Wayfarers at UK Choir Festival 2020

UK Choir Festival

On Saturday 8 February, members of the Wayfarers Chorus attended the UK Choir Festival in Manchester. During the course of a very enjoyable day, following an entertaining and engaging warm-up, there were four workshops, each covering different aspects and styles of singing and learning.

Starting with learning simple tricks to help improve our sight-reading and understanding of musical scales, we then progressed on to ‘Choir Energisers’. This workshop featured different techniques for using rounds and layering songs to warm up the voice and potentially use in performances.

In the afternoon, the opening session was a thoroughly inspiring session, covering techniques for singing contemporary rock and pop music. The fact that the techniques used are almost the polar opposite to barbershop and acapella singing, rather than being a waste of time, actually helped understand the mechanisms behind different techniques and how to avoid using the wrong technique for the style we are singing. In addition the need for emotion was stressed, something which is just as important in any style of singing.

The closing session introduced us to the history and techniques of gospel singing, in 3 part harmony. This was possibly the session which was furthest removed from Barbershop, but contained elements of syncopation which are common across the styles.

Each of the members who attended agreed that it was a very enjoyable and informative day. Whilst not targetted specifically at Barbershop, the knowledge gained will certainly help improve our singing.

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