Barbershop singers to hit the high notes in city

CORK will be ringing to the sweet harmony of barbershop singing during a major international competition next month.

Quartets and choruses from all over Ireland and Europe will perform as part of the 19th Convention of the Irish Association of Barbershop Singers (IABS), taking place in the city on October 5 and 6.

Cork’s City Hall and the Clarion Hotel will host this events.

One of the world’s top barbershop groups, California-based Metropolis — winners of the American championship for male quartets — will be guests of honour at a gala concert on Saturday night, October 6.

Up to 38 groups from across the country, and from Finland, Sweden, Holland, England and Scotland, with names like Rehearsing For Paradise, Shirazz, Enigma, The Singing Pearls and Tone Cold Sober, will perform at the convention.

Barbershop workshops for students will take place, and some of the groups will take to the streets for free public performances.

Some will sing at masses in the South Parish Church, Holy Trinity Church, St Augustines and St Peter’s and Paul’s Churches.

One of IABS’s roles is to encourage competitions between choruses and quartets. The first national competition was held in 1989 in Birr, Co Offaly.

Since then, the conventions have grown to include many international groups.

Cork has hosted the convention on four previous occasions, and last hosted the event in 2002.

It is home to the first established male chorus in Ireland, The Polyphonics, based in Carrigaline, winners of five national championships, and ladies’ chorus, Java, another Carrigaline-based group.

Other Cork groups include the ladies chorus, Champagne Cork and female quartet Be Natural.

* More details available from

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