Monday 21 September 2020, 04:40 GMT

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Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club

One of my guests this week on the Saturday Breakfast Show was John Clifford, the Chairman of the Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club.

Chelmsford Star Harmony is the stage name of the Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club, which was formed in 1986, being an amalgamation of the Colchester and Harlow Clubs with members from the Chelmsford area.

John told me that a barbershop chorus consists of Lead, Tenor, Baritone and Bass parts producing a special and unique blend of harmony.   The melody is usually sung by the lead with harmonies coming from the other three parts although occasional brief passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.

John told me that a popular misconception is that barbershop is solely sung by quartets and that it was barbers themselves who sang; in fact a barbershop chorus may consist of any number of people and it started with the barber’s customers singing not the barber’s themselves.

John brought a few CD’s with him, one of which was a recording of the Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club performing the classic “Danny Boy.”

Barbershop music features songs ranging from upbeat to romantic ballads with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies which are tailored to cater for all tastes.   Many of these songs are well known and have stayed popular over the years.

Another track was the Rumours Quartet hilarious interpretation of “Over The Rainbow” with new lyrics featuring the woes of obesity in America.

The Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club Chorus is a member of the British Association of Barbershop Singers and regularly competes in national competitions.

The chorus performs for both private functions and various charities throughout the county of Essex and has performed for Chelmsford Borough Council at both the Chelmsford Spectacular and Hylands House.  

You’ll be able catch the Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club next Friday, 14th November at the Emmanuel Church in Billericay. Contact Brenda or Tony on 01277 651988 for more details.

To find out more about the Chelmsford Star Barbershop Harmony Club why not visit their website at – or contact either their Membership Secretary, Terry on 01245 420286 or John himself on 01621 858090.

To finish off we played Vocal Majority’s version of the well known tune “Waiting For The Robert E Lee.”


My thanks to John Clifford for sharing his passion for Barbershop.


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