Members of the 65-strong Wycombe Orpheus Male Voice Choir come from all walks of life - directors, accountants, decorators, pilots, teachers, IT gurus, marketing consultants, journalists and even a vicar or two. Some members are retired, others are still working - one new member is still at college (he's definitely brought the average age down!). We all share a common interest, the love of singing.
Why not join us? We’ve heard all the excuses: “I can’t sing well enough”, “I’m too busy”, “I can’t read music” etc. Just forget these for a moment and read on:
Health - there are many articles extolling the health benefits of singing. Singing, like yoga, involves good breathing techniques and helps to alleviate conditions such as asthma and stress whilst at the same time promoting a feeling of wellbeing. Learning music also helps with, ummm, now what was it? Ah, yes, the memory!
Camaraderie - when the choir was surveyed on what they enjoyed, camaraderie was top of the list. The common purpose and team work pull us together. We love to sing but we also have a lot of fun! And, in times of trouble, there's a lot of support, too.
Doing good - most of us like to do something for charity. The choir raises thousands of pounds each year and provides enjoyment to audiences small and large. We also run an annual festival for local young musicians where they compete in a range of musical styles and are judged by professional adjudicators. The choir also provides bursary funding to help talented young musicians financially.
Venues - as well as local venues such as Wycombe, Flackwell Heath, Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Maidenhead, the Chalfonts and Gerrards X, we’ve performed at the Royal Albert Hall, St Albans Abbey, Wells Cathedral, Peterborough Cathedral, The Eden Project, The Swan Theatre, Lakeside Country Club, Jersey, Germany, Llangollen, Cornwall and Cardiff’s Llandaff Cathedral and Millennium Centre to name but a few. Oh and did we mention the Miss World Charity Dinner?! This involved the Orpheus and all the finalists in the Miss World competition. A night to remember (say no more!).
Achievement - we’ve appeared on television, made four of our own CDs and featured in several others.
Hobby - every man needs a hobby, singing is one that can last a lifetime and rarely results in injuries! It is also one that partners can feel a part of. Many wives actively encourage their husbands to join!
Enjoyment - with all the other benefits, it’s very easy to forget how enjoyable singing is!! Very few people fail to derive enjoyment from singing whether it be at a football or rugby match, carol singing at Christmas, or even just in the shower.
Trendy – yes, following Gareth Malone's inspirational work with The Choir and promoting Workplace singing, and Only Men Aloud’s victory in Last Choir Standing, it is now trendy and the in-thing for men to sing!
What Do We Sing? – songs from the shows, pop classics, stirring hymns and uplifting operatic arias: for example Speed Your Journey, Angels, I Dreamed A Dream, The Rose, How Great Thou Art, Bread of Heaven, Soldiers’ Chorus, The Impossible Dream, Bohemian Rhapsody, You Raise Me Up, Memory, Music of the Night, Entrance and March of the Peers, The Wonder of You and You’ll Never Walk Alone (complete with football scarves!).
I’m too young/too old? - tell that to 17 year old Ollie Slater or 90-plus year old Peter Williams and Eddie Evans!
Most men can sing especially when supported by online learning MP3s and line practice (reading music is not essential). Are you really too busy to invest a couple of hours a week for a healthy, lifetime hobby, making new friends, doing some good whilst visiting splendid venues and enjoying yourself and achieving along the way?!
We meet at 7.30pm on Wednesdays at the Wesley Methodist Church, Priory Road, High Wycombe HP13 6SE; free parking is available in the Hamilton Road School slightly further up Priory Road.
For more details email Craig Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Craig on 01628 528550
Or just come along to rehearsal. You will get a warm welcome and it will change your life for the better.