Barbershop City of Sails seeks new talent


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

The energy and passion of the all-male City of Sails Barbershop Chorus is easy to see. In fact, it shone through right from the very first email I exchanged with the group.

In the tiny coffee shop in the bustling Pakuranga Plaza where we met, Robert Kurz, Bryce Turner, Peter Smith, Ken Hughes and Ron Topp recounted how they each got into Barbershop.

Stories ranged from searching the group online years after participating in Barbershop at school, to seeing an ad in the New Zealand Herald — and even an ad in the Howick and Pakuranga Times!

They’re a fun bunch — and they’re welcoming east Aucklanders to jump on board for the 2018 season.

On Monday night they’ll be holding a new members night where anyone interested can come be a “fly on the wall” and see what it’s all about.

The group is quick to assure people there’s no need to be scared – simply relax, listen and find out more…you can even sing if you want (but that’s not compulsory!). If nothing else, pop along for the free cuppa and biscuits.

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 at Balmoral Bowling Club, is currently made up of around 40 members, including a significant contingent of east Aucklanders.

Newcomers are welcome to visit or join at any time.

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.