Will this Norwich squad secure promotion at the weekend?

Former chairmen of the Norwich Barbershop Singers Chris Durdin and Jeff Jordan (4th and 5th from lef

Former chairmen of the Norwich Barbershop Singers Chris Durdin and Jeff Jordan (4th and 5th from left on front row) - Credit: Brian Pincher

The Norwich Barbershop Singers are hoping that two familiar faces will spur them to glory at the Annual Barbershop Convention in Harrogate.

The group are hoping to gain promotion from the third tier of barbershop singers to the second, having seen their ranks swelled in recent months by the return of Chris Durdin and Jeff Jordan - who were both former chairmen of the group in the 1980's.

Quite by chance the two men were both at a performance by the current crop of Singers, more informally known as 'Fine City Chorus', in Thorpe St Andrew in November at the same time as the group were carrying out a recruitment drive.

The two men are rejoining the group after a combined gap of 60 years since they were last involved.

Their addition to the choir has helped grow the group's size past 30 as they head to the national convention over the late May bank holiday.

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Chris Durdin, 62, from Thorpe St Andrew, said: 'I left the barbershoppers in 1987 when my son was born but I've missed singing. I've never lost my love of close harmony music and it was an easy decision for me to come back to it.'

Jeff Jordan, who was Chris' predecessor as Chairman, said 'Bringing the audience to laughter or tears is the strength of the barbershop style. There is good humour in the chorus too, and when we are not concentrating on our singing we have a great laugh.

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Mr Jordan has continued to perform in choirs during his 30-year absence from the group, and he says that the interpretative style of the Singers is a 'breath of fresh air' compared to the more strict adherence to sheet music conducted by other choirs.

Brian Pincher, Fine City Chorus Public Relations Officer, said: 'Like all new chaps after a few weeks Chris and Jeff were asked to audition by singing a couple of songs that they had been practicing with the choir - both were quick to go through that process and are now going on to compete at the convention with the chorus.'

Anyone who has an interest in singing with the Fine City Chorus or would like them to perform at an event can telephone 07795507421. The group practice every Wednesday evening from 7.30pm at Lionwood Infant and Nursery School, Telegraph Lane, Norwich.

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