The Management Team
Sue - Musical Director
I'm Sue. I have been involved in a variety of choirs and bands since I was young. Now barbershop is my new passion! I've only been Musical Director since February 2022 so I'm learning new skills as well as helping to choose songs, organise teaching and warm-ups and conduct our singing.
Cambridge Harmony is a wonderful source of friends, community and fun, and I love that it's a place where we all just get stuck in and produce great music. More seasoned members have been very supportive as I find my feet and learn more about the wonderful world of close harmony singing. I am also being encouraged and helped by members of Norwich Harmony and the Phoenix Chorus in Bedfordshire, and by the wider Barbershop community, many of whom I met at a recent Music Director's Education day run by the fantastic national ladies' barbershop umbrella organisation LABBS.
While I'm new to barbershop, I do have other musical experience and skills to share. I worked for Essex Music Service as an instrumental teacher and Tutor Mentor, and delivered class music to primary schools under the government's Wider Opportunities programme. I am still teaching and playing and also lead a Madrigal group.
Emily - Chair
Hi, I'm Emily. I've been singing with Cambridge Harmony for over 10 years now, and became Chair in January 2022. I wouldn't say I have a particularly musical background. I've tried a few instruments over the years, was in my school choir and have always found it difficult to resist singing along to anything playing in the background. In my view, singing is the perfect hobby as all you need is your voice. At Cambridge Harmony I have sung both baritone and lead, and attended conventions where we are each singing as one amongst hundreds. We often have the opportunity to attend educational sessions through our membership of LABBS, and we're planning a number of workshops and taster sessions which will be available to all. Chorus is here to help us improve and our new members find they are blending in and making beautiful harmonies before they know it. I am proud that the chorus has continued singing together throughout the lockdown, and that we're now in a position to welcome new members and visitors. It is fantastic to hear those barbershop chords ringing through the hall once more!
I'm Rachel and I'm Vice-Chair of Cambridge Harmony and the section leader of the baritones. I didn't find barbershop - it found me and I really love it. Years ago, I sang in my school choir. It was all girls and we mostly sang choral music. After I left school, I didn't sing for more than 25 years until I realised that I missed it. I answered an advert for a mixed a cappella choir being formed in Cambridge but that didn't happen as there weren't enough men! Instead, it became a women's chorus singing 4-part harmony in modern barbershop style. After a few years the chorus disbanded and I joined what is now Cambridge Harmony. I enjoy the wide variety of musical styles that we sing, from American classics to pop and folk and I love the challenge of singing a harmony part. It's said that baritones are key - if the group sings well, the audience won't pick out the baritone part but, if it's missing the sound isn't right!
Rachel - Vice-Chair
and Baritone Section Leader
Hi, I'm Janet. I joined the group more years than I care to remember, having done no formal singing since school choir. Being part of such a supportive and friendly group has been particularly important since I retired. Singing in harmony is so uplifting and Monday evening rehearsals are very special. I sang briefly as a tenor in the past, but now I'm joint leader of the lead section - we generally sing the melody, with the other three parts harmonising around us. As a section lead I'm part of the Music Team, so help decide which songs we'll try next. I am also Cambridge Harmony's Secretary and, along with other members of the group, part of the Quintet Hi5!
Janet - Secretary
and Lead Section Leader
Hi, I'm Jenny. There's always one, and its usually me.... I'm Treasurer of Cambridge Harmony, which means I keep an eye on the bank account and make sure everything gets paid. I joined at the end of 2016 and was immediately hooked after participating in public sing-outs over Christmas, when I discovered I love performing and getting attention as part of a group. I've had a go at a number of instruments previously, but haven't stuck at anything this long since getting Grade 6 in recorder when I was 15! I sing bass and (while I occasionally wish we'd get the tune a bit more often), have great fun being the vocal equivalent of a rhythm section and providing the depth and fullness of a good barbershop sound. Outside of chorus I listen to everything from twiddly power metal and industrial goth rock, all the way to traditional folk music, sea shanties, and The Carpenters. I'm an enormous nerd; I communicate best in memes, I love superheroes (I have previously knitted myself an entire Captan America uniform, including the shield), fantasy, and horror, and I've just finished an MSc in maths (which I did purely for fun, and I don't want to stop). I live with chronic fatigue and depression, and have to skip chorus more often than I'd like as a result, but when I do manage to attend its always gives me a giant boost. Forget kale: singing as part of a group really does help as part of managing mental health conditions!
Jenny - Teasurer
Lynette - Bass
Hi, I'm Lynette and I'm the section leader for the basses. I always loved music, but for many years I was embarrassed by my deep singing voice and only sang when no-one was around to hear me. Joining Cambridge Harmony changed my life! The bass part is really important to the barbershop sound, and when I plucked up the courage to attend a Cambridge Harmony open evening I was welcomed with open arms. It didn't matter that I don't read music, as we learn everything by ear and from teach tracks. It's very liberating to sing parts now that exactly match my vocal range. I also love our eclectic mix of songs, and it gives me shivers to hear those amazing close harmonies come together. Monday evening is a highlight of my week. We work hard to master the songs and synchronise our different parts, but there's also lots of laughter and socialising. However tired or out of sorts I may feel when I arrive, I always go home on a high.
Lucy - Tenor
Hi, I'm Lucy and I've been singing with Cambridge Harmony since 2013 (with a two year gap when I moved to Sheffield for a bit!). I've been singing barbershop since I was about 12, when the music teacher at my secondary school in Derby started a barbershop chorus for girls. I've been a member of 4 different barbershop choruses since, including singing at international convention in Texas and Canada! There really is nothing like that barbershop sound. I'm currently the tenor section leader - we're usually the ones singing the high note in any chord. I'm also a member of the Music Team and the Leadership Team. I help with music selection and social media, and liaise with our barbershop organisation, LABBS. Outside of barbershop, I'm a librarian at the University of Cambridge and spend my evenings and weekends reading, going to the cinema and enjoying the occasional (okay, maybe more than occasional) trip to see a musical.
Mary - Team Member
Hi, I am Mary, part of the bass section. I joined Cambridge Harmony in 2012 after hearing them performing where I used to work. I had never clocked onto four-part harmony before but they sounded great and were obviously enjoying themselves. When they sang Scarborough Fair I was so blown away that I felt that I would like to have a go myself. I hadn't sung anything significant since my school days, but everyone was very welcoming when I turned up for my first visit that it was such a relief to learn that I didn't have to read music. I have never regretted my decision to join, and the singing and friendship always lifts my spirits, even when it is a cold night and I have had to brace myself to turn out. I am a busily retired person now. You will find me doing all sorts of things besides singing, including writing, going oto all sorts of live events and walking my very active dog, who keeps me fit.