Chris Powell's blog

One of the lyrics in How Far We’ll Go in our recent contest set says “… yet, we stay right here in this chorus, rise to the challenges before us, embracing our diversity.”  This passage was a central theme for the chorus throughout the preparation and performance of this set and a core belief in the chorus culture.  We chose to capture and promote this theme with shirts made for the occasion and worn by chorus members and our significant others throughout the week of the International BHS convention in Salt Lake City.

The chorus presented it annual shows June 1st including a preview of the songs we'll use for the upcoming BHS International contest in Salt Lake City the first week of July.  Pictured here the chorus presents our uptune "How Far We'll Go" acting as well as singing that we're "Always falling and rising..." in tribute to the strength that our diversity gives to the chorus.  We hope to see you in SLC for the next performance of this memorable song!


Northwest Sound's performance received a rousing standing ovation from the Evergreen District contest audience and high marks from the judges, winning the contest with an 83.2 average score.  As the district champion, Northwest Sound will compete at the BHS International Convention in Salt Lake City in July 2019.  Congratulations as well to the Boise Chordsmen, under the direction of our own Ian Kelley, for their outstanding 2nd place performance.

Northwest Sound was featured in the July/August issue of the Harmonizer, a magazine for 25,000 participants and fans of barbershop harmony around the world.  The article described innovative features of the chorus that serve as inspirational and organizational models for other barbershop choruses seeking to improve their community engagement. The chorus was one of nine choruses featured from the more than 700 choruses in the Barbershop Harmony Society.

The finale to the annual awards dinner was an induction into the NWS Hall of Fame.  This year the inductee was Bobby Gray Jr., director of NWS from late 1990 to 1998, who was present to receive the honor.  Bobby’s tenure with NWS was marked by numerous feats and accomplishments for the chorus.  In his first year he took NWS to an Evergreen District championship while at the same time taking his prior chorus, Sun Harbor Chorus, to their district championship.  The following year, NWS was 12th at International in Louisville.  Under Bobby’s direction, NWS repeated as district champions in 1991, 1992 and 1994 and placed 9th twice at International in New Orleans and in Calgary.  Bobby was also a significant motivating force behind the 1991 merger of NWS and the Lake Was

It was a special moment at the installation and awards dinner to have two members who helped create the chorus's character give their guidance and blessing to the new Board.  Pictured, Chuck Landback and Killer Smith, two of Northwest Sound’s original Board of Directors, call up the new officers as they install the 2018 Board.  The new board members are:

  1. President (Bill Hickman)
  2. Membership VP (Jim Corey)
  3. Music VP (Matt Picioccio)
  4. Marketing VP (Chris Powell)
  5. Communication VP (Matt Richman)
  6. Events & Planning VP (Sean Kelley)
  7. Secretary (Chuck Caplan)
  8. Treasurer – (Aaron Kleer)
  9. Board Members At Large (Dante Santos/ Lee Holmes/ Patrick Wendlick)


The chorus held its annual board installation and awards dinner last Saturday evening.  It was an evening full of reflection, celebration, and more than a few tears as we reviewed 2017 and all that the chorus has done.  In this, the first of several posts on the event, we celebrate the contributions of some outstanding members who were recognized.  The chorus presented the following awards: