Way back in October 2015…3 years ago…I joined a newly-formed male voice ensemble based in Steyning, Sussex. The aim of the group was to sing to a high standard acapella and barbershop style songs.
I remembered when I first joined a local Small mixed Brighton-based singing group years ago called ‘Printer’s Measure’ and we sung unaccompanied songs how enjoyable that was. This Chorus ‘Vocal Fusion Acapella’ is run by John, David, Tam and our Musical Director Zoe and we meet up every Wednesday night at The Methodist Church in Steyning to practise and rehearse for 3 hours and then go to the local pub The Norfolk Arms to sing it off with a pint of Harveys Best Bitter!
Vocal Fusion Acapella had around 14 regular members for its first year…this grew to 18 in the second year and is now in its third year is 22 strong. We compete, as members of The British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS), in the annual Barbershop Convention which is held on alternate years in late May up in Harrogate, Yorkshire and down here in Bournmouth, Hampshire.
At our first attempt in 2016 we came 23rd out of 38 choirs nationally. The second time in 2017 we improved to 18th out of 40 where we picked up 3 major awards and came top of Division 3 nationally….and this year we improved up to 16th out of 38 with a higher score than last year.
So we ARE improving year by year which is excellent! Our camaraderie is lovely…we socialise together (sometimes) and are now doing more local concerts over the county and a few further afield and also joining other choruses in other singing ventures too.
This singing hobby has now become a regular part of my life so together with my daily work which is singing and entertaining for the elderly in Residential and Nursing Homes all over Sussex I do use my voice a lot…but keep it in good trim too!
PS…Cutting out ‘sugar’ in my diet had helped considerably to strengthen it!