The Barbershop Harmony Club of Canberra Inc. was started in October 1987 by a group of enthusiasts - men and women - who wanted to sing songs in the "old style" in 4-part harmony.
Because of our deep cultural links with a local hostelry (we got free Guinness), our chorus was originally called The George Harcourt Harmonaires, and we happily sang free for charities, and (when we could) for a fee. It was a lot of fun, and with the mixed chorus we solved the problem of the shortage of male (top) Tenors, and female Basses. Our mixed chorus did raise a few eyebrows among the purist single-sex Barbershop choruses in Australia at the time...
In 1990 the Australian Association of Men Barbershop Singers Inc (AAMBS) announced that the first National Australian convention (for men) would be held on the Gold Coast the following year. This led us, early in 1991, to decide to split into two single-sex choruses. The women formed Brindabella Chorus, which is now fully chartered with Sweet Adelines, and the men continued under the BHCC name, forming The Canberra Chordsmen, which is now our main performing chorus. Incidentally, we came fourth nationally at the Gold Coast Convention, a club record we're still trying to better...
Directed by Bec Mutton, we competed as The Hume Highwaymen in combination with the Bidgeemen from Wagga, at the 2009 AAMBS Barbershop Convention in Hobart. Despite having only four rehearsals, the Hume Highwaymen placed as the 4th best small barbershop chorus in Australia. The Hume Highwaymen and the Brindabella Chorus featured on an episode of the ABC ACT Stateline program on Friday July 17 2009. To view the transcript follow this link http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/act/content/2006/s2630606.htm
Other club achievements:
2003 Australian National Eisteddfod
Open Choral Group (4-8 voices)-Chord In The ACT (Quartet)- 1st place
Open Choirs - Male - 1st place
City of Canberra Open Choral Championship - Highly commended
2002 Australian National Eisteddfod
Open Choral Group (4-8 voices) - The RipChords (Quartet) - 2nd place
Open Choirs - Male - 2nd place
City of Canberra Open Choral Championship - 3rd place
2001 Australian National Eisteddfod 1st place Open Choirs - Male
2001 The RipChords quartet qualify for Melbourne convention 2001
2000 Australian National Eisteddfod Open Choral Champions
2000 Australian National Eisteddfod Sacred Choral 3rd place
1999 AAMBS 5th National Convention 3rd place in Small Choruses