The Keystone Chorus


The First meeting to establish the Pittsburgh South Hills Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (S.P.E.B.Q.S.A) was held on April 18,1957 at the St Paul Episcopal Church in Mt Lebanon, PA. There were 18 men in attendance. At this meeting temporary officers were elected and a regular rehearsal schedule was set up for every Monday evening at 8:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon. The decision was made to remain as a temporary chapter until such time as the membership was large enough to maintain full chapter status. Despite the temporary status , the men present began to learn four part barbershop harmony and a Quartet sang “In the Evening By the Moonlight “ and did a “Fine Job” according to a letter written to the temporary membership by Jack “Rip” Collins the chapter’s first Director and President. Dues was set at $5.00. Membership waxed and waned and meetings were held in member’s homes throughout 1957. By May of 1958 membership was on the rise and the decision was made to “SING OR SWIM” the chapter’s 32 members were presented their Charter by the Johnny Appleseed District on October 24, 1958 . Sponsors for the charter were the Pittsburgh and Washington chapters. The chapter’s first established quartet was the Lebonaires…

Thus Barbershop singing was established in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and today 60 years later it is still going strong with the 30 member Pittsburgh South Hills Keystone Chorus under the direction of Brandon Rauch.

                         1959 Pittsburgh South Hills Keystone Chorus        

    1959 Pittsburgh South Hills Keystone Chorus                                                                           1960 Pittsburgh South Hills Keystone Chorus