The Birth of Barbershop in the Algarve

Once upon a time, there were four lady singers who used to sing in a Gospel choir. The leader of the choir had moved away and so they didn’t have anyone to direct them. They missed their singing and wanted to continue together. 

Jane, a local artist and mutual friend had an idea that Sylvy (who sang with Jane in the Coro dos Amigos) might be up for the challenge as she already helped with the vocal warm up at her choir and had shown herself to be quite happy bossing people about, so she put them in touch with each other.

The title of this article may sound like rather a grandiose claim, but as far as we can see, the Portuguese haven’t yet discovered Barbershop.

Sylvy moved over here in 2006 and missing her barbershop chorus (Amersham A Cappella) and quartet fix she looked around to find the nearest chorus* to join.  It appeared there was no such animal, so she joined the ‘Coro dos Amigos.’

Sylvy met the ex-Gospel ladies one week in late 2007. She asked them what parts they sang and they all said ‘Soprano’! However, after voice testing it transpired that actually, by a miracle, we had the full quartet of voices we needed, and so ‘Bella A Cappella’ was born. (See Archive)


Barbershoppers are not collectively known as ‘choirs’ they are called ‘Choruses’