An award-winning barbershop quartet from Southern California is among musical guests when Surrey-based Westcoast Harmony Chorus hosts a pair of local concerts this month.
The concerts are good reason to sing for Westcoast Harmony Chorus, which rehearses at Parkland Baptist Church on Wednesday evenings, in the Guildford area.
“Every second year we travel to Sweet Adelines (an annual convention) to compete, so in the off years we hold a show, and this is it,” explained Joyce Gram, the choir’s communications co-ordinator.
“Our last show was in 2015, and that was our 50th anniversary of the chorus, so it’s 2019 and it’s time to do another show. This time, unlike the last time, we have two shows in one day.”
The Newfangled Four quartet, which features tenor Joey Buss, lead Jackson Niebrugge, bass Jake Tickner and baritone Ryan Wisniewski, has won several awards, including the 2013 International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Championship and a sixth-place showing among international quartets in 2018.
“They’re very popular, and very entertaining,” Gram said of the foursome, who’ll perform 35-minute sets at the Oct. 19 concerts.
The 7 p.m. show will also feature Young Singers in Harmony for a couple of songs, following two days of workshops organized by Patti Thorpe at Langley Secondary School, where she works as music director. In 2016 Thorpe was the first winner of the Canadian Music Educator Award given by Sweet Adelines International.
“Every year we hold the workshops for young women, but this time we opened it up to young men as well,” Gram explained. “So they’re in a workshop Friday night and also on Saturday, and they’ll perform at our evening show that day, after working on the songs. The number (of workshop participants) might be as high as 40 by the time the concert rolls around.”
To register for the workshop, for a fee of $40 that includes lunch, dinner and snacks during the Saturday session, visit westcoastsings.com/node/14754.
Tickets for the Sing! concerts at the Bell are available at bellperformingartscentre.sd36.bc.ca, or call 604-507-6355. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35, depending on age and concert time.
At this time last year, the 60-plus members of Westcoast Harmony Chorus prepared for a mid-October trip to St. Louis for Sweet Adelines International’s 72nd annual convention. The chorus won a regional competition in 2017 to earn its trip to the international gathering of close to 10,000 female singers.
In 2013, Westcoast was named the best mid-sized chorus of its kind in the world.