We Are Sound Company

Sound Company was originally formed at the start of 2013 in Horsham. An experienced group of Barbershop singers, led by Pat Deeble (the first Chorus Director), had been travelling long distances to other choruses and decided to set up in Horsham. Eight guys started it and were soon joined by three more. The chorus enjoyed singing to the public in Horsham, from the bandstand at the Piazza Italia festival and in the local shopping centre.

 

In 2015, it became clear that the chorus needed to move location if it was going to survive. After a long period of time out, the chorus moved to Farnham in January 2016. Based at the Spire Church on South Street, the chorus has grown from a small number of singers to a group able to compete at Barbershop’s annual convention held on the last weekend in May every year.

 

Simply put, Barbershop singing is four-part harmony A cappella singing (that is with no instruments other than the voice). Sound Company creates a sound that enables all four parts to ‘ring’ chords. This means that if the four parts are sung perfectly together, overtones can be heard, particularly in spaces where there are great acoustics, such as churches. This dynamic also creates a bigger sound so it feels like more singers are singing than may be stood in front of you.

 

The chorus sings a range of music, from Thomas Tallis to James Taylor via the Flying Pickets, and a number of Kings Singers arrangements of well-known and well-loved songs. Ballads and upbeat tunes are foremost in the repertoire. The music is fun to sing and is for all ages.

 

   Meet Our Music Directors

Tim Peters

Chorus Director

Tenor/Lead

Music has been a significant part of my life since childhood; learning to the play violin at 8 and then progressing to the viola at 14. In between times, I taught myself to play the piano. Singing involved choirs at school, including madrigals and the great oratorios.

 

Barbershop did not feature until I was in Germany working on new healthcare systems for the British armed forces. Unbeknown to me, there were some officers and teachers from the local school for military families, who sang in a group. Part of the repertoire was Barbershop. The discovery of Barbershop was one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments, where I became completely hooked.

 

On returning to England, I found a telephone number of a local Barbershop group and called only to be told that that evening was rehearsal night and I would be picked up in half an hour! This group was the Surrey Fringe based in Guildford. A group I became Chorus Director of in 2002, finishing in 2008.

 

Since then I have sung in a number of competing quartets and four other choruses (including Sound Company) as and when time allowed. In addition to directing Sound Company since September 2018, I have recently set up a mixed chorus in Farnham called ‘Sound Mix’. This chorus is in its infancy but is already showing signs of great promise.

Bob Walker

 Assistant Chorus Director

Baritone/Tenor

I joined the Houston Tidelanders Chorus in 1968.  I sang on stage with them at the 1969 Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) International Contest in St Louis where they were Silver Medallists.  My quartet activities started early, having formed a novice quartet within a week of joining the chapter!

 

On returning to the UK that year, I joined the Crawley Chordsmen chorus, which I later directed, and I was a founder of the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS), which is the national association of male barbershop clubs in the UK.

 

I was the first chairman of the BABS Music Education Committee.  My quartet, the Ringleaders, were the first BABS Gold Medallists, and I currently sings tenor with the Stepping Out quartet.

 

I was on the faculty of the BHS Harmony College in Missouri in 1984 as a quartet coach.  I co-founded the BABS Contest & Judging Guild in 1975 and have been a certified judge in several categories in both BABS and the BHS.

 

I am  an arranger and have had numerous charts sung by quartets and choruses in shows and contests.  I have run many arranging classes at BABS Harmony College.

   Meet The Chorus

Nigel Pringle

Lead

When a few men were asked to provide a backing group for a local ladies group, unsurprisingly we finished up in a pub. 

Discovering we all came from a Barbershop background, we sang a few songs together.

 

From that memorable evening, I joined Sound Company and discovered a group of talented singers, doing not just Barbershop songs but all sorts of unusual and varied types of music. Despite already singing in a Male Voice Choir and my own quartet, I decided that the opportunity to sing with Sound Company was too good to miss. I've been there ever since.

Andre Knight

Bass/Lead

I started in the world of Barbershop when I joined Portsmouth based, Solent City Chorus in the late 80s.  After a few years singing with this very large chorus coupled with moving to North Hampshire, I came to the conclusion that a change was as good as a rest and decided to move away from pure Barbershop and try my voice out in a number of more traditional choirs.  Some of which worked and some of which didn’t!

 

I came to Sound Company purely by accident.  Whilst singing in a pub after a choir rehearsal in Farnham one night, it was pointed out to me that there was a recently formed male A cappella group in the locality that I ought to go and see.  The rest, as they say, is history!

Tony Alner

Lead

Singing, for me, has been a relatively new experience since I never thought I had a voice worth listening to and definitely not within a Barbershop group. Luckily however, having been given the opportunity to join Sound Company, with their help and encouragement, my singing voice has been found which makes me wonder why I didn't do it years before!

 

I have found Sound Company to be a very friendly and fun group with a great repertoire of songs. I would encourage anyone who would like the same opportunity as I have had to join us.

Rodney Aistrop

Bass

I enjoy most forms of music and singing. I am particularly fond of Jazz, Blues and Swing.  I do not sight read music. I have sung in Gilbert and Sullivan  at Secondary School including HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. This was great fun.

 

Since then I have sung with a four part mixed choir for a number of years and now I sing with a male voice Barbershop Chorus. A lot of the music we sing is challenging but I like that. I also like the sound we produce which requires a lot of cooperation amongst the members. I also greatly enjoy singing the non Barbershop part of our repertoire.

Iain Landsborough

Tenor

I've been singing for many years, going back to school choir. I've mainly sung in Chamber choirs and Symphony choruses, covering various works such as Beethoven 9, and St Matthews Passion, Bach. About ten years ago, I started A cappella singing, and found it very uplifting; a chance to link up with other voices in a way so different from my past.

It's a very sociable event rehearsing each week, and a chance to learn various songs so that you can come together with other voices and "feel" the music. We've been singing as a group for about four years now and have gone from strength to strength, managing to learn quite a range of music. We sing semi-formal concerts, alongside various competitions such as the BABS festival, and are looking to continue expanding, open to new voices all the time.

Jim Duffy

Baritone

I’ve sung in traditional SATB choirs for the past ten years as a tenor and bass, covering a wide variety of styles, but I was looking for a new challenge. By chance, we did a joint concert with Sound Company in Farnham in summer 2019. I’d never even thought about Barbershop singing. Where I’d heard it sounded too difficult and a little too exposed. I was also concerned that it was too much of a genre featuring only a set American song-book. However, I was impressed by the range of relatively-modern songs they performed that night and the revelation that it could be sung as a chorus rather than just one man for each part.

I approached them after the concert and found them to be very open and friendly. I was thankfully given several weeks to learn and rehearse a few songs before the audition, where everyone was very supportive. We went to the pub afterwards to celebrate my success.

David Tropman

Bass

 I have sung in various choirs for many years and enjoy many styles of singing. Many years ago, I heard a barbershop choir and I was hooked on the particular blend of close-harmony unaccompanied singing.

 

Until Sound Company moved to Farnham, I had never had the opportunity to try singing Barbershop music. I came along to my first rehearsal and was hooked. The harmonies always sound good but some sections of the music are just incredible. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Ed Deacon

Bass

I have been singing in choirs, musicals, A cappella groups and Barbershop most of my life.  Barbershop singing has certainly been the most rewarding, with fantastic songs to sing and great harmonies. All sung unaccompanied, so as long as there are four of you, you can sing anywhere.   

 

I am proud to be a member of Sound Company, and the best thing is the camaraderie that exists within the group. Such is the nature of this hobby, I have many friends all over the world.

Mark Wilder

Lead

Singing with a Barbershop group is a completely different and exciting experience for me. Having spent the last 60 years or so singing in various bands or solo and generally having the freedom to interpret songs how I wished, the discipline required to hit the right note at the right time and with the correct sustain is quite a challenge.

 

The Sound Company members are a great bunch of singers and most supportive. Listening to all the vocal harmonies blending together is an amazing and spine- tingling experience and I look forward to being able to contribute in some measure.

Bob Statham

Tenor

I am one of the newcomers to Sound Company, discovering them after a chance meeting with a classmate. I have been in pop groups and rock bands since the 60’s, and even dabbled in ‘classic’ Barbershop in the 90’s.

Primarily favouring harmony groups (Beatles, Eagles, etc.), I developed a life-long-love for Beatle-esque harmony. Keen to try this new challenge, I took the plunge into Barbershop.

It's safe to say I was warmly welcomed, and greatly impressed with the unique approach by Sound Company to the art of Barbershop.

Come along, join the fun, and experience the ‘tingle’. All voices welcomed!

Sound Company

The Spire Church,

South St,

Farnham

GU9 7QU

Email: info@soundcompany.co.uk

Phone: 07802 605 969: Tim Peters

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