I’ve always loved singing. My Dad had a choral scholarship to Cambridge and sang with Somerset Opera Group for decades so I grew up with singing around the house. I’ve always sung in choirs at school, church and polytechnic and as an adult I’ve been a member of both Swindon and the Bristol Phoenix choral societies. Never have I enjoyed singing as much, however, as when I went to a singing workshop run by Avon Harmony. Instead of battling to be heard against an orchestra or straining to hear my note from the piano accompaniment I could hear the voices around me. For my first time in a choir we did a proper warm up so that I was able to sing all afternoon without straining my voice. The harmonies were beautiful and there was such a wow factor just listening to human voices blending.
I spent the next few months persuading friends to move things around so that I could make a Thursday evening rehearsal regularly. Avon Harmony have been really friendly and encouraging. It has been a challenge for me to have to learn songs off by heart as I have always sung from a score but the benefits of having your hands free and being able to see the conductor all the time are worth it.
I hadn’t known anything about barbershop before but have found an unexpected love of the chords and the blends. Going to convention and hearing the quartets was enchanting. I hope the magic lasts.
My name is Ruth and I have been singing with Avon Harmony for a little over a year. I had always enjoyed singing and had been involved in different choirs at school and university, but I had got out of the habit and not sung for a while when I relocated to Bristol because of my husband’s change of job. I was keen to get back into singing and to meet some new people and I am so pleased I discovered Avon Harmony! Barbershop was a new genre of music to me, but the first time I heard the chorus sing I loved the sound – the harmonies were beautiful and everyone seemed to be having a great time singing.
Everyone in the chorus has been very welcoming and helped me pick up the techniques of four part harmony singing, and I have found it easy to learn new songs as I can listen to the teach tracks on my ipod. The weekly chorus rehearsals are a lovely opportunity to spend time with a friendly supportive group of people doing the singing I love, and we often perform at community events and competitions which gives us something to aim towards and is a lot of fun. Recently I’ve become the chorus treasurer which is a bit of a challenge but nice to be more involved with something I really enjoy.
Hi – my name is Margaret and I was introduced to four part harmony singing by my friend/neighbour many years ago. Shortly after joining the chorus I went along as a member of the audience to see them perform a singout at a local Church fundraiser. They sang many songs from their repertoire and I was so enthralled by their sound that I couldn’t wait to learn all the songs and join them on the risers.
Since then I haven’t looked back. Up until recently I had been a member of the Lead Section singing the melody line. However I have just joined the Bass Section which has brought a whole new challenge for me which I am thoroughly enjoying. I am currently serving as Chorus Representative and have previously held the posts of Chairman and Secretary on the Committee.
Avon Harmony is my second family – full of friends who care and who are full of fun and laughter. We so enjoy singing together and if you can spare a couple of hours please come along to one of our rehearsals and be part of our family for an evening. You will love it. Auditioning is very relaxed these days – if you can hold a note you will be fine. We have great digital teach tracks to help you learn each of our songs which are very varied, so you don’t necessarily need to be able to read music – I certainly can’t!