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VIDEO: Barbershop chorus fly flag


Vocal virtuosos are flying halfway round the world to prove themselves as the best of barbershop.

The 47-strong Grand Central Chorus will represent the United Kingdom at the Barbershop Harmony Society's international convention in Toronto, Canada.

They will compete against 27 countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia.

Dave Eason, 65, from Ashby, is one of the Leicestershire members of the Midlands chorus.

He is due to fly out tomorrow and spend the week with the rest of the all-male ensemble in the plush Fairmont Royal York Hotel before the choral competition on Friday.

"This has changed my life," said David.

"If someone had told me I would be flying halfway around the world to compete in a national singing competition, I would never have believed them."

Dave will land in Toronto on Monday, which is Canada Day.

"It will be great when we get there, there will be fireworks and parties," he said.

"The following day, we go to Niagara Falls and then we've got to start preparing for the competition."

The group will sing two songs in the competition, which is being held at the Air Canada Centre.

Dave and the group will perform I'll Be Seeing You and South Rampart Street Parade in a bid to be named world barbershop champions.

But they need to beat a host of experienced American groups, including the Singing Buckeyes, the Westchester Chordsmen and the Upstate Harmonizers.

Lead singer Ron Tucker, 81, from Ashby, is the oldest member of the group. He joined about 18 months ago. He said the chorus was performing better than ever but would have a tough task against some of the Americans.

He said: "Barbershop was born in the United States, so naturally they're incredibly good at it.

"I'm not saying we're not good – we're performing better than ever before – but I think a sensible target is about 10th or 15th.

"But whatever happens, we're going to go in with our heads held high and fly the flag for England."

Dave, Ron and the rest of the group have paid part of the cost of the trip by holding a series of fund-raising events.

The British Association of Barbershop Singers has also helped with funding.

The Grand Central Chorus is made up of 47 members, aged between 20 and 81, who meet every Wednesday to perfect their harmonies.

For more information, visit:

www.grandcentralchorus. com

VIDEO: Barbershop chorus  fly flag

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