Joyce Gram (tenor), Louise VanNoort (lead), Nancy Stewar (bass) and Patti Thorpe (baritone) make up the Yes’m quartet. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Barbershop quartet does pop-up performance in Langley City

The Yes’m Quartet entertained passersby along the one-way section of Fraser Highway on July 13.

Those who spent their lunch hour along the one-way section of Fraser Highway on Friday, July 13 received a special, musical treat from the Yes’m Quartet.

The a capella group — made up of members Joyce Gram (tenor), Louise VanNoort (lead), Nancy Stewart (bass) and Patti Thorpe (baritone) — strolled up and down the street, entertaining passersby with their harmonious voices to celebrate Barbershop Appreciation Day and the 73rd anniversary of Sweet Adelines International.

Sweet Adelines is a network of women barbershop singers that has member choruses around the world.

The Yes’m Quartet is a branch of the larger Westcoast Harmony Chorus in Surrey, which is a Sweet Adelines member.

Featuring more than 60 singers, Westcoast will be travelling to St. Louis, Mo. in the fall to compete at the Sweet Adelines International annual convention.

The chorus has already earned many accolades over the years, including the title of best mid-sized chorus in the world in 2013. The group recently placed first at the Region 26 competition at Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Surrey, which entitles them to compete against 35 other choruses internationally in the fall.

“We like to sing and this form of singing is a real challenge, it’s not easy,” said Gram. “And some of us are experienced, some of us are very inexperienced and have learned everything in the last few years about this art form. And we get a lot of pleasure and fun and camaraderie out of it.

“It’s amazing how much people enjoy listening to us. I think most people have never heard barbershop, certainly not seen it live and in front of them. And I think they’re amazed, frankly. So that’s great fun for us. We watch the faces and it’s just — whew. It brings it all to life.”

Westcoast Harmony has members ranging in age from 13 to 80 years old who all sing together, noted Thorpe.

“I’ve been teaching music for 25 years, (and) I learn something every single week from chorus, it’s never failed,” she said.

“It’s a great challenge every time, and we have the opportunity to travel and meet new people.”

“And sing for other people and make people happy and bring some sunshine into people’s lives,” VanNoort added.

Although fun, this style of singing can be very difficult, VanNoort said.

“We have to really be on our pitch because it’s 100 per cent a capella, no instruments,” she said. “So it’s our voices that are conveying the message and all of the chords that we make need to be on pitch.”

“It is the close harmonies that … make it magical (but) you have to work at it,” added Stewart. “It doesn’t come easily all the time.”

Westcoast Harmony is accepting new members. The group rehearses Wednesdays at Parkland Church in Surrey. For more information, email or visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police dog helps apprehend ‘prolific’ property crime offender near Surrey, Langley border

Douglas Holmes, 47, has been charged with break and enter of a business on the Langley Bypass

VIDEO: Crooks use truck, sledgehammer to break into Langley stores

Thieves have hit two Brookswood stores in commercial burglaries in the last month.

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

Marcel Dionne to appear at the Legends Banquet at the Langley Events Centre

Hockey Hall of Famer is one of several NHL greats slated to attend

B.C. Sports Hall of Fame to give Giants owner Ron Toigo W.A.C. Bennett Award

Head of Langley-based team has been involved with junior hockey since the 1990s

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read