Beacon of Harmony · LABBS

Stage 19: Harmony InSpires

Stage 19 sees the Beacon of Harmony travel an evening with Amersham A Cappella, Signature and Harmony Inspires to a joint celebration in Oxford between Harmony InSpires and The Barberettes. 


Here’s what Harmony InSpires had to say about their time with the Beacon:


Oxford chorus Harmony InSpires entertains the Barberettes (with apologies to former resident Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)”.

On a balmy spring evening, the intrepid Barberettes set out on their quest for the Beacon of Harmony in their sleek silver coach.

Their journey progresses well until they skirt around a small spired city, a curious place where there is but a thin veil between imagination and reality. At this point their coachman, Bill, turns a little green. Indeed there is a somewhat lacertilian look about him, so it’s no wonder he suddenly seems uncertain of the route. Keen to help Bill, the Barberettes consult the briefing they received from Harmony InSpires and find a useful suggestion therein: “If lost, look out for a Hatter in a Mini driven by a White Rabbit and follow them.”

And so it is that the Barberettes find their way to a jolly celebration of LABBS 40th Anniversary viewed through the prism of Wonderland, hosted by Harmony InSpires.

Alices abound; Cheshire Cats come and go; Tweedledum & Tweedledee have made a special journey through the looking glass to be here; and, of course, there are White Rabbits, one of whom, embarrassingly a Harmony InSpires section leader, has to be scolded severely for her utter failure to keep her ears under control.


All are ably led by the Harmony InSpires Hatter and the Queen of the Barberettes’ Hearts.

After limbering up with some polecats, the joint chorus makes a concerted effort to learn the LABBS 40th Anniversary Tag, and brings the words, if not all the notes, alive.

When they begin to flag, Harmony Inspires’ Chairman declares “It’s time for a Mad Tea-Party and the solemn signing of the Beacon of Harmony”, although, after a moment’s reflection, Lesley reverses the order of these events to avert any jammy accidents.


Cake and some allegedly stolen tarts duly consumed, washed down with prodigious quantities of tea, the singing resumes. From Harmony InSpires’ Blue Skies to the Barberettes’ Skyfall, the choruses entertain each other royally.


On their return journey the Barberettes again pass the small spired city, which is asleep, dreaming. As it recedes into the distance Bill the coachman perks up, feeling much more like his old self, and confidently heads towards the M4. Weary from their mission, and with the Beacon of Harmony safely stowed away, the Barberettes are now also dozing in their moonlit silver coach. They don’t notice a White Rabbit haring past them in her Mini, taking the Hatter home.


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