SouthWest Arranger Development Program

Would you like to become a barbershop arranger? Are you already an arranger but would like to hone your skills? Region 21 has a world-class Arrangers Development Program and you are invited to participate!


The Region 21 Arrangers Development Program is dedicated to the following efforts:

  • To identify and encourage members who are interested in arranging barbershop music
  • To educate aspiring arrangers
  • To increase the number of creative, knowledgeable arrangers in Region 21 who will train and mentor future aspiring arrangers;
  • To provide a foundation for future candidates to qualify for acceptance in the International Music Arrangers Program (IMAP)

Region 21 has been at the forefront of arranger training since the founding of the Region 21 Arranger’s Development Program in 1995. The program developed into a well-established training ground in Region 21 and was recognized by other regions. This set the stage for a continuing program that thrives today after 22 years. Very few regions, if any, can boast of this high level of success and dedication to mentoring beginning and intermediate arrangers.
A number of years ago, two aspiring arrangers from Region 11 who were trained in our program and subsequently earned an IMAP Scholarship, joined the Region 21 ADP staff. After many successful retreats, it became evident that this well-oiled bi-regional staff was a keeper. It had consistently cultivated arranger growth in both regions while encouraging the inclusion of arrangers from many locales including Japan, South Carolina, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, Colorado to name a few.
The bi-regional staff of the Region 21 ADP in 2016 consisted of Anna Maria Parker, Coordinator, and the following staff members:

  • Nancy Bergman, MMA
  • Joan Adler, CMA (Region 11)
  • Anita Barzilla, CMA
  • Joan D’Agostino, CMA (Region 11)
  • Suzy Lobaugh, CMA

These Certified Arrangers merged their arranging talents forming the SouthWest Arranger Development Program (SWADP). It was specifically created to oversee the annual retreats for Regions 11 and 21 and function jointly with RMT’s and EDC’s from both regions.

Activities and Events


If you have burning questions about how music theory and chord progressions pertain to Barbershop music, how to put Barbershop chords on paper by hand or using computer notation, how to set up a ringing chord…this seminar is for you! Coming together with people of “like minds” is truly exhilarating as classes specifically designed for beginning and intermediate students are presented.

Click here for information about the 2018 SWADP Retreat

We welcome you to attend and experience two days of student friendly classes at this first ever SWADP Retreat.


The workshop is held the Friday of Summer Seminar from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is usually a group project sent out ahead of time which is discussed, with an eye toward (1) knowing the eleven chords used in Barbershop arrangements; (2) voicing those chords as appropriate for the song; (3) insuring that the vocal lines for every voice part are singable; (4) creating embellishments to add interest and “move the song along;” and (5) developing a contestable performance vehicle.

Recipe for a Ringing Chord

12 Overtones, a good variety
1 Circle of Fifths, well drained
11 Chords, properly inverted
1 Melody, singable
Dollop of Desire to Learn


The ADP offers one-on-one instruction with experts.

The ADP’s mentoring program may be the perfect solution for you to begin or keep arranging on YOUR schedule. Region 21’s ADP has instituted the option for you to enroll in our mentoring program. For a fee of $80 for 12 hours, or $40 for 6 hours of instruction, you will be assigned a mentor (a certified arranger) who will work with you one-on-one, on your schedule, at your level, at a time and place to be determined between you and your mentor. We’ve found that people learn best when they have individual attention and their personal level is directly addressed and their questions answered. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make real progress with this creative endeavor in which we’re all interested! If you would like to enroll in the mentoring program, just contact the ADP Coordinator Anna Maria Parker and she’ll send you the enrollment form: bbsarranger@mac.com

Tin Pan Alley

The Region 21 Arrangers Development Program (ADP) is producing not only arrangers, but singable music that needs to be sung and introduced to our members. We developed our “Tin Pan Alley” to display that music at educational events. At our display table you will find notebooks containing new arrangements completed by the ADP in our workshops as well as songs arranged by our own members. Both competition and show music are available. We usually have a keyboard available (with earphones) for you to play through music, CDs of some of the songs, and lots of good information for you. Stop by at the next event.

We also have quartets singing some of these songs at the beginning of classes, at our display area, and wherever else they would like to sing and can gather a few folks to listen. This is a win-win-win opportunity for everyone involved – our music gets sung, the quartets get exposure (and FREE music!) and our members hear arrangements that are available for their quartets and/or choruses.

Your quartet is invited to participate. After you contact us we will send you a list of available songs and you can choose what you would like to learn and present. This takes a bit of time because we sometimes send music back and forth, so a speedy decision would be a good idea.

Another idea for you to consider is having at least one of your members participate in the activities of the Region 21 ADP. You can learn many, many things about our music that can help your chorus and/or quartet to learn and sing all of your music better. We teach about music selection for your particular group, chords and how they work together to produce the sound we want to hear, interpreting what a song is all about and how to get the best out of it, and much more. You can learn what works and what doesn’t, and how to fix it! For more detail see the “Activities and Events” section above.

katshaverEducation – SWADP