Education & Historical Preservation

A Voices of Gotham breakout quartet during our performance at the 2013 Barbershop Harmony Society's International Chorus Contest, Toronto, ON 2013. L to R: Adam Bock – Tenor, Matt Saucier – Lead, Braden Lynk – Bass, Brian Lindvall – Baritone.

Voices of Gotham's Education & Historical Preservation Programs educate our members and audiences about barbershop history and pedagogy, in order to perpetuate and preserve its traditions, music, and legacy. Our current programs include:

The Tin Pan Alley Novice Quartet Contest

Tin Pan Alley (TPA) is VoG's annual novice quartet contest, which brings new quartets to compete in front of both an audience and a panel using the Barbershop Harmony Society's adjudication standards. TPA fosters choral excellence by:

  • Encouraging barbershop "quartetting"
  • Developing quality quartet singers
  • Educating our contestants and spectators about the history of barbershop in New York City; and by 
  • Mobilizing VoG's Arrangers' Lab

Click here for a program from our most recent Tin Pan Alley contest.

Click here for a program from our first Tin Pan Alley contest.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The performance venues for Voices of Gotham's 2014 – 2015 Concert & Contest Series Program are ADA-compliant and wheelchair accessible spaces.

The NYC Parks Department Barbershop Quartet Contest Revival Initiative

This initiative seeks to raise awareness around a little known part of New York history, the Annual New York City Parks Department Barbershop Quartet Contest, with the long term goal of reviving the event in NYC. The contest, which originally ran from 1935 through 1968, brought audiences of up to 20,000 in its heyday. VoG educates its audiences and members about the original contest in several ways, including:

  • Scholarly research and publication 
  • Archiving and museum-quality presentation of vintage materials from the contest – including rare archival footage, documents and photographs
  • Short-range initiatives, including smaller contests like Tin Pan Alley, that build interest in both barbershop "quartetting" and competition, and in the history of the original contest.

For more information on VoG's NYC Parks Department Contest Revival Initiative, please contact Matthew Beals, VoG Historian at

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