The Kings’ historic first-time concert collaboration with the Welwyn Harmony ladies’ barbershop chorus was - agreed by one and all - a memory to cherish. In front of sizeable audiences, on two nights at the Sandpit Theatre in St Albans, close on 60 singers demonstrated that when they joined forces there was a significant new presence on the local entertainment scene. John Lough, the Kings’ chairman, said: “We always try to communicate the joy of singing in four-part harmony. Presenting male and female voices in combination as well as singing separately underlined that brilliantly.” While drawing on existing repertoire the choruses sprang some great surprises.
Early on, the Kings sauntered on stage in crazy “sand and sea” costumes. Later, the ladies slipped into glamorous flapper dresses and eased into the impressive choreographic routines which helped earn them the accolade of most improved chorus at the recent UK ladies’ barbershop championships.
The choruses were both formed in the eighties but this was the first time they had collaborated fully in mixed barbershop singing - a growing countrywide development welcomed by Harmony’s musical director Nickie James, who thought the choruses had demonstrated how inspiring it could be.
Guests at the concerts included the Mayors of St Albans and Welwyn Hatfield Councillors Janet Smith and Roger Trigg. The Rennie Grove and Isabel Hospice charities will share a £500 donation from the proceeds. Pictures show: The Kings conducted by departing musical director Richard Miller for the last time. Concert principals, theatrically lit, from the left: Harmony’s performance manager Sarah Stevens, musical director Nickie James, Harmony chairman Ruth Brenton, Mayor of St Albans Councillor Janet Smith, musical director Richard Miller, performance director Drew McKenzie and Kings’ chairman John Lough. Some of the Harmony ladies in their glamorous “flapper” dresses.
Kings' Peter Browell, keyboard, and Nick Cox, guitar, whose music welcomed the audience into their seats as the show started.