Tuesday I was asked to come photograph a workshop for the Sweet Adelines and Barbershop Harmony Society. In case you didn’t know, barbershop is more than just cutting hair. It’s also a style of music. 4 parts, sung a capella (without instruments) in which parts combined to make the chords. And before some of you start – it’s not just ‘old fogey’ music either. There’s quite a bit of modern stuff, such as music from the 40’s to the turn of this century that have been arranged for the barbershop style.
Anyways, the workshop that I photographed is held once a year in various counties and is for kids 8-12th grade. They get music in advance, practice their parts, then on the day of the workshop, they get to work with a clinician that specializes in Barbershop style and helps them refine their singing.
We had a great turnout this year! Over 300 students from 11 High and Middle schools, including one school from Pasco County. (This is the Pinellas County Youth Harmony Workshop) Loads of fun, and the boys were absolutely fabulous! I listened as they rehearsed their first song (“Play a simple melody”) for the first time together, and I could not believe the sound! Very nicely done! By the end of the day, the boys almost had it perfect!
Okay, I have to give some credit to the girls. They did well, considering the piece (which has been the same exact piece for the last 4 years! Come ON people! Switch to something else!), which was “Lean on Me”.
They also had a men’s competing quartet there – PolyFonix. Well done, I must say! They did 2 songs that were the “standard” barbershop style, but then their Tenor broke out and did a rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” that not only rocked the house, but has to be the best non-Queen version I’ve ever heard! 🙂 And let me tell you – I’m a big Queen fan!
Well, there you have it. Check out the websites if you want more info on the Barbershoppers and Sweet Adelines, or go to a local chapter. There are chapters all across the world in both organizations.
I’ll see if I can put up some photos. I have to get some permissions first…..