Harpenden barbershop group seeks new chorus director

King of Herts Barbershop choir at Letchworth Festival in 2013

King of Herts Barbershop choir at Letchworth Festival in 2013 - Credit: Archant

Leading male barbershop harmony group, the King of Herts, is looking for a new chorus director.

The present director of the Harpenden-based chorus, Roger Chantrelle, is leaving at the end of this year. He explained: “I have been a barbershop chorus director for over 20 of my 37 years in the hobby. I have loved every minute of it but I am now two years into my second stint with the Kings of Herts and feel it’s time for someone else with fresh ideas and energy to take the chorus forward.”

Barbershop harmony singing – four-part unaccompanied singing – enables men of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy making music and performing to audiences. It not necessary for them to be able to read music – and many can’t.

Performing to audiences in ‘the barbershop style’ enables members to share the hobby with others, both at paid gigs and free shows for charities.

Most choruses in the British Association of Barbershop Singers enter the national competition at the annual convention – a meeting of barbershoppers from all over the UK and wider afield.

The association also runs education events for its members to help them develop their singing and performance skills.

Roger said: “Barbershop harmony singing isn’t just about creating a wonderful sound; you also enjoy the harmony of real friendship not only within your chorus but also within the wider barbershop family. I can assure the new chorus director that they will enjoy working with The Kings every bit as much as I have.”

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Kings’ spokesman Andy Speight paid tribute to Roger’s contribution to the development of the chorus, which regularly competes in national barbershop competitions.

He said: “Roger seeks the highest standards but his direction comes with humour and invention. He will be very much missed.

“His successor will be expected to aspire to the highest standards. He or she will commit to a weekly evening practice in Harpenden, plus a variety of ‘sing-outs’ for charities and the like over the course of a year.”

The Kings have been raising money for good causes since 1983. The active chorus repertoire includes well-known show songs, up-tempo songs and ballads. New songs are introduced during the year and the new director will have a key role in deciding future repertoire.

Andy added: “If the new director also has a liking for creating chorus choreography that will be very welcome.”

For further information and to arrange an initial interview, prospective candidates can contact him by email on andrewspeight441@btinternet.com