The Athlone A Capella group.

Athlone A Cappella - medal winners!

Athlone A Cappella returned home triumphantly from the recent Irish Association of Barbershop Singers (IABS) convention in Killarney with a hard-earned silver medal.

Athlone A Capella was set up in 2012 by David Farmer and had just our singers at the time! Now that number has risen to 42!

AAC is a close harmony barbershop group. In the Barber shop tradition - the emphasis is on close, carefully arranged harmony. Phrases are often repeated for echo effect, and musical arrangements are usually in the ragtime or other nostalgic song styles. A Cappella music is a performance by a singer or choir without instrumental accompaniment.

Athlone A Cappella had previously won gold in 2019 at IABS convention under the tutelage of David Farmer, who had brought great success to the group over the years.

However, with the arrival of Covid, like many other choirs AAC was forced to take a break and it was two years before AAC was to be able to meet up again.

AAC has now been back together for about a year, under the directorship of Hilary Roche, who was a former member of the lead section. Hilary is a music teacher in her own right, and it is thanks to her that AAC has made great progress in the last year - building upon the groundwork established by David Farmer.

In the last few years the IABS convention has been held in Killarney - before that it had been held in Cork, Waterford and Ennis. The competition attracts Irish choirs and quartets as well as international choirs and quartets from such places as the UK, Sweden and The Netherlands.

This year the competitive band in which AAC competed had widened somewhat, and AAC was up against male as well as mixed choirs.

AAC performed with a ballad from Moulin Rouge –“Come What May” and for the up tempo number – “The lady is a Tramp”. AAC was happy with their performance and was delighted to be able to achieve the silver! Well done to all for their hard work and dedication!

IABS convention is an excellent showcase of Barbershop A Cappella singing and is a very enjoyable experience for all the singers involved!

At the moment AAC is seeking new singers - if you are interested in joining the AAC choir, practice takes place every Wednesday night in the Bower school in Athlone from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

AAC is keen on taking on new members with an interest and aptitude for singing, so please contact or send a message directly on the Athlone A Cappella Facebook page.