Barbershop Harmony Australia

In Harmony Newsletter

Tue, 19 Dec 2017

Thanks for Your Support

Thanks for Your Support
Type of post: News
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Tue, 19 Dec 2017

This is my last newsletter article as BHA President. I hand over to my good friend, Dan Millgate, who I am sure will lead you well. I also want to thank all members past and present of the National Council who have provided me great assistance and served all members well. Lastly, I want to thank you, the members, for your support.

When I was elected President, we made some changes. Some were necessary because of our poor financial situation, some were popular, some were not, but the National Council and I strongly believe that they were all for the betterment of our hobby.

First, we introduced annual Conventions. This had been sought for a few years by members, but we needed to make sure we could run annual Conventions profitably. After a thorough analysis, we took the plunge in 2016 in Newcastle. It was a raging success! We did anticipate a drop off in numbers (which we had already seen in Perth in 2013), and that continues. Only half of our members are attending Conventions, and that needs to improve. If you don’t attend Conventions, you are missing a lot!

Along with this we developed new awards for our groups and new events at Convention, like the Andy Aberle Mature Chorus Award, the John Little Show and the Chorus Corral. We also brought in a new Convention management model, with the National Council assuming a bigger role so that our local hosts were not re-inventing the wheel as much as they had been every new Convention.

Next, we introduced Mixed Harmony. This was largely accepted by members (around 85%), but sadly was rejected by a vocal minority who argued that we were changing the nature of our organisation. At a National level, I would say yes, and that’s a positive. In the modern world you simply can’t be gender exclusive any more. At a local level (i.e. in your Club), I doubt that much has changed for your weekly rehearsal or performances. But we now have a whole new membership base that is starting to grow and that will sustain our organisation for a long time. For the first time we have nominated a mixed chorus (Adelaide Allsorts) to represent BHA at the World Mixed Contest in Germany.

I recall the early days of my Presidency in 2014, after our poorly attended Perth Convention put our finances at risk. We had to make cuts to survive, but we have brought those services back to members, with extra activities like the Deke Sharon workshop in Sydney and the National Education Faculty Club visits. Next year the plan is to bring out International educators to assist every Club improve their singing and performance skills. We also saved money by commissioning a re-write of our website to automate the membership process. This has been very successful, especially for the Clubs using HarmonySite website software.

We’ve signed two MOU’s with BHNZ over the last couple of years, one for sharing of Pan Pac Conventions (the next one is in Auckland in 2020), and also to share the costs of our Judging program (the Australasian Guild of Barbershop Judges).

We have refined our membership recognition criteria, and with the generosity of Derek Cosburn, introduced the BHA Medal this year. Congratulations to Mike Donnelly, the inaugural recipient. We also ran COTS programs (Club Officer Training Scheme), and we had visits from International educators, such as Dr Don Campbell.

This year we needed to make some changes to our Constitution, and we took advantage of that to provide for Deductible Gift Recipient status for BHA. What this means is that any donations made to BHA are now tax deductible, and we are in the process of setting up a Foundation to manage these donated funds.

I also remember the visits we had from three magnificent International champion quartets, Vocal Spectrum (2015), Forefront (2016) and Crossroads (2017). These gentlemen are an inspiration to us all.

So, I look back and strongly believe that we have achieved improvements to our organisation that will stand us in good stead into the future.

For me, I want to thank all of you for the honour of being your President. I hope I lived up to your expectations. I will look forward to singing on the risers and in quartet, and I hope to see you around the traps sometime.


Ian Mulholland

BHA President

Cover photo
Ian is shown conducting the Massed Sing at the recent Sydney Convention

High Altitude Harmony

High Altitude Harmony
Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Tue, 19 Dec 2017

Poor old Dick Bushell. The wheels have fallen of the email trail and because we are all lazy sods I bet hardly anyone of us thought to put the second 15th of the month in our diaries as the cut-off date for In Harmony. I know I didn’t.

HAH has had a busy lead-up to Christmas with us singing at venues all over town and just beyond. Our opening Christmas sing-out is always for the Toowoomba Hospice. We jointly entertain the crowd in conjunction with the Toowoomba Municipal Band and it is always enjoyable. Sadly, we know that the majority of the people at the Hospice are there because they have had a loved one enter eternal life just behind where we entertain. We also sang at the Oakey Christmas Mardi Gras, the Uniting Church Christmas Tree Festival, the Lions Club Christmas Lights extravaganza and other venues.

One highlight was a Sunday afternoon in beautiful Queens Park where we entertained members of the Down Syndrome Support Group. And another was singing to patients and staff at St Vincents Hospital.
We have now entered our stand-down period and will gear up in the middle of January for entertaining at Australia Day celebrations.

2018 will see us commencing our tenth year since becoming a chorus and we are going to embark on a big recruitment drive and also commence the planning for a reunion of all past and present choristers and supporters, friends and general hanger-onners in October.

From all of us at HAH to all of the barbershop family…a beaut Christmas and an Awesome New Year.
And don’t forget. You can always catch up with HAH on Facebook. We are constantly putting up interesting music clips and other trendy stuff for your enjoyment. And visit us on our web-site

Paddy Boxall - Secretary

Misty Mountain Moonshiners

Misty Mountain Moonshiners
Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Tue, 19 Dec 2017
Hello from the Deep North! 
We have been working hard with the recruits since our membership drive and instructions from a knowledgeable coach is invaluable for their development. Firstly, BHA generously funded flights for Richard Reeve to come up here and run a workshop for our diminished chorus and some of our new recruits. We have had a very exciting couple of weeks of workshops and performances. 

Escapade at the ORB
The thousand dollars we received from the Sunshine region funded our membership drive and I think we have six or seven recruits who are keen to stay on. A week later, Shane Graham and the quartet "Escapade" arrived on our doorstep. 
There are many people and organisations we need to thank for this visit. They are:-
  • The Sunshine region for paying the airfares, Apex Dental Laboratory for the hire car
  • The Netting Company for fuel cost
  • Friends of Steve Griffin for accommodating the quartet at Tinaroo.
  • Shane had to put up with me for the weekend.
  • The volunteers who run "Tablelands Music Lovers, The ORB", where we held our concert,  were very obliging with their assistance and we thank them very much.
Moonshiners Quartet at the ORB
Escapade ran a workshop for us and the general public on the Friday morning which was attended by another group called Bellacapella who are now keen to start collaborating with us for any future events. We may consider starting a mixed chorus? 

In the afternoon we  checked the venue and set up for the concert that night. The concert of course was the highlight of the weekend. Our quartet also formed a small chorus with the bulk of our recruits and sang five songs during the evening. The local "Hotshots Big Band" provided some great music and of course "Escapade" thrilled the crowd with their performance and Shane acted as Emcee. We even attracted another recruit at the concert. A budding tenor! 

Saturday saw us with another workshop. The skills of our instructors certainly lifted the aspirations of all our members to greater heights. I hope we can manage to attend the next regional competition with our new found talent. The whole exercise was very worthwhile to promote barbershop singing. There are some interested persons who may even try to start a group in Cairns. I hope so!

In Harmony,
Graham Morrow.


Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 20 Dec 2017

The Melbournaires have done a couple of interesting gigs within the last month. "Paint the Town Red" was an afternoon of music and song on Sunday November 26th. Apart from The Melbournaires Chorus, this fund-raising concert was enhanced by the fabulous ladies of the Melbourne Chorus.

both choruses in the "Paint the Town Red" concert


This musical feast to remember also included several quartets, ladies, men's, and mixed, and provided a very enthusiastic audience with a spectacular afternoon of barbershop at its best.

This month we enjoyed a gig we hadn't played for a year, at the Paramount Food

at the Paramount Food Hall

Hall in Melbourne. It is different in that the chorus members perform on the stairs leading down to the food hall at midday, which normally means competing with the noise of knives and forks scratching around for snippets of various kinds of cuisine, and diners trying to hold conversations with table-mates over noisy eaters. Of course the Asian section is much quieter; how much din can two plastic chopsticks make? In fact, this year the diners were far more responsive to the singing, and both they and the chorus enjoyed a number of Christmas carols as well as many other songs from the extensive repertoire. As Ian was unavailable due to work commitments, thanks to David for being MD on the day.

The Melbournaires would like to extend to all barbershoppers their best wishes for an amazing Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.

Terry Phillips.

Brisbane River City Clippers

Brisbane River City Clippers
Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 20 Dec 2017

The Clippers presented their annual Clippers and Friends concert at St Laurence’s College on Sunday 22 October. The concert was a resounding success with the auditorium filled almost to capacity. Many thanks to the supporting acts: Sweet Adelines’ chorus, Redland Rhapsody, the Villanova College Stage Band, Three Squirrels and a Nut, Benchmark, and the Vic Kena Duo.

The Clippers were joined on stage by Redland Rhapsody at the Clippers Annual Concert, October 2017

The Clippers also had the pleasure of singing Christmas carols at three recent events, Morningside Carols in the Park, Greenmeadow Court Supported Accommodation and a visit to the Mater Hospital in South Brisbane. All three events were well-received by the public and we look forward to returning to perform again in 2018.

1The Five Young Cannibals at their debut performance in South Brisbane, December 2017

Following on from the success of the Clippers quartet “Three Squirrels and a Nut”, a second Clippers quartet has formed, going by the name the “Five Young Cannibals”. The “Cannibals” were privileged to perform their first public performance in South Brisbane at local musician and drum teacher, Steve Powell’s: “Student Drum Concert”. The “Cannibals” were joined on stage for a few songs by some of Steve Powell’s students, creating a great musical community atmosphere.

The Clippers look forward to 2018, where we will host the regional competition in April at the new Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre. The event aims to showcase the depth of talent in the region, leading to the Adelaide convention in September 2018.

Chorus members wish everyone in the fraternity all the best for the coming festive season and a successful 2018.

Steven Deans

River City Clippers

Executive Committee Member

Welcome to our newest members

Welcome to our newest members
Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Welcome to all our new members who have joined us since our last Newsletter.



Newcastle Harmony Club



High Altitude Harmony Inc.



Vocal Evolution Inc



Bayside Barbershop Singers Inc



Bayside Barbershop Singers Inc



Bayside Barbershop Singers Inc



Bayside Barbershop Singers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Brisbane River City Clippers Inc



Sunshine Coast Barbershop Chorus Inc



Pivotal Point Harmony Inc



Southside Harmony Mens Barbershop Chorus



Southside Harmony Mens Barbershop Chorus



Southside Harmony Mens Barbershop Chorus



Southside Harmony Mens Barbershop Chorus



Southside Harmony Mens Barbershop Chorus



Wollongong Mens Barbershop Chorus Inc



Wollongong Mens Barbershop Chorus Inc



Wollongong Mens Barbershop Chorus Inc



Adelaide Allsorts Inc



Adelaide Allsorts Inc



Adelaide Allsorts Inc



Central Coast Barbershop Chorus



Central Coast Barbershop Chorus



Western Melbourne Men's Chorus



Misty Mountain Moonshiners



Misty Mountain Moonshiners



Misty Mountain Moonshiners



Misty Mountain Moonshiners



Ipswich A Cappella Harmony Club



Ipswich A Cappella Harmony Club



Ipswich A Cappella Harmony Club



Ipswich A Cappella Harmony Club



Sydney Harmony Inc



Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Our Newsletter will be undergoing a revamp in the new year aimed at freshening it up and making it more readable and relevant. If anyone would like to make any suggestions or comments about the current format and anything you may like to see improved please feel free to send your comments to

Thanks and have a great Christmas
Dick Bushell - Newsletter Editor

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor
Type of post: "In Harmony" Newsletter
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 20 Dec 2017
My name is Andrew Wright and I sing tenor with the Melbournaires Harmony Chorus.  After a show in the last week of November, I had a nasty fall in which I broke my hip.  Whilst incapacitated I wrote a poem about my experience.  I attended rehearsal last night and I read this poem to the chorus and they suggested that you may like to include it the magazine.
I'm not sure if it's appropriate for the magazine - the decision is entirely yours but if not then I hope you can at least enjoy the story yourself.

(Hi Andrew, Very clever and amusing Ed.)


The Hipster – A Tale of Woe 

The story I tell is a tale of woe but one which must be told
So please sit back and listen as the details I unfold
It started in November on a Sunday afternoon

The Melbournaires and Adelines had sung their final tune

The concert had gone very well and we all felt some elation

And the audience was standing for our 17th ovation.

The curtain closed for the very last time and we filed off - stage right

A short walk to the dressing room, then home for Sunday night

I skipped along beside my pals in my usual bouncy way

And in the afterglow of a show well done I really felt quite gay

The trip back to the dressing room was very nearly ended

But a set of seven concrete steps had first to be ascended

I usually like to hold the rail when climbing up the stairs

But surrounded by so many chaps I didn't have such cares

We all went up the steps as one laughing on our way

Not realising in the least the price I soon would pay

For as I reached the final step my toe caught on the lip

And it seemed to me that time stood still as I began to trip

I floated through the air just like a sparrow on the wing

But landed on the ground more like an elephantine thing

The concrete wasn't very soft as I knew it wouldn't be

But it felt a darn sight harder when Doug Moody fell on me

Another person tripped on Doug, I don't know who it was

But all this weight on top of me was making me quite cross

I felt no pain immediately - just my dignity was damaged

But as people rushed to help me up the pain I felt was savage

I leant against a metal post feeling somewhat vexed

Whilst all around me folk were asking "What shall we do next?"

"Call an Ambo" someone cried, "No, No." My wife replied

"Take him to our motor car, it's parked just down the side

"If you can get him in the car I'll set off straight away

And if we move him just the once, we'll minimise the pain

I'll take him to the hospital which is not far from our place

I'll be able to visit frequently and avoid the rush-hour race

Now if we leave immediately I can have him there by four

And if I don't drive fast enough - well the morgue is just next door"

So with this plan all set in place I did feel some relief

But when they tried to help me walk I had to grit my teeth

John Howell was standing on my left, Will Hessler on my right

But there seemed to be a problem with the differences in height

With Johnny Howell at five foot one and Will at eight foot three

My right foot didn't reach the ground and the left side scraped my knee

A chair was brought and I sat down - this gave me some respite

And the plan was altered yet again to overcome my plight

That nice chap Michael Williamson accompanied by Will

Decided they could carry the chair if I would sit quite still

Since I am just a little chap weighing only sixty K

This seemed to be a clever plan which would get me on my way

With quite a lot of effort they heaved me from the ground

And strutted forth towards my car without the slightest sound

It was only 20 metres or maybe 30 to the car

And to me just floating in the air it didn't seem too far

The veins around their necks stood out their faces turned bright red

You'd think that little Andrew Wright was really made of lead

In record breaking time they finally got me to the car

Stopping only 14 times to take some R & R

With patient care and gentleness they placed me in my Honda

I thanked them for their kindness as my mind began to wander

I thought, 'The party's on tomorrow night and I'm in terrible pain

But if I take some Panadol I should be right as rain'

"We'll soon be off", my wife said as she came to close the door

"But you'd surely be more comfortable leaning back a little more"

She pulled the lever on the seat, I fell back at full pelt

The pain that then shot through me was the worst I'd ever felt

The screams and squeals of agony which then came from my mouth

Were heard at Seymour in the north and Frankston in the south

“So sorry, my Dear", she calmly said as my face turned ghostly grey

"I'll just do up your seat belt and we'll then be on our way"

So off we went to hospital to analyse my folly

Where my step sons helped me from the car and placed me on a trolley

After 13 analgesic shots the pain would not retreat

And the x-ray showed quite clearly I could not stand on my feet

"Bad news", the surgeon said to me, "You've smashed your hip in two

But we can fix you up quite soon 'cos we know what to do

We'll make a small incision in your leg - a metre long or so

Then with a cleaver and a meat-saw deep inside we'll go

We’ll chisel out the broken bits and fix you up quick-smart

And use some pure titanium to replace the damaged part

Then all we have to do is stitch the fleshy bits back together

We need to use some fencing wire or maybe thongs of leather

We’ll have to stitch you up real good so the bones don’t flop about

Then cover the wound with ducting tape to stop bits falling out”

I felt such comfort deep inside as these kind words he spoke

It’s clear this noted surgeon was a sentimental bloke

True to his word I had the op the very next afternoon

The pain reduced by more than half - to me this was a boon

A few days in the general ward and I was fit to leave

But walking with a Zimmer frame was all I could achieve

Then with some physiotherapy and some wifely TLC

I started to improve at home with my laptop and TV

Some of you came to my home to sing a song or two

It's nice to know that people care when one is feeling blue

I've had the time to write this tale in verse - as you can tell

And I've started writing a country song that's bound to go down well

There's no doubt in my mind that this new song will be a hit

And the title of this masterpiece - "My Achey Breaky Hip"

It's time to wind this story up but just before I do

There's one more thing I'd like to say to warn the folks like you

It's very clear that singing in a chorus is great fun

But I must implore you not to do the silly thing I've done

To finish now I have to say I never would have thought

That singing with the Melbournaires was such a dangerous sport.

ALW (C) Dec 2017