We are a ladies a cappella (unaccompanied) chorus based in Milton Keynes. We call ourselves a ‘chorus’, rather than a ‘choir’ because we don’t just sing our songs, we perform them.
We sing for fun, competition and charity in four parts mostly in the ‘barbershop’ style.
A brief history
Our chorus was first formed in 1987 as ‘Keyne Harmony’ and consisted of 8 or 9 people. We rehearsed then, as we do now, once a week — but, in those days, we rehearsed in a member’s home.
In 1989 the chorus had grown to approximately 20 members and became a member of the Ladies’ Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS). Around that time we started entering competitions and performing for various groups, organisations and at private functions.
In 1996 we changed our name to Junction 14 and updated our club image.
The amazing Hannah Washington has been our Musical Director (MD) since 2008.
Junction 14’s main purpose is to promote the singing of songs sung ‘a cappella’— without any accompaniment.
Some of our songs are in the ‘barbershop’ style. The four parts of barbershop harmony are Lead (usually the melody line), Bass, Baritone (known as ‘Bari’) and Tenor. There are more details about our four parts here.
However, our aims are much broader than merely singing, regardless of how technically challenging or interesting it might be. We have defined our aims as ‘the four Es’.
This really speaks for itself. Junction 14 exists so that we can do what we love to do — singing and having fun together.
We perform for many local organisations and community groups — both to entertain and to raise money for charity.
When we’re performing we use facial expressions and body movement to enhance the feeling of the songs and give our audience a satisfying and entertaining experience. We really ‘perform’ our songs, rather than just sing them — and we never perform with sheet music!
Our repertoire includes more traditional barbershop songs and a mixture of ballads and more modern songs.
As well as the musical harmony, barbershop singing stands for friendship. We support our chorus members in their singing journey and through difficult times. We also share their happy times with them. You are never alone if you are a Barbershopper!
As well as enjoying ourselves and entertaining others, we continually work on improving our technique. We have training in sound (to improve the noise we make), performance (to improve our moves and the general way that we present ourselves), breath control (which again helps our sound) and voice production. We’re regularly coached by Hannah (our amazing MD) in our singing technique and a few times a year we have extra coaching sessions with a professional coach.
The Ladies Association of Barbershop Singers (LABBS) holds an annual national competition, known as Convention.
We also enter local Music Festivals and competitions, mainly because we enjoy it, but also because we feel that the experience is good for us and teaches us skills that we probably could not pick up in any other way.
If you think you might like to sing with us, find out more here.