NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the first time it its 80-year history, women have officially been welcomed into the Barbershop Harmony Society.
President Skipp Kropp has nearly 50 years of barbershop experience.
“It is physically impossible to be angry or stressed when you’re singing,” he said.
In the time he's been singing and since the organization was founded, only men were allowed to become members of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Despite that women continued to be a part of it, but only to a point.
“We’ve only allowed men to be involved. Over time women started coming to our conventions and our contests and our events and gradually they started singing with us,” Kropp said.
After a few years of strategic planning and a lot of feedback from current members the organization decided to take a big step in a different direction, allowing women to become members for the first time. “Everybody said this is the natural thing to do, it’s the right thing to do,” Kropp added.
Amy Rose and lead singer, Caki Gray are some of the first women members of the Nashville-based society.
“We will be able to bring it to more and more people and that to me means it will live longer and longer,” said Gray.
Effective immediately membership in the Barbershop Harmony Society is open to everyone, no matter their age or gender. “We think barbershop harmony is good for the world and we want to offer more opportunities for more people to sing,” said Kropp.