This year has been a wonderful year for all things quartet and so without further ado I give you the inaugural TUBBS Quartets End of Year Report! We’ve had a record number of quartets, both scratch and smooth(?!), this year and TUBBS are proud of each and every one for their dedication to rehearsing on top of their already hectic TUBBS schedule AND uni work. However there are a few to whom it would be quite rude not to give a special pat on the back.
Cue screaming TUBBS groupies and everyone in the Barbershop community for that matter! Although only one member of Park Street remained in TUBBS this year, it didn't stop us eagerly following Park Street’s successes, of which there were very many! Having become both silver medalists and Most Improved Quartet at BABS this year, Park Street are currently in Toronto competing at the International Barbershop Convention – good luck boys! We would also like to take this opportunity to say farewell to a much-loved and member of TUBBS, Ali, and wish him the all the best with what we’re sure will be a fantastic music career ahead.
Smooth, sophisticated, rock the purple. These guys put James Bond to shame. Certainly, I don’t think James Bond could pull off second in prelims at BABS (with a new personal best score!) and 5th overall with a score of over 70 in the finals – very few can. A special mention to Rich, QT’s new lead, for his unbelievable ability to learn new music and slotting seamlessly into the mix!
No, seriously! Having formed only a term and a half ago, a stunning performance at LABS earned them 5th overall in prelims, qualifying for the semi-finals, proudly clutching the novice trophy. And on top of all of this, they scored a whopping 73%. All whilst wearing pink high heels. Holler, indeed! Well done girls, and all the best for the next round – TUBBS are behind you every step of the way and couldn’t be more proud!
Finally, this year has borne witness to 2 stunning Ensembles Showcases, courtesy of Clifton Hill House hall. From full-on contestable Barbershop sets to a rendition of It Wasn’t me by Shaggy they have surely been two of the best evenings in the TUBBS calendar this year.
We were absolutely thrilled to have our Spring Ensembles’ Showcase judged by Craig Kehoe (director of Bristol Fashion) and Veryan Zimber, tenor of Fortuity, Sweet Adelines and LABBS gold medallist! They gave some great advice and feedback to all quartets and I think Veryan single-handedly inspired BOMBSquad to compete this year. It’s so great to have such eminent barbershop-ers supporting TUBBS – we can’t thank you guys enough for coming along!
And the summer showcase? What an evening! More established quartets such as Patchwork and Momentum gave some exquisite performances and throughout the night we had arrangements from our very own Helen Warner, Beth Rothwell and James Whittick. On top of this, the standard of scratch quartets was impressive to say the least - to anyone who ‘scratched’ this year, please accept a massive, congratulatory and metaphorical hug from your Quartets Co-ordinator. Not least because this (hopefully) means you now have 3 new friends! Oh yeah!
But something is missing, I hear you cry! All the best showcases have an act during which the bass swaps parts, becomes the lead, moves across the room to serenade his girlfriend, before pulling a ring out of his pocket and getting down on one knee!
Our answer to that? Iain Hallam of QuarteTones, of course, who left not a dry eye in the house when Harriet Freeman became his fiancée! TUBBS could not be happier for you guys – a MASSIVE congrats to the happy couple and best wishes for the future!
Sadly, that's all for this year's report but hopefully next year's quartets will LEAD us to new horzions - who knows we may even get TEN OR twenty new quartets. I would just love that. BASSically, that would make me BARI happy.
—Eve Robertson (Quartets Coordinator)