Viva Did Calpe!

 Date Posted: Tue, 16 Apr 2024

Viva Acappella travelled to Spain.... won gold.....

and had the best time on tour achieving it!

On Saturday, the 4th of April, Viva took to the stage at the Barbershop of Iberia Association Convention (BiBA).

The auditorium was full of fellow competitors, whilst at home, friends and family logged onto the live webcast on YouTube to watch us.

The competition was the culmination of three months of intense rehearsals and planning. We travelled to Calpe on Spain's coast either individually, or with family in tow, or in small groups. The excitement started to build days before, as WhatsApp enabled us to keep in touch, check details of travel and logistics, and just make each other giggle with our mad preparation antics!

Not only did we need to be on point with our music and choreography, but also with our black costumes complete with sequins, our Viva pink lips and nails, fake tan, bronzer and earrings.

The AR Diamante Beach Hotel and Spa was fabulous with a spacious reception area and restaurants, bars and pools and only a stone’s throw from the beach. We had fun sharing comfortable rooms with other chorus members and wherever we went, we were constantly bumping into barbershop friends and making new friends along the way.

Competition day is both intense and exciting in equal measure and as we were number 17 on stage, we had ample time to prepare thoroughly with a substantial breakfast along with some exercise, yoga on the beach and fresh air.

We helped each other get ‘Glammed-up’ with makeup, false eyelashes and hair and before long we were together to warm up our voices and tune into each other. Time seemed to speed up then as we headed backstage for the final 20 minute practice.... then we walked out onto the stage to a fabulous welcome and began to sing.
Our seven minutes out there were exhilarating and joyful and the standing ovation for both songs was very, very moving.

Since our appearance was towards the end of the day, we only had a short time to wait for the results and were delighted when we were announced as the winners of the international competition. Of course, there was a short celebration and time to congratulate the other competitors, followed by a swift turnaround and a mad rush for an early dinner.

We were delighted to be able to join the other winners and sing again in the show that evening, after which we gradually started to unwind as we met in the bars to sing with other barbershop enthusiasts before retiring to a private room to party, but we can’t tell you about that, because what happens on tour stays on tour!

If this sounds like the sort of adventure you’d enjoy, then come along one Thursday evening and watch us rehearse. We would be delighted to see you!
All the details about our rehearsal venue and times are on in the Visit A Rehearsal page on our website

Viva Quiz Night

 Date Posted: Mon, 11 Mar 2024


We don’t just sing and dance at Viva!

We have brilliant social events too.

Our quiz night on Saturday the 9th of March was no exception. With 14 teams of eight or more we had a packed house of Vivas, friends and family. Team names were entertaining, for example:, 'The Quizzers of Oz', 'Quizter Act' and 'Agatha Quiztie'.

The question rounds were diverse with something for everyone including, music, films, sport, a picture around and a very intriguing ABC round.

There were wooden spoons for each member of the losing team, and a prize for each of the winners. Of course we had superb raffle prizes as always.

Add to this nibbles provided and very efficient table service bar and you have a recipe for a memorable evening.

And of course it wouldn’t be a viva event without a song, Happy Together- which we were!

The icing on the cake was the £3000 raised for funds.

Don’t miss the fun next time, come and join us!

An Acapella Christmas Cracker

 Date Posted: Tue, 2 Jan 2024

Our christmas concert 2023

How to Raise £4785!

Want to know how to do it? Well, you start practising your Christmas songs in August! Then you need a huge team to get the show organised and advertised. We sold over 200 tickets in four days and had to start a waiting list.
We are always grateful to St George's Church, who allows us to use their halls and the church and support us all through the year.
Next you work hard with your two talented assistant musical directors, Mary and Charlotte, to produce a polished and joyful performance. And then you get one of your quartets, ‘Vivacity’, to sing three beautiful songs, including a moving rendition of ‘Mary, Did You Know’.
As a wonderful contrast, we loved having a festive brass band from the Salvation Army, with three stirring carols. 

But most important of all, you need loving friends and family, travelling from far and wide; including Bristol, Devon, Ireland, Aberdeen, and even Kefaloni! We were especially honoured that the mayor of Bromley came to support us.

We are so grateful to everyone who came, and ate our home-made bakes, drank our mulled wine, bought tickets for our excellent hampers and humored us by singing along with our communal songs.
But most important of all- we hope that everyone goes away from the evening, feeling a little lighter and ready for the season

Tag Along with Viva Acappella

 Date Posted: Tue, 12 Sep 2023
Tag Along with Viva Acappella

We are always delighted to welcome visitors to our Thursday evening rehearsals. But a couple of times a year we create a special evening just for them. Thursday, the 7th of September was one of those special evenings.

We welcomed over 30 lovely ladies, some were friends or family of Vivas and some had found us through social media. With around 80 people in our hall on a very hot evening, we started with an appropriately modified physical warmup from Helen T. We have five Helens in our chorus already, and hope to recruit a few more! We did a clapping exercise to wake up our brains and give us all a good giggle before moving on to a number of exercises to warm up our voices and help us to tune in with each other.

Next Helen W , our musical director, taught us all a beautiful tag, which is a small snippet of a song, usually from the end of the song. We learned three further tags by splitting into groups and forming a “tag Carousel”. our two assistant directors did a great job with the smaller groups rotating between three rooms. Each group learned a different one then performed their tag to the other two groups, some with added choreography! All the tags were totally new to the Vivas so we were learning along with our guests.

The evening flew by, but we couldn’t let all those talented women go home without a cuppa, some home-made cake, and encouragement and information about how to become a Viva. We very much hope to see them again soon.

Convention 2023

 Date Posted: Sun, 21 May 2023

Convention 2023 (AKA an epic weekend away with your girlfriends doing what you love!)

The lead up to our annual competition starts early, with coaching, dress rehearsals and intensely detailed work on just two songs. But when I start gathering my essentials to pack, red nail polish, false eyelashes, cans of G&T and snacks etc. That’s when I start to feel the excitement building. This years trip was complicated by a rail strike! But the Vivas swung into organising mode and pretty soon everyone was sorted out with a carshare spot. I was lucky enough to get there by lunchtime on Friday when the quartet competition starts.  Viva members arrive from Thursday evening if they are singing in a competing quartet, right up until 10.30pm on Friday evening, depending on  when they can escape from work, or caring duties. Since we wear our branded Viva hoodies, it is remarkably easy to spot. each other , and very soon friends are sitting together in the auditorium, and grabbing a drink in the bar in the breaks. Watching all the wonderful quartets is a great build up to the chorus nationals the following day. Then we have an early night!

Competition day starts with a good breakfast at our hotel, as it’s going to be a long full on day. Then it’s time to transform into our onstage glamorous personas. Quite a bit of makeup, extra hair styling, and into our sparkly dress. Next me and my chorus roomie are off to the rehearsal space ,where we gather to warm up our voice’s with the rest of the chorus . Then we practice the beginning and ending of both songs. It is a time to check in with everyone, and discuss and fix any last minute concerns. This year we had the amazing director from Forth Valley Chorus come and join us for an hour, which was a lovely bonus.
We all leave the hotel together and make our way to the University Arts Centre. And very soon we are waiting quietly in the wings for our turn.
The seven minutes on stage fly by, we can hear all our friends in the auditorium cheering and clapping, and it’s wonderful. We go on stage and do exactly what we have planned, and it’s a unique feeling. Leaving the stage is always a bittersweet moment after all the months of preparation.
Once we are off stage a well earned drink and debrief about our performance is order. Then we are back in our seats to watch the rest of the choruses compete.
The four judges for the event fly over from our umbrella organisation in America, Sweet Adeline's International. As soon as the last chorus has sung, we all enjoy a mass sing of some of our regional songs, while the scores are collated. The announcement of the results always make my stomach turn over! This year we were fortunate enough to win our category of midsize chorus, and we came third overall. Lace City Chorus had a well deserved win with Aberdeen Chorus coming second.
Because we had won we were to appear in the show in the evening. So after we had enjoyed a quick dinner we were once again back in our rehearsal room, running through two more songs for the evening.
It’s always entertaining and inspiring to see the winning quartets and choruses again. There are guests also and this year we had ‘The Ladies’,four inspirational young women from America who are international quartet champions. After the show everyone gathers in the foyer to catch up with old friends, make new ones and meet and possibly sing with the winners, and indeed each other.
Then gradually we drift back to our hotel for our chorus party. Although we have had a long day we are too excited to sleep, so we dance, we sing and we often  do skits and party turns to make each other laugh, and just celebrate being together, whatever our results may be. I went to bed at 1.30am this year, and actually slept well!
After another good breakfast, and a giggle about the night before, we pack and check out. Some people head home. This year I was lucky to be able to stay for the Sunday  morning which is great as there are always good classes and workshops run by the visiting judges, and other educators. I attended two sessions held by The Ladies, both were very relaxed, informative and great fun.
It’s always a little sad when we have to leave this wonderful singing bubble and rejoin the real world. But we only have a few days to wait until we will be back with our buddies again singing. And in the meantime my WhatsApp is pinging with all the photos that my mates are sharing from the weekend. Barbershop really is the best hobby!
YouTube Video URL:

Viva Acappella's Christmas Concert

 Date Posted: Fri, 10 Mar 2023

Viva Acappella's Christmas Concert - 10th December 2022

Viva Acappella were in the Christmas spirit early doors in 2022 thanks to our Christmas show on the 10th of December. A magical evening filled with music, song, mince pies and mulled wine.

Dear friends and family joined us at the beautiful Saint Georges Church Bickley, despite freezing temperatures and England, playing France in the football World Cup quarter-final.

During the first half of the concert, we sang some favourites from our repertoire

We were then fortunate to be entertained by our award-winning quartet, Muddy  Stilettos , with some great tunes including a very entertaining version of the Sugar Plum fairy.

The second half was devoted to Christmas songs and we were joined by the lovely young chorus from Bromley High School. It was a delight to hear them, and see how accomplished they are at such a young age.
We finished our show by singing the hauntingly beautiful Vuelie from Disney’s frozen, and then joined with the congregation to sing, Hark the Herald Angels sing, which is always a favourite at the time of year

Ticket sales had been excellent. We also had an amazing team who put together some beautiful raffle prizes and our refreshments and baking teams provided a lot of choice for our guests, but we were still absolutely delighted to find that we had raised £3888!

A huge thank you to each and everyone who came to support us, we hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did.