In January 1999, Peter Stevenson, our founder and the heart and soul of our Chorus for many years, advertised for singers for a barbershop chorus. Four hardy men showed up for the first meeting in July, and by March 1999, we had 12 members and were qualified to be a chapter of the national society.
In September of 1999 the Harbormasters were granted a charter from the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society.
A tragic blow for us was the sudden death of our beloved Director and President, Peter Stevenson in March 2005. Mike Masters, one of our members, held us together as Interim Director and our membership remained loyal.
Since then we have been fortunate in finding qualified and exciting directors, musical professional who have come to embrace our music style in a big way, and who have helped us demonstrate that barbershop arrangements can be sung in almost every genre.
Valerie Powers joined us in August 216. Val, originally from Florence, SC, majored in Music Education at Coker College (2011) with a focus on choral performance. Since then she has taught middle and high school chorus primarily in the Beaufort area. During this time Val has also pursued, and recently earned, a Masters of Music in Music Education degree from Anderson University. Although quite new to Barbershop, Val has fit in well with the Harbormasters, and we have benefited greatly from her guidance.
The Harbormasters perform and entertain in a variety of different ways. Typical events include serenading in art galleries and restaurants during the Beaufort Art Walks, sing-outs at the nursing and rest homes, performances at a wedding rehearsal dinners and other private functions and at the annual Night on the Town in downtown Beaufort. One of our favorites is driving throughout the Beaufort area on February 14 each year delivering Singing Valentines. We continue to have an annual show in the Spring of the year.