Sing2022 29th April to 1st May 2022

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The BABS Sing2022 Saturday Show

James Ridout and Christopher Langworthy, our Saturday Show Emcees

We are delighted to be joined by James and Chris as our Saturday Show Emcees. Following the successes of BABS Live! we are delighted to be welcoming them to our first person event.

Forefront, our Saturday Show Headliners

As one of the most sought-after barbershop quartets, Forefront enjoys a busy schedule entertaining audiences across the continent and around the world. They pride themselves in providing their audiences with great music, artistry, and high-energy performance!

Forefront Quartet formed in August of 2009. In 2010 they won the Cardinal District Championship, and in 2010 and 2013 were named Cardinal District Quartet of the Year. The quartet has also enjoyed great success at international barbershop competitions earning a 5th place bronze medal in 2013 and 2nd place silver medals in 2014 and 2015. On July 9, 2016, in Nashville, TN, Forefront scored highest among all competitors at the International Barbershop Quartet competition earned; a feat which earned them the coveted gold medal.

The quartet’s commitment to energy, passion, artistry, and class – and to consistently opening themselves up to, and engaging with, their audiences – has made them one of America’s most sought-after quartets.

Forefront plans to spread music throughout the world for many years to come!

2022 International Seniors Quartet Champions - One Foot in the Stave

“And with a score of 80.8%, your 2022 International Seniors Quartet Champions, One Foot in the Stave”.

In November 2017 at a BQC chorus rehearsal, we had a lunch-time sing to see if forming a Senior Quartet would work for us.  Collectively, we knew we were old enough.  The fun we experienced in rehearsals encouraged us to enter the 2018 IABS International Quartet Contest winning by just 2 points.  Five weeks later in November we were pleased to become the BABS 2018 Senior Quartet Champions.  This led to an invitation to compete in the BHS International Seniors Quartet contest in Jacksonville, Florida, in January 2020 where we won the Silver Medals. We came home and managed just one rehearsal before Covid shut everything down.

Rehearsals began in May last year to prepare for the prospective 2022 BHS Mid-Winter Contest.  Progress was underpinned by excellent, focused coaching and everything fell into place to get us to the Seniors Quartet International Contest in Pasadena, California in January. Here we are, four and a half years on, the current International Seniors Quartet Champions.

It is a great honour to be at this BABS Convention wearing these shiny medals and the four of us are thrilled to celebrate this event with you.

BABS Youth Quartet Champions - Hot Ticket

Hot Ticket were formed in May 2021 and are the current BABS Youth Quartet champions. Made up of Bethany Southworth (tenor), Oli Woodhouse (lead), Isaac Gibbs (baritone), and Joe Nelson (bass), they all live in the greater London area and sing in London barbershop choruses (London City Singers and Meantime Chorus) under Simon Arnott. Citing Throwback, Realtime, and Da Capo amongst their influences, they love a good up-tune, clean singing, and to give the audience an energetic show.

BABS Seniors Quartet Champions - Crown Derby

Crown Derby quartet formed in 2017 when Dick and Delyth Knight moved to the East Midlands and met Paul and Karen Searson.  After experimenting for a while switching parts about, save for Paul who’s our only bass, we settled with Karen on lead, Delyth on baritone and Dick on tenor.  After that we had our most successful year to date, in 2019, winning international silver medals in Spain and Ireland, a bronze medal at our own Barbershop in Harmony contest and trophies in three music festival classes.  2020 started well with a music festival trophy in March…. But through the lockdown we kept rehearsing regularly online using Jamulus/Jitsi, and singing together when we could.  Performing for a real audience at QuartetCon last November was a joy and to come away with gold medals in the Seniors Quartet contest was the icing on our cake.  Thank you, everyone who has supported us over the past 5 years and we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to sing some new songs for you all on the Saturday night show.

BinH Mixed Quartet Champions -The Sharrow Vale Blues

The Sharrow Vale Blues were formed at the start of 2020. We were friends before then and already enjoyed singing together informally; it only took a few WhatsApp messages before we became a real, proper quartet. Like many others, the pandemic slowed our progress a bit and we brought out a few virtual music videos, but due to our homes being within a 5 minute radius of each other, we were able to get back to real life singing really quickly. Through the wind, rain, sunshine and even snow (in April!) we sang some jazz, folk and even a bit of barbershop, and started rehearsing for contest. At QuartetCon in November 2021, we were lucky enough to become the BinH Mixed Quartet Champions. It was fantastic to see everybody again and to see mixed barbershop growing and thriving -  there were no less than 3 mixed quartets who won a gold that weekend, and many others in the other medal positions! We are thrilled to be on the show at Sing2022. Thanks to BABS for inviting us. We hope you enjoy our set and as always, see you in the bar!

Your Emcees for the show

James Gower-Smith

James Gower-Smith is a professional actor and singer working predominantly in musical theatre. He studied Music at the University Of Manchester and went on to train in Musical Theatre at the London School of Musical Theatre. His barbershop career began within the ranks of the Manchester University Barbershop Singers and Hallmark Of Harmony, as well as singing lead with 2015 BABS Quartet Gold Medallists and 2018 International Youth Quartet silver medallists, Tagline. During May 2020 at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, he was particularly honoured to be asked to co-host the inaugural BABS Live! and could not be more excited to be sharing the stage with his dear friend Chris as an emcee tonight!

Chris Langworthy

Chris had never heard of barbershop before signing up to the Manchester University Barbershop Society in his Freshers’ Week in 2011. The following year, Chris became the baritone of his first and only barbershop quartet, Tagline.

Ten years later, Tagline are fortunate to have become the 2015 British Association of Barbershop Singers Quartet Champions and the 2018 International Youth Quartet Silver Medallists. They have recorded two albums and a music video; appeared on ITV’s Britain’s Got More Talent(as guests) and Don’t Hate The Playaz; and have also been featured on radio adverts and e-greetings cards. 

Chris is a pianist, conductor, composer, singer, arranger and (occasionally) a bassoonist. His arrangements have been sung by Tagline on the national stage, and he is proud to be a coach for Vocal Fusion and for quartets across the country. He was delighted to host several of the recent BABS Live! broadcasts, and to give back to an association that has given so much to him.