Choir wants more members

By Barrie Hudson - 13 July 2021

Arts and CultureCommunityClubs & Activities

Swindon-based Wessex Male Choir has begun a recruitment drive.

  • Members pictured before lockdown

    Members pictured before lockdown

The campaign will lead up to an open evening on 14 September at Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club.

Choir leaders say the last 18 months have been tough for members used to meeting in person, but contact has been maintained through Zoom meetings and outdoor in-person rehearsals began last month.

'The Tracks of Our Years' was a popular lockdown mixtape project in which members were asked to choose two songs.

Choir events manager Stuart Allinson said: ‘We asked the guys to pick two songs that ‘quicken your heart and soothe your soul’ to make ‘The Tracks of Our Years’ - a mixtape to capture the diverse range of music that the choristers have enjoyed as they grew up. I was amazed what came up; Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, Soul and New Wave with Classical music and Madrigals thrown in too. 

"Queen and The Beatles featured heavily and what also came through was that we are all a suckers for great song writing and a beautiful melody. We asked them to tell us why the songs were so important and for many it simply evoked a memorable time or a special person – music has such power to move you.

"Patrick, one of our Baritones, picked ‘I wanna be like you’ and ‘Good vibrations’ and said, ‘I wanna be like you’ - cool singing by King Louie and Baloo, great rhythm and the first film I ever saw at a cinema.  I also had the original soundtrack, which was played every Sunday morning between church and roast dins.

"‘Good Vibrations’  by The Beach Boys was on the first cassette I ever bought—The Beach Boys Greatest, and reminds me of the hot summer of 1976 and school trip to Greenwich. It was played on the radio on the way home and I was sitting next to the girl of my dreams on the coach!'

"We shared the Spotify playlist on our website and to the friends of the choir and it makes for an interesting and eclectic listen. What we discovered was that we just love music – any music, and what struck us was that many of us never listen to choral music but love performing it."

The playlist can be found at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/47x7wJEobEj6tNAbIgEZko?si=rZBGC7ZnSU60n9SxZfG87Q

Wessex Male Choir performs all kinds of music including traditional folk tunes, pop, rock, modern choral music, show tunes and much more. 

It sings and competes across the UK and Europe and welcomes men from all walks of life. Newcomers are assured of a challenging, supportive and friendly atmosphere in which to sing and thrive. 

There is one-to-one support with a buddy system plus online singing aids as well. 

The choir's website is Wessexmalechoir.co.uk

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