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In October 2018 members of Surrey Harmony’s Music Team held a Masterclass in Barbershop at Old Palace of John Whitgift School in Croydon. The ‘audience’ were largely the school’s talented Music Award Holders and Scholars. Many of them play more than one instrument and most of them sing in at least one of the school’s choirs. Their proactive teacher wanted to give them an opportunity to learn about barbershop and to experience four part acapella singing. She contacted Surrey Harmony and we jumped on the opportunity to share our love for barbershop with young women.

It was such a pleasure and so much fun to introduce the wonderful world of barbershop to this group of talented girls. They chased overtones, experimented with breath pressure, learnt tags and had the opportunity to sing in a quartet for the first time. They were frankly awesome!

Although the Music Team performed as a scratch quartet, we also showed them a couple of clips of other SAI groups, including GQ quartet who we thought were a great example of a young, modern quartet (not that we’re saying the Music Team is old, but let’s be honest, none of us have been members of YWIH for a while, just sayin’).

We hope that we planted a seed of love for a cappella and barbershop in these young women and that we will see them again soon.  This experience also triggered something in the Music Team members about teaching our craft and we hope we can continue to deliver this class to other local schools in the future. Of course, we also couldn’t pass up the chance to plug The Rising Star contest at IES 2019 in Manchester as a fabulous opportunity to form quartets with our support and coaching!

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