Jan-Ake Westin was first introduced to the art of barbershop when his wife, Barbro, joined the very first Sweet Adelines chapter in Sweden in the late 1970s. Jan-Ake, originally an instrumental musician, also began singing barbershop in Sweden. After moving to Canada in 1980 and joining The Oakville Entertainers - Ontario District international chorus representative at the time - Jan-Ake became completely hooked on the ringing sound of barbershop.
Jan-Ake is an avid musician, voice teacher and arranger. He is a certified Music Judge in the Barbershop Harmony Society, and a Certified Chorus Director in all three barbershop organizations: Sweet Adelines International (SAI), Barbershop Harmony Society BHS), and Harmony, Inc. (HI). He has published several arrangements for men’s and women’s barbershop, including charts successfully used in competition.
Jan-Ake has a long history steeped in barbershop that has afforded him the opportunity to direct several men’s and women’s barbershop choruses. He has taken them to several regional championships. But he didn’t stop there. One of his HI choruses won multiple international top 10 placements. Recently, Jan-Ake started a new HI chorus that quickly moved up the ranks to achieve “most improved” two years in a row and highest singing score in Area 5 competitions. At the same time, Jan-Ake directed a Sweet Adelines chorus that won Bronze, Silver and Gold Division A medals at Region 16 competitions.
Jan-Ake is a sought-after coach by men’s and women’s barbershop choruses and quartets. He recently received the prestigious Larry Dale Coaching Achievement award at the 2019 Region 16 Sweet Adelines convention.
Jan-Ake is not only the Music Director of Barrie Soundwaves. He also directs Sugartones, an award winning HI chorus, and is Associate Director of Barrie County Chordsmen, a BHS chorus with several district championships under their belt. There is no question about Jan-Ake’s dedication to the art of barbershop and his thirst for life-long learning and teaching of voice in the barbershop style.