Quartet on song to win national competition

A WOKING singer has won a national competition with his barbershop quartet.

Danny Gortler, who leads rock choirs in Woking and other towns in Surrey and Hampshire, is part of Limelight, which has won the National Barbershop Quartet Championship.

PRIZE GUYS – Danny Gortler, holding the National Barbershop Quartet Championship trophy, with fellow group members, from left, Luke Freeney, Connor Cobb and Peter Bryant, all wearing their winners’ medals

The quartet came first out of six in the finals, scoring 80% from the judges, one of the highest  winning scores in the competition.

Limelight first had to be selected in a preliminary round in November last year and then compete against 16 other groups in a semi-final in April.

They won £1,000, which they intend to put towards the cost of taking part in world championships in the US.

Danny, 27, told the News & Mail: “It was a bit of a shock when they announced the winners.

“We were hopeful we might get into the final because we scored quite well in the quarter finals, but we had no idea that we would actually win. The standard of competition this year was amazing.”

Danny, who went to Winston Churchill School, took up barbershop singing when he was studying at Farnborough College.

He then went to university in Liverpool where he met fellow music student and local resident Luke Freeney, with whom he formed a quartet in 2014 that won a national youth contest that year.

They also appeared on Frank Sinatra: Our Way, a BBC One show celebrating the late US singer’s centenary.

Danny and Luke, 30, formed Limelight three years ago with Connor Cobb, 24, who also lives in Liverpool, and Peter Bryant, 26, from York.

They competed in the 2019 national championships, finishing seventh in the preliminary round, but the contest had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.

Danny said Limelight tries to rehearse at least twice a month, either in Liverpool or Birmingham.

“We are saving up to go to America the year after next to compete internationally,” he added.

“I love barbershop music because even though it can be quite daunting singing a cappella, when you ring a chord just right it can create such an amazing and powerful sound and locking those harmonies is so rewarding.

“It’s also great fun just singing a load of brilliant songs with three of your best mates, and all we tried to do at the competition was have fun. It’s just a bonus that we won,” he said.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Editorial Team