Bill Litz

Bill Litz started directing the Stockton Portsmen Chorus in 2002.

Bill had been introduced to the barbershop style in high school and was involved in a barbershop quartet while attending San Francisco State University as a Music Education Major. Even though he had the pleasure of singing at a Far Western District event, he wasn't aware of the whole infrastructure that the Barbershop Harmony Society provided.

Music was a "fun thing to do", but Bill didn't see that as his career, so after a change in direction he was on track to become a Software Engineer. Even so he was still very involved in the local music scene; singing, playing trumpet, guitar and bass; performing with church groups and his family - but not doing much in the way of directing. It wasn't until some "old guys" at church asked him to do some gospel barbershop that he found what a fun and gratifying experience barbershopping could be. Soon he, and his son Jordan were competing in division and district contests.

The Stockton Chapter has always had a friendly group of men that approached barbershop in a supportive and encouraging manner. This supportive environment was the perfect place to dust off those old books and help the Stockton guys get more enjoyment from their barbershop experience.

Under Bill's direction, the singing improved allowing the Portsmen to achieve district level scores for the first time in 25 years.

As the old guard stepped aside, Bill and the new Mixed Barbershop Ensemble led the way into the new Everyone In Harmony era winning the Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association Chorus Championship. With new resolve to enable the chorus to be a group of serious performers, demanding personal dedication, striving for excellence from himself and each member, challenging the board and the membership to develop a vision and a strategy to achieve a level of performance that wasn't so important in the past, the chorus most recently won the Far Western District North East Division Championship.

Bill had the feeling for so long that "barbershopping allows ordinary singers to do extraordinary things". But through his experiences: singing in many quartets; studying at Harmony University; participating in Youth-In-Harmony functions; attending countless contest and conventions - Bill found that even though some singers may be untrained or lacking confidence, all are far from ordinary. Each person has special talents and desires that make-up their barbershop walk.

Bill is proud to work with these fine men and women, and hopes that you will consider being a part of their family, making music and experiencing the joys of barbershopping - Extraordinary people making extraordinary music!