• IIMS

BABS invites Becky as 'Shadow Judge'

Last weekend, our resident barbershopper, Becky Gilbert travelled to Sheffield to attend the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) preliminary contest for quartets.


Becky was invited to the contest to shadow-judge in the Music category. Barbershop contests are judged by a strict set of guidelines and require the presence of trained judges in three categories; Music, Singing and Performance.


Before long, Becky will begin training as a Barbershop Music judge. To be invited to shadow-judge is a prestigious experience and a key part of the process in learning the ropes of the barbershop world. Indeed, judging any musical contest is a discipline unto itself. A refined base of analytical skills must be honed and judgements must be communicated in an expressive and constructive way.


Becky spent the weekend working alongside the 9-person panel of judges, observing with a close ear every single one of the 41 quartets singing their hearts out.


Becky's role as an international barbershop specialist is important to the pedagogical processes of Irish Institute of Music and Song. Where members of the IIMS team become involved in discussions about music, singing and education on an international scale, we learn what works and what doesn't work across the world and we bring this knowledge into our own community for the benefit of our own singers and students.


We are proud that Becky has been recognised as a barbershop specialist of international esteem. Every day, she brings this expertise into her work for the Fingal International Festival of Voices from 12-15 March 2020.


In Becky's own words:

It was an extremely enjoyable weekend full of friendship and singing, and it was wonderful to see how the British Association of Barbershop Singers, like our own Irish Association (IABS) is full of new members, old and young, and thriving on the wonderful sense of community that comes with singing together.

To find out more about Becky's barbershop groups, try out Lady Barbalade.


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