Clipper City Chordsmen -
About Us

Chordsmen performance
About The Clipper City Chordsmen
Our barbershop chorus is a membership-based organization of male singers that meet regularly to practice, perform and have fun. We currently have over 40 members of all ages from all walks of life.
Schmitt Brothers Quartet

The Manitowoc Chapter is the home of the world-famous International Champions Schmitt Brothers Quartet, and features an outstanding barbershop chorus and several talented and entertaining chapter quartets. Join us at our rehearsals or contact us if you are looking for group to entertain at your next function.

Learn more about the origins of barbershop-style music.

Performing Chorus Name

Clipper City Chordsmen
Barbershop Show

Chapter Name

Manitowoc County Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Inc.


The Chordsmen are members of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Inc., with 30,000 members in 800 chapters with over 2,000 registered quartets. We are affiliated with the Society's Land O' Lakes District (LO'L) and part of the Packerland Division. Read more about LO'L events and information in the district's publication, The Pitch Piper.
Land O Lakes

Mission Statement

The Clipper City Chordsmen Chorus is an ever-growing, well-respected brotherhood of men who love to perform a cappella music in the barbershop style, preserving the heritage of the barbershop quartet. The Chordsmen strive to improve the quality of life for our members and our community through music education programs and family-friendly musical entertainment.

Date Founded

The Chordsmen Chapter was established in March of 1945. The founder of the chapter was O.H. "King" Cole, a former Kingsbury Brewery Executive. Milt Detjen was the first director.
Chrodsmen Singing

Current Quartets

A Touch of Harmony
Cool Street
Lake Effect
Private Stock


• Annual participants in the Packerland Division Chorus and Quartet Competition each May
• Annual Spring Show
• Annual Christmas Show
• Annual Cabaret Dinner and Show
• Annual Awards Banquet in January
• Annual Barbershop Harmony Society schools and training sessions
• Annual Singing Valentines
• Annual participants in the Memorial Day and Flag Day Services
• Annual Performances each summer for Felician Village, Two Rivers "Music Under the Stars" and Reedsville
• Annual visitations/performances at area Assisted Living/Nursing Homes and Holy Family Convent
• Perform with other choruses for special events
• Perform for Business, Fraternal, Social, and Community Organizations upon request

Chordsmen Singing

For more information

Entertainment Requests: call 920-973-SING (7464)
Visitors: Contact Don Hafeman by email or by phone (920-652-4123), or contact any smiling Barbershopper. Better yet, join us when we start rehearsal back up again at our new location, 1501 Marshall Street in Manitowoc, any Tuesday evening from 7-9pm. Our new space is located at the corner of South 15th and Marshall Street, currently used by the Grow It Forward nonprofit organization.

Charitable support

The Chapter donates time and money to deserving organizations and charities. Through Harmony Foundation, the Society's charity, grants are awarded to support vocal musical education in schools and communities. In addition, the Chordsmen support local music education with direct grants to area schools.
Chordsmen Cookies

Board of Directors

President - Jim Rasmus
Secretary - Jon Cisewski
Treasurer - Anthony Schreiter
Vice President Music/Performance - Tim Steffen
Vice President Chapter Development - Don Hafeman
VP Marketing/Publicity - Don Lewellen
Members at Large - Rich Holzer, Keith Duprey, Rich Ongna
Past President - David Rabe        

Chorus Leadership

Music Director - David Buss
Director Emeritus - Roger Gottschalk
Assistant Music Director - Derek Luckow
Chorus Manager - Bob Brey
Uniform Chair - David Rabe
Librarian - Tim Steffen

Early Chordsmen Chorus
Origins of Barbershop-style Singing
Barbershop harmony is music...a fraternity...a way of life — a truly American artform.

Barbershop-style singing originated in the U.S. between 1890 and the 1920s, and was revived in 1938 with the formation of "The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America" in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Barbershop has expanded beyond the quartet and is now sung in choruses of all sizes as well as by all-women and mixed-voice quartets and choruses. From the highest tenor to the lowest bass, man or woman, the style offers everyone the opportunity to sing, whatever their vocal range. Many different types of music are adaptable to the barbershop style, from traditional hymns and southern gospel through to doo-wop, swing and show tunes. Many popular songs have been successfully adapted to be sung in barbershop style. (From Deke Sharon's Article, Barbershop: A Cappella's Martial Art)

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