Benchmark - Australian Seniors Gold Medalists Barbershop Quartet A Cappella singing in the Barbershop Style

Some interesting facts about current and past members of Benchmark
Current Members

Derek Cosburn - Lead

  • Gold Coast’s first “Flim Flam Man”
  • Member of the Dream World quartet called “The Dream World Four”.
  • Instrumental in starting the first men’s chorus in NZ South Island called “The Canterbury Plainsmen”
  • 1991 – Gained a Quartet Gold Medal in Australia’s first National Competition
  • 1992 – Represented Australia at USA International Competition in “The Sentimentals” open quartet
  • Multiple Medals in the Regional, National and Pan Pac competitions in the “Open Quartet” section with quartets such as “Soundworx” and “Crossroads”
  • Three National Senior Gold Medals in quartet “Cordial Exchange”
  • Placed 6th, 7th and 10th at three International Seniors Quartet competitions in the USA
  • Recognised as and an active coach of male and female quartet’s and choruses
  • A qualified Singing Judge and judged the Australian Barbershop Championships in Sydney Sep 2007
  • Sings lead and is a vocal coach with “The Blenders” chorus.

Ray Smyth – Bass

  • TV debut as a 10 year old (1960) on QTQ 9 Channel Niner’s Show performing “Singing The Blues”
  • Member of BTQ Channel 7 singing/dancing backup troupe on the George Wallace “Theatre Royal” live TV variety show every Friday evening as an 18/19 year old (1968/69)
  • Classical singing training from leading conservatory coach and member of the Qld Theatre Company
  • Regular Brisbane club/hotel singer/compere/entertainer from 19 to 23 year old
  • Resident vocalist at Daydream Island (Great Barrier Reef) for approx three months as a 21 year old
  • Retired from professional singing in 1973 at 23 years old to focus on Uni studies, career and family.
  • 1997 – Commenced barbershop as a bass with the Brisbane “River City Clippers” chorus singing all four parts in Chorus competitions over the next five years
  • Regional Silver & Bronze Medallist singing Tenor in quartet “Sound Investment”
  • 2004-6 – sang “Second Bass” with the prestigious Queensland Choir singing many major classical works
  • Joined “The Benders” chorus in 2007 and was bass section leader for their performance at the Barbershop International competition in Denver USA and their successful defence of the Australian Titles in 2007.
  • Training to be a Presentation Judge for the Australian and New Zealand Barbershop Association.
  • A past member of “The Blenders” chorus music team and a past Tenor section leader.
  • Joined Sound Connection chorus as a founder-member

Paul Roussell – Tenor

  • Commenced singing over 50 years ago as a boy soprano
  • Understudy for leading boy soprano in “A Unicorn For Christmas” (for HRH Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Founder Member of the Bach Choir of Wellington while at University in 1968 & sang in many choirs
  • Sang the Verdi’s Missa de Requiem in a choir of 3,000 singers in the Arena de Verona. There were two concerts with each audience over 20,000.  Tenor soloist: Luciano Pavarotti
  • 1992 – commenced barbershop as a baritone and joined the Harbour Capital Chorus in Wellington, New Zealand and was a member there for 12 years
  • Member of three top quartets in Wellington: Down Under Alliance, Capital Alliance and Vocal Accord.
  • 1998 – Gained a Bronze Medal in the Open Quartet competition of the Pan Pacific Championships
  • 2000/2 – Sang baritone with the Brisbane “River City Clippers” chorus
  • 2001 – Regional Silver Medal singing Baritone in quartet “Sound Investment” (with Ray Smyth)
  • Joined “The Benders” in 2007 and sang baritone with them at the Barbershop International competition in Denver USA and their successful defence of the Australian Titles in 2007.
  • Qualified in 2009 as a Music Judge for the Australian and New Zealand Barbershop Association.
  • Past member and Vice President of Music with “The Blenders” chorus.
  • Joined Sound Connection chorus as a founder-member

John Gairns – Baritone

  • John studied pianoforte, musicianship and singing throughout High School to Year 12, and carried his
    colourful music career forward through singing in a multitude of engagements;
    • Amateur Theatre performance engagements featuring in many musicals - including many
      G&S performances - Guys and Dolls, Calamity Jane, Lil Abner, Brigadoon.
    • Musical Director of the River City Clippers men’s a cappella chorus
    • Vocalist with Sydney Vocal Project
    • Section Leader with Sound Connection Men’s Harmony Chorus
    • Baritone with Seventh Heaven, Phonix, QuadraVox, Kudos and SLC Barbershop Quartets
      Baritone with Vox Montage Jazz Quartet
  • Current engagements:
    • Baritone with Benchmark Four Quartet.
    • Tenor with the amazing Inversion Vocal Group