Top bar­ber­shop­pers to sing

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - RICHARD MAYS

TV show The Naked Choir has thrust cho­ral singing into the spot­light. On the pro­gramme’s judg­ing panel is Palmer­ston North Boys’ High old-boy Matt Gif­ford.

Gif­ford, who with show pre­sen­ter Jeff Hunkin was in world cham­pion bar­ber­shop quar­tet The Mu­si­cal Is­land Boys, is help­ing pass on the bar­ber­shop ba­ton to a new gen­er­a­tion of singers who have strong con­nec­tions to the school.

Daniel Medy­ckyj-Scott, Josh Ellery, Adam Tuiloma Sow­man and Eddy Johnsen make up a Welling­ton-based bar­ber­shop quar­tet called the B-Flads.

The group is spe­cial guest per­former at Sol­stice Har­mony, the an­nual Manawatunes bar­ber­shop cho­rus con­cert on Sun­day in the Speirs Cen­tre.

Brought up in Palmer­ston North, Medy­ckyj-Scott, Ellery and Sow­man all ben­e­fited from tu­ition by ‘‘in­spi­ra­tional’’ Boys’ High mu­sic teacher, Graeme Young.

‘‘Josh and I sang to­gether in the OK Cho­rale,’’ Sow­man said. ‘‘Daniel didn’t sing as much - he was in bands.’’

The boys met up again at the same hos­tel when they went to study at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity in Welling­ton.

‘‘Eddy [John­son], our fourth mem­ber, was also at the hos­tel, and told us about a bar­ber­shop cho­rus called Vo­cal FX. He had a car and would drive us to Tawa for re­hearsals.

‘‘We just thought, why don’t we put a quar­tet to­gether.’’

It was a great de­ci­sion, and with coach­ing from Gif­ford and Hunkin, they won the 2015 New Zealand Un­der 25 Col- legiate Quar­tet ti­tle and were third in the Open Quar­tet sec­tion.

They per­formed for the 2015 New Year in The Square, and in 2016 re­tained their Un­der 25 ti­tle, and moved up to sec­ond in the open com­pe­ti­tion. They also went to Nashville for the Bar­ber­shop Har­mony So­ci­ety quar­tet con­test and posted a cred­itable top 20 fin­ish.

‘‘Matt and Jeff in the Mu­si­cal Is­land Boys have won that com­pe­ti­tion, and they have been in­cred­i­bly help­ful to us.’’

This year, they are look­ing towards the 2017 Pan-Pa­cific Con­ven­tion in Sydney.

The B-FLads will be joined for two shows 2pm and 7pm, by the Manawatunes, Palmer­ston North raised pi­anist Rose Wu, and brass quin­tet SoulE. $20 Sol­stice Har­mony tick­ets are avail­able at Beggs on Al­bert St.

SUPPLIED

Welling­ton bar­ber­shop quar­tet the B-Flads Daniel Medy­ckyj-Scott, Josh Ellery, Eddy Johnsen, Adam Tuiloma Sow­man,

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