Singing contest set to dazzle

Five women will compete for the first time with the Dunedin Harmony Chorus at the Soaring Sounds...
Five women will compete for the first time with the Dunedin Harmony Chorus at the Soaring Sounds barbershop contest next weekend, at which the chorus will unveil new costumes. Pictured are (clockwise from back left) Sarah Connolly, Megan Pettigrew, Susan Lilley, Nicola Thompson and Sharon Chambers. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
High-spirited razzamataz will fill the air in Dunedin next weekend, as more than 350 singers from across New Zealand converge on the city to compete in a national women’s barbershop singing competition.

Thirty members of Dunedin Harmony Chorus are hoping for local support as they compete with 10 other choruses for national honours at the main event on Saturday, May 25, at Dunedin Town Hall. Several members are also singing in quartet competitions on the Friday afternoon.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the "Soaring Sounds" event, and regional convention chairwoman Clare Pascoe said it would be a special opportunity for people to hear barbershop singing live on stage.

"Sweet Adeline Choruses are known for their dynamic performances which encompass harmonies, energetic choreography and dazzling costumes. I think anyone with an interest in performing arts and singing will enjoy the event," Pascoe said.

Dunedin Town Hall had been described by international singing judges as "the best in the southern hemisphere", she said.

Members of Dunedin Harmony Chorus are excited to be hanging up their old costumes and revealing...
Members of Dunedin Harmony Chorus are excited to be hanging up their old costumes and revealing new ones for the first time at the Sweet Adelines NZ contest next weekend.
"There is something about the acoustics in our town hall that creates a unified and clear sound, which is ideal for performing unaccompanied barbershop harmonies."

Musically-trained audience members may catch overtones being created "above" the melodies as soundwaves from the vocalists magically combine in the auditorium.

"For the general public, these overtones translate into a glowing sound quality that builds a real emotional connection to the performance," Pascoe said.

The public can also catch some of the contest vibe at the Octagon on Friday night.

Sweet Adelines members will congregate to sing unaccompanied harmonies in their shared repertoire from 5pm-6pm, including new arrangements of Six60’s Pepeha and Brooke Fraser’s Something in the Water.

"It’s not often you get the chance to sing together like this. The Octagon will be absolutely buzzing," she said.