Wight Harmony is the Isle of Wight's premier male Barbershop A Cappella Chorus. We are based on the beautiful Isle of Wight which is situated 2 miles of the south coast of Hampshire in the UK. The chorus has become well established since it was formed in 1977. Wight Harmony is a member of BABS, the British Association of Barbershop Singers, the national organisation for barbershop singers.
Our Musical Director is Dave Bryant. He steers the chorus each week in between and during our weekly rehearsals, giving guidance and encouragement to us all from his musical aspect. He is a full time primary teacher at Northwood Primary school and joined Wight Harmony in 2007. He began directing the chorus in 2008 and has not looked back since. He has a strong musical background. Dave plays jazz trombone in the island's Unity Stompers jazz-band since 1981 and plays guitar/trombone in two local church bands and of course, at his school. He also sings in three quartets, Quaynote since 2011 and with Part Exchange and the Music Team quartet MTQ.
Dave is assisted in running the musical side of the club by the Music Team, consisting of Dave, Nick Gale [baritone section leader], Steve Morris [chorus coach] and Graham Maitland [lead section leader]. The Team meets approximately every 6 weeks. The Music Team also sings as a quartet at performances - MTQ.
We currently have 38 singers. The chorus is built around 4 parts:
- tenor singers - who sing the high notes, harmonizing above the leads
- lead singers - who sing the melody most of the time
- baritone singers - who harmonize between the leads and the basses
- bass singers - who sing the low notes - the foundation of our sound
The Barbershop style we sing is characterised by a four-part close-harmony produced by the four sections [bass, baritone, lead and tenor]. It is sung without any accompaniment or sheet music meaning that all singers have to learn lyrics and notes confidently by heart. Within this genre is a wide variety of music including ballads, songs from the musicals, pop songs of yesteryear, and comedy numbers.
Out and about
The club's aim is to entertain audiences with the best quality unaccompanied singing we can achieve so we endeavour to keep a varied repertoire going at all times so we can perform songs of different styles . We perform all across the island anywhere where we are invited - weddings, funerals, anniversaries, local festivals, charity concerts and other fund raising events, performing in a variety of venues.
We also enter local and national competitions, including the annual BABS Convention. This is also attended by most of the UK's Barbershop choruses - over 50 choruses. Locally, we enjoy entering the annual Isle of Wight Festival of Music, Dance and Drama and the Gosport Musical Festival. We often bring back some success with a cup or two!
In 1978 the chorus adopted Hayland's Farm, as its main fund raising beneficiary. This is a local Mencap site dedicated to the education, recreation and support of young people with learning difficulties. To date we have raised over £40,000 for this essential local charity.
Wight Harmony welcome new singers who would like to try Barbershop singing, They run an "Learn to Sing A cappella" course every two years by which many new singers join the chorus.
How it all began
In 1977, as a result of an item in the local newspaper seeking out local interest in Barbershop Singing, a handful of men met at the White Lion public house, Niton, Isle of Wight. Over the following months they were taught the rudiments of harmony under the guidance of experienced singers from the mainland, and the Garden Isle (now the Isle of Wight Barbershop Harmony Club) was born. Later that year, The Club was of a sufficient standard to join the British Association of Barbershop Singers (B.A.B.S.) and the Chorus was named Wight Harmony.
Telephone: Wight Harmony - 07786 494 751 Quaynote - 07973 767 257