Would you like to sing with Junction 14 Ladies A Cappella? You don’t need any musical training or be able to read music. We do ask for your dedication and commitment and we expect all our members to attend as many rehearsals as possible — so if you have other regular commitments on Thursday evenings, you may need to think carefully about joining us.
We’re a friendly and supportive group of women from all walks of life and a wide age range. Our Social Team arrange regular social events throughout the year. Have a look at the photos on our Facebook page to see more about what we get up to! (Our Facebook page is ‘public’ so you don’t need to be a Facebook user to see them.)
Our weekly rehearsals take place every week of the year apart from Christmas or when we have a performance on a Thursday. We also have occasional weekend coaching/rehearsals and, once a year, we have a full weekend of coaching with a professional coach. Some Sections (parts) will also get together at other times to practice together in someone’s home. There are no ‘terms’ or ‘seasons’.
We sing in four voice parts with their origins in ‘barbershop’ arrangements. We also sing ‘non-barbershop’ a cappella arrangements.
There’s more information about us below. Just click on a question to expand the details.
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 1890s when men would sing while waiting to get their hair cut. They would sing popular songs of the day and others would harmonise in their own particular fashion. The highest harmony part is usually above the melody line, which differentiates the style from ‘traditional’ choral arrangements.
The Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016. 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 be an experienced singer?
If you’re an experienced singer, that’s great. 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. A significant proportion of our ladies don’t 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 four parts
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 has a light, sweet, pure tone that will complement but not overpower the Lead voice. The typical range is middle C to top G/A.
Lead is normally the melody and is typically sung in the range between G below middle C, and E above C above middle C.
Baritone (usually know as ‘Bari’) 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 singers have a rich, mellow voice and be able to sing the E flat below middle C easily. Basses should not be confused with the altos 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?
Our Music Team will advise you which part your voice is best suited to.
Do you have auditions?
We don’t have auditions but we will ask you to take a short ‘voice placement’ test so we can make sure you’re singing the part that best suites your voice. That’s not as scary as it might sound. You will go somewhere private with our Musical Director and our four Section Leaders who might ask you to sing Happy Birthday and then sing a scale going up as high as you can and down as low as you can so we can hear your range. 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 sing with us in public performances or competitions, you will need to have learned a number of songs from our repertoire. Once you are confident with those, you will take another voice test to confirm you as a fully-fledged chorus member. This isn’t anything to worry about and you will not be expected to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Do you just sing together or does the chorus arrange social activities?
We don’t just sing together during rehearsals and in public performances. We have an active Social Team who organise several events every year — and when we get together socially, we always sing for our own pleasure!
How do I find out more?
You can come along to our Thursday evening rehearsals. Let us know if you’re coming so we can keep an eye out for you. YOUR FIRST 3 REHEARSALS ARE FREE (unless you’re joining us after coming to a free recruitment event) — so you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose!
If you would prefer to find out a little more before coming along, send us an email or send us a message 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.