Richard Lewellen is well known in the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) as an accomplished a capella vocalist (see below), chorus director (see below), barbershop harmony coach and Singing Category judge. He started his career in barbershop as a teenager and has more than 30 years of experience, and he is repeatedly invited to serve as a faculty member for the Society’s annual Harmony College/Director’s College, the premier educational event for the BHS. He has also produced professional recordings, contributing as a vocalist and managing a significant portion of the post-production process.
Richard began singing barbershop harmony in his first year of high school at Beverly Hills HS in 1978. “During my first year of High School, I met a guy who became my best friend,” he recalls. “He had just started barbershopping and his Dad had started a few months earlier. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Barbershop Harmony Society ever since.”
Like many barbershoppers, Richard has moved around the country with his day job and family requirements, but wherever he called home, barbershop was a huge part of his life. Listed below are some very impressive highlights from his musical experience over the years and the awards and recognitions he has received:
2010-present: Musical director, Fairfax Jubilaires chorus, Fairfax, Va. (Barbershop Harmony Society)
2008‐2010: Musical director, Seneca Land District Youth Chorus (SLAM), Warsaw, N.Y. (Barbershop Harmony Society)
2007‐2010: Musical director, Friends of Harmony, East Aurora, N.Y. (Barbershop Harmony Society)
2007‐present: Certified Singing Category judge, Barbershop Harmony Society.
2003‐2006: Musical director, Alexandria Harmonizers, Alexandria, Va. (Barbershop Harmony Society).
Led the chorus to 9th, 6th and two 4th place finishes at International competition, and four district chorus championships.
2000‐2002: Musical director, Voices of the South, Birmingham, Ala. (Barbershop Harmony Society)
2001‐2002: Musical director, Magic City Performing Arts for Children, Birmingham, Ala.
1993‐2000: Assistant musical director, Big Chicken Chorus, Marietta, Ga. (Barbershop Harmony Society)
1992‐1993: Musical director, Los Angeles Harmony Express Chorus, Los Angeles, Calif. (Barbershop Harmony Society)
1990‐1993: Lead section leader, Masters of Harmony, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (earning the first two International Championships with the multi‐time gold medalist chorus of the Barbershop Harmony Society)
1990‐1991: Tenor, Harvard‐Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, under the direction of Jameson Marvin
Awards and recognition
2009: Seneca Land District Quartet Champion, singing baritone with Empire State Quartet
2005: Mid‐Atlantic District Quartet Champion, singing baritone with Four Aces
2005: 4th place International Chorus Contest medalist, director of Alexandria Harmonizers
2004: 3rd place International Quartet Contest medalist, singing baritone with Riptide
2004: 4th place International Chorus Contest medalist, director of Alexandria Harmonizers
2003: 5th place International Quartet Contest medalist, singing baritone with Riptide
2003: 6th place International Chorus Contest medalist, director of Alexandria Harmonizers
2002: 4th place International Quartet Contest medalist, singing baritone with Riptide
2001: 4th place International Quartet Contest medalist, singing baritone with Riptide
2000: 6th place International Quartet Contest finish, singing baritone with Riptide
1993: Dixie District Quartet Champion, singing lead with Atlanta Power Co. Quartet, Marietta, Ga.
1993: Barbershopper of the Year, Marietta, Ga., chapter
1990, 1993: Gold medalist as singer and lead section leader of Masters of Harmony Chorus, Calif.
1982: Far Western District Quartet Champion, singing bass with Pacifica Quartet, Southern Calif.
1981: Southern California West Novice Quartet Champion, singing bass with Pacifica Quartet, Southern Calif.
One thing that ranks higher than barbershop in Richard’s life is his family. His wife, Christina, is the tenor of Epic, 2012 Harmony Queens, and she is the daughter of a well- known barbershopper Bob Fuest, the lead-singer of Border Patrol, 2013 International Seniors Quartet Champions, as well as several other district champs quartets. The Lewellens have three daughters, Morgan, McKenzie, and Bryn, who also love to “sing barbershop at the top of their lungs.”