Contest & Judging Team

The British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) is a charitable organisation with music education as its goal. There are over 2400 members in 62 clubs and over 90 registered quartets across the UK. Every year a significant proportion of these clubs and quartets take part in contest culminating in the Annual Convention in the Spring. If you’re going to have a contest, you have to have judges!

The Contest and Judging team is an important resource for BABS. The judges are recognised experts in the main aspects of barbershop, namely singing, music and performance. They undertake bi-annual training at specialist seminars to be able to organise and judge our choruses and quartets in competition.

This site provides current information about the C&J team including a directory of members, contest results, rules and reference information for BABS members and other people with an interest in barbershop.

Click on the links below to meet the team from each category.

Contest Administration Category

Music Category

Performance Category

Singing Category

Judge Emeritus

In recognition of retired judges who have given long and meritorious service to the C&J team and BABS, the C&J team is pleased to award Judge Emeritus status.

The first two recipients are men who have given their services to barbershop in many ways and the C&J team is pleased to recognise their achievements.

Bob Walker

Bob began his barbershop “walk a life” in 1968 in Houston Texas, before returning to the UK where he joined the Crawley Chordsmen, taking over as Musical Director in 1974. This young man became the first chairman of the BABS Music Committee, responsible for music education in the Association and helped in the forming of the guild of judges (C&J team) as we know it today.

He served as BABS Chairman from 1991 to 1993 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bob served as Category Director of no less than 3 scoring categories in BABS – Arrangement, Interpretation and Presentation.  He was also a BHS Certified Presentation Judge for fourteen years and regularly served on district convention panels in the States and Canada, helping to established links between the two organisations.

He retired as a judge in October 2017, after over 40 years as a judge.

Rod Butcher

In a response to an article in what used to be known as “The BABS Newsletter” Rod attended his first judge training seminar in December 1978.  Immediately it became clear that there was no question as to his suitability as a candidate judge, but there was deep concern over the venue and accommodation standards of that seminar.  He was encouraged to wear the shoes of the new accommodation manager role and find a venue in the Birmingham area, for the newly formed BABS Guild of Judges. These shoes must have been such a perfect fit that he is still wearing them now, a mere 39 years later.

In 1981 he judged his first contest as a certified judge and with the subsequent change to Music category he retrained and recertified. He has been Category director twice and Chairman of the Guild (C&J team) , as well as a long established director of two choruses.

He has attended every single BABS Harmony College and became the first BABS “Music Services and Education Officer”, organised Harmony College between 1982 and 1992, where he continues to be a stream leader.