Barbershop Takes Costa del Sol by Storm

Some 600 barbershop aficionados took Benalmádena by storm when they arrived for their fourth annual convention last weekend. This is the first time that the Spanish Association of Barbershop Singers (SABS) has based its event on the Costa del Sol. “Our delegates come from all over Europe, and we are keen to establish convention venues with excellent travel connections and accommodation.” said SABS Vice President, Lyn Baines. “This is the first time that we have hosted this international event in Benalmádena and we are very pleased with the results”.

Talk Radio Europe’s Mark Curry interviewed ‘Cleftomania’, a SABS mixed quartet from the Algarve in Portugal, on his show ‘Curry for Breakfast’ to introduce the event to audiences and he was very impressed with the high standard of performances when he attended the SABS Saturday show.

Spangles on Stage

Delegates were based in the Sunset Beach Club Hotel and the Torrequebrada Hotel, with shows and contests taking place in the Sala Fortuna at the Torrequebrada Hotel, where SABS also held its first-ever international quartet and chorus contests. Local choruses and quartets attended: Spangles chorus, Viva and Fénix quartets from Los Alcázares, and Torrevieja Harmonisers, FourMidables and The Velvetones from Torrevieja. Spangles was performing as outgoing champions and will compete again in 2013 in Alicante, but they are delighted that their Fénix quartet won a bronze medal against stiff competition, with FourMidables men’s quartet winning silver for the second year running in the SABS national contest.

Fenix - National Bronze Medallists - Photo Vincent de Vries

The international contest attracted choruses and quartets from England, Ireland and Holland and the chorus contest was a closely fought event, with two English ladies’ choruses, Heartbeat from Stockport and Cheshire Chord Company from Warrington, just 3 points apart; Heartbeat were crowned the new SABS International champions, with the silver medal going to Cheshire Chord Company and the bronze to Mixed-Q from Holland.

The international quartet contest saw some phenomenal performances for what is essentially an amateur hobby, with Echo quartet from Manchester becoming SABS International champions, closely followed by Miss-Demeanour with silver and The Mix winning bronze on their first outing as a quartet.

It was a bumper harvest for SABS members from Madrid, with ‘Barberidad’ men’s chorus scooping the SABS Chorus champion title and ‘Investigators’ men’s quartet winning the SABS Quartet champion title for the second time since 2010. ‘Bella A Cappella’, mixed chorus from Portugal, won the silver medal and ‘Southern Sound’, mixed chorus from Fuengirola, won the bronze medal.

The next SABS annual convention is scheduled for Alicante from 11-14 April 2013 and the national and international contests will be held in the prestigious new Auditorio de la Diputación. If you are interested in attending this event or would like to know more about SABS, you can find information on the SABS website: or contact by email: or

Lyn Baines
Author: Lyn Baines

Chorus founder and manager, bass section leader.

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