Barbershop Masterclass

Four young American men miss their train from Connolly station. They need to get to Malahide and they are late. It is Sunday 8 September 2019.

It is a special day for Blingmasters, one of Ireland's top female barbershop ensembles. They are waiting for these four men with a mix of slight trepidation and sheer excitement. The ladies are dressed in their uniform and are already warming up their voices by performing to a live audience in Malahide Community School.

Today will be a good day for Blingmasters. They will work hard and they will become a stronger ensemble. Why? Because the four young men make up The Newfangled Four, one of the top 10 barbershop quartets in the world.

The Newfangled Four led a masterclass with Blingmasters, working on movement, conviction and trust. Award-winning female quartet Lady Barbalade also performed and led a barbershop event for kids. It was a wonderful day out for everyone, performers, audience and kids alike!

Director of Blingmasters Becky Gilbert, who also sings the lead vocal line in Lady Barbalade, took it upon herself to invite the quartet over from the USA. They will now embark on an Irish tour. Their first performance was to a packed-out crowd in The Sugar Club, Dublin. They will also perform Cork, Birr, Castlebar, before returning to Dublin on 13 September for a performance in Rascals Brewery with The Ramparts of BBC's Pitch Battle.

Becky's efforts - and the dedication of Blingmasters - goes to show the power of grassroots musicians making amazing things happen.

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