Saturday 13th July: From Page to Stage (Education Day). FULLY BOOKED
25-27 October: LABBS Convention @ Llandudno. Click here for details.
Saturday 7th December: 'Puttin' on the Ritz' with Spirit of Harmony and The Mix @ The Grammar School at Leeds. More details to follow.
This weekend, Leeds based a cappella group The White Rosettes won the title of European Ladies Barbershop Chorus Champions for an unprecedented second time.
The chorus, directed by Sally McLean, were defending their championship having won the competition last time it was held four years ago. At the event in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, they beat choirs from the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and the UK.
Sally McLean says: "We are absolutely over the moon. To win once was amazing but this time we were defending our championship and so there was a different level of expectation both from the audience and from ourselves. It's a phenomenal achievement and we are incredibly proud."
The 59-strong chorus also have to report back to a very important person. "A few weeks ago, we had a letter from the Queen wishing us well for the competition and asking us to let her know how we got on. So that's top of our list of jobs to do when we get home!" says Sally.
At this week's rehearsal, The White Rosettes started with a personal message from HM Queen Elizabeth II, delivered to us via Major Stan Hardy, Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire. Excited? That probably described the mood.
Click on the picture to see the letter...
The White Rosettes had a fabulous time at LABBS Convention in October 2013. They sang on the Friday night show, mike warmed and cooled the Chorus Competition and then did Sing with the Champs on Sunday morning.
Huge congratulations to The Mix on winning gold in the Quartet Competition and to Jiggle and Jazzmine who took silver and bronze. Cheshire Chord Company lead by Jo Braham (ex-White Rosette) took gold in the Chorus Competition and The White Rosettes couldn't have been more proud!! Congratulations also go to Amersham A Cappella and Gem Connection on silver and bronze.
The first LABBS/BABS Mixed Quartet competition was held over the weekend with Double Trouble winning the Neil Watkins Memorial Trophy - another great competition.
The White Rosettes returned from the Llangollen Eisteddfod in July 2012 after winning the Barbershop Class with a fantastic score of 92.7/100. Chief adjudicator, Liz Garnett, said "a glorious performance" ; " impact from the start"; "flexibility of dymanics" during her adjudication.
The chorus were thrilled that Cheshire Chord Company under the direction of Jo Braham (ex White Rosette) came second in the class with Heartbeat under the direction of Nancy Kelsall (ex White Rosette) coming third - a clean sweep for the North!
The chorus went on to compete in the Choir of the World competiton along side the winners of the Mixed Choir, Chamber Choir, Female Choir and Male Choir competitions. Unfortunately, it was not to be and the winners were announced as the Delica Ton from Germany.
The chorus had a fantastic day and enjoyed every minute.
The White Rosettes claimed the gold medal at the LABBS National Convention, held in Harrogate. This is the 13th time the Leeds chorus has held the title, and the fourth time they have won it in Harrogate, the home town of several chorus members as well as Musical Director, Sally McLean.
The 60 performers beat 18 other barbershop choruses from across the UK in an extremely tough competition, with the songs Once Upon a Time, from the musical ‘All American’ and recorded by, amongst others, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, a 1963 hit made famous by Bobby Vee.
Musical Director, Sally McLean, says:
"I'm absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed to have achieved our 13th national championship. Winning the title is always a confirmation that we have improved or maintained an excellent standard of singing and performance. I find it truly unbelievable that we continue to improve and remain the best in the country. There are always other choruses striving to be better and until the day of the competition, you just never know."
For some members of the chorus, stepping out onto competition stage is nothing new. Janet Tordoff is the chorus’ longest-serving member and has won all 13 of the chorus’ gold medals. This weekend, she also received recognition of 30 years' membership of LABBS. Janet says:
"I joined the White Rosettes in April 1981 after reading a newspaper article about a barbershop quartet. I went along to a rehearsal, heard the sound and knew I had to be a part of it. I'm very proud to win my 13th gold medal with the chorus. I haven't felt nerves going out on stage for a long time but this year, I had wobbly legs when I came off stage because our songs were so powerful and moving!"
New to the barbershop revolution is Rachel Flower, one of seven White Rosettes competing with the chorus for the very first time. Rachel says:
"It was an amazing experience and I am still on a high. The build up was absolutely nerve wracking and I barely remember getting onto the stage - but once I was out in front of that fantastic audience, the adrenalin kicked in and I felt completely focussed on Sally and the job in hand. All the months of hard work and preparation paid off. I will always treasure my first gold medal but I'm already looking forward to competing for another one!"
Once the celebrations are over, the chorus will be getting back to the hard work rehearsing for their next performances – a masterclass at Leeds College of Music on 12th November, and a concert with Spirit of Harmony and the Great British Barbershop Boys at Ashville College, Harrogate, on 3rd December, and selling their latest album, Let Yourself Go.
The White Rosettes returned from the Llangollen Eisteddfod in July 2010 after winning the Barbershop Class with a fantastic score of 92/100. Chief adjudicator, Paul Davies, said "this chorus has 100% dedication to their craft with an outstanding level of musicality".
The chorus went on to compete in the Choir of the World competiton along side the winners of the Mixed Choir, Chamber Choir, Female Choir and Male Choir competitions. Unfortunately, it was not to be and the winners were announced as the University of Santa Tomos Singers from Manila.
The chorus had a fantastic day and enjoyed the event.
The White Rosettes returned from a weekend in Torquay in February 2010 after winning the Majestic Choir Festival. The chorus had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed the competition and were thrilled to be awarded the top marks by the panel of judges.
The White Rosettes have been awarded a grant from Chorl Ambition. THe grant will be used for chorus coaching by an American coach and they will then run an open Masterclass (details to follow).
The White Rosettes returned from Cheltenham as the new LABBS Chorus Champions with their highest score ever of 83.4%. Along with the main trophy they also won the Music Trophy, the Presentation trophy and the Singing trophy in a clean sweep.
This is the twelfth gold medal for the chorus and they are thrilled to bits!
On Sunday 12 July, The White Rosettes were hosts to Westminster Chorus who ran a Masterclass for an audience of over 250.
A great evening was had by all with plenty of singing at the Afterglow.
To see pictures from the event visit the gallery page.
On Wednesday 24 June over 40 members of The White Rosettes took part in the Race For Life in Harrogate as "Team Uli". The White Rosettes undertook the challenge of 5km in the memory of Uli Grigoleit, a much loved member of the chorus, who lost her battle with breast cancer in December in 2008.
With some running, some jogging and some walking they all made in across the finish line to get their medals. The total raised between the Team was over £6000.
To see pictures from the event visit the gallery page.
The White Rosettes returned from Holland in March after winning the title of European Champions 2009. At the last European Convention in 2003 they came away with the bronze so were delighted to take the title and trophy this time.
The White Rosettes have once again held an Education Day. There were over 130 attendees from 8 different choruses. A great day was had by all with coaching and choreography on the songs for the day. The day was rounded of by a Showcase with each chorus present entertaining their peers.
The White Rosettes have been on their travels again - this time to Wales. The chorus competed in the Barbershop Class at the Eisteddfod and against strong competion won their class with an impressive score of 91.
The White Rosettes were finalists in the Choir of the World competition. A fantastic competition with Chamber pitted against Single and Mixed Voice against Barbershop. The title was won by the Akustika Chamber Singers from South Africa who gave a fantastic performance.
One of the challenges on Ant vs Dec on their popular show 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' (March 2008)was for each team to sing in a barbershop quartet. Sally McLean, The White Rosettes Musical Director, was the coach for Team Dec. The two teams members include Lee Sharper, Melinda Messenger, Chico, Debbie McGee, Bonnie Langford and ex-Five singer J Brown.
The nerves of Dec's team got the better of them on the night and the glory went to Ant's team (also helped by having some professional singers in their midst). Sally McLean, coach for Team Dec, said 'They tried hard but it just didn't happen on the night for them'.