As Ontario's foremost barbershop quartet, we go beyond the average barbershop quartet and perform in a variety of styles and genres, singing a cappella arrangements of all kinds. If you need custom arrangements, have an existing arrangement you would like us to learn, or you just want the good old barbershop songs, we'll deliver the best you can find in Ontario!
We have traveled far and wide pursuing our passions in performing, and though we call Toronto home, we are not afraid to perform as guests far afield! We dedicate a lot of time to our art, and take pride in crafting tailored experiences for every audience. Contact us for more information!
Yonge Guns Quartet
Price Range: Contact for rates
What to Expect
Most often, we are asked to simply perform and do what we do best: singing barbershop-style music to an audience, whether it's random passersby, as part of a concert or show, or even a singing telegram. Sometimes specific song requests are made, which require some time for us to acquire and learn, and comes at a higher cost than songs that are already in our repertoire. We perform from memory, so your experience of our performance goes above a concert; we seek to engage our audience by living the song we're singing. We have heard it said that our performances are like something out of a scene from a musical. Don't expect dancing, but certainly expect visual engagement and involvement in what we're singing.
We dress well. Give us a general idea of the dress - how formal or informal it is, and if there's a colour (for Canada and Valentine's days we typically wear red, for instance) - and we'll do our best to match it.
Our latest collaboration had us actually arranging an original melody from a musician into our style, then recording it with him for his final product. Musicians looking to work with us will find our adaptability extremely helpful, our company fun, and our professionalism refreshing.
We know that since we carry no heavy equipment and require no particular spacing that we are ideal for functions that require maneuverability. We are equally comfortable standing and performing in a static position as we are being mobile while performing or even needing to squeeze into odd spots. This adaptability makes us great for festivals, fairs, and private events where the needs of the event are not always certain.
We got together as a quartet in August 2013 for the purpose of competing in the Barbershop Harmony Society's barbershop quartet contests. We rose quickly to prominence in the Ontario quartet scene, winning high honours early on, qualifying for the International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet contest in 2014, placing 3rd, then winning the Ontario quartet contest in 2015. We are currently the reigning champions in Ontario and work towards the international contest in July each year.
We have had the opportunity to travel far as part of these barbershop events, though no opportunity has brought us as far as involvement with our chorus, the Toronto Northern Lights, with whom we toured Europe, landing in England, Germany, and Sweden. Though our competition work has easily been the highlight of our performances with all of the time and dedication we pour into them, the experiences and opportunities this hard work affords us is a grand motivation to keep doing what we're doing.
Our experience of the barbershop competitive world often spurs us as musicians to reach out into the wider community and seek out new and innovative ways to bring barbershop into the mainstream. We know that barbershop-style music is seen as kitschy and old school at best, but its image has changed somewhat and continues to change. The sound of the music, performed well, is not what it used to be; and we don't wear those boaters and red-and-white striped vests any more...usually! With these things in mind, we have performed in public places like Union Station or as part of corporate events, collaborated with local artists in delivering performances or creating music, performed as guests on shows all over Ontario and even the northern United States, and introduced new and exciting arrangements to the barbershop community through our performances that push the boundaries of what defines barbershop. We hope to help barbershop evolve into a style of music that the world can love!
Additional Booking Notes
We have performed in a variety of venues and situations, with events ranging from formal staged performances to wandering performers.
- We are capable of performing with no amplification or technical needs whatsoever. Works well in smaller spaces like a room that fits 20 - 30 people or an office.
- On stage, we tend to sing close together, so lighting and staging requirements are minimum. We can stand on quite small stages with limited lighting and have no particular requirements. In a dark space, wash lighting works best.
- We self-balance in terms of singing, so an XY condenser microphone (like the kind drummers use for their kick drums) work perfectly for us. If using 4 individual microphones (and therefore 4 channels on a P.A.), keeping the volume balance the same across is easiest, though you can lower the tenor (highest) voice's volume by a bit, and increase the bass's (lowest) voice's volume by the same amount for a bit of effect.
- We are very adaptable to many different scenarios (and people have been creative with us in the past) so feel free to talk with us about your needs!
Typically either an XY condenser microphone or 4 individual microphones. Amplification (and therefore microphones) not necessary in small spaces.
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