Matt Swan receives the Ralph Ribble Award on behalf of Space City Sound

Bob Calderon receives the Chuck Abernethy Award on behalf of The Vocal Majority


By Richard Howell, Southwestern District Executive Vice President

Saturday, May 5, 2018, Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA

Several years ago, the Southwestern District wanted to recognize chapters for outstanding work that they were doing, not only in the area of a cappella music but also in community outreach.  These awards are in the memory of two giants of the Southwestern District, Ralph Ribble and Chuck Abernethy. Ralph Ribble was the SWD President in 1965-1966 and then moved on to serve as Barbershop Harmony Society President in 1971.  His hometown was Dallas, Texas.  Chuck Abernethy was our SWD President in 1964 and moved up to BHS President in 1973. His hometown was Ponca City, OK. The Ribble award recognizes a small chapter while the Abernethy award recognizes a large chapter.

This year’s Ralph Ribble Small Chapter Award was presented to Space City Sound, Houston, Texas. Space City is a new chapter that was chartered two years ago. They not only have excelled in their music, but have been very active in local community performances and scoring high in our District contests. They are also the home chorus for our SWD championship quartet, Rhapsody. Space City Sound has been selected as a wild card entry to the International competition in Orlando this July. 

The Chuck Abernethy Large Chorus Award was given to The Vocal Majority, Dallas, Texas, who has been an extraordinary representative of the Southwestern District for many years. They have repeatedly gone to the International competition, winning 12 gold medals, the most recent in 2014. They're now preparing to compete for their 13th gold medal at the International competition in Orlando this July. The VM has medaled in every International competition in which they have competed. They are truly a class act when it comes to community involvement. Always active in promoting shows throughout the year, in 2017 the VM put on 4 Christmas shows in the Dallas and North Texas area. The chorus recently hosted a 3-performance show which drew an audience of over 3000 people. Several championship quartets call the VM home.

Accepting these awards from Richard Howell, SWD Executive Vice President, was Matt Swann for Space City Sound and Bob Calderon for The Vocal Majority.

Congratulations to both choruses!