New choir seeks 40 men to sing their hearts out or heroes!
If the only audience to hear you sing is your collection of rubber ducks in the bathroom you might be a little shy at unleashing your vocal talents in public. But award winning choral conductor Will Prideaux is convinced he could get you hitting the right notes in just 12 weeks as part of a new male choir.
Sing for Heroes! is being launched by Peterborough Male Voice Choir with the aim of taking 40 men with a range of musical experience (including none!) and – over the course of 12 weeks – turning them into a choir to perform on the same bill as the renowned PMVC in a charity concert at The Voyager Theatre in aid of Help for Heroes. In 2010 and 2011 the project saw over 100 men performing and since 2010 Sing for Heroes!, together with sister choir Peterborough Voices’ Sing For Life for Cancer Research, has raised a staggering £20,000 plus for charity.
So successful has Sing for Heroes! proved as a recruitment initiative, Will has been contacted by Leeds Male Voice Choir in the hope that he can turn their membership around before their Centenary in 2016. As a result, this year the project will be rolled out simultaneously in Peterborough and in Leeds, where it will culminate in a charity concert for Help for Heroes at the stunning Leeds Town Hall on October 13, which will see PMVC – complete with new recruits! – travel North to support their new colleagues.
As the brains behind the project Will is not facing an easy task, but his credentials as musical director and conductor of the Peterborough Male Voice Choir should stand him in good stead. Mark Currier from the choir told ESP – “Will is our secret weapon. He is extremely experienced in helping ordinary men find their voice and discover the joy of singing. We are not looking for an Elvis or a Pavarotti,” Mark laughs, “just guys who want to come along and enjoy singing together. Until you have tried it you cannot understand the buzz singing can bring.”
Will told ESP – “The whole idea of the project is to bring these people together as a community. We are creating a situation where they can come and have a go, get a warm welcome and not be judged. While some find it naturally easy to sing, for others it has to be developed. The first thing is to have the confidence to come and have a go. We have an age range of between 16 and 75 in the current choir and there is no age restriction whatsoever!
“So many people are told they can’t sing or are tone deaf which can be soul destroying and could become the verdict on their singing for the rest of their life. If I took the first 40 men to walk through the door now I am sure half would say without a doubt, ‘I can’t sing’. But to sing is a natural thing. Singing with others takes a few extra skills, but they will come.
“At Peterborough Male Voice Choir we pride ourselves on the range of styles of music we use – from hymns to popular songs and classical pieces. Almost straight away we will be rehearsing the material we will perform in the concert.”
To publicise the project the choir has distributed a massive 40,000 leaflets across Peterborough (and another 40,000 across Leeds!) and hopes that finding 40 willing volunteers in each city will not prove too difficult.
“We are not looking for 100 per cent in musicality, but 100 per cent in terms of enthusiasm,” says Mark, “All we are asking is come to an introductory session and find out more. We are convinced those that do will enjoy themselves and discover how great singing can be.”
To get the Sing for Heroes! project up and running PMVC is holding introductory sessions on July 3 and 5 at the Key Theatre, Peterborough.
Interested in getting involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mick Collins on 01733 559095 for an information pack.
Photos: Will Cheung