Contact Us

Sing with us

If you enjoy singing, are looking for a new challenge and would like to find out more, just stop by at one of our Wednesday evening sessions (details below). You'll be very welcome!

This will give you the opportunity to see what happens during rehearsal. There are plenty of seats, so you can simply settle down, relax and have a listen. There will be plenty of people to talk with during the tea-time interval.

Songs from the chorus repertoire are a mix of the modern and traditional. There are romantic ballads, up-beat numbers, songs from well-known films and some from the swing era.

We regularly expand the repertoire with fresh material.

Learn to Sing in Harmony

From time to time, the Downsmen put on a Learn to Sing (LTS) course, which has been the route to membership for several of our current members. This free course runs over a 6-week period at the same rehearsal time of Wednesday, 7:30 pm. At the first session, course attendees have an informal audition to see which voice part (ie, lead, tenor, baritone or bass) they might be best suited to. Over the whole course there are 2 songs to learn, with a final concert to wow friends and families.

For most attendees, the LTS course is their first try at close harmony singing. It can be an uplifting, energising and thrilling experience! For details of the next Learn to Sing course, please contact Allan Scott, Membership Secretary, on 0208 642 8104, or email him at membership@thedownsmen.co.uk

What happens after the LTS course is completely up to you. We hope the experience sows the seeds of interest in the great repertoire of songs in the barbershop tradition. Learning songs together is a great way to build up friendship and camaraderie with the guys of the chorus. Whenever barber-shoppers meet up at festivals or conventions, you can always rely on an 'afterglow' session (singing well-known songs where anybody can join in).

Rehearsals

The Downsmen are based at the Methodist Hall, Church Road, Leatherhead. We get together each Wednesday evening at 7:30 till 10 pm for rehearsals. There is an interval for tea and biscuits. Although each rehearsal is different, the musical director always aims to help us become better singers and performers, as well as to make sure we have an enjoyable evening!

Rehearsals is where the preparation is done for all our Sing Outs (a Sing Out is barbershop-speak for a concert away from base). In between rehearsals we encourage practice of the songs using 'teach tracks' which are accessed through the Member's Page of this website. Some chorus members have lots of driving to do, during which time they can learn their songs from CD players. All music scores are provided by the Club.

Once you have mastered a basic repertoire of songs, you'll be eligible to take part in the Downsmen's Sing Outs at events such as social functions, private gatherings, local fairs and choir festivals. For those with a competitive streak there is the annual Convention organised by the British Association of Barbershop Singers, to which all affiliated clubs are invited to compete. The Downsmen have competed as a chorus at past Conventions and will do so again in the future.

Once a year there is the 3-day event known as Harmony College, held at the campus of Nottingham University. This forum for coaching and workshops helps chorus members to improve their confidence and ability. Coaching is available for quartets as well a main choruses, with all participants joining up for a final concert on the Saturday night. Singers returning from Harmony College can expect their singing technique to be raised by several notches!

The Downsmen do their utmost to keep costs and subscriptions low. The current membership subscription is only £15 per month, and would only start a month after the completion of the course. If you've any queries, please contact the Membership Secretary by e-mailing membership@thedownsmen.co.uk

You can also find us on: facebook.com/downsmen.