Would you like to join Junction 14 Ladies A Cappella? You don’t need any musical training or to be able to read music. What we do ask of you is dedication and commitment.
We rehearse once a week, every week of the year apart from Christmas, and have occasional weekend rehearsals. Some Sections (parts) will also get together at other times to practice together in someone’s home. We don’t have ‘terms’ or ‘seasons’.
We do need all our members to attend as many rehearsals as possible.
If you think you might like to join us, please come along to watch and listen to what we do.
Once you join, we’re sure you’ll be hooked and motivation won’t be a problem — but if you have other regular commitments on Thursday evenings or weekends, you may need to think carefully about joining us.
We sing in four voice parts with their origins in ‘barbershop’ arrangements — although we do sing a lot of ‘non-barbershop’ a cappella arrangements. Our Music Team will advise which part is appropriate for you.
Click on the links below to find out more.
What is ‘barbershop’?
Barbershop Harmony is simply a style of unaccompanied (a cappella) four-part singing with three parts harmonising with the melody line. It originated in the USA in the 1890’s when men would sing while waiting in a queue to get their hair cut. They would sing popular songs of the day and others would harmonise in their own particular fashion.
The Ladies Association, the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) has been in existence for almost 40 years. It was formed by a small group of “Barbershop Widows” who were so fed up with their husbands going off to their Choruses that they decided to start up on their own. Most of these Ladies’ Choruses are still going strong today!
Barbershop is fun and is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable past-time that allows you to become involved in a musical hobby without having a trained voice.
Do I need to have sung before?
If you have sung before, that’s fine. It’s also fine if your only previous experience is singing in the shower or the car!
Do I need to be able to read music?
It can help to have a little understanding of the language of reading music when learning new songs and you will be given help with this, if you’d like to learn more. Not all of our ladies read music.
Are you currently recruiting?
We can’t always recruit for every part because we need to make sure the balance of parts across the whole chorus is correct. If your voice is suited to a part that we are not currently recruiting, we can put you on a waiting list, and we will contact you when a place becomes available.
More details about our 4 parts
Tenor: Tenor is a harmony part sung consistently above the Lead. Although Tenor is the highest voice in barbershop harmony, it should not be confused with soprano of conventional singing groups. A Tenor should have a light, sweet, pure tone that will compliment but not overpower the lead voice. The typical range is middle C to top G/A.
Lead: Lead is usually the melody and is typically sung in the range between G below middle C, and C above middle C.
Baritone: Baritone covers approximately the same range as Lead. The Baritone harmony notes cross the Lead notes; sometimes sung below and sometimes above. Baritones must constantly adjust their balance to accommodate their position in the chord.
Bass: Bass singers should have a rich, mellow voice and be able to sing the E flat below middle C easily. Basses should not be confused with the alto of conventional choral groups. Many altos can sing the Bass part, but others are much better suited to Lead or Baritone, depending on range and vocal quality.
How do I know which part I will sing?
You will spend some time with each Section to find the part your voice is best suited to and receive advice about this from our Musical Director.
Do you have auditions?
We don’t have auditions but we may ask you to take a short voice placement test to confirm you are singing in the Section that best suites your voice. That’s not as scary as it might sound — all we’ll ask you to do is huddle in a corner with our Musical Director and our four Section Leaders. You might be asked to sing Happy Birthday and then sing a scale going up as high as you can and down as low as you can. That’s it.
How will I learn the songs?
We learn the songs by a combination of individual learning (listening to teach tracks), Section practices and chorus work.
When can I perform with the chorus?
Before you can join the chorus in public performances or competitions, you will need to have learned a number of songs from the repertoire. Once you are confident with those, you will take another voice test to confirm you as a fully-fledged chorus member.
How do I find out more?
You can just come along to our Thursday evening rehearsals. Let us know if you’re coming so we can keep an eye out for you.
If you would prefer to find out a little more before coming along, complete the form below and someone will get back to you. If you’d like us to call you, please give us your phone number and let us know the best time to call.