Singing out for new talent

TALENT: Members of the City of Sails Barbershop Chorus, from left: Robert Kurz, Peter Maxwell and Bevin Fitzsimons. Times photo Wayne Martin.

Do, re, mi, you too?

The all-male City of Sails Barbershop Chorus is welcoming east Aucklanders to jump on board for the 2017 season.

On Monday night, the group hosted a new members night offering men the opportunity to learn how to sing four-apart harmony in a variety of musical genres, with nine new potential members turning up.

Newcomers are welcome to visit or join anytime, said treasurer and singer Robert Kurz.

Being the oldest chorus in New Zealand, the Auckland City of Sails Chorus has maintained a fantastic reputation within the barbershop industry winning multiple competition titles.

The group, which started at MOTAT in mid-1979 and meets once a week in Mount Eden, is currently made up of 43 members including a significant contingent of east Aucklanders.

Long-time member Tony Roberts, who boasts the lowest note in New Zealand and Australian barbershop, started with the chorus when he was 28 and is very proud of what the group has accomplished.

Chorus member Warwick Jones grew up in Howick, joined the group around five to six years ago and encourages newcomers to give themselves a decent opportunity to try it out.

“[At the beginning], you think gosh, I can never do that… but once you get in, it’s fantastic. Singing makes you happy and gives you good life,” he said.

“It’s great fun. We’re the most eclectic bunch you’ll ever meet.”

Members are provided with resources relevant to their part in the harmony and given the opportunity to learn under the direction of an accomplished musical director, as well as compete.

It’s comparable to free singing tuition, said Mr Kurz.

“We spend a lot of money on keeping that in place… it’s very important to us.”

Rehearsals take place weekly 7:30pm at Balmoral Bowling Club, 14 Mont Le Grand Road, Mount Eden and there is no age limit.