Though we weren’t all able to go for the entire trip, we can say without a doubt that we all had an absolute blast on it! It isn’t too often that you get the opportunity to travel the world, and even less so to do it in order to sing with and for people in the places you travel. Being members of a world-class barbershop chorus provides that amazing possibility, and we are both fortunate enough and also diligent enough (we work quite hard at our music!) to have been afforded the opportunity!
The trip began in Derby, England, where we sang with the Grand Central Chorus. The chorus hosted us in their homes and had us perform with them on a show which was spectacular fun! Greg and Chris began their trip here, and they can tell you, the Brits know their beer!
Our next stop brought us to Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, a wine-growing region in Germany! The beautiful little town plays host to a small but mighty mixed barbershop chorus called 4’n More. Here, Chris really took the idea of mixed singing and even now is seeking out ways to bring it to the Ontario District! The Toronto Northern Lights performed with this chorus in a beautiful hall and Greg and Chris also had the opportunity to see some of the neighbouring areas. Hopefully we can visit again someday!
Finally, it was on to Stockholm, where we met with Reuven and Jonah, and perform on the Olle Nyman Show with the EntertainMen, who were hosting us there. The show was an exciting one with an amazing line-up of artists, including The Real Group, Zero8, and Rönninge Show Chorus. If that and just being in Sweden wasn’t exciting enough, the quartet was together again and when the chorus made its next stop not too far from Stockholm in a smaller city called Nyköping, we were attending the Society of Nordic Barbershoppers’ (SNOBS) annual Convention and Open Championship! Though we weren’t competitors, they allowed us the opportunity to perform on their stage as a quartet, and of course it was great to see Trocadero, with whom we would compete in a few months, and Lemon Squeezy, who would be the ones to hand us our medals! The contest was amazing to watch, and their afterglows were truly a sight to behold. They really set the bar for us!
After 9 days of almost daily performances (sometimes multiple times), probably close to 80 hours of travel (between buses, planes, and other traveling), and some amazing and wonderful music, we returned to home sweet home where we could dream of distant lands and prepare for the upcoming International Contest!