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.

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

June 9-10, 2017

The Church of the Epiphany

5450 Churchwood Drive
Oak Park, CA 91377


Only $85 for two days of inspiring classes with:

  • 5 top MMA/CMA staff members from the International Music Arrangers Program
  • 2 lunches included with your registration fee
  • one-on-one arranging mentoring or Finale mentoring with one of the staff members
  • laughter getting to know others who have a commonality in arranging for BBS!

Payment information is on the registration form (the last page of the 2017 SWADP Retreat information packet).


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

HOUSING OPTIONS: There are a variety of motels in the Thousand Oaks area (within 10 miles from The Church of the Epiphany in Oak Park) that you are welcome to use, depending on your budget. The organizers have reserved a block of rooms for Friday and Saturday nights at an older, more affordable motel less than a mile from Joan’s home (where the Saturday night final Wrap-Up meeting will be held).

La Quinta Inn & Suites
1320 Newbury Rd.
Newbury Park, CA 91320

(805) 499-5910

For one night’s accommodation, the rate is $99.68/night (tax included) for a room with two queen beds, a full continental breakfast (includes hard boiled eggs, bagels, yogurt, waffles). The rooms have a microwave, refrigerator, coffeepot, and free WiFi. There is a fitness room, pool and Jacuzzi in the Inn. The La
Quinta has three floors and an elevator.

To reserve a room at the above rate, call La Quinta Inn and Suites at (805) 499-5910 and ask for a room under:

Group Reservation #529, (Folio # 206977) SouthWest Arranger Annual Retreat.

To reserve your room and at this rate, you must make your reservation with them
no later than May 19, 2017 (3 weeks before the Retreat). After that date, the rooms may no longer be available.

TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS: The Retreat is located in the communities of Oak Park and Thousand Oaks (which includes Newbury Park) and is most conveniently reached by car from the US 101. For those arriving by plane, the closest airports are Burbank (BUR), 45 miles away (via the CA 118) and Los Angeles (LAX), also 45 miles away (via the I-405 & US 101). There are rental cars and other ground transportation options available for transportation from
either either airport to the retreat. Contact the organizers if you need help or additional information.


  • Any new arrangement or partial arrangement you’ve put on paper
  • Keyboard (if you’re driving); we’ll have a few available if you fly
  • Laptop computer with your transcription software (Finale, or other software)
  • Headphones and batteries for keyboard
  • Manuscript paper and note-taking supplies
  • Enthusiasm!

MENTORING FOR ARRANGING WITH CMA OR MMA: Beginning Friday afternoon June 9th and continuing thru Saturday afternoon June 10th you will have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one arranging mentoring session with a Certified or Master Arranger on staff. You may contact one of our arrangers on staff in advance via email to schedule an appointment, or choose a mutually convenient time to work with them once you arrive. It is best to set up appointments in advance of the Retreat.

MENTORING FOR TRANSCRIPTION SOFTWARE: We will have a room available beginning Friday morning thru Saturday afternoon to work with Anita Barzilla on transcription software, manuscripting and meeting your personal computer notation needs. Schedule an appointment with Anita by email or phone (leave message) in advance to identify your chosen time and computer information. Please review the schedule to decide which time is best for you. Bring your laptop with appropriate software in order to participate in this 50-minute, one-on-one mentoring session. Come prepared with questions and example files. If you don’t have software or a laptop, bring your latest
work for a personalized session. There is always something to talk about!

Be sure to set up mentoring appointments ahead of time. Email addresses to set up your appointments for the certified arrangers on staff are as follows (remove spaces and replace AT with @):

  • Nancy Bergman: nancybmusic ATaol. com
  • Joan Adler: tenorhoagie ATmsn. com
  • Anita Barzilla: abarzilla ATcox. net
  • Joan D’Agostino: chemspan2 ATverizon. net
  • Suzy Lobaugh: slmusic ATcableone. net

Preliminary Class Schedule

(FINAL AGENDA will be distributed at Retreat)
Friday, June 9, 2017
12:00-1:00 — Arrive – Lunch provided
1:00-1:45 — Participant Introductions, etc.
2:00-2:45 — Eleven BBS Chords (Choice A)
2:00-2:45 — Basic Copyright Issues (Choice B)
3:00-3:45 — Arranging a Nursery Rhyme
4:00-5:00 — If It Reads Well, It Will Sing Better!
5:00-7:00 — Dinner on your own at nearby restaurants
7:00-7:45 — Choosing a Contestable Song to Arrange
Saturday, June 10, 2017
9:00-9:45 — Chord Recognition
10:00-10:45 — Using Chord Substitution Charts
11:00-11:45 — Typical BBS Chord Progressions
12:00-1:15 — Lunch provided
1:30-4:30 — Creative Arranging
• Setting the Scene
• Harmonization for Expression
• Voicing Matters
• Tag – You’re Out
• Irresistible, Delicious Arrangements
4:45-5:00 — Session Wrap-Up
5:30-7:30 — Dinner together at local restaurant; each pays for own meal
7:30-9:00 — FINAL WRAP-UP and Suggestions (at Joan’s home)
Sunday, June 11, 2017
9:30-12:00 — Staff Meeting; Planning for 2018 Retreat (at Joanie’s home)

SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER: This dinner is not included in the registration fee, but the group will have dinner together at a local restaurant.

SATURDAY NIGHT WRAP-UP: This year we will have our final wrap-up at Joan’s home after dinner. This is where we discuss the pros and cons of what happened Friday and Saturday and get ideas for next year’s SWADP Retreat. (Map will be provided.)

SUNDAY MORNING STAFF MEETING: The planning meeting for the 2018 retreat will be held at Joanie’s home.


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