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Our History


The Akron Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, with its quartets and its Akron Derbytown Chorus promotes the Barbershop style of singing and strives to be active in and support worthy causes in Akron and surrounding areas.


The first meeting of the Akron Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA) was held on March 9, 1939 at the Akron City Club. A quartet contest was sponsored on April 7 at the Akron Armory with a first prize of $250. The prize money was applied to the expenses of the winning quartet at the annual convention held in Tulsa that year. There is no record of who the first winner was.


In July of 1945, the Akron Chapter was formally presented a charter by International SPEBSQSA Vice-president Jim Knipe. Nelson Peter was the first president of the Akron chapter. The first chorus director was Earle Gardner. 

Some of the first chapter quartets included: The Akronaires, The Rubber City Four and The Atomic Four. 

Akron's first annual show was held on May 21, 1948. Twenty-five men performed on stage with the chorus. Ed Duplaga was the General Chairman. Some of the quartets performing were: the Rubber City Four, The Tiger Town Four, The Atomic Four, The Tom Cats, The Funmakers, The Pitch Pipers as well as the Massillon Chorus.


For More Details on the Akron Chapter's first 40 years, click here.

Akron Chapter BHS Scrapbooks

These are articles and photos that have been compiled by the chapter over the years.

1945-1957  1958-1962  1963-1968  1969-1977  1978-1980  1981-2007  2001 to the present

Akron Derbytown Gazettes

The Gazettes are monthly newsletters from years past.

Akron Chapter Show Programs

These are the show programs from nearly all of the Akron annual shows.

Akron Chapter Show History

The directors, show chairmen, and quartets in each of Akron's shows.

Akron Chapter Presidents

Akron Chapter Chorus Directors

Akron Chapter Barbershoppers of the Year

iBiography of Edmund Duplaga


Biography of Ed Crosley

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