Vocal Evolution

Vocal Evolution
Type of post: Club news
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Fri, 16 Dec 2016

VOCAL EVOLUTION'S @ Perth's  Fringe Festival 2017

Our 2016 national champions, VOCAL EVOLUTION, have put together a show for Perth's upcoming FringeWorld festival. 


The show - “Funhouse” - is a simple love triangle, with the usual disastrous consequences. Set in a freaky circus, it incorporates songs by Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Queen, Maroon 5, Toto and even Stephen Sondheim, all magically re-arranged using the complex harmonies and vocal styling that makes our art-form so immersive and soul reaching.


The guys at VE will add more layers to their vocal talent by utilizing the skills of four cabaret dancers and some acrobats. The show is guaranteed to take Barbershop to a place not seen before in Australia, and the broad appeal of FringeWorld will give VE the chance to introduce our artform to a new public.


"FunHouse" will be  performed over seven nights, from early February. To give Perth's Barbershop community an opportunity to catch up and share the "FunHouse" experience together, Vocal Evolution is encouraging the Barbershop faithful to see the show on Thursday, February 9th. So, catch-up with your singing mates for a pre-show drink and head to down to "FunHouse" for a show that will blow you away. “It’s time to start the countdown – let’s burn this sucker down”


Anthony Carlton

Renne de Waard - 
Member profile.
Now 70 years old, Renne, a cornerstone member of Vocal Evolution, has led a very interesting life and seen a few changes in the Australian Barbershop world.
Renne's life started in the Netherlands in 1946. He schooled and studied in the Netherlands where he attained a Mechanical Engineering degree. Renne then moved to Germany where he worked as an engineer for the prestigious car company, BMW. It was in Germany where he started singing as part of a Church Choir at the age of 24. In 1975, at the age of 29, Renne was married to Tanneke, also from the Netherlands. The couple decided that they wanted to travel and embarked on an epic trip from Amsterdam to Cape Town.
Renne and Tanneke settled in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho where they stayed for seven years. They both found work at the Alpine Mission Hospital - Renne as the hospitals Building and Services Engineer. They raised 4 children. During their time in Lesotho, Renne was also the founder of a training program for motor mechanics.
In 1982, Renne and Tanneke emigrated to Australia and settled in Perth. Renne worked as a motor mechanic and by 1984 had started his own business doing the same. It was one of his customers, John Nelson, who persuaded Renne to rekindle his passion for singing. Renne joined Men in Harmony in 1991.
Renne was just a little too new a member to be ready for the first AAMBS convention over in Queensland in 1991 so he didn't go. However, he did stay a singer with Men in Harmony for 11 years, earning National medals in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999.
In 2002 a small bunch of the keener singers separated from Men in Harmony to form a new group: Vocal Evolution. Renne was one of these founding members of VE along with Warren Beckwith, Rob Sproule, Dennis Westwood, Michael Day, Harry Owen, Adrian Gimpel and David Tout. They rehearsed in a modest room of a house in Fremantle. The lady in the room, Gina D'Souza was to become their coach and first Musical Director.
Renne continued his love of singing Barbershop with both MIH and VE until he was persuaded to choose just one chorus for the 2003 National Convention. Since his retirement from work in 2006, Renne has very much become the chorus' handyman, volunteering his skills and building and fixing everything that the Leadership Team asks of him. Renne has earned eight National Chorus medals during his time with VE. Renne has also been a member of various quartets including 'Back to Bassics', '106 and Counting' and '110 and Counting'. He has earned four Regional Quartet medals and one National Quartet medal. An impressive collection indeed!
Nowadays, Renne has been a BHA member for over 25 years. He is a proud Grandfather of eight and still a keen member of VE but considering retiring from Chorus singing next year because of Parkinson's Disease. But proof of his continuing dedication is his 80km journey each way to rehearsals and Perth based gigs. Sometimes he drives but even when taking over 2 hours on public transport, he always arrives with a smile on his face. Renne remains a positive, contributing, friendly, welcoming member of VE. In 2013, he was presented with the Vocal Evolution, Man of the Year award and more recently in 2016 he has become the second only recipient of Vocal Evolution, Life Member.

Michael Dagless