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 became a member of the Ladies’ Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) and by then had grown to approximately 20 members. Around that time we started entering competitions and going out to sing for various groups and organisations, and at private functions.
In 1996 we changed our name to Junction 14 and updated our club image. 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. The voices provide the texture of the music.
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.
However, our aims are much broader than merely singing, regardless of how technically challenging it may be. We have defined our aims as “the four Es”
This really speaks for itself. Junction 14 exists primarily so that we can enjoy ourselves doing what we like to do – singing. Without enjoyment there would be little point in any of it.
We sing on request to many organisations, both to entertain and to raise money for various charities.
In addition to singing we use facial and body expression and movement to enhance the feeling of the song in order to provide the audience with a satisfying and entertaining experience — and we always perform without any music on stage with us!
As well as the more traditional Barbershop songs, we sing a mixture of ballads and modern up-tempo numbers.
As well as the musical harmony, barbershop singing stands for friendship which supports it’s chorus members through difficult times and shares with them their happy times. You are never alone if you are a Barbershopper!
We nominate a charity each year, and try to arrange special charity events.
As well as enjoying ourselves and entertaining others, we like to think that we can improve our technique. We have training in sound (to improve the noise we make), presentation (to improve our moves and the general way that we present ourselves), breath control (which again helps our sound) and voice production. These sessions are often fronted by experts. We have always found them most enjoyable as well as educational.
The Ladies Association of Barbershop Singers (LABBS) holds an annual national competition, known as Convention. To qualify for Convention, regional preliminary competitions are held (rather like heats) in which the highest scoring choruses go through to Convention, which is the final competition.
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 join us, click on this link to find out more.