Harmony InSpires History
The club has its origins in a Wantage-based ladies’ chorus that was called Ridgeway Harmony. A hugely successful “Learn to Sing” course in 2008 attracted a new influx of singers and the chorus was re-launched as Harmony InSpires with Helen Carter as musical director and an eye-catching logo featuring Oxford’s dreaming spires.
On Helen’s retirement in 2013 Peter Cookson took the helm as MD. Under his expert guidance, the chorus went from strength to strength, enjoying many memorable performances and achieving success in Music Festivals at Oxford, Bournemouth and Cheltenham. During this time our numbers grew steadily to about 40 singers and our score at the annual LABBS national convention increased by over 8 percentage points.
Harmony InSpires has always enjoyed exceptional support from the Ladies Association of British Barbershop and our Liaison Officer Lynne Owen, who also directed us at Convention on 2012.
Our local authority has also given us excellent support with a grant towards the purchase of our choral risers and the guidance of OCVA (Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action) through the preparation of our constitution to achieve registered charity status in 2014.
Harmony InSpires proudly celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2018 with current and past members at a magical Vintage Tea Party and an exciting Anniversary Show. We are now looking forward to the next chapter in our story, with the wonderful Hari Birtles who became our MD in November 2019. With her expertise, energy and sense of fun, we know it will be an exciting journey.