Anvil Chorus is the performing chorus for the West Midlands Barbershop Harmony Club – a chorus of with an average membership of approximately 25 – 45 males from all age groups. We do not have an upper or lower age limit but members under 18 years of age have to be supervised and must have an approved supervisor (or guardian) present who must have DBS (formerly CRB) approval. We are West Midlands based, but will perform outside of that area if required. We’re not a theatrical, theological or thespian organisation; we sing unaccompanied four-part close-harmony (a capella) in traditional barbershop style. As a registered charity we raise funds for various other charities by singing at organised events. We rehearse every Tuesday at Grove Vale Primary School and guests are always welcome.
Why not make your function something special? We will perform for you at any event: weddings, shows, parties, promotions. Just complete the booking form below and we will contact you for further details.
If you want to sing then there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t.
You may sing in the bathroom, the car or round the house, even after a pint in the pub.
You might never have sung or always wanted to try.
You might just want to know if you can sing in tune.
Maybe discover your voice; Bass, Baritone, Lead or Tenor?
Many people sing for health reasons — it’s good for the heart, lungs and general health and they say it’s good for the soul!
You’d be surprised how many good singers were told, at school, to mime but never sing — don’t be put off.
Why not pop in and listen to us or join-in?
No fee, no obligation, no hard sell, you don’t have to read music and you won’t be subjected to an embarrassing audition. Come along any Tuesday or on the special ‘want2sing’ day shown below.
What will you expect to get if you come along ?
- A warm welcome.
- Some of the best vocal coaching in the UK.
- Ways to make the most of your voice and lungs.
- An embracing sense of camaraderie.
Who are we?
We’re West Midlands Barbershop Harmony Club – a chorus of 40 males aged from 18 to infinity but there’s no upper or lower age limit. We perform mainly around the West Midlands region but compete all around the country. We’re not a theatrical, theological or thespian organisation; we sing unaccompanied four-part close-harmony in traditional barbershop style. We’re a registered charity and we raise money for charity. Registered Charity No.1145036
Why do we need new members?
As younger members go to college or university and older members retire to pastures new we need to maintain our numbers for optimum sound.
As we perform and compete throughout the year not every member of Anvil Chorus (our performing chorus) can sing on every occasion whether it be a competition, wedding, concert, festival or public entertainment so we need to have more members than perform each time.
You’d not just be joining a local chorus but you’d be part of the 6,000 national and 70,000-strong international network of like-minded singers. We’re all about creating top quality singing and already recognised as one of the the top choruses in the UK but we certainly also make time to enjoy ourselves socially.
Where do we meet and when ?
From 7.30pm to 10.00 pm (1930-2200hrs) each Tuesday, we meet in Grove Vale School, Monksfield Avenue, Great Barr, B’ham B43 6AL (only 1 mile from M6 J7)
Come and join us.
Since 2005 we’ve been running a free course to give men a taste of what it’s like. You wouldn’t be the only new person arriving to give it a try as our courses are very popular and advance registration is advised.
For Details of our next course – Watch This Space!
You may contact us by phone on (phone number), by email at (email) or by completing the contact form below. You are also welcome to join us any Tuesday evening at Grove Vale School where we rehearse between 7:30 PM and 10:00 PM.
In 1976 two separate groups based in the West Midlands area, both aspiring to sing in barbershop harmony and inspired by a previously shown BBC TV programme of the American Barbershop Convention/Contest, became aware of their joint existence and contact was made. We discovered that in 1974, the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) had been founded and that their 1976 Convention Show would take place in September at Birmingham Town Hall. Rod Butcher of Menzies High School teacher’s group and Dennis Hodgetts of the “K&J” quartet were present in the audience; the resultant enthusiasm engendered by the superb entertainment cemented the the resolve to form an embryo club from both factions. With Chris Harker, music teacher, as our guest director, the school music room provided an excellent rehearsal venue. Gradually the group began to flourish and in 1977 the West Midlands Barbershop Harmony Club was founded, with Geoff Robinson as its first Chairman.
On February 11th 1978, a group of 7 or 8 from the club, with wives and friends, traveled by minibus to Stroud in Gloucester to see a show given by the BABS Champions, Great Western Chorus from Bristol. During the afterglow, the Anvil Chorus representatives sang “Have A Happy Day”, and impressed Bristol CD and BABS music chairman, Mike Charles, sufficiently to pass the audition to gain admission to BABS. This was confirmed at the A.G.M. in Cambridge in April 1978.
Also in 1978, WMBHC attended their first convention at Caister, as mike-warmers, the same year. In 1988 at the BABS annual convention in Harrogate, Anvil Chorus, under the direction of Rod Butcher, came third with an unknown score (High 60s?) still their best position to date, although recent scores under the direction of Rod Butcher have been better getting 69.4% in 2018 (11th) and 69.7% in 2019 (10th) – showing how much the Barbershop standard has improved over the years.
1.Geoff Robinson, 2.Jake Shaw, 3.Les Whiles, 4.Tim Nelson, 5.Dennis Hodgetts, 6.Ray Sands, 7.John Riseborough, 8.Ben Sides, 9.Chris Harker, 10Rick Scott, 11Paul While.
1.Tony Robinson, 2.Jim Swallow, 3.Colin Parsons, 4.Rod Butcher, 5.Michael sides – Director, 6.David While, 7.Stan Cox, 8.Duncan Marsh, 9.Joe Riseborough, 10.Mick Buckley.
1.Simon Hilton, 2.John Ellis, 3.Phil Hilton, 4.Glenn Chaney, 5.Peter Barlow, 6.Andrew Taylor, 7.Bob Duncan, 8.Craig Towns, 9.Don Brotherton, 10.Frank Mason.
(Total on stage: 31)