The Sunshine District is an association of Florida Chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society and is committed to the promotion of Barbershop music to the public and to the musical and administrative training and education of its membership. Member Chapter choruses and quartets are encouraged to perform throughout their communities in support of worthwhile civic, cultural, educational, and charitable endeavors.

The Sunshine District is comprised of over 1800 members in Chapters from Miami to Pensacola. The Sunshine District leads the nation in promoting the musical excellence of Barbershop harmony in our schools and communities. “Singing is Great in the Sunshine State!”

October 21st, 2014

Action photos of all competing quartets and choruses have been posted on the Sunshine District Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunshinedistrict/collections/ There are separate collections for the quartet semis, chorus contest, and quartet finals.

Many thanks to our action photographer, Cindy Partlow.

October 21st, 2014

Certified Director Award

Tom Roan, director of the Greater Pinellas “Florida Suncoast Chorus” completed the Society’s Director Certification program and now has the title “Certified Director”.   He was presented with his Director Certification certificate and lapel pin at the convention. In the future, he will be listed in the convention programs as “Tom Roan, Certified Director” when his chapter competes.

The Director Certification program exists for the purpose of encouraging continued education of our directors. By going through a specifically assigned curriculum, directors will better enhance the barbershop chapter experience for all of their members.  Certified directors have completed all required coursework, and demonstrated proficiency in conducting skills, music theory, sound management, leadership and teaching. The Director Certification program website is here: http://barbershop.org/director-certification.html

Sunshine District Hall of Fame

Arne Helbig was inducted into the Sunshine District Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon following the Chorus contest. Arne joined the Heralds of Harmony in 1983 and sang with a number of successful quartets including R.S.V.P., Bay City Sound, Breakthrough, Heatwave and Just for Fun.  In 1994 he sang with Cigar City Four when they were crowned Sunshine District Champs. He also competed with the Heralds in International competition for 15 consecutive years.

In 2000, he he began working with the Young Men in Harmony Program. He worked hard to start Youth Workshops throughout the State of Florida.  What started out as a local program, hoping to just go state-wide, turned viral and became a program that has been copied throughout the country. He has helped coordinate over 120 of these workshops in the years of his involvement.  He handles everything from helping secure a venue to ordering pizza and meals for the day, coordinating with local contacts, securing clinicians and teaching quartets, ordering music, marketing the event with teachers and local chapters and even at times renting a truck to go and pick up, deliver and set-up risers!  This program has touched over 30,000 students in Florida alone over the past years and Arne has been the driving force behind this accomplishment.   With the support of the Sunshine District and the Barbershop Harmony Society, he has pushed the Sunshine District’s Youth Workshop to become leaders in the country for this type of event. Additionally, he along with Ken Carter, has promoted and staged the annual the Sunshine Harmony Explosion, inviting 100 plus boys from across the State of Florida to our 3-day camp.  This event also encourages educator participation.  They have managed to secure some of the finest clinicians and teaching quartets in the country to lead the Explosion.  Last year the event was co-ed for the first time with teaching quartets Max Q and The Buzz.  He mentors not only all the Sunshine chapter YMIH volunteers, but he is in constant contact with the Society’s YMIH liaisons. He currently serves on the Sunshine District Board.

In his spare time, Arne is a Claims Specialist Manager with Allstate Insurance. He has been married to his Sweet Adeline wife Denise for 25 years.

President’s Award

Roger Smeds, Sunshine District Webmaster was awarded the President’s Award by Nick Schwob, Sunshine District President for bringing the district website up to speed by continually improving the content and making the whole operation more user friendly.



October 13th, 2014

Our 2014 Fall Convention was a fantastic event and was enjoyed immensely by all who attended. The quartet competition had more contestants than in recent memory with 21 quartets performing on Friday evening. Congratulations to our 2014 Sunshine District Quartet Champions, Throwback, for taking first place honors with a total of 2035 points with an average of 84.8 points per judge. Signature took second place with a score of 1822 or an average of 75.9 points per judge, and One Time Out finished in third place with a score of 1761 or an average of 73.4 points per judge. Quartet contest score sheets are below:

District Quartet Contest – Semi Finals
District Quartet Contest – Finals

In the International Chorus Preliminary contest, although there were only five choruses competing the quality of singing was high. The Tampa Heralds of Harmony won the right to represent the Sunshine District at the International Chorus contest next July in Pittsburgh, PA with a score of 1015 points or an average of 84.6 points per judge. Tampa was also one of the winners of Most Improved Chorus Award moving from the B+ category to A-. The Melbourne Harbor City Harmonizers was also a winner of Most Improved Chorus Award moving from C+ category to B-.  International Preliminary Chorus Contest score sheets are below:

International Preliminary Chorus Contest

In the International Preliminary Senior Quartet competition, congratulations go to Gulf Coasters who took top honors with a score of 823 points or an average of 68.6 points per judge.  They won the right to represent Sunshine District in the International Midwinter Senior Quartet competition to be held in New Orleans, LA in January of 2015. Score sheets for the International Preliminary Seniors Quartet competition are below:

International Preliminary Seniors Quartet Contest

House of Delegates

In other news that occurred during the convention, the House of Delegates voted on the question of whether the Sunshine District should hold one or two conventions each year. The vote was resoundingly in favor of holding two conventions each year. Many of the delegates expressed thanks to the Board of Directors for the extensive research done and the analysis they provided to the House of Delegates which helped the group come to their decision.


Thanks go to the whole convention team for putting on a great event. Special thanks are in order for District VP of Events, Chad Bennett, Convention Chairman Bruce Checca and the members of Sunrise Chapter (THX) for hosting the convention. Thanks guys, for a job well done!