All-female barbershop choir coming to St. Mary’s Church

The Pacific Edge Chorus is coming to St. Mary’s Church for Sunday Serenade. On Oct. 29 at 2:30, audiences can expect almost two hours of four-part barbershop-style music from the all-female group.

The group was called the City of Gardens chorus for years before changing their name this August. Fran Errington, president of the chorus, said it was to freshen things up and attract new members. They are currently doing a membership drive to add to their 45-woman contingent, with most new members ranging from 25-40.

The Chorus is part of Sweet Adelines is an international organization of female barbershop choirs that focus on performance, competition and education.

“I just thought you open your mouth and the voice came out, but that doesn’t happen,” said Errington.

The group did a two-week bus tour of the UK in June accompanied by friends and husbands. They met in Edinburgh and went around Scotland, Ireland, Wales (where director Julie Smith was born), and England to sing with other Sweet Adelines choirs and celebrate Canada’s 150th.

“Everywhere in the world there’s a Sweet Adelines chorus you can just call them and say ‘We’re coming from Canada, can we come to your rehearsal?’ and they always bend over backwards to do that,” said Errington.

In addition to touring, eight members of the Pacific Edge Chorus went to Las Vegas last week to watch a Sweet Adelines competition at the MGM Grand. Though Errington could not make it this time, she said she was very excited to see two Canadian choruses, from Toronto and Vancouver, top the competition for the first time.

“Can you imagine 6,000 women in one room, singing?” she laughed.

The group rehearses every Tuesday night at 6:45 at Gordon United Church in Langford. After passing an audition, membership costs $35 per month, which pays for the church hall, sheet music and guest coaching. For more information, visit

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