Ocean Harmony barbershop celebrates anniversary with charity donation

Clive Downton, member of Ocean Harmony barbershop chorus, shares with us the group’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Ocean Harmony (the short name for the Southampton Barbershop Harmony Club) is a men's barbershop chorus, based near Southampton on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire. It has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in January, put together by volunteers throughout 2023. 

Months of meticulous planning have produced one of the most successful events in the choir's history, with a sold-out performance of barbershop through the ages at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre - ably supported by other music groups, including Southampton’s female a cappella octet Queen Bees, mixed octet Intersection and quartets Cabin Crew and Southern Gentlemen.

‘The chorus collectively and individually were magnificent. We really wanted to mark this special birthday in style and we certainly achieved that. Hopefully more and more people will get to hear of us and more men will want to come along and join us. I am so proud of them and it is an absolute privilege to be their Chairman.’ – David Wilson, Chair of Ocean Harmony

The show, led by Music Director John Masters, offered a variety of songs, including pole cats, traditional barbershop classics and show tunes, before ending with a joint performance of Irish Blessing. Even former chorus members that were in the audience were invited to join in the finale!

All concert proceeds were donated to local charity Solent Mind, who offer mental health services to the community. A total of £1,200 were raised, which will go to the New Forest Wellbeing Centres service.

We are so very proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I’d like to extend a huge thank you from all of us at Ocean Harmony to everyone who supported us by coming to see us or by singing with us. Truly a memorable evening!

Find out more about Ocean Harmony on their website and follow them on Facebook.