Mayor 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.
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”.
The 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.”
Outgoing 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