Harmony chorus takes home silver

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For the love of it . . . Musical director Marian Weaver leads Dunedin's Highland Harmony all-male barbershop chorus during the National Barbershop Convention in Christchurch last month. PHOTO: FYI MEDIA

After three years of rebuilding, Dunedin’s Highland Harmony chorus is delighted to come away from the National Barbershop Convention with a silver medal.

The 18-member, all-male chorus, was among 16 choruses and 20 quartets from throughout New Zealand which competed at the convention, held in Christchurch in September.

Led by musical director Marian Weaver, the chorus won silver in the small chorus section for their performance of up-tempo tune Hello Mary Lou and ballad Sweet & Lovely

Highland Harmony’s quartet Bernie’s Boys also competed at the convention, but was not placed.

Highland Harmony president Peter Blackwood said the last time the chorus competed at the convention was for its gold medal-winning performance in 2016.

Since then, it had lost some members and received “an influx of new guys”.

Singing in front of a large audience and international judges was a tough challenge, and the chorus members were delighted with their silver medal.

“Months and months of practise goes into it – not only our regular rehearsals, but also special sessions with visiting trainers,” Blackwood said.

The chorus was supported to compete in Christchurch by grants from Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation, The Lion Foundation, and the Dunedin Casino Charitable Trust.

Now in its 22nd year, Highland Harmony sings unaccompanied and from memory, and has a repertoire of about 25 songs.

New members are always welcome, and the chorus rehearses on Mondays, from 7.15pm at St Patrick’s hall in South Dunedin.

Highland Harmony will celebrate its achievement, and raise funds for the Movember charity, with a concert on November 2.

The concert, in partnership with all-woman choir Distinctive Soundz, will be held from 8pm at St Patrick’s Basilica in South Dunedin.