Musical Director – Valerie Lynch
Valerie has been involved in music her whole life. Originally from New York State, she holds university degrees in vocal performance and music education and has toured for 28 as a vocal soloist performing with a variety of symphony and chamber orchestras around America and also as a solo recitalist.
Her first introduction was at age 14 when she was the “cue card girl” for the local men’s barbershop chorus, The Goldenaires. In her teaching assignments, she always incorporated barbershop quartet singing with her students. Valerie is the second female director of a men’s barbershop chorus in New York State, as well as being an adjudicator and coach for various choruses and quartets.
Valerie and her husband Gary (and cat Piper) have retired to Spain and are living their best lives. Valerie is thrilled to be a member of Spangles and as their new MD, singing tenor (practically perfect, right Babs?). Look out Spain!
Chorus Manager – Lyn Baines
As Spangles Chorus Manager, Lyn takes an active role in the strategic and musical planning of the chorus. She is also responsible for Public Relations, Costume and Makeup. Since 2008, she has been singing with her quartet, Viva.
Lyn joined Wessex Harmony in 1994 as a complete novice, but was soon hooked by Barbershop. She became actively involved in the club as Secretary and Fundraiser. Anthea joined a few years later and she and Lyn have been friends ever since.
Lyn’s working life has been within the IT industry since 1978, culminating in her role as Sales and Marketing Director for six years, before running her own marketing company between 1994 and 2002, where Anthea joined her as Telemarketing Manager; together they caused chaos with staff and clients alike, working hard but having lots of fun along the way.
When Lyn and her husband retired to Spain, Anthea and her husband swiftly followed the same dream and all landed in the Murcia region. One sunny afternoon, at a barbecue with friends, one of whom was a barbershopper, they all sang in four part harmony and both Anthea and Lyn realised just how much they missed singing. That’s when the spangle of an idea began……
Treasurer/Tenor Section Leader – Barbara Burks
Barbara has always loved singing and being on stage. She attended a High School in Leeds that was well known for producing stage and TV stars, Angela Griffith and Melanie Brown to name but a couple. Barbara was always involved in school plays, concerts and musicals and represented the school 3 years running in the Leeds Schools Competitions for poetry reading, picking up a couple of awards along the way. The school musicals were written by her English teacher, Jake Thackray, who, some of you may remember, wrote and sang humorous songs on TV shows like Braden’s Beat and the Esther Rantzen Show in the 1960/70s.
Her Claim to Fame is that, when she was 12 years old, Barbara went to Granada Television Studios in Manchester to audition for Coronation Street; the character being Elsie Tanner’s niece. Unfortunately, Barbara didn’t get the part, but she met most of the 1967 cast and had a great day.
Barbara joined Spangles in February 2008, first singing Lead and now Tenor. She quickly became an asset, first taking on the role of Treasurer and then Tenor Section Leader. Barbara is also a member of a quartet (Viva). She says “I love the camaraderie and friendship that Spangles offers and hope to be involved for many years to come.” We’ll drink to that!’
Management Team – Linda Coats
In the UK, Linda ran her own soft furnishing business for a number of years before having a change of direction by working for Boots’ head office in their customer service department for 4 years, as a Senior Advisor and Trainer. In August 2004, Linda and husband Neil decided just to up sticks and move to Spain for a simpler, less stressful lifestyle and, of course, some sunshine.
After just one week, they met their first neighbours, Anthea & Mike, who were a great help to them in their early days in Spain. They became good friends from the start and still are. Linda knew that Anthea and Lyn had been involved in Barbershop in the UK and that they had decided to start a chorus here in Spain. Not something that interested Linda at all, just the word “Barbershop” put her off. “Not my thing at all” said she, “and of course the fact that I did not ‘do’ singing and had no experience at all, was a big reason why I did not want to join them either. Boy, was I in for a surprise, and oh, how wrong can you be???”
Linda and Neil went to Spangles’ first open day, just to put bums on seats and give them some support; there were just 5 Spangles at that time. They were both impressed and had to admit that it was not the type of Barbershop they had expected. On that day, Linda was persuaded to go along to the next rehearsal, together with another lady, Vicky. Very reluctant and very scared, she turned up and joined in, with Lyn helping her in Lead, never imagining that she would be doing what she does now, and really enjoying herself.
“Join a Barbershop Chorus and you will always have a friend” was the first thing a friend in the UK told Linda when she announced that she had joined Spangles, and Linda now knows what she meant.
Today, Linda plays a vital role on the chorus management team, encouraging and supporting others who have taken that ‘step through the door’. She has also sung with four quartets, Chardonnay, Short Note-is, ConFusion and now with a mixed quartet called CHIL. Who would have thought?