Alan McKinnon's blog

We are delighted to report that our Christchurch Barbershop friends, The Vocal Network, won the Open Quartet Competition at the recent Barbershop Harmony New Zelanad Convention held in Blenheim. Congratulations to David, Ed, Andrew and Aaron. See this Stuff Article for more details. Photo by SHAWN YORK taken from Stuff web site.

At the recent Barbershop Harmony New Zealand Nation Convention in Blenheim's brand new theatre, The Plainsmen won the trophy for the Most Improved Chorus. This is awarded to the chorus whose contest scrore increases by the most from one convention to the next. This is a credit to the men in The Plainsmen and in particular to Rob Grieve the Musical Director and to Ravil Atlas who helped coach us. Watch the Plainsmen performing at the Convention as they sing There's a Brand New Gang and I've Been Working on the Railroad.

The Plainsmen held another very successful combined concert with Leopard Coachlines Canterbury Brass on the 28th of May 2016 in the Middleton Grange Auditorium. A full house enjoyed a variety of brass band and barbershop music based on the theme "The City of Christchurch". Right from the Prismatic Visions that the band played at the start through to the final fun O When the Saints where the audience joined in with gusto (and then demanded an encore), this was a night with something for everyone. A potted history of Christchurch was portrayed through the music and the accompanying images which gave the audience many nostalgic moments.

The Plainsmen were pleased to be invited to perform to a group at the Salvation Army Citadel in Colombo Street on the evening of Friday 15th of April. We presented a variety of popular numbers such as "Bye Bye Love", "Hello Mary Lou" and "Something" which were well received by the audience. It was great to have three of our quartets singing. The Nor' Westers sang "Under The Boardwalk", Late Shift sang "Georgia On My Mind" and our newest quartet Chance Encounter  sang "PoKare Kare Ana" on their public debut. Many of us then retired to the nearby Casbah restaurant for a meal and some more great singing.

Valma Maunsell was in the audience for the annual Plainsmen Christmas Concert held in the Transitional Cathedral. The day following the concert, she wrote:

The Music of Christmas should be full of joy and anticipation. The Plainsmen gave us this last night; they showed us that Christmas can be Holy, Merry and Silent and a mix of emotion. There can be Silver Bells and Jingle Bells.

The Quartets and Tens and the large chorus all showed how much they enjoyed their singing - lots of smiles (even on a couple of occasions when things went awry). The Guest Artists made a great contribution to a wonderful evening.

It certainly was a good night. Visit our Media Library to see vidoes of all the songs.

Whoever came up with the idea for this combined Memorial Day concert between The Plainsmen and  Canterbury Brass on Friday 6th of November at Middleton Grange Audirorium deserves a medal.

So says Velma Maunsell who was in the audience for that event. She goes on...

The music choice for this programme was stunning. The music of “Passchendaele” played by the band stirred the emotions and we were alongside those men as they went through the fateful battle.

Other music also contributed to the aim of the concert………. “remembrance”.

The Plainsmen performed admirably. The choice of songs for their part of the programme was great and contributed to the whole event.

The night of 29th August 2015 was an amazing Barbershop experience featuring Christchurch’s own The Vocal Network (NZ Open Quartet Champions for a number of years prior to 2015 and runners up in 2015) and New Zealand’s own Musical Island Boys (International Quartet Champions in 2014). The Charles Luney Auditorium at St Margaret’s College was pretty well full and so it should have been for this spectacular event of high quality barbershop singing delivered along with easy good humour. Our congratulations to The Vocal Network for organising this event.