Benchmark - Australian Seniors Gold Medalists Barbershop Quartet
A Capella singing in the Barbershop Style
Tom Percy - Bass
- A Barbershopper for over 34 years
- Three times Gold Medal Quartet winner in the UK with 'Par Four'...'On Spec'...'Chordial Exchange'….
- Founder Member, bass section leader, and Chorus Director for three years of The Rainy City Chorus, Gold Medalists 1992….
- Founder and Director for ten years of The Crystal Chords Ladies Barbershop Harmony Club….
- Founder Member of Just Midnight, Liverpool based Mixed Harmony Group….
- Also sang in Amateur Operatics, played the Town Councillor in The Music Man three times, and a big Gilbert and Sullivan fan. Loves Tom Lehrer too, especially "Poisoning Pidgeons in the Park"
- Immigrated to Australia in September 2007 and joined Benchmark in April 2008.
Mark Penman - Bass
- Mark established a successful career as a freelance singer after studying music at UQ in the 1980’s. Mark was a principal artist with Opera Queensland before moving to Sydney to sing full time with Opera Australia in 1997.
- He has performed many times with the Qld Symphony Orchestra, the Qld Theatre Company, Qld Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brisbane Biennial and the Qld Arts Council. His most recent operatic role was as the Marriage Commissioner in Madama Butterfly (2009) for Opera Qld.
- Mark has also performed Broadway and operetta in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne including personal favourites Hello Dolly, The Pirates of Penzance, Annie The Musical, Kiss Me Kate, The Student Prince, The Music Man and Die Fledermaus. He has toured throughout Queensland, Australia, S.E. Asia and the USA with various singing groups.
- For the last six years he has also been working as a Registered Music Therapist in aged care. He has developed a highly successful program with groups and with individuals who are socially isolated. Clinical outcomes include improved well being, self expression, social interaction, cognitive stimulation, improved memory and anxiety reduction. Mark utilises songs familiar to this population together with humour, parody, dancing and exercise.
- Mark is also a gold medal winning barbershop singer, having won gold at the Australian Championships with Southern Cross in 2000. One personal highlight of Mark’s life as a singer was the honour of singing the National Anthem at the State Of Origin at Lang Park on the final night before redevelopment to Suncorp Stadium. Mark has four daughters all of whom are singers and musicians.