About Vale Harmony

Formed in 1978, Pershore Barbershop Harmony Club is the only Barbershop club in Worcestershire. The Club is based at the St Andrew's Centre in Pershore and sings under the chorus name of:-

Vale Harmony

The club started in Bishampton after a visit to hear a newly formed chorus in Bristol

Under the Musical Directorship of Michael Trollope it quickly grew from its founder membership of four to more than 20.

Michael passed over the baton to Norman Ley in 1980 at a time when the Barbershop revival in England was gaining pace and musical standards were rising very quickly

 At the National Convention competition in 1982 the Club chorus finished in 12th place, confirming it as one of the best choruses in the country.

Dr David Wilson took over the reins In 1984 and also formed a quartet called the  "Amerie Four"    This excellent little group reached the very high  placing of 6th in   the National Convention Quartet finals   in the same year.  

David Morehen followed David Wilson between 1990 and 1995 and in 1998 the club went under the guidance of the 'Dynamic Duo" of John Powney and  Mollle Hilton as Chorus Director.

Although the resurgence of Barbershop Harmony in England only dates back to the 1960s , it is claimed that this characteristically harmonious type of singing actually started here in the 16th Century.  As with lots of good ideas it found its way to America where it was developed, mainly by quartets, in the late 1930s.

Soon, small groups were harmonizing across the States, particularly in barber-shops as men waited for their haircuts- hence the name of Barbershop singing.

In 1964 , when one of the leading American Choruses toured the UK,  they were joined on tour by an English Quartet known as the Barbershop Four. As a result of this tour the idea caught on and in the same year the first British Barbershop Club was formed in Crawley.

From  that simple beginning  the number of clubs nationally  has grown steadily with 60 clubs now singing regularly from Aberdeen  to Plymouth
The Pershore Club  maintained a high standard of performance  and in 1997 was placed in the top twenty of clubs competing nationally.

What is Barbershop?

The barbershop style is unaccompanied close harmony made up of four different voice parts.  The Melody of each song is usually sung by the "Lead" voice part , with three other parts, tenor, baritone and bass harmonizing, using musical chords   which are very pleasing to the ear.

The slnglng style ls easily learnt and it is extremely unlikely  that the often heard lament of  'my voice just isn't good enough' " is ever found to be true.

Because of the four different singing parts most voices can be fitted somewhere into the chorus by the Musical Director .

 It doesn't matter if you can't read music...not many of the chorus can!  Teach tapes are provided from which any of the voice parts can be picked up easily and quickly...and rehearsals are always good fun including a liberal dose of humour as well as singing.

The most suitable age for barbershop singers is said to be 9 to 90 so most people qualify on that score. Costs are very low and compare favourably with other hobbies.

The club is affiliated to the British Association of Barbershop Singers which  celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014.  Vale Harmony took part in the National Convention that year to mark the occasion and came top of Division Four, a category for smaller choruses.

Vale Harmony  sing at a variety of venues within a fifty-mile radius of Pershore. Whilst most "singouts"  have a strong bias towards charity , the club also enjoys entertaining at private functions and social occasions. In  October 1998 the club sang at the Mayor of Evesham's Invitation Ball. In 2013 they were again entertaining the Mayor at his Annual Dinner at Dumbleton Hall.

The club's membership hovers around 20. That's relatively small for a Barbershop Chorus so the club is constantly seeking new recruits for all voice parts.

(With acknowledgements to Basil Barnett, Club PRO in 1998).

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