Following a 17-year absence, April 2019 saw “Bagatelle” reformed with a new Lead and newish Baritone. We entered the Seniors Quartet Competition in November 2019. We won! It was our first singout as a new line up. Incredibly emotional for reasons we have explained in our story on our website. A year on we could never have imagined writing an article about how we are coping – no social interaction, no singouts, no rehearsals.

After winning the Seniors and qualifying for the National Competition in Harrogate, we started to plan ahead. We got ourselves a coach, the wonderful Linda Corcoran. We chose our two competition songs and various repertoire songs. We then received an invite to sing on the Friday night show in Harrogate and compete at Midwinter 2021 in New York at the International Seniors competition. The year was just getting better and better.

We had a weekend retreat, rehearsing, being coached and drinking (!) at Andy’s (Bass) Dorset village home. We even performed to a group of locals. The last picture we took prior to lockdown was of that weekend with Linda. The world then stopped. Despite not being able to sing we decided it was important to keep up a weekly routine of getting together via Zoom. We agreed to produce rehearsal videos of our new songs, ready for fine tuning when back together again. We have so far learnt and produced videos of 11 new songs. There are a couple we felt were good enough to publish on Facebook and YouTube. One in particular was very emotional for us – Fields of Gold. Rhiannon Owens-Hall gave us permission to sing the song which we thank her for enormously. It was in memory of Steve Hall, a big supporter and coach of Bagatelle in the 90s. We did something different with the recording – we recorded it in Salisbury Cathedral (it’s amazing where you can sing during lockdown!!).

We have recently met up again in a back garden. Amazing to see each other physically, at a socially acceptable distance of course, although the length of hair made a couple of us unrecognizable. We had no intention of singing, but guess what?!  Therefore, at a very safe distance, facing away, we had a very gentle sing. OMG!! We can’t tell you how good it felt to hear four-part harmony live. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 situation is not yet behind us and for that reason we have agreed to meet up just once per month. In between we will continue to Zoom and learn (and record) new songs.

We wait to hear whether Midwinter 2021 will take place. If it does then we’ll be representing BABs on Andy’s 60th birthday. If it doesn’t then we hope BHS will roll over the invitation to the next competition. To sing on an international competition stage would be a dream come true for our quartet.

In the meantime, we are honoured to continue as your 2019 Senior Quartet champions, recently extended until May 2021. 

To find out more about Bagatelle, visit our website Also please follow us on Facebook, Bagatelle – Barbershop Quartet, or on Instagram, @bagatellequartet.