Convention at Llandudno
WOW….Vale Harmony left the Convention stage with fantastic applause ringing in our ears in a packed Arena at the Venue Cymru in Llandudno on Saturday 30th May.
We were the last of 36 choruses to sing in this year’s convention..no pressure then!…and even though the hall was huge, it wasn’t big enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to get in.. obviously they all wanted to hear us!
Newly promoted last year to the 3rd Division, Vale Harmony were placed 4th out of 11 in the Division.. a tremendous climb in just two years.
Competing against the cream of British Barbershopping with some huge choruses, we were judged 25th overall… a rise of three places on last year. Pretty good going, we think, for a chorus of just 16 men!
A huge thanks to our wives and girlfriends whose whoopin’ and hollerin’ spurred us on when we stepped out on stage in front of that cheering crowd.
We delivered our first number “5ft 2, Eyes of Blue” at a cracking pace and, when the applause died down, sang the emotional ballad “Among My Souvenirs” to end the contest.
Well Done Guys.
Celebrating by the Seaside…Vale Harmony smiling after our performance at Llandudno!
So Close Again at Cheltenham
We took part again in the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts on Saturday 16th May. We didn’t quite pull it off but were were very close behind the winners , the 60-strong choir, Peterborough Voices. We sang our two Convention songs, and performed “with honours” getting 86 points from the judges.
We were described as having ” a sweet tone” and were told “these were enjoyable performances – a friendly atmosphere emanating from you all”.
Club chairman Ian Fothergill said afterwards: “We must have been very close to crossing the winning line in Cheltenham and we can go to Llandudno knowing we can give a good competitive performance of which we will be proud.”
(Above) Vale Harmony after their performance at Cheltenham 2015
SINGOUT SATURDAY – raising money for Movember and Leukaemia Care
SINGOUTSATURDAY – “A GREAT SUCCESS “
(above) Here we are in Hillers Shop..for Movember
Saturday 29th November 2014 was our biggest Singout so far in one day. We did two performances in the morning at Evesham, in the Market Square and the High Street, then moved into Warwickshire to the Hillers Farm Shop complex…. the third year in a row we’ve sung there. We planned three appearances, but ended up doing FOUR, one in the main shop, two in the restaurant and a fourth outside the gift shop in front of the Christmas Tree. Those Evesham and Hillers Singouts were for the Movember Foundation (Prostate Cancer Research) and Breakthrough Breast Cancer research… and we raised £158. Then we had to get to Worcester for an hour’s spot in The Shambles as part of the city’s prestigious Victorian Fayre.
(Above) At Worcester’s Victorian Fayre
We were guests of Leukaemia CARE, who do fabulous work with those suffering from leukaemia. We’re delighted to say we raised £196 for their funds. Thank you to Kayla and Alex from Leukaemia CARE for inviting us and for gathering the cash in their buckets. Thank you, too for all of you who stopped to listen to us at all our venues and showed your appreciation with your applause and your donations. It meant a lot to us. And our thanks, too, to Rachel, our minibus driver from Dudley’s coaches. We really felt like a chorus “On Tour” and you got us safely and superbly from one venue to another. The Saturday Singout completed a very successful November for us. Earlier in the month we’d sung at the Redditch Masonic Club and raised £450 to distribute among their charities, making a total for the month of £800 raised for worthy causes.
Learn To Sing – We’ve Had a Wonderful Time….
A big Well Done to all you guys who joined us on our four Learn to Sing sessions in October 2014. Vale Harmony were among 40 or more choruses who’ve taken part in a nationwide effort to get more men to discover their singing voices . We’ve had a good number of men come along… some of whom haven’t sung since they were kids and others who’ve come back to singing after many years away. It’s been good fun and we hope you’ll keep coming and develop your voices still further. Well done, chaps. And we look forward to next Wednesday when you’ll join us on the risers to put on a show for our partners. Nothing like jumping in at the deep end, eh!
SHOWTIME… In aid of the Evesham Bell Tower Appeal
What a pleasure it was to be part of the Showtime concert on September 27th 2014 in aid of the Evesham Abbey Bell Tower Appeal. Although depleted through four members being struck down by stomach bugs and other ailments, nine of us delivered a programme of six songs which were well received by an appreciative audience. We sang Alexander’s RagTime Band; I Believe; MacNamara’s Band; For All We Know; In My Room and Yes Sir, That’s My Baby.
PERSHORE PLUM FAYRE August Bank Holiday Monday 2014
A big thank you to everyone who came and joined in singing with us at the Pershore Plum Fayre on August Bank Holiday Monday. Was it the rain that brought the crowds into the Baptist Hall or was it the prospect of listening to us and taking part ? We obviously like to think the latter ! At any rate, it was wonderful to see so many men come up and join us “on the risers” to find out at first hand how we build up our four-part harmonies.
DID YOU CATCH US ON BBC MIDLANDS TODAY?
Following our triumph at the Barbershop Convention (see below), the regional TV programme asked us if we could sing them a World Cup song . We had just two days to re-write the words to one of our winning songs, Yes Sir, That’s My Baby, and then perform it in front of their TV camera. If you’d like to see our little cameo performance as part of a report on World Cup songs, please see our Gallery page. We also featured that same day on BBC local radio for Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
CONVENTION May 2014
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.….. of the newly created Division Four at the BABS Convention!!!
A triumphant Vale Harmony, pictured on the steps of the Royal Hall, Harrogate. YES SIR…… WE DID IT !! We are thrilled to bits to say that Vale Harmony, taking part in Convention for the first time in seven years, won top spot… 1st place …. in Division Four. With our upbeat number, ” Yes Sir That’s my Baby”, followed by “For All We Know”, we were given a score of 59.7% , putting us 28th out of the 46 choruses taking part. It was truly a joy for us to be taking part in this special 40th anniversary convention… and next year we aim to take first place in Division Three! Congratulations to Chris Hartwright, our Musical Director, who led us to this fabulous achievement, and our thanks to Eddie Howell, who has put so much work into our coaching . Our thanks, too, to Duncan Whinyates, MD of Anvil Chorus, and to Rob Barber, MD of Tuxedo Junction, for their masterclasses which have taught us so much. Very self-effacingly, MD Chris said afterwards: “I was so privileged and proud to accept the trophy on behalf of the chorus. Their dedication, and many hours of refining our performance has paid off in spades. I was overwhelmed when I was eventually able to get off the presentation stage, and share the delight with the rest of the guys. They put in the time, and effort, I only stand in front and wave my arms about.”
…AND LET’S NOT FORGET OUR “WAGS”
Big thanks to our “Wives And Girlfriends” for all your support, patience and understanding! What fabulous cheers you gave us. Congratulations came in from a long-standing member of the chorus, Tony Dobbins. Tony couldn’t be at Convention but said: “My hearty congratulations on achieving such a wonderful result in your performance at Convention. I know that you all have worked hard to achieve this and you should feel proud of yourselves. Well done all of you. In harmony, Tony.”
SO CLOSE AT CHELTENHAM
What a wonderful time we had at the Cheltenham Festival of Arts on Saturday May 18th 2014 We didn’t win the trophy for best choir ..but with 86 points we were just two points behind the winners, the 60-strong Peterborough Male Voice Choir. But it was a great experience and a great practice for the BABS Convention a week later. We sang both our Convention songs . The Adjudicator said of our rendition of ” Yes Sir” : It was “great fun from the outset” and had “Barbershop performance sophistication in spades” .
PIPPED AT THE POST AT WORCESTER
Vale Harmony were pipped at the post to the title of best adult choir at the 2014 Worcester Competitive Arts Festival on March 15th. We were judged second with Honours at the Festival, held at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester. The title went to the 27-strong Anvil Barbershop Chorus from Birmingham.
BEST CHOIR AT DUDLEY
Above: Vale Harmony with The Simpson Trophy for the best choir in the Open Choir category at the Dudley Festival of Music, Drama and Dance on March 1st 2014. After being presented with the trophy by Adjudicator, Andrea Calladine, Vale Harmony’s Musical Director, Chris Hartwright, said: “The chorus performed really well at Dudley today, demonstrating an ability to sing, not only with humour and fun, but with sensitivity and care. The control in the quiet sections , not an easy thing to achieve, provided an emotive contrast in each of the songs. The Adjudicator said the chorus were obviously comfortable singing together, with the blending of voices being particularly pleasing.