Love to sing a cappella music? The Harbormasters and the Belles are starting their 2019-2020 season this October and are looking for new singers!
The Beaufort HarborMasters and the Beaufort Belles are local non-profit barbershop choruses that sing a cappella music. They perform in the Lowcountry in a variety of ways, including strolling serenades during the Downtown Beaufort First Fridays, singing out at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, delivering Singing Valentines, as well as performing an annual Spring Fundraising Show. They also perform at local charitable and civic events, as well as private functions.
Barbershop music, or “four-part close harmony” involves four different voices singing in a relatively narrow range. The Tenors are the highest voices, the Leads usually carry the melody line in a song. Next comes the Baritones, who harmonize both above and below the Lead voice. Finally is the Bass, which sings the lowest notes. All the voices together form a distinctive chord. This style of music got its start in the 1800s.
The Beaufort Harbormasters began in 1999 when founder Peter Stevenson advertised for singers for a barbershop chorus. Four men showed up and by March of 1999 there were 12 members and they became a chapter of the International Barbershop Society. Since then the Harbormasters have grown and currently have about 16 members and are members of the Barbershop Harmony Society. They rehearse on Sundays from 2:30-4:30.
The Beaufort Belles got started even before that. In 1992 founders Doris Heard, Peggy Callahan, and Audrey McBratney put an ad in the paper looking for singers. They had 9-10 singers then, meeting at the Two Suns Inn. In 1996 they formed the Sea Island Chapter of the Sweet Adelines International and competed in their first competition in 1998 with 16 members. They became the Beaufort Belles when they withdrew from the Sweet Adeline organization in 2000. The Belles membership is currently at about 16 members. They rehearse on Sundays from 4:45 to 6:15 pm.
Just this summer, the two groups have combined into one chapter under the umbrella of the Barbershop Harmony Society. They now have the same director, Nicholas DiLorenzo, who is the current Vice President of Music of The Carolinas District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. He is also the director of a championship chorus in Fayetteville NC.
Currently, there are 2 male quartets, Eu-4-ia and Tidal Fource, and one female quartet, Sea Island Sound, associated with the Harbormasters and Belles. They perform with the main barbershop groups and also as stand-alone acts.
The Harbormasters and the Belles are starting their 2019-2020 season in October and are looking for new singers. It is not necessary to read music. They are hosting a Visitors Day on Sunday, October 20 at 3:00 PM in the Mission building behind St. John’s Lutheran Church on Lady’s Island Drive, directly across the street from the firehouse. If you are curious to see what all the fun is about, you can join them for camaraderie, song, and snacks! Visit their website at www.beaufortharbormasters.org and click on “Contact Us”, or give Hal a call at 843-838-9326 and leave a message.