The 8th Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers convention was held at Calpe this year, and along with several other UK choruses and quartets,we headed over for some sun, sea and singing.
As well as the UK, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland were all represented in competition, with special guests from New Zealand and the USA. The fledgling French Association of Barbershop Singers were also present, giving the event a true international flavour.
The weekend got off to the best possible start when our very own QM finished third in the International Quartet stream on Friday, taking their first of what I'm sure will be many medals.
We were keen to build on our success at BABS last year where we placed 10th overall, winning the Most Improved Chorus trophy, and the 2nd Divison title but we knew the competition would be tough. Stockholm City Voices under the direction of Mo Field were favourites going into the competition having finished in the top 10 in the Sweet Adeilines International competition. We also knew that Stuart Sides, winner of a quartet gold medal in all four voice parts, would put up a strong set with Soundwaves.
On the day we narrowly secured our first ever medal position, beating Capital Connection from the UK by just 1 point, and finishing third. As expected, Stockholm won and Soundwaves were in a fairly comfortable second.
As anyone who has ever been to a convention knows though, the competition itself is only half the story. We were treated to a fine performance from Love Notes and Musical Island Boys on the shows, and once back at the hotel the afterglows started in ernest. On Saturday evening there was a fun scratch quartet contest, and singing until 4am with various members of Sudden Impulse, Athlone A Cappela and Main Street Sound, to name a few.
It was great to get out and support a young but hard working association, and we're sure we'll be hearing more from their domestic champions, particularly Hanfris, scoring 79.2 on their way to gold. All that remains is for me to thank everyone who helped to make it such a fantastic experience, not only all the other visiting singers, but Lyn and the rest of the team from SABS. We look foward to seeing you again in a few years time.