Dreams and Roses keep contest standards high for Capital Chorus

Dreams and Roses keep contest standards high for Capital Chorus
Type of post: Chorus news item
Status: Current
Date Posted: Sun, 2 Jun 2019

 The second May Bank Holiday is a time of excitement for our chorus, but it's nearly always tinged with a sense of trepidation too. The weekend marks the annual convention of the British Association of Barbershop Singers; two and a half thousand people converging for four days of celebration and song in close harmony. For many it's akin to Barbershop Heaven. 

The focus for our singers at Convention takes place on Saturday, when 35 choruses, comprising more than a thousand singers in all, compete for a series of prizes in a nationwide competition. Last year Capital Chorus won the "m0st entertaining chorus" trophy with a set which included a rip-roaring performance of the Disney song "Gaston". But how to follow it in 2019 - that was a question which kept us awake on more than a few nights. 

In the end our musical director Pippa Goodall, backed by the chorus's music team, decided that choreography and bravura physical performance could take a back seat this year while the chorus further honed its core singing skills. Pippa and the team chose two songs to learn for the contest. Our uptune would be a very demanding David Wright arrangement of the Stephen Sondheim number "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from the musical "Gypsie" . Our ballad, meanwhile, would be "I'll See You In My Dreams", a song first penned in the 1920s by the composer Isham Jones, and for which we commissioned a beautiful new treatment from the young British barbershop arranger Sam Hubbard. 

Our preparations included work with two distinguished coaches, Rob Mance and Simon Arnott, and on the day at Convention we did indeed improve our singing score from the previous year, Overall the nine judges placed Capital Chorus 13th out of 35 competitors, achieving 67.4 per cent of the available marks. 

We'd like to thank our director Pippa, our coaches and all who put in such tremendous effort to achieve such a rewarding outcome beside the sea at the Bournemouth International Convention Centre.. If you'd like to watch this year's contest set then please click here.