Our history

sabs logo

The Spanish Barbershop Singers Association was born as a result of a visit by Nicolás de Penas and his brother Jorge when they attended their first Harmony College in Germany. Nicolas and Jorge had the enthusiasm, willpower and work ethic to make their dream of promoting the genre of Barbershop Singing throughout Spain and Portugal a reality. After searching and contacting some like-minded Barbershoppers, they held their first meeting in Valencia in October 2008 and SABS was born.

First SABS meeting in Gandia – 21 July 2008

Gandía (Valencia) was the venue for the first meeting of several barbershoppers and a Sweet Adeline from different areas of Spain, who decided to form SABS. From right to left of the photo are these founding members Tony Colgrave (SABS Treasurer), Lyn Baines (SABS Marketing Director), Nico de las Peñas (SABS President), Roger Gallant (SABS Vice President), Angel Rodriguez with his son, Santiago, and Dudley Jones (SABS Executive Members).

Presently

The current board of directors made the decision to look to the future and be more inclusive with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. Our name change from the Spanish Barbershop Singers Association to the Iberia Barbershop Association was the first positive act that resulted from that initial decision.

Another was our logo change. Our new logo (above) is an outline of the shape of the peninsula. It is neutral in color, allowing us to faithfully reflect the colors of the Spanish and Portuguese provinces in which we operate.

We have also created our own Education Team. This team is currently led by Kara Martin. Kara, with the help of our Southern Region Representative, Mar-Elena, recently planned and executed a wonderful and successful Harmony College event in Seville. Among the guest educators was the amazing Dr. Jay Dougherty who traveled all the way from the U.S. and who, along with his team of educators, was able to help with the planning and execution of the event. The end result of the weekend was that all attendees were enthusiastic about the experience. In addition, the Association gained 24 new members. We are currently hoping to host another Harmony College, probably in September 2024.

Our next event is the Association’s annual convention, In Harmony, which will be held in Calpe April 4-7, 2024, and is almost sold out! We are very proud that our convention is known throughout the Barbershop world as “The Friendly Convention” and you would be very welcome to come and experience the harmony that Barbershop singing holds.

Our vision

Our vision is to continue to promote the genre of Barbershop singing throughout the peninsula and related islands. We are confident that Barbershop choirs could be promoted in the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Madeira and the Azores.

Our Education team is currently concentrating on reaching out to schools encouraging them to adopt this musical genre into their curriculum. In Murcia we have our first provisional school choir.

Barbershop singing is unique. It encourages social interaction with like-minded people, young and old. It encourages teamwork because there is no single voice, only the voice of the choir or quartet. We work together to give the best of ourselves. Barbershop promotes harmony in music and harmony among our peers.

As you can see, we are eager to grow. However, as a non-profit organization, the only income we have comes from our membership dues, which we try to keep at an affordable and realistic level.

What would help us achieve our vision is to create a Harmony Foundation, funded entirely by sponsorship from organizations like yours. This would enable us to help new choirs and quartets with their training and music education needs. It would also be invaluable in helping us help those less fortunate, allowing them to get to the events we organize without being embarrassed and excluded for financial reasons beyond their control.

Having noted your organization’s special interest in culture and the arts, we are writing to ask if you would be willing to offer us a level of sponsorship to help us realize that vision.