A Hampshire barbershop chorus, who will be performing at the Waterside Arts Festival later in the summer, picked up its highest award as members fine-tuned their voices in preparation for the most important competition of the year.

Ocean Harmony won Fareham Music Festival’s barbershop section as its singers exercised their vocal chords for a much bigger stage.

The chorus will be performing at Bournemouth International Centre at the end of the month when it competes in the Barbershop Association National Convention – testing itself against 48 similar choirs from across the country.

Ocean harmony was awarded a Distinction and the coveted trophy bowl in the Fareham competition, held at the West Hill Park School, narrowly edging another experienced chorus from the southern area into second place.

Ocean Harmony meet every Wednesday at Colbury Hall, Ashurst on the edge of the New Forest and have been rehearsing at weekends over recent months to make sure they are on-song for Bournemouth. The chorus are also available to sing at charity, fund raising and corporate events throughout the county.

Proud chairman, John Yapp, said: “Winning the Fareham Music Festival with a distinction was fantastic and a real boost after all the hard work the singers have been putting in for the forthcoming convention”.

“For the past nine months we have been actively striving to develop as a chorus by recruiting new members, via a free learn-to-sing course, and by regularly having coaching sessions with recognised barbershop experts”.

“We seem to be reaping the reward for our efforts and our focus is now on the convention where we’ll be competing against barbershop groups from all around the country.  This year we’ll be taking our biggest ever chorus of around 35 men, many of whom will be competing for the first time.”

To develop the skills of the new enlarged chorus, Ocean Harmony wish to recruit a new Conductor and Music Director. They would be pleased to hear from anyone, male or female, who could be interested. Contact details below.

Anyone wishing to join Ocean harmony or to come along for an evening should contact Mike Jones at : vicechairman@oceanharmony.co.uk