About us

Dec 6 2016: the national Barbershop Harmony Society selected our chapter as one of the "Magnificent 17" healthy and successful smaller chapters. The "Mag17" chapters, one from each district in the country, will work with society leadership on the "Healthy Chapter Initiative" to promote best practices and help other smaller chapters to succeed.

Our chorus

Bridge Town Sound (BTS) aspires to be the premier men's a cappella chorus in the Pacific Northwest, serving the Portland-Vancouver Metro area (and beyond). BTS has won the all-Oregon Barbershop Chorus Contest numerous times, most recently in April 2014.

BTS is the performing chorus of the Portland Metro Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The Portland Metro chapter was founded in 2001, with the intent to create the premier barbershop chapter in the Portland area, to host high-quality shows featuring the best performers in the country, and to sponsor a top-notch chorus and numerous quartets. 

That vision is still active as we complete another year of operation. The Bridge Town Sound chorus has won the Division IV (all-Oregon) chorus contest in the Evergreen District seven times, and we intend to continue striving for excellence in our singing.
We typically compete in both spring and fall contests that are sponsored by the Evergreen District. In addition, we host an annual show or two in which we bring in outstanding talent to share the stage with us. We also put on holiday shows in December, and sing regularly at other community events. Bridge Town Sound welcomes potential members from Beaverton and Hillsboro to Gresham, and from Wilsonville and Salem to Vancouver.

One of the things that sets Bridge Town Sound apart from many other choruses is the fact that each singer who performs in public as part of Bridge Town Sound has previously demonstrated the ability to sing each song accurately in regard to the notes, words, and breathing plan, without looking at the music. Singers recording themselves in order to qualify on a song has become part of the culture of BTS, and we take pride in putting on the stage only those who have proven that they have what it takes to be Bridge Town Sound performers.


The purpose of this chapter is to perpetuate the American institution of barbershop singing by: promoting vocal harmony and fellowship among its members; educating the public in music appreciation generally and barbershop specifically; and funding charitable projects. Receipts from chapter activities or external donations may only be used for chapter expenses, not for the benefit of members. Receipts from members may be used without restriction. 

Mission Statement

Portland Metro Chapter is a dynamic and innovative men’s singing fraternity dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in "a cappella" close harmony through performance, outreach, and education in the barbershop harmony style.

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Website changes

If you have comments about the website, please email administrators @ bridgetownsound.org.

Our Quartets

(Fifth-place in 2018 Division Contest)
Tenor - Paul Olguin, Lead - Todd Dignan, Baritone - Jeff Welsh, Bass - Carlos Aguayo



(Sixth-place in 2018 Division Contest)
Tenor - Tim McDonough, Lead - Alex Nez, Baritone -Duncan Gilman, Bass - David Dennison

Our Leaders

John Burri
Director John Burri has been involved with Barbershop music over half his life as a singer, quartet member, assistant director, front line director, and Society music judge. He became the front line Director of Bridge Town Sound in 2002 and has been at the helm ever since.

This gifted and multi-talented director is a delight to sing under, as he coaxes out of us the best possible sound, the most ringing chords, and the most artistic music his chorus is capable of rendering. He does it with grace, enthusiasm and humor, but also with a clear vision of what he wants and expects from the ensemble and from each member of it. His favorite saying enshrines his passion: “Perfection is the goal but excellence will be tolerated!”

John has attended a variety of Society courses for directors and several District-wide Master Director Workshops to hone his already considerable skills. He is also a Society judge in the music category and is in increasing demand as a chorus and quartet coach. 
Email burritone @ comcast.net

Assistant Director and Lead Section Leader Darwin Scheel was a long-time director of the Columbia River Chorus and a multiple-time District quartet champion. He's also one of the best vocal instructors around and excels at teaching tags to groups of singers.

Bass Section Leader Aaron Weller

Baritone Section Leader, and webmaster, John Hazen

Tim McDonough (Music and Performance, and Tenor Section Leader) oversees the musical administration of the chapter, and the tenors.

Board President David Dennison (not pictured) presides over the Chapter Board. Email denali @ earthlink.net

Carlos Aguayo
Executive VP Carlos Aguayo assists the President in all his duties

Secretary Barry Groody  records board meetings.

Treasurer Don Davis (not pictured) makes sure that the books balance, and people get paid

Mark Heathershaw
Chapter Development, directs the new member recruitment and retention operation

Dick HandleyProgram and Fellowship, moderates our chapter meetings and plans and executes special events. 

Duncan Gilman (
Marketing and PR) handles the promotion for our public performances. Email duncangilman @ gmail.com

Board Members at Large: Jeff Welsh (Marketing/PR), Eric Zimmerman (Music/Performance), and Gary Weeber (Chapter Development), help bring members' concerns to the board.

Roberta Miller
Sound-Bites newsletter editor Roberta Miller
Email roseofharmony1 @ gmail.com with your images and text to publish