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And A Quick and Brief History

The year was 1958.

BHS members Joe Seegmiller, Stirling Wilson, Wally Singleton and Elford Lumpkin met in some smoke filled room and discussed the need for some kind of honorary organization in the Dixie District.  At that time the Dixie District of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA, now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society, or BHS) included the state of Florida. They contemplated a gathering that was something on the order of Sage Lake or Delasusquehudmac

The Sage Lake Chapter met once a year in the fall at a lodge on a beautiful little lake by the same name up in north central Michigan. Delasusquehudmac, the name derived from rivers in the Mid Atlantic District, was the brainchild of such eminent barbershoppers as Sev Severance, Stirling Wilson and Buck Dominy.  They met annually in a spot near Harrisburg. Pennsylvania.

Joe Seegmiller wrote Severance to find out how they determined the nominees to invite into membership of Delasusquehudmac.  He replied, “Members should be those who have demonstrated at the chapter level that they want to go further in barbershopping.” With that, the Confederate Chapter of SPEBSQSA was born.  As Dixie District President, Paul D Amsbary was asked to appoint a committee to choose the recipients of an invitation to become members.  This committee consisted of Joe Seegmiller, Wally Singleton and Elford Lumpkin.

It was decided the purpose was principally a means of recognizing and rewarding those who had worked extremely hard all year in their chapter or district with a weekend of relaxation, fun, fellowship and, woodshedding.  It should provide a means of face-to-face communication among a group of men highly dedicated to the ideals of barbershopping.  Those who attended would be expected to take back to their chapters the ideas which they had learned in dialog with other knowledgeable members. 

As a by-product this would promote the education of it’s members and the public in appreciation of barbershop harmony and encourage participation in district and international affairs. 

1958 Confederate Chapter
Picture taken at the first meeting of the Confederate Chapter where the Confederate Flag was raised atop old Fort Morgan . Seated, left to right: Stahl, Combs, Wilson , Miller, Lyons , West, Sears, Carey, Porter, Satterwhite. Middle row: (standing) Gladhill, Griffith, Amsbary, Baker, Cashion, Seegmiller, (flag), Lumpkin. Far back: Nelson, Averyt, Mook and Haney.

In 1959, The SPEBSQSA created the Sunshine District by giving the state of Florida their own district. The Confederate Chapter now also served as a means of keeping friendships going and music ringing across district borders. The chapter now represented both members of the Dixie and Sunshine Districts.

In 1960, the SPEBSQSA International Office advised that a chapter could not function as a regular chapter of SPEBSQSA when they only met once a year. A petition was sent to International for status as a subsidiary group. After much debate, a new name emerged, the Confederate Harmony Brigade.

Each year a Rally was held in a location somewhere within the 2 districts, and on occasion, a performance was given to local audiences in the area. In later years, the CHB served as the headline guest for a local BHS chapter show.

In 2009, the Barbershop Harmony Society authorized the creation of a 17th district. On July 1, 2010, North and South Carolina separated from the Dixie District to begin operating as the new Carolinas District. the CHB quickly moved to make sure those officers were not lost by amending our by-laws to keep all Carolinas District members as a part of our group as well.

In 2015, due to the nature of the name "Confederate" and the negative connotations that were hindering the Brigade, the membership of the Brigade unanimously voted to change our name to the "SOUTHERN HARMONY BRIGADE". We wanted to make sure no one looked at our organization and perceived it as racist or prejudiced in any way.