The Big Bristol Barbershop Bonanza - November 2022

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Kathy Farrell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Sun, 5 Feb 2023

In the UK, and particularly in Bristol, there is a rich and varied tradition of group singing. Bristol has one of the highest number of singing groups in the UK, and certainly is the city with the most Barbershop choruses.

As well as Black Sheep Harmony, there are three other ladies choruses (Avon Harmony, Bristol Fashion and Fascinating Rhythm) based in Bristol- no other UK town or city is lucky enough to have that many! There is also the multi-award winning men’s chorus, Great Western Chorus, as well as a mixed group with roots in barbershop, Bristol A Cappella. Finally, there is a group which was originally drawn from members of these six choruses with the aim of celebrating Bristol Barbershop and a-cappella together, the current mixed gold medal chorus, The Bristol Mix.

All of these groups recently performed in one fabulous joint concert snappily titled The Big Bristol Barbershop Bonanza. Each group sang a few songs (in our case Roar, Blackbird and our much loved ABBA medley), then the concert culminated in a massed chorus with all of the groups taking to the stage together, resulting in a chorus of over 170 members singing Toto’s Africa.  A fab-ewe-lous sound!

Not only was this an amazing celebration of Bristol Barbershop, but raised around £1,600 for local charities nominated by the choruses. Black Sheep chose to donate our contribution to St Peter’s Hospice in memory of our beautiful and much missed baritone, Pat Nowell.

You can hear a recording of the entire concert (with commentary by Harmony UK Podcast) on Soundhound HERE

Sue Davis   

Check out more photos in our photo gallery HERE