Helen Jones

Tenor section leader

The Red Rosettes: an unexpected family, an amazing support network as well as my welcome journey into escapism at times.

I joined the Red Rosettes 6 years ago, I knew I wanted to sing again and wanted something fun, I’ve always loved singing but hadn’t done anything for a few years.  I looked around and saw the Red Rosettes on the BBC choir website.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect – barbershop is four men singing in funny hats isn’t it?!  The feminist in me kicked in and thought, ‘well if men can do it!’ I turned up at the address of the school that I found online, hung around in the carpark for a bit to build up courage to go in, and during this time realised you had to walk round the back of the school in the dark to get in! Not the most welcoming introduction…. I took a deep breath and walked in…. And all preconceptions were blown away. From the moment I heard them sing, I knew I wanted to be part of that sound. 

I joined in September, so couldn’t do much at this time of year other than watch, because it was near competition, but this was a great way to understand what would be expected of me, to hear the difference a request from the MD made to the sound. I even watched the transformation of the Chorus under coaching, which was inspiring.  I was amazed at the level of detail that they went into but it was worth it for the ‘hair standing on end’ experience you got when everything came together. I was hooked!

I have learnt so much about singing since joining the Red Rosettes.   

I’ve sung for many years in different guises but in the past have just opened my mouth and played around with what came out, with varying degrees of success!  However what I have learnt about voice placement, matching vowels, turning diphthongs together, posture, breathing, emoting, choreography it has been both an education and a joy to experience. I feel I still have so much to learn.

This all sounds very serious and jargon-tastic, and I haven’t even mentioned voice tests! (honestly they’re not as bad as they sound) However, you cannot help but enjoy the amazing sound we are capable of producing together.  The camaraderie, friendships,  surrogate mothers and random adventures – you can sing anywhere at any time if you are in an accapella singing group.

If you have got a good ear for music, can hold a tune and are looking for a bunch of bonkers women who work hard, play hard, sing beautifully and give amazing hugs, just when you need then look no further: the Red Rosettes is for you.