Think you know what a Barbershop is?  Think again!

The golden team

Ian Ford Chairman with New members first outing at competition Tony, Jonathan and Steve. With musical director Neil Firth (right)

In a real life Pitch Perfect, Bolton’s own Cottontown Chorus swept all before them to claim the much sought after Gold at the national Barbershop Championships in Harrogate last week.

With recent appearances in the finals of Bolton’s Got Talent, and Sing Bolton Sing under their belt, Cottontown took their own unique style of male voice a capella to the contest stage, where they delivered a powerful performance that drew the audience to its feet, to take first place and bring back the trophy to Bolton.

Singing an emotional arrangement of Young and Foolish followed by an upbeat Charleston, they had one chance to show the judges what they could do, and they did it in style.  The Gold, their 7th in the last 13 years, followed a European bronze medal last year, and makes them eligible to represent the UK in the international championships in Salt Lake City in 2019.

Musical Director Neil Firth said, “The chorus really delivered in Harrogate.  The hard work and dedication these guys put in every week has really paid off.  Their quality shone through in our performance and I couldn’t be more proud of what we achieved- it’s a team game and I’m just part of ‘our’ team.”

With singers ranging in age from mid 20s to mid 80s, the Cottontown Chorus of Bolton has established itself as a leading barbershop group within the UK.  Their close-knit membership of nearly sixty guys has a strong commitment to vocal and performing excellence, and are united by their shared passion for making music.

Following their win, the chorus are opening their doors for new members and are encouraging anyone who loves to sing to give barbershop a go, with a chance to share the stage with them in their championship year.

For more information contact our chorus Public Relations Officer David Kitchenham on 07858389568 or email [email protected]


Notes to Editors:

1.       Barbershop is a style of a cappella close harmony, or unaccompanied vocal music, originating in the USA in the late 19th Century, and gaining prominence in the 1940s.

2.       The Bolton Barbershop Harmony Club (known as the Cottontown Chorus) was founded in 1979, and celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.

3.       The group rehearse every Tuesday evening at Turton High School from 19:30.  All rehearsals are open to guests.  Details can be found on the website at

4.       The contest video can be found at and can be linked to in online reports

5.       Download the PDF of this document.2018-05 – Cottontown Chorus press release – gold medal winning chorus 070618