating rich, resonant chords that rely on precise vocal tuning and a strong sense of musical unity. Learn more


What is the history of SVA?

Chartered in September 2019, the Southwest Vocal Alliance was one of the first new mixed chorus charters of the Barbershop Harmony Society.


What is the history of the Barbershop Harmony Society?

Founded in 1938 as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of BarberShop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA), the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) preserves and extends the reach of a uniquely American close harmony musical art form whose roots lie in African-American improvisation and European harmony traditions. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee since 2007, our nonprofit organization provides active programs and resources in music education, publishing, performance, and community outreach.  Originally founded as an all male organization, the BHS opened its membership up to all genders in the summer of 2018.  In doing so, men’s, women’s, and mixed quartets and choruses can now compete in the same contest and celebrate in the same harmonious family.