"...I must also thank the leadership of each chapter in the SWD
who works so diligently to create a fun atmosphere
for everyone on the risers!"

Richard Howell,
President, Southwestern District of Champions

As we prepare to move into 2019, I am truly excited and have great expectations for the Southwestern District. As with any large organization, new challenges are always present, and changes are inevitable.  Our chapters continue to evolve, both in membership and organizational structure.  We will see some changes, not only in our districts, but also in the Barbershop Harmony Society, with the Everyone In Harmony initiative. 

I know there have been, and will continue to be, many questions from our chapters about the implementation of this program.  Please understand that no one is under any pressure​ or time constraint​ to ​decide what to do.  It is a decision that is completely left up to the local chapters.  But it is expected that some impact will be felt at some levels​ when this initiative becomes active. 

The SWD has worked alongside the BHS-HQ staff to survey all our chapters to determine the status of each chapter in their decision-making process.  Some chapters are open to allowing women into their membership. Others are not, while some are still discussing their options.   This is okay.  I encourage our chapter leadership to move at their own pace and to not make any hasty decisions when considering the EIH initiative.  Please know that your district leadership, working with the headquarters staff, will be available to assist you with any questions.

Your Southwestern District Board of Directors is currently comprised of 18 members.  I want to thank each of these gentlemen for their dedicated service to our hobby as we move into yet another year.  Perhaps the general public is exposed to only one aspect of the Barbershop Harmony Society​ and the Southwestern District​....that is the great harmony they hear from our quartets and choruses.  However, it takes a lot of dedication in the administrative functions to make the organization run smoothly.  Thank you to all of members of the Southwestern District Board of Directors for stepping up and doing a great job! ​And, I must also thank the leadership of each chapter in the SWD who works so diligently to create a fun atmosphere for everyone on the risers!​

The Southwestern District will be very well represented at the Midwinter Convention in Nashville in late January.  In addition to one junior quartet, we will have two Next Generation mixed choruses and one senior quartet.  And we are very proud that a 50 man senior chorus will be competing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry under the direction of Artie Dolt.  They will be competing against four other Senior choruses from various districts in the BHS.  

In May, make plans to come to San Antonio for our Spring convention.  We will be on the campus of the University of Texas San Antonio and are looking forward to a fantastic weekend of singing and competition.

We return to the Hyatt Regency DFW in October for the 2019 Fall Convention.  In addition to the quality singing that is always present at these gatherings, more exciting plans are being formalized for the weekend.  Keep watching for announcements and make plans to attend the Fall Convention in Dallas.

I am very honored to serve as your President for the next two years and I will strive to make the Southwestern District one that we all can be proud of!​  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

 In Harmony,

 Richard Howell