Ringing chords since 1945.

Membership Basics

On your third visit (not necessarily consecutive), we will discuss membership with you. The chapter secretary will give you an application form, which you should complete and return as soon as possible. Then you will be asked to audition by singing your part in a four-part barbershop arrangement of your choice along with three members of the chorus.

Upon approval of your application, you will be asked to pay the annual dues. Dues for D-024 San Francisco Chapter:

Enrollment Fee BHS New Membership Kit Far Western District Dues Total
$10 $115 $25 $150

Full-time students and senior members have reduced fees.

You are free to make a lump sum payment by credit card, check or money order, or arrange monthly payments by credit card.

After becoming a member of the Cable Car Chorus, you will receive various orientation materials, a membership certificate, card and pin, the Harmonizer, the Society's bimonthly magazine, and Westunes, the magazine of the Far Western District.

Engaging Rehearsals

See our rehearsal time and location.

Sign In

What happens at a barbershop chorus practice meeting? How about joining us right here on line for an evening of fun, camaraderie, and just plain gorgeous music-making. Come on in! Sign our Guest Book.

Warm Up

Now, come on in and join the rest of us as we gather in our voice sections for some preparation.

The director wants us all to be singing on the same pitch at first, so we can begin to warm up our vocal cords. Then we sing the first song of the evening...

The old songs,
The old songs,
The good old songs for me
I love to hear those minor chords
And good close harmony.

All chapter meetings begin with this standard barbershop song.

Guests are brought to the front of the room, and the rest of the members sing a welcome song to them.

Welcome, to the San Francisco Chapter of the SPEBSQSA.
We're glad you could join us tonight
We'll do all we can to treat you right, so
Welcome, to this fabulous evening
We hope that you have a good time
Let's take a break, soon, and have us some coffee
Be sure you're first in line,
and have yourself a wonderful time!

Continuing with the warm-up, we sing a few of the "real" old songs, like Down Our Way, My Wild Irish Rose, and Let Me Call You Sweetheart.

These are three of the simple and easy-to-learn songs in the Barber Polecat Songs collection that all Barbershoppers are encouraged to learn – learning tapes are provided. These songs are common to Barbershoppers all over the world, and once learned, you will be able to raise your voice with quartets and choruses from Australia to Sweden.


Now, we get down to business: practicing one of the new songs we're learning. This is where the director really earns his or her pay.

It's not easy getting all us old guys to learn new tricks, and you young ones are even trickier.

What if you don't know how to read music? That's OK. We have many resources from our headquarters in Wisconsin for those who would like to learn how. And, even if you don't, we have learning tapes, and MP3 files. You can also bring a tape recorder and practice at home between meetings. In any case, we try to make the learning process as quick and painless as possible.

Take a Break

By now, we've been singing for an hour and a half. Time for a break.

This is our chance to have a business meeting, keeping all of us up to date on the latest projects and plans.

As soon as the business meeting is over there is time to mix and mingle and have some tea or water (Coffee is available, but not recommended).


The sounding of the pitch pipe calls everyone back to the risers for the second half of the rehearsal.

Because we wish to have a master's grasp of each of the songs in our repertoire, the director will often call for quartets to sing one or more of the songs we are working on. This is difficult and challenging, but we love it. Here is where the guests may step in and give it a try, if they wish.


We are almost always preparing for a performance somewhere in the City, or the annual contest or show. So, the director leads us through our performance repertoire, concentrating on the places she wants to improve our delivery.

We love the songs in our repertoire. In fact, that's the reason they are included: we love them. If a song doesn't seem to suit us, it just doesn't make it. We vote with our voices.

We're constantly learning new songs in hopes they will be added to the rest.

Hey! Now that you've been with us a while, maybe you'd like to join!

So Long

It's 10:15, now. Time to gather in a circle and sing:

Keep the whole world singing all day long
Watch good will come a-winging on a song
Smile the while you are singing
Oh, carry, carry your part
Keep a melody ringing, and ringing
In your heart!

OK! Even though some of us still haven't had enough of all this, it is time to say good night.

And, we hope to see our guests next week and every week from now on.

Please come back, and let's do it, again!