On the 8th April – the warmest day of 2017 so far – Grand Central Chorus hosted a show at Loughborough College, where a capacity audience enjoyed an extensive and high quality programme of Barbershop and a capella singing.
The full Grand Central Chorus, led by our Musical Director Zac Booles and Assistant Musical Director Kevan Liebling, performed in both halves of the show, including debuting the two songs we are preparing to compete with at the 2017 BABS Convention in Bournemouth at the end of May. Special congratulations to our two performance “stars” Mark Soave and Bill Barrie, both of whom did such a great job.
The chorus closed the show with a selection of their current repertoire, before delivering a powerful version of “Tomorrow” as an encore. The show also included a wonderfully entertaining performance by guests Syncapella, a Grantham-based group of singers directed by Abi Moore, whose unique style incorporates both syncopated rhythms and acapella harmonies.
We were also very fortunate to have three of the UK’s top male barbershop quartets as our guests on the show. These were: the current BABS Youth Quartet champions, 4 on Demand (whose baritone Nick Bryant sings with our chorus); the current BABS Bronze medal quartet, The Locksmiths (whose baritone is our MD, Zac Booles); and finally Finest Hour (all members of Grand Central Chorus), the highest-ever scoring UK male quartet and the current BABS champions, whose focus for 2017 is their debut appearance at the BHS International Convention in Las Vegas in early July. We were thrilled to have them sing with us and the audience clearly felt the same, giving them and all our other guest performers enthusiastic welcomes and applause.
The compere for the evening was the wonderful Jo Braham, who is not only one of our guest coaches but whose father, Mick Barnacle, sings in our tenor section. Jo is the Musical Director of the Cheshire Chord Company female chorus, and had already been involved with them in a very busy educational day, but still found the energy and enthusiasm to then drive south to Loughborough in time to support our show. Thanks Jo!
As always, the success of this latest Grand Central Chorus Show relied on so much planning and hard work from lots of members of the chorus and their partners – but a special thanks to Mike and Wendy for their usual excellent raffle organisation, to Keith for his Stage management, Karen for videoing the performance, and to Bill and Martin for all their liaison with the venue and as well as the design of the high quality free programme, and to everyone else who contributed to such a wonderful event.
The Chorus is now completing our intensive pre-Convention preparations, which includes our annual weekend retreat where we’ll be working for two days with our vocal and performance coaching team to fine tune our BABS contest package before delivering this in the chorus competition a week later, on Saturday 27 May, at the 2017 BABS Convention in Bournemouth.