UK Harmony Brigade 2024

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Kathy Farrell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 6 Mar 2024

Harmony Brigade

Two Sheep, Noey and Sue, have just taken part in the United Kingdom Harmony Brigade, an annual event of Extreme Quartetting. Noey and Sue have spent the last five months learning twelve songs to performance standard in preparation for a weekend of harmony singing with almost 100 other quartet singers. There were around 25 in each voice part and the aim of the weekend is to sing with everyone else in random scratch quartets. 

There was singing in local schools and care homes and a competition where random quartets were drawn and given a random song to compete with (chosen from the 12) and they were judged by a panel of judges after having 20 minutes of practice. The weekend was topped off with a show where the whole brigade was split into two choruses and each sang 5 of the songs to each other.


Demi Choruses 1 and 2

One of the remaining songs was sung on the show by the winning quartet and the other song was sung by another randomly picked scratch quartet (Sue was picked to sing in this quartet - ‘The Tilers’ singing ‘Up On the Roof’). The rest of the show consisted of acts from the brigaders, acts like folk songs, comedy songs, quartets and even the EQ chorus from last years’ Harmony College - of which Noey was a part - singing ‘Keeping the Dream Alive’.


Over the course of the weekend, each time singers sang together, they exchanged names on a ‘dance card’ and those who managed to sing with all the singers in the other three voice parts qualified for a ‘Tramp’ award. Every single singer achieved this - the first brigade ever (including those in the USA) where this has happened. Those singers who learn a song in two voice parts can also sing with those in their own voice part, i.e. every other delegate, and they are given a ‘Supertramp’ award, which 14 singers, including Sue, did.

There are other Harmony Brigades in Europe and USA, and Noey and Sue are going to the Mixed Harmony Brigade of New England in a few weeks time in mid March.

Sue Davis