Every three years the Barbershop Harmony Societies of New Zealand and Australia combine their annual conventions and hold a joint Pan-Pacific Barbershop convention, taking it in turns to host the event. This year it was held in the magnificent International Convention Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Five choruses and 13 quartets representing Barbershop Harmony New Zealand crossed The Ditch at the end of September to compete and enjoy musical fellowship with Barbershoppers from as far afield as Japan and the USA.
Vocal FX from Wellington, already placed sixth in the Barbershop competitive world standings, won the Pan-Pacific open competition with this performance and Mighty River Harmony from Hamilton topped the BHNZ competition. “Revelation” – a quartet from Wellington – won the BHNZ open competition and placed third in the Pan-Pacific results.
An interesting trend in Barbershop music that was particularly noticeable this year was the increasing number of mixed quartets and choruses competing in what has traditionally been a segregated activity.