The A Cappella Performance Chorus for You
Sound of the Rockies chorus is the all-male performance chorus of the Mile High Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, an organization of over 25,000 men of all ages, from all walks of life, who love to sing a cappella harmony in the Barbershop Style.
Sound of the Rockies produces three major Concerts each year – a Spring Concert typically in late March, a Summer Spectacular in June, and a Christmas Concert in December. We also participate in a number of other shows and musical events throughout the year including Arts Series concerts put on by various churches and organizations.
Sound of the Rockies and many of its embedded quartets are active competitors, participating in district and international competitions sponsored by the Barbershop Harmony Society. The chorus is currently ranked 5th in the world.
Quartets composed of members from the chorus spread Valentine cheer each February to sweethearts throughout Denver and surrounding areas during our Singing Valentine program.
Bring harmony to your special event. The entire chorus or one of the chapter quartets can be engaged to provide entertainment for conventions, meetings, parties, fundraisers, weddings, or other special occasions.
If you love to sing, we encourage you to come by and explore the world of a cappella harmony with us.
In 1999, there were three aspiring Barbershop Harmony Society chapters in the Denver, Colorado area: the original barbershop harmony franchise, the Denver Mile-Hi Chapter chartered in 1948; the Denver Mountainaires Chapter chartered in 1975; and the Denver Tech Chapter formed in 1987.
The seven-state Rocky Mountain District (RMD) was created in 1977 in an effort to bind 30 chapters in a more “geographically friendly” area. The Denver Mile-Hi Chapter was the first RMD Chorus Champion and went on to become the perennial champion and representative to the BHS summer convention and competition. While other RMD choruses have excelled in competition – Albuquerque, NM “New Mexichords” and Salt Lake City, UT “The Saltaires Show Chorus” – no one has ever doubted the excellence of choruses from Denver, with the Denver Mile-Hi chorus dominating district competition in the late 70’s and early 80’s and the Denver Tech Chapter assuming top dog in the district shortly after its formation in 1987. However, by 1999, through attrition and lack of leadership, the two former great Denver chapters and choruses were languishing.
A couple of like-minded guys got together to talk about the possibility of merging two average chapters into one great chapter. A small nucleus with representatives from both the Denver Mile-Hi Chapter and the Denver Tech Chapter was formed to discuss all the options, and what was once a small seed was sprouting with enthusiasm. Meeting in local restaurants, the group began in earnest to hammer out the details for a successful merger. A vision statement, mission statement and objectives were developed, all of which remain intact today for the new Denver Mile High Chapter and Sound of the Rockies chorus.
Our Director, Mark Hale
After a seven-month search for a new chorus director, Mark Hale, from Long Beach, CA, has signed on to lead the Sound of the Rockies into a new era starting January, 2015. Mark has an exceptional resume including having won a Gold Medal as a quartet singer, singing lead with Michigan Jake in 2001. In addition, Mark has won four Gold Medals as the director of Masters of Harmony from southern California. And, in 2012, the Barbershop Harmony Society honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Prior to those achievements, Mark had amassed 15 years of directing experience with two choruses in Kentucky, and he had been a District Quartet Champion in 1987 and again in 1995. Mark is also a sought-after quartet and chorus coach and arranger, and along with being a Certified Music Judge he was previously a member of the Society’s Style Evaluation Committee.
He discovered the Barbershop Harmony Society in 1983 as a high school sophomore in Kentucky, shortly after his participation in a school production of The Music Man. At age 16 Mark joined the local Mammoth Cave Chapter and his nine-year relationship there allowed him to experiment with arranging and directing. In 1990, Mark joined the Louisville Thoroughbreds chorus and soon became a member of its music team. His interest in directing and arranging grew even more, and in 1992 he became a founding member of the Louisville Times chorus, which he directed through 1999. On four occasions, Mark led the 30-man group to the Top Ten at the International Chorus Contest.
Director Emeritus 2000-2014, Darin Drown
Darin Drown is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and currently is the Director of Vocal Music at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado. Darin’s former quartets include Freefall, the 1995 Central States District Champion; Crazy Rhythm, the 1999 Rocky Mountain District Champion; and he sings baritone in his current quartet, Storm Front, which won the 2002 Rocky Mountain District title, and was crowned International Quartet Gold Medal Champion by the Barbershop Harmony Society in 2010.
Darin was responsible for much of the Sound of the Rockies’ 15-year rise to stardom after a successful merging of two Denver area chapters in early 2000. Darin led the chorus on a journey to musical excellence resulting in 13 straight Rocky Mountain District chorus championships (2002-2014), 12 consecutive Top 10 International Chorus Competition finishes (2003-2014), and 7 consecutive Top 4 International Chorus Competition finishes (2007-2014). Darin’s legacy as a director, arranger, voice coach, motivator and builder of esprit de corps will never be forgotten by his chorus “family”.
Darin will now have more time for his wonderful family: wife, Jenny; son, Colin; and daughter Mary. He will continue to be active with Storm Front quartet and with his work as a quartet and chorus clinician worldwide.
Thursdays at 7:00 pm
2950 S University Blvd, Denver, CO
For more information, contact
Dan George, Membership Coordinator
We sing to lift hearts
- To entertain with excellence
- To mold men of all ages
- To enrich and inspire our communities