1. What is barbershop harmony?
Barbershop harmony is unaccompanied, four part close harmony singing. Although barbershop style music is usually built on simple melodies and is relatively easy to sing, the a cappella style and the ear training necessary for independent part singing make it one of the most challenging and rewarding accomplishments of a vocal ensemble.
The four parts comprise:
Lead: Sung in the range between A below middle C, and C above middle C. Generally has the melody line.
Tenor: With light sweet pure tone, consistently above the lead. Although tenor is the highest voice in barbershop harmony, it should not be confused with the soprano of conventional singing groups.
Baritone: Has approximately the same range as lead. The baritone harmony notes cross the lead notes; sometimes sung below and sometimes above.
Bass: Bass singers should have a rich, mellow voice and be able to sing the E flat below middle C easily. Bass should not be confused with the alto of conventional groups.
2. What type of music do you sing?
We sing a variety of NZ songs, love songs, popular songs, ballads and uptunes, mostly from the 40’s through to the 90’s. Examples from our current repertoire include Pokareana, Come Fly with Me, California Dreamin’, Mood Indigo, All My Loving, One Fine Day, Dancing Queen.
3. What if I want to join?
Fantastic! You will be invited to come along on chorus nights at no cost for four weeks, during which time you will be voice placed and given sheet music and learning CD of a song to learn. If at the end of 4 weeks you want to continue, you may do so at a cost of $10.00 per week until you are ready to audition. Once successfully auditioned we will formally sign you up with Sweet Adelines International.
4. Will I have to sing on my own?
No. This is a group activity. Some people enjoy singing as part of a quartet, but that is entirely free choice.
5. I don’t know where I sing best. Will I get advice?
Yes. You will be voice placed by our director.
6. When do I get voice placed?
Not long after your first visit.
7. How do you decide if I am good enough?
After you have been learning the audition song for a few weeks and feel ready to audition, you will sing with the chorus and record yourself at the same time. Your Section Leader and the Director will then listen to your recording and let you know if there is any need for correction in words or notes. No need to worry - you don't have to pass the audition first time up.
8. I have no experience. What can I expect?
The sky is the limit. You will have access to weekly training on chorus nights, help and advice from your section leader and opportunity to take part in regional coaching sessions a few times a year. As a group we enjoy entertaining at public singouts several times a year. Every second year our chorus competes in the NZ Sweet Adeline competitions. Taranaki Harmony Chorus won Most Improved Chorus at this event in Christchurch in 2012!