PROBE Barbershop

Winner of the 2011 Website of the Year contest.


Web Site of the Year  

PROBE Web Site of the Year for 2011
Winner: The Westchester Chordsmen
Have a look:
The Westchester County Chapter from the Northern Division of the Mid Atlantic District.
Congratulations to the Web Team including:

  • Bill Kruse, Music Team,
  • Richard Kaiser, Marketing,
  • Scott Colman, President,
  • Howard Sponseller, Membership and Valentines and
  • Erik Contzius, Webmaster.


  • The Chordsmen Web Site maintains the best practice principles that are most productive for Barbershop Chapters:

  • Page layout – overall attractiveness and most or all above the fold

  • Quality images & graphics that relate to the topics presented

  • Good use of bandwidth – total page size and download times

  • If providing media samples, following copyright laws

  • Accurate and timely information and

  • overall, an accurate portrayal of the chapter life.


Westchester Chordsmen

The site has a good volume of visitors, brings in guests and converts guests to members, uses social media, blog comments and a growing email list to market their brand to the world from White Plains, NY.

The site look and feel is excellent -grabs your attention with a few good images that rotate. The focus is more on youth and energy.
Nice logo - text and line shaped like a hat, very subtle.
Drop down menu very understated but immediately visible.
Most important, the site produces good results for the chapter.

Webmaster Erik Contzius reports that "The Westchester Chordsmen has maintained a balance of quality and camaraderie. We have always had a great sense of humor and community, and it comes out in our singing. We are competitive, but not to the degree where we lose sense of fun. We are proud of our history in the Society" One of the members, Steve Delehanty, is well regarded as an arranger, coach, and judge at the international level. "Delehanty has helped contextualize the International Barbershop culture in chorus rehearsals" says Contzius.

PROBE provides resources and assistance to chapters to produce and utilize web sites and periodic publications as tools to meet the goals of the chapter mission.

A public chapter site should introduce information and educate its audience quickly. Any site has an extremely limited time (20 seconds or less) to capture the visitor’s attention on the page subject. Always use the site as a stepping stone to get guests to the chapter, bums in the seats or places for your chapter or quartet to sing. Once the visitor to the site contacts you, that is the conversion you are looking for. From there, personal attention takes over and your chapter members can all get involved in continuing the process that was started by the web site. From there, that personal contact that started as 10 seconds on a web site can now last for the rest of his life. In many cases, the chapter site will also support these activities after they have started. That will allow for a members-only section which is a support function to the chapter operations. For each chapter function (treasurer, marketing. Membership, music…) there should be input to the web site. As well, these functions should expect results from the web site. (Sales, promotions, guests, singers using resources to get off paper)