The hills are alive with the sound of men singing in Great Britain. Television shows like Glee and The Choir, along with increasing numbers of You Tube videos of barbershop music, may be contributing to the surge of popularity in Great Britain for close harmony singing. This week over 2500 eager singers are heading to Harrogate, England, to raise their voices in harmony (and competition) at the Barbershop convention. The British Association of Barbershop Singers (“Babs”) has seen their youth membership double in the last 6 months. Membership has increased by 20% in the last 15 months, “Learn to Sing” programs have been oversubscribed, and there are waiting lists for joining the choruses. It’s suddenly cool for guys to sing, and even the jocks are joining the chorus. (Read more about Babs.)
So let’s hope the rising tide of young male singers in Great Britain is also taking place in other countries, including the USA. (Wales has always had a strong history of male choruses. And the Cornish sea chantey singers “Fisherman’s Friends” just had their boat land with a one million pounds recording contract.) Will have to look into this young male singing “phenom” to see if it is happening elsewhere too, and if there is a female equivalent taking place also. Any comments from you would be helpful as I do a little more digging in the future about how singing is faring elsewhere in the world.
In the meantime, treat yourself to “76 Trombones” sung by the Ambassadors of Harmony, 2009 International Barbershop Chorus champions from Missouri: