A BarbershopmusicUK interview
BarbershopmusicUK appeared from nowhere on Facebook two years ago. What inspired you to launch the page?
My other half pretty much stumbled across barbershop whilst looking for an outlet for her passion for singing. As the 1-evening-a-week hobby soon turned into more of an obsession, it started to rub off! From the outside looking in, I found the barbershop world intriguing. But it soon came clear to me that the missing piece of the jigsaw was a UK take on things.
Have you been surprised at the rapid growth of your Facebook page?
Yes! Having never done anything like this before I wasn’t sure how you go about spreading the word and gaining support, so I basically just put it out there and somehow word got out and it began to gather momentum.
How do you keep your page interesting for your followers?
It’s been a bit of trial and error, getting the balance right. I try to be informative, and timely with the information I share but also keep things ticking over with random, light hearted posts and fun graphics.
What has been your highlight since running the page?
Can’t lie, I got a bit of a kick when I heard BarbershopmusicUK being mentioned on a couple of webcasts. It’s also great when our posts get pick up and shared by another page, whether it by one of the organisations, groups, a chorus or even an individual.
You mention your other half sings barbershop, but what is your musical experience?
I’ve always had an interest in music and enjoy a wide range of genres. Plus I love nothing more than live music but nope, I don’t play an instrument nor do I sing.
Going to put you on the spot now, what are your top three favourite barbershop performances?
Well, that is a tricky one! So many outstanding performances to choose from. But if I had to narrow it down to just three, I would say the ones that have stuck with me were: Signature performing Dance With My Father at the 2017 Barbershop Harmony Society convention, Rich-tone Chorus’ performance of This Is Me at last year’s Sweet Adelines Interntional chorus finals in St Louis and probably GQ’s performance of one of my favourite songs, The Audition song from La La Land.
Interesting choices, from your answers, you seem to be leaning towards more current, modern arrangements?
Don’t get me wrong, I have a real appreciation for true barbershop, and I find the traditional arrangements and performances wonderful to watch, especially when I get a chance to see it live, but I am excited when presented with an a cappella version of a modern or popular song. I’m fascinated and intrigued how both the arranger and performers can take a piece of music and transform into something really special using just voices, especially when they’re able to keep the integrity of the original.
Where do you see the future of UK barbershop?
I have to say, the immediate future is looking pretty exciting. With IES being held in Manchester this year alongside the Rising Star Competition, I really hope this will shine a spotlight on the UK and it’s immeasurable a cappella talents. For Sweet Adelines I think the world is most certainly seeing that Region 31 is a force to be reckoned with! With our continued strong presence at the International Finals and our talented representatives getting stronger and stronger, surely it’s only a matter of time! I’m also eager to watch the emerging mixed barbershop scene as its popularity increases. All in all, pretty exciting times ahead. And of course I will be there waving my virtual BarbershopmusicUK flag for them all!
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. One last thing, that I know our readers will be keen for us to ask. Who are you?