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Barbershop Society Names New CEO

Location: Oklahoma, USA

Nashville, TN, July 27, 2012   The Barbershop Harmony Society is pleased to announce that Martin “Marty” Monson has been named CEO/Executive Director of the Barbershop Harmony Society, an international a cappella music organization headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. Established in 1938 and now with 29,000 members in North America and nine other countries, the Society is the largest male a cappella singing organization in the world.

Monson earned a BA degree in Business with a focus on Arts Management from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1989. Currently, he is president and owner of Visual Communication Advisors, a strategic planning consulting firm in Minneapolis, Minn. He was formerly vice president of business development for Glowpoint, a New Jersey telecommunications and teleconferencing company.

A 23-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Monson began singing barbershop with the Old Capital Chorus from his home town of Iowa City, Iowa. He has since gone on to serve for the last five years as president of the twice-honored international silver medalist Great Northern Union chorus, the society’s Hilltop, MN chapter. His leadership helped to transform the 150-member chorus into one of the Society’s most dynamic organizations. March, 2013 will mark the fourth appearance of the Luther College Norsemen in “GNU”’s “Youth in Harmony Collegiate Male Chorus” program.  Led by Monson, this is one of the one of the strongest collegiate male chorus programs in the country.   

While in Minneapolis, Monson and his wife, Amy, participated in the founding of Paideia Academy, a K-8 public Charter School in Apple Valley, Minn. offering a Core Knowledge curriculum that includes art, languages and music as core subjects. The music program is provided through a partnership with the respected Minneapolis MacPhail Center for Music, where the school is able to include superior musical instruction and programming for every grade level.

The Society’s Board of Directors, with the aid of the search firm Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates, considered nearly 60 candidates, many with deep musical and association management experience. The Society has been without a permanent CEO since Ed Watson, the previous CEO, retired in 2011.

“Monson brings unbridled passion and enthusiasm to this role,” said Alan Lamson, president of the Barbershop Harmony Society and interim CEO. “His ideas for the future, his successes with Great Northern Union, as well as his business successes, gave the Board the confidence that he was the right person at the right time for the Barbershop Harmony Society. We are also excited by his ability to work with staff, committees, the Board and the membership to move us forward.”  
Monson will begin his CEO/Executive duties in Nashville on August 13th, 2012.