In early 2004, Patrick Williams, with Andy Gardner, Iain Hallam, Matt Pearson and Gareth Treseder, formed a barbershop “quartet” known informally (and rather grandly) as The University of Bristol Barbershop Singers (TUBBS). This group sang at a few concerts per year, including several Music Department parties, St. Paul’s church Christian Aid concerts and the 100th anniversary of the opening of Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.
2007–2015: TUBBS/TUBBS A Cappella
In 2006, most founders were graduating or had moved on, so Iain decided to launch the group as an official UBU (now Bristol SU) society, covering barbershop and modern a cappella. TUBBS secured an entry into the guide, a stall at the Freshers’ Fair, and 60 sign-ups in October 2007! A new committee was quickly formed to help TUBBS find its feet as an offical society.
The new chorus and smaller ensembles and quartets collectively earned TUBBS the award of Best New Society that year. This was followed in the second year with the award of Best Society, and the formation of our auditioned chorus, HotTUBBS, who have enjoyed continued success such as becoming Voice Festival national finalists in 2012 and winners in two categories at the Mid Somerset Festival in 2013.
TUBBS officially changed its name in 2014 to TUBBS A Cappella, dropping the meaning of the acronym and adding ‘A Cappella’ to better reflect all the styles of music that was sung within the society by the various groups. Groups have come and gone as students progress through their degree, one of the most notable being, the national quartet champions 2014 Park Street.
2015–present: University of Bristol A Cappella Society
With The Bristol Suspensions‘s formation in October 2014, the society recognised the need for an overall a cappella society, and started working on merging the two societies. TUBBS A Cappella’s constitution and committee were brought forward and amended to suit the new society’s needs, and Bristol’s umbrella a cappella society was born!
November 2015 brought a first for all the groups within the society, as they performed in the Winston Theatre in Bristol Students’ Union as part of the society’s massive 3 Evenings of A Cappella shows. The shows were a huge success and raised over £900 for the Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Society.
All groups run autonomously, with the society committee running the unauditioned chorus (which remains as TUBBS A Cappella). There are plenty of opportunities to set up your own group, no matter the size, style or speciality! Simply contact the committee to get more information about doing so – we can provide the necessary advice and resources to get your on your way!