Inspired by the American barbershop harmonising, a group of women from the Algarve have been singing in the Barbershop Chorus since 2008, when resident Sylvy Keenan formed the group Bella A Cappella.
Currently consisting of 14 members from England, Ireland, Portugal, Germany and Holland, the women come together every Tuesday evening from 7pm until 9pm to rehearse in an idyllic old Lagar (olive press) in Moncarapacho.
The chorus group practices typical barbershop singing that was originally started by men in America while they waited in line for a haircut.
Instead of focusing on a sheet of music, members of the chorus form harmonies by ear, creating a relaxed, fun ambiance to sing in.
The Barbershop Chorus aims to provide as many performances as possible, and last year sang in the Arte Viva event in São Brás, in addition to participating in the Spanish En Armonia 2012 in Malaga, where they won a silver medal.
Member of the chorus, Emmy Wijsman from Holland, told the Algarve Resident: “After living in the Algarve for some years, I was looking for something that would enable me to meet people and have fun. Two years ago, I met one of the members of Bella A Cappella and she invited me to join in. The help I got and the friendship of the members made me feel very welcome. I love the chorus.
“It is a great joy every week. Thanks to the enthusiasm and skills of our Musical Director Sylvy Keenan I can see and feel the progress we make. I thoroughly enjoy the beautiful and joyful results of close harmony singing. All are more than welcome to join,” she concluded.