Quintessence is a 5-piece Acapella group.
We are based in Oxfordshire and sometimes wear silly hats.
John sings most of the high notes in Quintessence. He started his musical education as a boy chorister, eventually graduating to bass in a county youth choir. Along the way he learnt about harmony with the aid of a battered acoustic guitar and discovered the joy of A cappella with friends, and popular songs of the day. Fast forward 15 years and John stumbled across barbershop and immediately fell in love - again - with close harmony. Very soon he sang in several quartets and helped to start the first Oxfordshire barbershop chorus. Another 30 years have passed and he still sings with the chorus ( when he's not directing it ) and also in a mixed group - bass again. ( he's not had the op yet! ) Quintessence is his all time favourite small group with that special combination of a desire for the best possible harmony along with enduring friendship.
Rob is a Lead singer in Quintessence ( he sings the tune a lot of the time ). He has two children and lives in Wantage. He has been singing A cappella music for 35 years, mostly in the Barbershop Style. His other hobbies include birdwatching and playing golf. As his fellow singers would say " he has swing in his rhythm and rhythm in his swing"
John, or Harv as he is known to us, started singing seriously at the age of 9 ( nobody knows how old he is now! ) being a semi-professional chorister at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Entitling himself "Royal Chorister and No Angel" just about encapsulates his life. He has sung in various genres of music, but in 1984 joined a barbershop chorus, and the experience of singing 4-part close harmony, properly , changed his life. He has sung in various quartets and small choral groups since then, but now has found great friendship and harmony with four likeminded and talented singers in Quintessence.
Geoff started close harmony singing with Wantage's Whitehorse Harmony chorus in 1987, and from the first time he stood with the surround sound of four part chords , he was hooked. That feeling has never left him, and he feels the same way singing with the guys in Quintessence today. It really is the sum of the parts that make the group's unique sound that you hear today. He hopes you experience the same "buzz" as he did back then.
Richard, aka Rico has been singing for as long as he can remember; which in view of his failing memory, is not very long ago! He takes the Baritone part in the harmony although in a couple of songs he has been persuaded to sing the melody line whilst others around him provide the harmony. He started his Acappella career in a quartet when still at University, and now fifteen years on ( he jests; more like forty ) he loves creating harmonies in a way only a good Baritone can. He believes that his performance should be slick and entertaining. Provided he stays off the red wine ( which he takes in moderation for his heart! ) he is sometimes able to achieve this. When asked the difference between a motor mower and a Baritone his stock answer is " you can tune a motor mower"
Quintessence, has for many years, been fundraising for a charity called "The Bruce Trust" based in Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire. They are a registered charity providing specially-designed, purpose-built wide-beamed canal boats, for hire for self-catering, self steer holidays by disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people along with their family, friends or carers. They are always looking for keen volunteers and of course, money. Please visit their website at www.brucetrust.org.uk
We also regularly raise funds for Wantage Counselling Service, The October Club ( Alzeimers Care & Respite Centre in Wantage ), Cancer Research UK and Sobell House Hospice based in Oxford.
We are eternally grateful to Guy Ripley, Landlord of "The Shoulder of Mutton" pub in Wantage, Oxfordshire for his kindness in allowing us to rehearse in his pub and drink his wonderful beers.
Please visit his website at www.theshoulder.pub