A Treat for Calpe

Mayor of Calpe cropMayor of Calpe, César Sánchez Pérez, greeted over 650 barbershop aficionados at the opening of their En Armonía convention in Calpe, Alicante on Thursday, 3 April. People had travelled from Portugal, Sweden, Holland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Latvia, Lanzarote and Spain’s mainland to take part in the sixth annual convention of the Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers (SABS) over the weekend. This is the first time that SABS has based their event in Calpe and it was very much a testing ground. “Our delegates come from all over the world, and we are keen to establish convention venues with excellent travel connections and accommodation.” said SABS Vice President, Lyn Baines.P1000104

Delegates were based in the Gran Sol y Mar and Bahía Calpe Hotels, with all shows and contests taking place in the Casa de Cultura. “We are delighted with the support and friendliness of the staff” commented Convention Manager, Cath Hunter. “Nothing was too much trouble and they made the whole experience a memorable one”.

WR remco-0898The convention is only open to registered delegates, but SABS put on a special show for the public so that people could have a taste of what barbershop is all about. The show featured the European Champion ladies’ chorus from the UK, The White Rosettes, and Swedish a cappella group, Vocal Six, alongside Calpe’s own Phoenix Dance Group. Local charity, Friends of the Children of Emaús ran a raffle to raise funds at the event.

Town Councillor, Carole Saunders, was on hand to present medals at the national and international contests which were held on Friday and Saturday. The national chorus medal winners both came from Madrid: The Barbees (ladies) won gold and Barberidad (men) won silver. National quartet winners were: Hanfris (Gold – Barcelona), Fourtunattos (Silver – Madrid) and Metropolitan Union (Bronze – Barcelona). Cleftomania (Portugal) received the highest scoring mixed quartet award and Chardonnay (Murcia) received the highest scoring ladies’ and seniors’ quartet award.

International chorus winners were: Sound Waves (Gold – Holland), Crystal Chords (Silver – UK) and Ireland Unlimited (Bronze – Eire). International quartet winners featured PZAZZ (Gold – UK), Backbeat (Silver – UK) and Barberlicious (Bronze – UK).

“I had a wonderful time attending the Spanish Barbershop Singers Convention. The standard of singing was excellent and the organisation of the event went very smoothly” said Carole Saunders. “. What a very friendly atmosphere there was the whole time amongst the competitors. Well done everyone and we hope to see you again in Calpe.”

SONY DSCOutgoing national champions, Spangles (Murcia), were on hand to ‘mic-warm’ for the judges in the chorus contest. “We have had a ball in Calpe and we’re very much looking forward to being able to compete again in 2015” remarked Musical Director and SABS President, Gail Grainger.


The next SABS annual convention is in Barcelona, Cataluña from 16-19 April 2015 where the national and international contests and shows will be held at the AXA Auditori, in the heart of the city’s financial district, with easy access for sightseeing. If you are interested in attending this event or would like to know more about SABS, you can find information on the SABS website: www.sabs.es or contact by email: or

Barcelona Combo

Singing Course A Big Hit!

Following on from the success of the SABS (Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers) free ‘Sing Harmony in a Day’ courses in the Algarve, Madrid and Murcia, two more were held last weekend on the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical to help swell the ranks of local SABS member choruses: New Wave in Fuengirola and Tropical Tones in Almuñecar.

On Saturday, 22 February, 28 men and ladies arrived at Lux Mundi in Fuengirola to take part in the first course. SABS President, Gail Grainger, started with an explanation of the origins and technicalities of barbershop singing. This was followed by breathing exercises and some fun vocal and physical warm-ups, which soon broke the ice. Members of Spangles Ladies’ Harmony Chorus (2011 and 2013 SABS champions) were on hand for the break-out sessions to help the delegates to learn their parts for ‘Nevertheless’, the song that they would eventually perform to family and friends.

On Sunday, 23 February, a further 22 men and ladies took part in the second course in Almuñecar, gaining knowledge about the best stance, breathing and vocal techniques to produce a good barbershop sound and performing Nevertheless’ to visitors at the end of the course.
As a result of the SABS initiative, New Wave and Tropical Tones have gained several new members. “The course was just what we needed to raise awareness of our unique artform” said Bruce Mac Nally. “There’s even talk of a new chorus forming in the Vélez Málaga area” he said.

“The whole weekend has been a memorable one for us” said SABS Vice President, Lyn Baines. “We were made to feel so welcome by everyone and we’d like to give special thanks to our hosts, Bob and Chris Arlan in Fuengirola and Bren and Bruce Mac Nally in Almuñecar, for their excellent hospitality and organisation.”

If you’re interested in singing with either of the SABS mixed choruses in this area, they can be contacted by email or telephone:

FUENGIROLA – NEW WAVE – Call 952 560 651 Email: New Wave Chorus

ALMUÑECAR – TROPICAL TONES – Call 958 784 801 Email: Tropical Tones Chorus

Sing Harmony Costa del Sol

Ever wanted to sing but not known where to start? Did you sing at school and have now lost confidence? Or do you want a change from Karaoke but are not sure how to go about it? Well, help is at hand, because The Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers (SABS) is offering two ‘SING HARMONY IN A DAY’ courses on the Costa del Sol and the Costa Tropical. The first of these will be at Lux Mundi, Fuengirola on Saturday, 22 February and the second will be at the Hotel Arrayanes, Paseo Cotobro 5, Almuñecar on Sunday, 23 February.

You will benefit from the invaluable experience of Musical Director and SABS President, Gail Grainger, backed up by members of an a cappella harmony quartet: Chardonnay. You will learn various techniques during the day which will help you to improve your singing. “This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to improve the quality of their singing voice and to learn about singing four part harmony”, comments Gail. “Those with lower voices are particularly welcome as, in our experience, they have often been told in the past that they can’t sing, which is usually far from the truth.”

“Throughout the day we will learn a new song together and in the evening we will perform live in front of friends and family. This method of learning has proved to be very popular in the UK and we are expecting an enthusiastic response.” There are only 50 places available on each course, so make sure that you contact SABS soon to secure your place:

FUENGIROLA – Call 952 560 651 Email:

ALMUÑECAR – Call 958 784 801 Email:

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