School Response & Updates: COVID-19

Students are currently engaged with our Distance Learning Programmes
Read More

Barbershop Singing Excursion

On Wednesday August 14th, following an arduous trek to Trinity College, seven students accompanied by trusty Maths teachers Mr Acott and Mr Todd, and our extraordinarily talented director, Jo, took part in a Barbershop workshop hosted by The Baden Street Singers with assistance from The Newfangled Four and attended by a number of other schools. I can assure you with absolute certainty that ‘Barbershop’ does not refer to an actual barbershop where bad haircuts are given, but rather, is the act of four-part harmony singing (or, as Jesse from Pitch Perfect so eloquently and fondly describes harmony acapella, ‘organised nerd singing’).

The two hour workshop began with names hastily being scribbled on stickers, then stuck to our ties (naturally, we had to keep things fashionable), followed by an incredible performance by The Newfangled Four. After introductions, we (the 60 students at the workshop) were led in a brief vocal warmup and taught a tag (a few lines added to the end of songs in Barbershop), and then split into the four sections to learn the different parts of ‘Sing!’ by Pentatonix. Upon regrouping after a swift twenty minutes of song-learning (a terrifying experience if you can’t read music and have to pick things up from others, hoping they know what they’re doing), we sang the song over a few times until there was a definitive satisfaction with the harmony produced (which is always harder to appreciate when you’re so focused on making sure you don’t mess up your notes).

The workshop ended with another few performances by The Newfangled Four (the most notable being a magnificent rendition of Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’) and, naturally, photos. We left with Barbershop Harmony Australia pins, the offered opportunity to sing onstage at the Heath Ledger Theatre that Saturday, and an intense hunger for KFC (that particular wish was, unfortunately, not granted, leaving the Year Tens in our group whining and devastated).

-  Eva Revet (Year 12)

After attending the Barbershop workshop on Wednesday, our Barbershop chorus journeyed to the Heath Ledger State Theatre in Perth on Saturday 17th, where, upon our arrival, collected our tickets and took an eerie, yet exciting walk into the depths of the theatre to sign in. With Mr Acott and Mr Todd as our trusty guides, they took us deeper into the theatre’s backstage area, where we found the director of the workshop, Nick, who led us into a large backstage space where we began to rehearse our song for the evening. After our rehearsing was completed, surprising needing only one rehearsal, myself, and along with the Peter Moyes students – which happened to be the only school attending the evening – took our seats in the audience as the show commenced.

Even though the show was incredible, the real excitement came when the song ‘September’, by the band Earth, Wind and Fire, performed by the Baden Street Singers sounded, and we all found our way to a door that would lead us to the stage. We all stood, looking into the wings, and out onto the stage, preparing ourselves for the one of the best rewards you could ever achieve. Besides, we were congregating with the Newfangled Four, who were standing right next to us!

Once our performance commenced, we all had a ball, dancing, and singing out to the sold-out audience in front of us, at least 500 strong. I, personally, will never forget the feeling of finishing our last few notes and hearing the roaring applause and cheer from the audience before me. It will truly be one of those memories you never forget.

Then, as we returned to our seats, the Newfangled Four entered onto the stage, and the loudest cheer I had ever heard sounded from the audience. The songs the world-renowned quartet sang were all truly magnificent, entertaining and beautiful. Especially when Lucy Oosterhoff, a member of the Peter Moyes Barbershop chorus, was chosen to go up onto stage to be serenaded by the group. Definitely an unforgettable experience for us all.

-  Naomi Denston (Year 10)

image image image image image image image image image image