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  • How Low Can YOU Go?!
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 2 Apr 2024
    How Low Can YOU Go?!

    Can you hit those rich low notes?!

    Emma, our Assistant Musical Director, poses with the trophy More Harmony won at Wadebridge Festival of Speech & Music
    It's been a busy few months for us here at More Harmony HQ!  After our Love To Sing course came to a triumphant conclusion, we were straight into competitive mode!  We entered Wadebridge Festival of Speech & Music in the "Small Ladies Choir" category and were delighted to once again win a trophy and receive a distinction!  Our AMD Emma was, as you can see, thrilled to pose with said trophy during a celebratory trip to the pub, afterwards...

    Sadly, due to several members being unavailable to perform the following night, we were unable to enter the festival's barbershop category, but the judges allowed us to perform our barbershop set on Thursday night following our "Small Ladies Choir" performance and we received absolutely glowing comments!  We're so proud of our singers, not to mention our exceptionally hardworking MD.  More Harmony are a team and when we pull together, we've shown that we can achieve amazing things!

    Next up for us was an important recruitment drive.  Our small chorus is fabulous, but we know that with just a few more voices in the mix, we'll be unstoppable!  We began advertising for new singers and were thrilled by the response - we've had some wonderful women through our doors over the last few weeks, all of whom have stuck around and already feel like part of the family!  But there's one section we still need to find new members for...

    How Low Can you go?

    In barbershop singing, the bass section is crucial.  Those rich, low voices underpin everyone else and often have the driving rhythm behind the songs we sing.  Indeed, they're so important that to achieve a good balance of sound, you want to have at least as many basses as you have leads (the part that usually sings the tune), but ideally more.  It's not at all uncommon to find that the bass section is the largest section in a barbershop chorus.  Unfortunately, we currently have just two basses and whilst they're both fabulous, they could do with some back up!

    Liz from More Harmony's bass sectionLiz, our bass section leader (pictured), has many years of barbershop experience behind her and is as enthusiastic and supportive a teacher as you could wish to find!  She and Nat - who not only sings bass but is Co-Chair of the chorus - do a fantastic job together and are keen to welcome new members to their little gang!  So, why should you sing bass with us?

    1. It's Usually Easy To Learn

    Whereas the leads have got a mountain of lyrics to learn and the tenors/baritones have parts that tend to be slightly more of a challenge, the bass part is often simple to pick up.  If you've not sung in a group before and you're feeling a bit daunted about learning lots of new songs, the bass section might be a good fit for you.

    2. If you've sung alto, you can handle bass!

    If you've done any singing before, then you might have heard the terms "alto" or "soprano."  The sopranos sing the higher notes, whereas altos are lower.  Often, we find women who've sung in choirs before will tell us that they can't hit those soprano notes anymore and are keen to move to an alto or contralto range instead.  If that's the case, welcome to the bass section!


    3. Do you sing along with male singers on the radio?

    We know that the term "bass" can be a little off-putting.  You might imagine that we're asking you to sing such gravelly low notes that you'd be giving George Ezra a run for his money!  But in actual fact, if you find yourself singing along to songs by Elton John or Billy Joel, then there's a good chance you've got the ability to sing bass!  And whilst the bass part is the lowest part we sing, we often sing it an octave above the notes written on the score, so we tell music readers not to panic when they first see the sheet music (and no, you don't have to be able to read music - we learn all of our songs from teach tracks!).


    4. Have you been told you can't sing or that you sing too low?

    For a start, we don't believe that at all.  With the right support and the correct methods in place, pretty much anyone can sing.  But you wouldn't believe how often someone will tell us "oh I'm tone deaf, I can't sing a note," only for us to realise pretty quickly that they're a natural-born bass!  Women in particular are often expected to sing high and if they can't, they're all too often written off!  Trying to force your voice to hit notes beyond your comfortable range is not going to yield positive results, so why not embrace those lower notes and come and sing in our bass section?!

    Whatever your vocal range, you're welcome at more harmony!

    Whilst we are on a pretty major bass hunt right now, we are of course still open to singers of all ranges.  There's a warm welcome and a cuppa waiting for you, if you'd like to get involved!

    More Harmony are on our Easter break, but we'll be returning to regular rehearsals at Wadebridge Ambulance Hall from Thursday 18th April at 7:15pm (doors open at 7pm).  We'd love to see you there!


  • A Fab Start To 2024!
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 23 Jan 2024
    A Fab Start To 2024!

    A fab start to 2024!

    Happy New Year, everyone!  Yes, we know it's not far off the end of January now, but it still counts, right?!

    It's been an action-packed start to 2024 here at More Harmony HQ, with lots going on.  We finalised our repertoire for the year ahead, with some exciting new songs heading our way over the coming months.  From classics by Barry Manilow and Bette Midler, to more modern tunes by Take That and Natasha Bedingfield, we can't wait to get cracking!  Our MD and AMD have already been busy recording teach tracks and we're looking forward to putting together longer and more diverse sets to dazzle our audiences with in 2024.
    The basses with their newest recruit!
    Speaking of audiences, we'll be giving our first performance of the year on Thursday February 15th, at Wadebridge Ambulance Hall.  This will be a free concert, marking the end of our Love To Sing course, which got off to a fantastic start on January 18th, with some wonderful new singers joining us.  Over the next 3 weeks, we'll be working with our amazing course attendees to learn two songs - Buddy Holly's gorgeous ballad True Love Ways and the exceptionally catchy Uptown Girl by Billy Joel - which we'll perform for family, friends and anyone who wants to come along and see us strut our stuff!  The chorus will also be performing a few extra numbers for the audience, with a particular emphasis on the songs we're hoping to enter into Wadebridge Festival of Speech & Music in a few weeks' time... Eek!

    In between all the singing, it takes an awful lot of work to keep a chorus going and at our recent AGM, our Chorus Chair Emma and MD Lesley both took time to praise all of the members who volunteer as part of the More Harmony committee.  From organising our performances, to liaising with LABBS, everyone has a vital role to do, without which the wheels of the chorus would most definitely fall off, so if our committee members are reading this, THANK YOU!  This year, our bass superstar Nat, who already does a phenomenal job as Events Secretary, volunteered to step up to the role of Co-Chair alongside Emma.  It's this incredible enthusiasm, along with her friendly, helpful attitude that saw Nat voted as "Barbershopper of The Year" by our members - an award she was thrilled to receive, as you can see from the picture at the top of this article!  MD Lesley then presented the Pauline Gobbitt Award for Musicality - given each year in honour of our founder member - to our brilliant baritone, Alice.  Each week, Alice wows us with her beautiful singing and her determination to keep learning and improving as she goes, so I speak for the whole chorus when I say what a worthy winner she is!

    Lesley poses with Alice, who is holding her awardAnother important decision made at the AGM was to keep Cornwall Hospice Care as our charity of the year for 2024, so look out for fundraising events happening over the next few months!  We are also keen to fundraise for ourselves as a chorus, so we will keep you posted as to how you can support us in our efforts to raise enough money to purchase a PA system (so we can be heard properly when we sing in noisy locations!), along with other chorus necessities.  Keeping More Harmony afloat is a costly business, so you may well spot us busking around the town towards the summer months...

    It really does feel like we're already off to a flying start this year, with new faces joining us, new songs to learn and new events to plan.  We are really keen to grow our membership over the next twelve months, so be on the look out for open rehearsals and courses!  That said, you never need to wait for an excuse to walk through our doors.  We are always open to new singers, regardless of previous experience.  All you need to do is turn up and bring your enthusiasm and you'll receive a very warm welcome!  If you're a woman aged 16+ and you'd like to join us, just drop us a line at or simply pop along to a rehearsal and see what we get up to!  We meet every Thursday from 7pm at Wadebridge Ambulance Hall.

  • Committed To Chorus: Finding The Balance Between Work And Play!
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 15 Dec 2023
    Committed To Chorus: Finding The Balance Between Work And Play!
    As we wrap up 2023 and look ahead to January's Love To Sing course, we've found ourselves focusing on one rather important word, beginning with C.  No, not Christmas: commitment.

    At some point over the years, we've probably all said: "I'd love to do that, but I just don't have the time!"  It's a perfectly valid thing to say - after all, our lives are often full enough with the things we have to do.  Finding the time for the things we want to do can be tricky.

    More Harmony members showing off their Christmas jumpersBut we all know that the key to living happily is finding a balance between the two!

    Every single member of our chorus is a woman with a busy life.  Whether it's juggling family commitments with work, or fitting a social life around an arduously long "to-do" list, each of us has to make the effort when it comes to chorus.  We make that effort for the group as a whole, for each other and crucially, for ourselves.


    Put In the effort, see the results...

    There is always going to be a certain level of commitment necessary for a hobby like ours.  For a start, we mostly learn our songs at home.  So, if we aren't singing along to our teach tracks between rehearsals, we're going to find ourselves left behind.  And although once we're really familiar with a song, many of our members practise at home whilst doing something else, be it cooking, driving to work or even walking the dog, we're all aware that when a song is brand new and we're learning it for the first time, we have to sit somewhere quiet and give it our full attention, to ensure we learn the right notes and, of course, the right words.  Some of our members do this in short bursts over a period of weeks leading up to us starting work on the song at rehearsal.  Others prefer to sit down with a new song and focus on it for an hour or two in the days leading up to us starting it.  How they choose to learn it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that we all arrive on a Thursday night ready to give it a go together!  The effort we've put in between rehearsals suddenly seems incredibly worth it when a song clicks into place and those harmonies start soaring!

    We support one another, too.  Whether that's by holding additional section practises to ensure we're all up to speed ahead of rehearsal, or by being available to talk through any parts that are tripping our fellow singers up, we are always there for each other, doing our best to ensure that nobody gets lost in a sea of wrong notes or muddled lyrics. 

    More Harmony pose in their Christmas outfits after singing for Tanya's CourageA regular date for your diary...

    Then there's the commitment to attending rehearsals.  Yes, it's helpful to be there every week if you possibly can be - you never know when our MD might decide to change the dynamics of a song, or even alter the tempo.  Nobody wants to turn up the next week and sing at full volume right at the point where everyone else drops to a soft, quiet level, after all!  But remember how we're all busy women?  We get that sometimes things have to take priority over chorus, whether it's a poorly child, an unexpectly late finish at work or a serious case of the sniffles (in fact, we'll probably be grateful that you chose not to pass that on!).  That said, we find that having a regular evening each week that can be scheduled as "me time" does our members the world of good!  We don't just turn up to rehearsals because we feel like we have to.  We're there because we want to be!  We enjoy catching up with our friends, letting go of the day's stresses and belting out a few tunes.  We strive to make our rehearsals a fun, inclusive and enjoyable place to be, so coming along each week feels less like a big, heavy commitment and more like a good excuse to let our hair down!  Yes, we work hard, but there's nothing like hearing the results of all that hard work.  When we get a song sounding just the way we want it, there's a proper "goosebumps" moment for all of us.  We've had many singers over the years who've exclaimed "I can't believe we just did that!" at the end of a song!


    Putting it all into practise...

    After all our hard work, practising at home and coming along to rehearsals, it's only right that we jump at the chance to perform in front of an actual audience!  Of course, attending sing outs can feel like a bit of a commitment, too, especially as they tend to fall during the evenings or at weekends.  But whilst we encourage our members to attend as many sing outs as possible - so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour and lap up all that fabulous audience applause - we understand that very few of our members will have a 100% attendance record.  Again, "real life" has a habit of getting in the way, sometimes!  We've all missed the odd performance here and there, but we find that most of us enjoy singing in front of people so much (despite the inevitable stage fright!), that attending a sing out is more of a treat than a chore.  Again, we attend because we want to, not because we're ever forced to!

    So, to summarise, yes, joining a chorus involves commitment.  We'd be lying if we said it didn't.  But unlike some commitments - think "doing your tax return" - this is one that we hope never feels like a slog!  We find that we get just as much (if not more) out of More Harmony as we put in.  Yes, we practise at home and we make the effort to be at rehearsal every week if we can, but as a result of that effort, we get to sing in some fantastic places, meet amazing people, achieve something we can be hugely proud of and have the satisfaction of knowing we're part of something pretty spectacular.  As far as commitments go, we reckon that's a pretty good trade off!

    So, if you're up for a fun and exciting challenge in 2024, we'd like to invite you to book a place on our Love To Sing course, which starts on Thursday 18th January and runs for four weeks (7:15pm-9pm at Wadebridge Ambulance Hall), before culminating in a concert for family and friends on February 15th, so you can show off everything you've learned!  We hope to see lots of you there.

    All that remains is to thank everyone who has supported us throughout 2023 and to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, harmonious 2024!

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