Posts Categorized: News

Celebrating 40 years of Harmony


Thursday evening, 11th August.   Women from across Bristol and South Gloucestershire joined together at Fascinating Rhythm’s rehearsal hall in Winterbourne to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ladies’ Barbershop Singing in the UK, and it was a truly enjoyable event, thanks to some inspired liaising between the Chairwomen of their respective Choruses.
The Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers ( runs a national network of Ladies’ Choruses and holds an annual convention competition, this year in Harrogate. Throughout 2016, LABBS Choruses have been signing a Beacon of Harmony scroll, which has travelled around the country from Chorus to Chorus and will end up in Harrogate at Convention at the end of October.

Three excellent Chairs

Three excellent Chairs





This special event was attended by around 100 singers from our three local Choruses; Avon Harmony, Bristol Fashion and Fascinating Rhythm, and a delegation from Cardiff Style who handed on the Beacon. Old and new friends mingled over supper, singing together and for each other, led by their Musical Directors Alex de Bruin, Craig Kehoe and Jo Dean.

Kate Tiveny, Chairman of Bristol Fashion, said “It was a great privilege and pleasure to
receive the Beacon Scroll from Cardiff Style on behalf of our local Choruses and we look forward to passing it on to Cleeve Harmony on 24th August”.
Terri Kinnison Chair of Fascinating Rhythm, said “We were so glad to be able to host this wonderful celebration of femaile’ harmony singing and to meet the founders of barbershop and a cappella singing in this area. There was an awesome sound tonight.”
Jackie Boffin, Chairman of Avon Harmony, drew the evening to a close and expressed her pleasure at seeing and hearing so many chorus members enjoying food and music together in this special year of Ladies Barbershop.

More pictures on our Gallery page.

Lazy Day with 3 MDs!

Lazy Day with 3 MDs!


Success for young RDA rider

Peter, one of the young riders from Riding for the Disabled (Patchwork RDA – RDA PatchworkFR’s charity for 2016) has covered himself with glory by being awarded 3rd place in both of the classes he entered for at the Regional RDA Championships. This qualifies him to go forward to the National Championships at Hartpury College in July.  Hartpury Equine is one of the largest equestrian centres in the world, providing top class education alongside elite equestrian training.  Peter goes to Tuffley Junior School, Gloucester.  We’re very excited for him and his family and highly chuffed to have been able to support him in this venture.

It’s Great to be Back

After all the hustle and bustle of December – then the ‘no man’s land’ gap in between Christmas and New Year … it was just great to get back to the singing on Thursday 7th January, when almost a full Chorus turned up – and three prospective new members as well!  After a quick voice test with our MD, they were shepherded into their new sections and, albeit a little bewildered, fitted in really well and did a grand job.

We’re just gearing up for our Harmony Workshop on 23rd January – a great fun day we all hugely enjoy.  Really pleased that quite a few singers from one of our sister choruses, Cardiff Style, are crossing the Severn Bridge to join us, as well as many past delegates returning for their annual A Cappella fix!  The FR catering team are gearing up for action so there’ll be plenty of … Cake!  Singing and Cake – bliss.

And if you’re reading this, Fascinating Rhythm send you every good wish for an excellent 2016.

Fantastic Result! FR now 5th placed in the UK.

We had the most fantastic time at our Annual Convention in Bournemouth over the Halloween weekend and are so, so pleased to have jumped two places up the rankings with improved scores (they maybe tiny, but they count) with consistency across all three judging categories.  All choruses have to work harder and harder each year to cling on – there are currently 8 choruses scoring between 70.1 and our 74.1, so we know we’ve got our work cut out for next year.  The dazzling scores of our top chorus, the fabulous White Rosettes at 83.4, gives some idea of just how good they are and the gap we’re trying to bridge.  And biting their ankles with 82.2 is Amersham A Cappella – so nobody will be resting on their laurels.

This, our 20th Anniversary year, has been full on – first with our very successful show in June which really stretched us; we learned so much from it (apart from 6 new songs in as many months!), and then working with such commitment to achieve a decent convention result.  We are truly indebted to our excellent and awesome Coach, Sally McLean, who encourages us to believe in ourselves yet still maintain a sense of humour.

We’re now looking forward to a joint Christmas Show with the Great Western Chorus – 2015 Gold Medal Champions.  What a cracking way to finish off 2015!

Convention 2015


Fascinating Rhythm – ‘The Musical!’ Celebrating our 20th Anniversary

Fascinating Rhythm was formed 20 years ago in 1995, and we felt had to ‘push the boat out’ to mark the occasion with a Celebration Show.  In collaboration with Rachel Bosomworth and her team from Love’s Bet

MD Jo Dean thanking a fantastic audience.

MD Jo Dean thanking a fantastic audience.

Productions amateur dramatic group and Junior FR we set about working our socks off to present a high quality musical show in just 6 months. We learned 6 new songs to add to our repertoire together with some exciting new skills that included acting, dancing and comedy (!).  All the hard work and commitment paid off with sell-out performances for both the matinee and evening show, exceeding expectations for both us and, we hope, the audience!  


Themed on ‘Songs from Stage & Screen’ we opened the show with a 10-part arrangement of ‘Mr Blue Sky’, then offered up songs from, amongst others, Oliver, Chess, Chicago, Les Miserables, and Lady and the Tramp … nineteen in all – phew, still recovering, especially with the number of costume changes.   Love’s Bet Productions provided comedy with their version of ‘The Song That Goes Like This’

Whooo hooo - sing AND dance!

Whooo hooo – sing AND dance!

(Spamalot) as did FR’s rendition of ‘Anything You Can Do’ (Annie Get Your Gun) that started with a no-holds-barred tap dance-off from our twinkle toed Jane Sawyer and Julie Bath. ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ (Nutcracker Ballet) went well with a very unusual in-house comedy dance team involving black and white tights, accompanied by an excellent (and very camp) male ballet dancer … absolutely hilarious. Good job we’d seen it in rehearsals or we’d not have been able to sing.


As ever, Junior FR stole the show when they joined us for Oliver, complete with Victorian costume. They had their own spot for a medley of songs by Queen and then did an inspiring percussion accompaniment to the ‘Cup Song’.  They are an awesome team who do Wendy Howse (MD), and FR Senior proud.


MD Jo Dean actually got a chance to sing with a ‘goose-bump’ version of ‘I Know Him So Well’ duet with Ali Jack – founder member of FR from inception in 1995 when it was known as ‘Rainbow’. Ali received a very special award for her dedication and commitment to Fascinating Rhythm, holding numerous titles during her time with us. Our youngest member, Georgia Radcliffe, has been with the Chorus for 10 years, joining when she was just 12; when she sang her solo ‘On My Own’ (Les Mis) – definitely not a dry eye in the house.

We were honoured to have current LABBS Chairman Brenda Rothwell in the audience along with Jean Olman, who has been our LABBS representative since the beginning and from whom we have always had great support and encouragement, along with past Directors and members, who have all been very much a part of our journey.  It’s all been very different from the usual concert-type performance we’re used to and at times we’ve been waaay out of our comfort zone but it’s been so well worth it – we’ve learned much along the way.