A short history of the German Barbershop Association

Here you can find out how barbershop established itself in Germany and became a lively and vibrant scene of acappella music!

The first groups were already enthusiastic about barbershop in Germany in the 1960s. The first influence came from individual singers and ensembles who undertook chorus tours and stays abroad in the USA or England. In the 1980s there were already a few more such groups. However, these were widely scattered and had to be brought together by means of advertisements before a joint annual barbershop chorus workshop could be started in the mid-1980s, which was then mainly attended by British barbershop coaches..

From the annual chorus workshops and the contacts made there, the common goal of enthusing even more people for this style of music, expanding the chorus workshops and organising German barbershop championships developed..

So in 1991 BinG! was founded as a union of these individual chorus and singers, the first German Barbershop Championships were proclaimed and the annual chorus workshops were extended to a solid training camp with additional courses.

Our chorus workshops have now developed into a kind of German training institution for Barbershop Harmony, our annual Harmony College, with 250 participants annually, and also our Barbershop Music Festival, which also includes our German Barbershop Championships, is a popular event in the international barbershop world. Today we gather at BinG! about 25 choruses and 45 quartets with an increasing trend.

A short chronicle...


Sour Krauts

Foundation of the first German barbershop quartet in Münster. Name: Sour Krauts , Lead: Kurt Gerhardt (Photo: The "Sour Krauts" back on stage at the 10th anniversary concert of BinG! in Münster on 20.10.2001).


On 18.08.1966 the Sour Krauts appeared in the ZDF programme "Und Ihr Steckenpferd?" with Peter Frankenfeld.



The legendary USA quartet Boston Common performs at the "Matinee of Lied Singers" of the WDR - a great success, the recording is still a secret hit in barbershop circles.

The first German professional work on barbershop singing is produced. Author: Klaus Siebenmorgen.


Barbershop Blend, the first German barbershop women's chorus, is founded by Liz Döhring.


Erster Kölner Barbershop Chor, the first German barbershop men's chorus is founded by Kurt Gerhardt.


Die Ruhrpott Company (members include Manfred Adams and Hans Frambach) is the first German quartet to be allowed to perform in the "Golden Anniversary Show" of SPEBSQSA at the American convention.

The first issue of Barbershop News is published.


BinG! - Barbershop in Germany e.V. is founded.


The first German barbershop competition takes place at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. In addition to eleven quartets, six choirs take part: Der Erste Kölner Barbershop Chor, Barbershop Blend, Barbershop Bubbles, Jazzica, Ladies First and Singsation. The first German chorus Barbershop Champion will be Ladies First (Dortmund) under the direction of Manfred Adams.     The first German Barbershop Champion Quartet becomes Viertakt from Cologne with Norbert Hammes (bass), Andreas Marquenie (baritone), Leo Freitag (lead) and Hans-Jürgen Wieneke (tenor).



Take Four from Kiel qualifies for the SPEBSQSA -Convention in Miami and is the first German quartet to participate in an American competition. (photo)
The "1st German Harmony College" takes place in Goch on the Lower Rhine.



What four years ago the Kieler Quartett had shown, is now also being achieved by a BinG! chorus: Ladies First is the first German barbershop chorus to appear on the competition stage of the Sweet Adelines Convention in Atlanta. (photo)

The "white sausage equator" is crossed: With the Barberries and the Harmunichs from Munich there are finally BinG! choruses in Southern Germany.


The "list" goes online. With the newsgroup barbershop-de, Germany's barbershoppers now also have the opportunity to exchange information on the Internet in a contemporary way.

The German Music Council includes barbershop arrangements in the selection list for the German Choir Competition for the first time.


A permanent anniversary year - not only BinG! but also Ladies First, Femmes Vocales and Take Four celebrate round birthdays.