Last weekend saw a dozen or so arrangers from the three barbershop organisations in the UK gathered together at a hotel in Manchester to spend two days studying with David Wright. Anyone involved in barbershop music will know his work well: he is one of the most successful and creative arrangers currently active, having worked with many of the world’s champion quartets of the last two decades.
If you don’t know his work, have a listen to these, just to set the picture:
Cruella de Vil, sung by Vocal Spectrum
Yes Sir, That's My Baby, sung by Ringmasters
I Have Dreamed, sung by the Ambassadors of Harmony
The invitation to come and work with experienced British arrangers arose from the Barbershop in Harmony collaborations that also produced the workshop for less experienced arrangers in Birmingham in April, and the seminar was structured around the study of a number of classic arrangements.
I came home with a notebook full of ideas, many of which I’ll need to think about at greater length before I’m ready to write about them, so this post is a collection of initial impressions – the things that rise to the top in the first instance.