Spirit of Harmony's 2017 Year In Review

If New Year is a time for planning ahead and setting goals, then December is the moment in which we reflect on what we achieved in the past year.

2017 was one of Spirit of Harmony’s most eventful years to date, so to remind you (and us!) what happened, here’s out 2017 Year In Review.

February: Charity Concert

In February we hosted ‘Harmony: A Concert in aid of Prostate Cancer UK’. The show featured Cantar Community Choir and 4 On Demand quartet, and the organisation was spearheaded by Shirley Jenkins. We were proud to raise £2387.21 for Prostate Cancer UK.

It was our first big performance of the year, and the venue was stunning. Luckily, we have the pleasure of performing at St. Michael le Belfrey again in 2018 as part of the Lord Mayor’s Charity Concert.

March: Retreat

Every year we go away for a weekend of rehearsal and socialising. We call it our retreat weekend, and this year’s marked our final visit to York Racecourse Centre, which we’ve now out-grown.

Thanks must go to Rob Barber, who visited us on the final day of Retreat to coach us as we prepared for the national contest.

May: BABS Convention 2017


Having worked hard on our contest set since November 2016, we were incredibly excited to present our ‘Bugsy Malone’ package to the British Association of Barbershop Singers annual convention in Bournemouth.

This was an incredibly memorable performance for us, and we absolutely loved dressing up and getting into character! It was made more special by the two bespoke arrangements, written for us by Dr Liz Garnett. Her work was immediately inspirational and we can’t thank her enough for what she contributed towards our set.

We have some exciting plans for BABS 2018, and we’re even more excited this year as we were drawn to sing last on contest day! We’re hoping to close off the day’s competition in Harrogate with something very special.

June: Moving to York

After spending months searching for a new venue in York - thanks must go to Dean Whitehouse here for his efforts - we finally found somewhere that met our needs. On 29th June 2017, we packed our trailer and moved our base to Holy Redeemer Church in York.

This was a big decision for us, having been based in the Vale of York for a very long time. That said, so far the move is proving to be a very good idea. We’ve increased over 10% in size in the 6 months since the move, with potential new members coming through the door regularly.

Now that we’re beginning to embed ourselves in York, we’re hoping to reach out to other musical ensembles in the area, as well as ramp up our recruitment efforts, so we can bring what we do to as many new people as we can!

October: Achievements in European convention

In October, the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) hosted the 3rd European Barbershop Convention, which takes place every 4 years. We were represented in a number of groups, including 4 On Demand who placed 6th in the European Male Quartet contest.

Furthermore, our MD Sally McLean came away with an unprecedented clean sweep, bringing home British and European Gold Medals for both her quartet SoundHouse and her ladies’ chorus The White Rosettes.

November: Quartet Prelims

3 quartets from Spirit attended this event, which acts as the first round of the National Quartet contest, as well as the National Youth and Senior Quartet competitions.

Waikikamukau placed 3rd in the Seniors contest, and Trigger’s Broom came away with a Senior Gold Medal, along with a mic-testing spot in the National Semi-Finals.

Unfortunately due to ill health, 4 On Demand were unable to perform on the day, but have since been granted a place in the National Semi-Finals by BABS, based on past achievements in contest.

December: MORE Acapella at Ashville

In a bi-annual tradition, we joined forces with The White Rosettes to put on a big Christmas show at Ashville College, Harrogate. As well as ourselves and the Rosettes, the show featured 4 On Demand as well as 2008 British Quartet Champions Monkey Magic.

Despite impending snow, we performed to a packed hall and had a great evening. We also raised around £1500 for each chorus.

What’s next?

We have lots of exciting plans and ideas for 2018, so keep an eye out on our social media pages for news! Thanks for supporting us throughout 2017.