A team of barbershop singers from Amersham has charmed audiences for 40 years – and now they’re back on global stages with a bang.

The talented ladies of Amersham A Cappella recently returned from the land of ABBA from the European Barbershop Convention held in Helsingborg, Sweden, where the tried to repeat their silver success of 2017.

The group’s journey began under the name Chiltern Harmony in 1982 with 25 members – one of whom still sings with them.

Veronica Tierney, Chair of Amersham A Cappella, said: “It’s a totally uplifting experience that simply fills us with joy and energy.

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“We really enjoy the thrill of performing, both on stage to huge audiences and at smaller, more intimate events and we love the sense of connection, friendship and support that we get from belonging to such an incredible group of ladies.

Their impressive musical achievements speak for itself.  

They are the current gold medallists of Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS), which added on top of their 2016 gold and previous silver and bronze medals, silver medallists from European Barbershop Convention 2017, gold medallists from the Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers in 2018, and gold win as a mixed group with a men’s chorus, The Cottontown Chorus, from the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS).

Their most memorable competition was winning the LABBS gold in 2019. 

"It was an amazing night and we not only achieved our highest ever score, but also the joint highest score ever awarded to a LABBS Chorus”, Ms Tierney said.

She added: “We never would have thought that we wouldn’t compete again for three years!”

Then Covid hit, and with the restrictions, singing was banned.

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For the singers, the ban meant organising Zoom sessions at first, and as weeks turned into months, each singer recorded themselves, and the musical director Helen Lappert mixed the individual recordings to resemble the sound of A Cappella- style harmonised singing.

Ms Tierney explained: “When we finally got the green light to start singing together in 2021, albeit outdoors and distanced, we did everything we could to make sure our members felt safe.

“Stringent safety protocols were written; singer’s masks were sewn; personal amplifiers (ideal for singing outdoors) were sourced; coloured cones for social distancing were bought; and a venue was donated by one of our members - a stable yard with a large, open barn for shelter.

Singing again in person in 2021 felt “incredible and very emotional”, she said.

The successful vocalists topped off the year with live Christmas performances with The Amersham Band.

It looks like they will carry on for another forty years, and more.