Who are Spinnaker Chorus?

We are a group of around 80 local women, of all ages and backgrounds, united by a love of singing. We’re good at it too – we’ve won numerous medals in our annual convention and other competitions. Stick with us and you’ll make plenty of new friends, whilst learning lots and having fun too!

What is barbershop singing?

It’s four-part harmony singing (a cappella). There’s no backing music, just our voices, but the sound we can make is amazing. The chorus is split into tenors (high part), basses (low part), leads (main melody) and baritones (weaving around the main melody). We also learn simple choreography for some of the songs to complete the performance.

How do I know which part to sing?

In the first couple of weeks, one of the music team will have a chat with you and listen to you sing scales or a simple tune, to get an idea of your range and which part will be most comfortable for you.

How do I become a member?

You’ll be introduced to your section leader and you’ll be given a song to learn for an audition. If you pass that, there will be a few forms to fill in and then you’ll be a Spinnakerette.

Help, I can't read music!

That’s okay, many of us can’t either! We’ll give you the sheet music for each song so that you can learn the words and follow your part, but your section leader will also email mpeg files or give you CDs with ‘teacher tracks’. These are professionally produced in four separate parts, so that you can sing along with them at home or in the car to practise.

Audition, that sounds scary!

Don’t worry, it won’t hurt a bit and you won’t be singing on your own. There’s no rush to audition, you can do it when you feel ready and your section leader will be happy to help you practice one-to-one or with an informal quartet beforehand. We won’t expect perfection, we know you’ll be nervous, John will just be looking at your potential in terms of vocal ability and performance.

How often does Spinnaker practise?

We meet every week on a Wednesday between 7:30pm – 10pm.  We sometimes start at 7pm for extra choreography practice on the lead up to convention and other competitions. We encourage regular attendance, as it makes a real difference to chorus performance. There are occasional weekends away and section practices at members’ homes too.

How much does it cost to be a Spinnaker member?

Regular full subscription fees are £20 per month which covers things such as:

  • Your LABBS Membership dues,
  • an all-event ticket for annual convention,
  • plus a contribution to Spinnaker costs of hall, music, coaching and more.

We do make a one-off hire charge for use of several chorus outfits and other essentials, which is currently about £60. There will also be occasional hotel and travel costs for our annual trips to convention and retreat, but we’ll give you plenty of notice about these and can help to find you a ‘room buddy’ to share with to keep costs down.  A number of our members spread these occasional costs by paying a little extra each month with their subscription.

If you are under 25 years of age half the subscription fees are payable and if you share a hotel room with a member paying full subscription fees, you do not pay for the cost of the hotel!

Got more questions?

Feel free to ask anyone in the chorus during rehearsal. If they can’t help, they’ll direct you to someone who can on the Board or the Music Team.  If you still can’t find the answer, please call Leona Berry, our Membership Secretary, on 07976 853965 or email her on Leona.spinnaker@yahoo.com

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