The Banks of the Wabash Chorus began entertaining under sponsorship of the Terre Haute Elks Club as the "Elks Chanters." The Chanters sang for the first time as part of the 1922 Elks Minstrels and thereafter for other functions. One of the acts in that minstrel was a young quartet named the "Harmony Four". Carl C. Jones sang bass with the quartet and directed the chorus. Carl remained as director until his death in 1953.


During the early 30's the favorite barbershop quartet in the nation according to the Associated Press was the "Mills Brothers". This was not the case in the Midwest. The "Harmony Four" continued through the years as a crowd pleaser. They had a weekly radio show, and sang single engagements and with the "Elks Chanters" on larger shows.


In April 1938, Owen C. Cash of Tulsa, Oklahoma called a meeting of some friends for the purpose of forming a new society to preserve barbershop quartet singing. As a result of that, SPEBSQSA was formed.


The "Terre Haute Elk Chanters" formally organized as a chorus with a designated night for rehearsal, elected officers and set rules in order to compete for the National Elks Championship. The first SPEBSQSA  convention was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June 1939. A new quartet entered the scene in Terre Haute. The "Four Shades of Harmony" began singing as students at Garfield High School performing at school functions and at church. They competed widely, appearing on the Morris B. Sachs Amateur Show in Chicago and winning 2nd place.


In 1941 the "Terre Haute Elks Chanters" won the National Elks Championship competing with four other choruses in the national finals. Carl C. Jones was the director. One of the songs that received national attention was the "Song of the Elks" which was printed for national distribution with a picture of the "Terre Haute Elks Chanters" on the front cover.


The first Indiana State contest was held in Elkhart in January 1945 with Carl C. Jones as the Master of Ceremonies.


The first "Parade of Quartets" in the Wabash Valley took place on May 11, 1946 when the Brazil Chapter and the "Terre Haute Elks Chanters" joined choruses and sang on the show under the direction of Carl C. Jones.


The "Terre Haute Elks Chanters" continued to compete in Elks contests and in 1948, they took 2nd in the chorus championship and a quartet named "Minor Chords" won the International Elks Championship. Carl C. Jones initiated and organized a plan for choruses to compete and a second contest was held in Indianapolis. The district champion was Terre Haute. Quartet Champions from Terre Haute were the "Four Shades of Harmony", who were Cardinal District champion and placed 5th in the International contest in Oklahoma.


The Cardinal District held two quartet contests this year and both were won by Terre Haute quartets. The first quartet was the "Four Statesmen", students from Indiana State University. They did not compete in International due to the fact that the ISU commencement date conflicted with the competition. The second quartet was the "Minor Chords". Singing with this quartet were Jack Beeson, Bob Sisson, Carl A. Jones and Carl C. Jones.


The Terre Haute Chapter sponsored the Cardinal District quartet contest in Terre Haute, which was held in Tilson Hall at ISU. The winning quartet was "Three Kids and a Goat" with Jack Beeson, Donn Jones, Bill Denehie and Carl C. Jones singing.
This was the fourth quartet from Terre Haute to be named Cardinal District champions. Carl C. Jones was elected to the International Board of the Society in 1950 and then to the first Vice Presidency in 1952.


The "Terre Haute Elks Chanter" won the first Indiana-Kentucky District contest and competed in the June 1953 International in Detroit, Michigan. Carl C. Jones has been elected to a second term in June when ill health required him to resign. He died in October 1953 of heart trouble. The next few years were devastating. Fred Gregory directed the chorus for a short time and others attempted to revive the chorus but all failed.


The Terre Haute chapter was re-chartered in 1965 under the direction of Jack Poling and with a new name of "The Highlanders". Other directors during this turbulent time were:


Jack Poling, Wendell Kumlien
Jim Holler
Bill Emerton
James Adams
Charlie Burgess
Dale Scrivinor
Carl A. Jones, Jim Syester, Bill Harbour


Myke Lucas took over the directorship of the chorus in 1977 and under his dynamic leadership the chorus began to grow. In 1980 the name changed to the "Banks of the Wabash Chorus" and barbershop singing was again on the move in Terre Haute. His charismatic leadership and fine business acumen led to the building of the chapter and purchasing our own Harmony Hall in 1986.


"Banks of the Wabash Chorus" won the District Chorus championship and won the invitation of the British Association of Barbershop Singers(BABS), traveled to Warmick, England and sang at the BABS convention.


Represented the Cardinal District at Salt Lake City International convention and contests under Myke Lucas and finished with 15th place. In August 1986, purchased the former Garfield Movie Theater in 12 points for its permanent home.

After 1986? I'm working, please be patient. =)