Latest News

  • ‘Tis the Season for Christmas Concerts
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 25 Dec 2023

    What could be better than a good barbershop chorus to help those Christmas celebrations go with a swing! Solent City was in high demand during December, and the guys got into the festive spirit with a series of gigs.
    First off the blocks was an outing to the Red Lion pub at Southwick on December 6th. This was a big thank you to the pub for hosting our Christmas dinner and other events for a number of years. With almost all the chorus there it was a tight squeeze to find singing space, but a full house of diners and drinkers loved the performance and we also had some impromptu dance moves by the bar staff. Just hope they didn’t spill anyone’s beer….
    There was a more traditional Christmas concert on December 10 th , when we shared the platform with the marvellous Queen Bees at St Michael’s and All Angels Hall in Bassett, Southampton. A fun afternoon, the highlights being the ladies’ rendition of “Santa Baby”, and our own comedy number “Blew by You”. The funds raised were shared between the Mountbatten Hampshire Hospice and Portchester Methodist Church.
    A few days later, on December13th, we were thrilled to be invited to back to perform for old friends at the Denmead W.I. The evening marked the sing-out debut of our new recruits Kevin and Tony, who had both done a terrific job in swotting up the Christmas repertoire. A lovely friendly evening, with a number of new songs that the ladies hadn’t heard us sing before, and with splendid refreshments afterwards.
    And talking of refreshments….the chorus were back at the Red Lion in Southwick on the 20th for the club Christmas dinner. A great meal, a great atmosphere, and inevitably some post-dinner singing to help the digestion! 
    All of which was a good warm-up for our final gig of the year the following evening at the Wallington W.I. in Broadcut, Fareham. A full house and a super warm welcome from the W.I. ladies. After that the guys just had enough energy left to stagger round the corner for a beer at the Cams Mill pub, where we’d been invited to sing a few songs. The evening finished with a rousing rendition of “Amarillo”, much appreciated by both patrons and bar staff.
    What a great way to finish what has been a wonderfully enjoyable and successful year for Solent City!
  • A big welcome to Tony and Kevin
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 25 Nov 2023

    Solent City are delighted to welcome two new boys to their ranks, Tony Nicholas and Kevin Gall.
    Tony and Kevin both completed the Learn-to-Sing course which ran during September and October,
    and then passed their chorus audition first time with flying colours. Both of them agree that’s it been
    a challenge which has taken them out of their comfort zone. But as Kevin says: “Everyone’s been
    incredibly supportive; of course I get a buzz from the singing, but I love the camaraderie and fun as
    According to Music Director Steve Morris, both of them have fine voices and will be a great asset to
    the lead section. But perhaps surprisingly, neither has sung in a chorus before. Tony confesses that
    some 60 years ago he was chosen to sing a solo in the school play….but his voice dried up and he
    couldn’t sing a note. Joking, he says that he’s been traumatised ever since!
    As for Kevin, he admits he never even made it into his school choir. But with Welsh parents (and a
    talented musical brother) he reckons the singing genes must be there just below the surface. Both
    Kevin and Tony are now working hard on the club’s Christmas repertoire and looking forward to
    their first public performance.
  • Barbershopper of the Year
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 14 Sep 2023

    Mike Cook was voted the Solent City Chorus Barbershopper of the Year for 2023 by the chorus members at the club AGM on Weds 13th September. 

    Mike has done sterling work as the club secretary keeping the committee and the club as a whole on track. He has also been active in trying to keep the clubs profile high by advocating and providing the copy for articles published in local press. 

    Congratulations Mike.


  • Summer concert raises more than £440 for charity
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 24 Jul 2023
    What an evening and what a concert! 
    Solent City and special guests the Queen Bees performed to a full house at Portchester Methodist Church on 21 st July. Although entrance was free, a raffle and donations by the audience raised £444, which is being split equally between the Church and the Mountbatten Hampshire Hospice.
    Both choruses were in sparkling form and received a great response from the audience. Solent’schoice of songs ranged from the beautiful Maori anthem “Pokarekare Ana” to “This Is Me” and “A Million Dreams”, both from the movie The Greatest Showman. And the hilarious “Blew by You”, featuring soloist Philip Davies, brought the house down.

    The Queen Bees also featured a terrific range of songs: from a beautiful version of “The Sound of Music” to the tongue-in-cheek “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”, and a saucy rendition of “Hey Big Spender” as an encore.

    Our thanks go to the amazing Queen Bees for coming over from Southampton to join us, and to help make it a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

  • A fun evening with Spinnaker!
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 23 Jul 2023

    12 th July: a joint rehearsal with the wonderful Spinnaker Chorus and their MD John Palmer. 
    A much more energetic physical warm-up than usual (thanks to the athletic Nicky Best) that left most of the guys gasping for breath, followed by a vocal warm-up with our own Steve Morris.

    Each chorus then took turns on the risers. Great to hear Spinnaker in action - one of the country’s top barbershop choruses. Pleased to say they enjoyed listening to Solent City as well, and our comedy number “Blew by You” went down a storm. 
    And then to the pub next door where both choruses worked their way through their repertoire!
    A really fun evening – lovely singing, lots of humour and banter….and cake as well! A real privilege for us to share the risers with such a terrific chorus for a couple of joint numbers.
  • An evening to remember at Fareham!
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 4 May 2023
    This was an evening to remember for Solent City. Competing at the Fareham Music Festival, the guys picked up THREE trophies, achieving some spectacular marks along the way. This was the third year in a row that the chorus have won top prizes at Fareham.
    In the Adult Choir category, Solent picked up the Hills Cup, with a ranking of “Distinction” from the adjudicator, the celebrated opera singer and music coach Maria Jagusz. Eight members drawn from the chorus, competing as “the Ferrets”, then triumphed in the Barbershop Ensemble category, winning the Cabin Crew Acapella Cup. Ms Jagusz awarded the Ferrets an “Honours” rating, a rare and prestigious achievement in music festivals. 
    There was yet more success for Solent in the Barbershop Chorus category, where they won the Acapella Cup with another rating of Distinction.
    Among many positive comments, Ms Jagusz commented on Solent’s “lovely sense of performance” and “the super blend of voices”. She also loved the originality and humour in the performance, notably in the songs “Blew by You” and “My Girl”.
    Remarkably, the guys also came second in three further song categories. In each case we were pipped by a wonderful new ladies ensemble from Southampton, the Queen Bees.
  • Congratulations to James Woolsgrove
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 6 Apr 2023

    It was great to have James back singing with the chorus on Wednesday and he was also presented with his long service pin to recognise 20 years as a member of BABS. 

    Well done James!

  • Another week…and another two trophies!
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 18 Mar 2023

    Wow - what a week for Solent City!

    Less than a week after claiming two trophies at the Chichester Music Festival, the guys picked up two more at the Isle of Wight Festival. In the Male Voice Choir category Solent picked up the Association Cup, achieving a “Distinction” in
    the process.
    The renowned international classical singer Melanie Armitstead, judging the competition, praised the chorus’s energy, dynamics and warmth.
    Nine members drawn from the chorus, and singing under the unlikely title of the North Island Ferrets, then triumphed in the Small Barbershop Group category, winning the Canterbury Cup.
    The judge was especially impressed by the stunning beginning of the performance, with “one voice coming out of the silence”.

  • Double gold for Solent City!
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 13 Mar 2023

    Solent City had a sparkling day out at the prestigious Chichester Music festival on 11 th March, winning both the classes in which they were entered.

    This was the first time that Solent had competed at Chichester, but they topped the Male Voice Choir category, for which they were awarded the Oriana Cup, and also claimed first prize in the Barbershop Choir category.

    Adjudicator Christopher Field was especially impressed by Solent’s performance in the Male Voice class, awarding a Distinction and commenting on the choir’s “beautiful resonant sound” and the “wonderful rhythmic security”.

    Musical Director Steve Morris said he was particularly thrilled by the performance of “Blew by You” - a wonderful comedy song that the chorus had not performed in public before. The audience loved it and it also marked a brilliant debut by the “Portsmouth Pavarotti”, Philip Davies, as soloist.

  • Light Up A Life service - 7th December
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 4 Nov 2022
    The chorus are proud to be performing at the Light Up A Life service at Holy Trinity church in Fareham.  

    The service is in support of Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices for children and young adults. 

    The service will start at 7pm.

  • AGM and Barbershopper of the Year
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 23 Sep 2022

    The club held its Annual General Meeting on Wednesady at which the new committee was elected. It turned out to be the old committee but welcoming Philip Davies as our new Vice Chair. 

    Our re-elected chairman, Ian Barbeary also awared a 20 year long service pin to Colin Bird:

    And finally, the chorus members voted for Andy Douglas as our new Barbershopper of the Year :  

  • Singing in Old Portsmouth
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 2 Sep 2022
    The chorus took a night off from normal rehearsals to vist a pub or three in Old Portsmouth and sing some songs.
  • Double success for Solent City
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 1 May 2022

    Solent City Chorus
    had a great evening at the Fareham Music Festival on 29 th April, winning both classes in which they were entered. These were the Adult Choir category and the Barbershop Chorus category, for which the chorus was awarded the A Cappella Cup.

    This was the second year in succession that Solent has won a top prize at Fareham. Adjudicator Angela Rowley awarded a “highly commended” rating on the performance, praising the beautifully blended singing, the dynamic variation, and gave a special mention to the delicate tenor line in all three songs.

    What a debut for “Autumn Gold”!
    It was also a night to remember for “Autumn Gold”, a new quartet drawn from the chorus and featuring Ian Ayres (lead), Bob Simmonds (bass), Kevin Jones (tenor) and Julian Church (bari).
    In their first ever public appearance, the guys beat some highly experienced competition to win the Cabin Crew A Cappella Cup for best barbershop quartet. In awarding a “commended” rating, the Adjudicator commented on the quartet’s well-blended sound from the outset and the beautifully tuned final chords in both songs.

  • A Sparkling Evening in East Meon
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 16 Mar 2022

    Solent City enjoyed a wonderful evening at the beautiful All Saints Church in
    East Meon on Wednesday 16 March. A large and enthusiastic audience
    enjoyed a varied programme, and were quick to demonstrate their own
    singing credentials by joining in a rousing version of “Wellerman”. With one of
    the Church’s two boilers out of action, even the family of penguins spotted at
    the back of the nave were shivering. But a great atmosphere, helped by
    delicious cake and tea, made for a lovely evening.

    After the event, the guys adjourned to the nearby Old George pub, where
    patrons were entertained to a selection of Chorus favourites. One lady,
    celebrating her birthday, reckoned it was the best rendition of Happy Birthday
    she’d ever heard.

  • Remembering Gabriel
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 17 Jan 2022

    Our dear friend Gabriel Dooley sadly passed away unexpectedly just before Christmas, aged just 60.

    Gabriel joined Solent City Chorus in 2011 after attending a Learn to Sing course run by the club. After receiving his 10-year pin from BABS last year, Gabriel’s reaction was: “I only signed up for a 6-week LTS course. I’m not sure what happened – I must be a slow learner”. 

    A proud Irishman, Gabriel was passionate about his singing and loved the “craic” of being with the other guys in the chorus. In recent years he commuted daily from Portsmouth to London where he was a senior engineer on the Crossrail project: he would take the train home in the evening and jump into a taxi at the station to arrive just in time for rehearsal. On the risers his style was distinctive and idiosyncratic, as Gabriel himself was the first to acknowledge. With his eyes invariably tightly closed as he sang, he was always a challenge to the MD. But with that wonderful cheeky smile, enormous charm and gift of the blarney, we all loved him.

    The Chorus sends its sincerest condolences to Gabriel’s widow, Kay, and their fourchildren.

    At his funeral on 17th January, Solent City members past and present sang “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”


  • Festive season off to a great start
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 1 Dec 2021

    Solent City’s festive season got off to a sparkling start with two gigs on
    Wednesday 1 st December.
    In the morning the chorus performed for the NHS Retirement Society in
    Cosham, singing a selection of repertoire songs in the first half and then a
    mixture of carols and Christmas songs in the second half. Tim Coney, the
    society’s Branch Secretary, said the concert had been really enjoyable and
    had brought some much-needed Christmas cheer to his members. Then in
    the evening Solent City enjoyed a return visit to Denvilles WI in Havant, after
    a gap of more than two years due to the pandemic. Another terrific evening of
    repertoire songs and carols concluded with an impromptu rendition of
    The chorus were pleased to welcome back Peter Mumford to their ranks: a
    former Music Director of Solent City, Peter has rejoined as a singing member
    in the bari section. We were also thrilled to have Philip Davies (lead) and
    Chris Franks (bass) make their debuts with us - both joined very recently
    following the learn to sing course. Both were really buzzing at the end of the
    evening and said they’d had a great time. “But”, said Philip, “it was a bit
    daunting when we lined up and I was suddenly facing all those ladies.” Philip
    - all we can say is well done and don’t worry, it’s only very occasionally that
    they start throwing things at us…..
  • Good To Be Back!
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 19 Nov 2021

    Another fun-filled evening, this time performing for the Bidbury Mead WI. 

    Great facilities, including a rehearsal room with acoustics to die for, a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the Bidbury ladies, and Richard on sparkling form as usual with some impromptu banter.

    Lockdown meant it was almost two years to the day since our last visit, but an evening well worth waiting for.      

  • Learn To Sing course concludes with a Concert
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 3 Nov 2021
    Learn To Sing course concludes with a Concert

    The 2021 Learn To Sing course came to an end with a concert for family and friends. The delegates and chorus sang the song we had learned together - Pokarekare Ana - and the chorus also performed some of our rep songs for the audience. 

    We were delighted to present certificates of attendance to the ten delefates who complted the course and we are also delighted that the majority have decided to stay on with us with a view to joining as full members. 

    More photos from the concert are here: Learn To Sing 2021 Photos

  • More silverware for Solent City at Fareham Music Festival
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 22 Oct 2021

    Solent City maintained their winning run with another trophy on Friday evening 22nd October, this time at the Fareham Music Festival. The chorus won the Peter Fielder Memorial Cup for best adult choir, achieving a “commended” ranking, and came narrowly second in the Barbershop Chorus category.
    Adjudicator Benjamin Costello commented on the lovely rhythmic energy of the chorus, and praised its singing for being moving and atmospheric. He also complimented Solent on a really enjoyable overall programme.
    Solent’s Musical Director Steve Morris said he was thrilled with the trophy win. “18 months ago we were on a real high: we’d just won two trophies at the Isle of Wight Festival, including best choir of the whole week – and then came lockdown. That meant we haven’t been able to sing together in person again until very recently, and Fareham was our first competitive outing since the IoW.”
    Steve added that the guys had continued practising on Zoom right through the lockdown, and had even learnt four new songs during that time. “But”, he added, “there’s just nothing to match being in front of a live audience again."





  •  Date Posted: Thu, 21 Oct 2021

    WOW! That’s surely the only word to describe an amazing evening with the ladies of the Totton Sunflowers WI on 21st October.

    We had originally been booked to perform at Totton last year, but the lockdown meant the gig had to be postponed. But as Christine Peckham, booking organiser for Sunflowers commented, it was an evening well worth waiting for.

    “Uplifting”, “fantastic”, and “a glorious evening”, were just some of the comments received, and one lady added that at least one of our songs had given her goosebumps.  Although Solent performed a wide range of material, from love songs to upbeat and comedy numbers, the highlight was probably “Wellerman”, with the ladies enthusiastically joining in the chorus to great effect. 

    A really fun evening for all of us in Solent City as well, and a big thank you to the Totton ladies for their friendship and hospitality.

  • Our new chairman
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 15 Sep 2021
    Ian Barbeary was nominated and elected unanimously as our chairman at the club AGM on 15th Sept. 

    I'm sure you'll all congratulate Ian on his election to the post and we thanks him for standing.

    This is Ian's second stint as our chair and so we are in safe hands for the next year. 

  • Barbershoppers Of The Year
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 15 Sep 2021

    As is traditional we voted for our Barbershopper of the Year  at the AGM on 15th September and this year the award was jointly won by Ian Ayres and Dave Potts. 

    Congratulations to them both.

    Here you can see the John Beck trophy being awared to them by our newly elected chairman, Ian Barbeary

  • East Meon Singout
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 23 Aug 2021


    Finally, finally after all these months we got together again for our first sing out since March 2020.

    We were invited to sing at the East Meon Village Festival which was a celebration of the easing of lockdown restrictions. 
    It was an open air event so we were competing with other attractions such as the beer tent ,the hog roast  and children’s races.

    Nevertheless our singing was really appreciated: 

    “Just to say thanks so much for your wonderful performance yesterday "

    “Thank you for bringing your delightful choir on Sunday .Very accomplished indeed and I greatly enjoyed listening to them “

    See what you are missing !

    Contact us if you would to hear our distinctive sound at your special event 
  • Coming Soon
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 18 Jun 2021
    We are getting ready to meet again in person - starting with outdoor rehearsals, preparing for indoor rehearsals as regulations are relaxed and even thinking about singing to audiences.
    We'll post more information here as soon as events are arranged. 

    We have started to take preliminary bookings for some sessions so if you would like us to sing for you please get in touch via e-mail to 
Brought to you by Making Music
Copyright © 2024 Solent City Chorus