Rehearsal night on Wednesday 6th February was a different one for Spinnaker Chorus as we took our a cappella, 4 part, Barbershop harmonies to Chichester University. The purpose of our visit was to provide a Barbershop workshop for students studying various music degree courses there. This initiative was the brainchild of Spinnaker Chairman, Jill Cook who is a University Governor and Susan Legg, Head of Music at Chichester.

The music course students were invited along to see the magic of Barbershop in action as Spinnaker passionately sang numerous songs from our varied repertoire for their entertainment. They were encouraged to participate in both physical and vocal warm up exercise sessions with chorus members before our Musical Director, John Palmer explained the finer points and characteristics of the Barbershop genre. Students joined with the bass, baritone, lead or tenor sections depending on vocal range and John taught a short warm up song called Higher and Higher.

Following a short break, it was the turn of the students to entertain the Spinnakerettes. Chi Tones, a newly formed a Cappella group of six hugely talented guys, sang My Evaline and Life could be a dream. These rookies received a standing ovation for their fabulous performance. JP then gave a coaching masterclass, working with the group to enhance different areas of their vocals to develop their unity and performance further. Their sound was so polished and we are excited to watch their development as they grow in confidence.
So impressed were we that JP has invited Chi Tones to guest with us in a future concert.

The misconception that Barbershop is an old fashioned genre is so outdated. Spinnaker Chorus had an excellent time at Chichester demonstrating that our hobby is anything but old fashioned. Chi Tones are definitely proving that the younger generation are perfectly suited to be Barbershoppers. Our music brings happiness and joy to all ages and it was a treat to watch the delighted students as they listened and absorbed what we do. These youngsters are the performers of the future and how marvellous that Spinnaker has been a part of their journey. We look forward to developing a relationship with Chichester University and the possibility of more workshops and events there.