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Real men sing

London has the Chaps Choir and the Bellow Fellows, Australia has the Australian Rugby Choir — and now Gisborne is to have its own ensemble of singing men.

Voice teacher and conductor Gavin Maclean is keen to start a men’s choir for all ages.

An initial meeting will be held on Sunday at 5pm in the St Andrew’s Church Community Centre lounge.

Starting with a short-term commitment as a “winter choir”, Maclean suggests a one-hour practice every week, perhaps late on Saturday afternoons, with an optional hour beforehand for learning to read music, and afterwards for voice exercises or individual problems.

The choir is for all ages and all levels of ability.

“This is to bring together a resource of talent that is out there in the community, and to encourage people to begin singing if they haven’t before.

“I know a lot of men who think, or have even been told, they are no good, and I also know it’s not true,” says Maclean who has conducted the Gisborne Choral Society for four decades.

The men’s choir could turn out to be small and elite or it could be a large gathering with great thundering sound.

“Either way, men’s voices together have a very special appeal, in unison or in harmony.

“As with all community singing, whether choral societies, stage musicals, or kapa haka, lifting voices together is a fulfilling experience.

“For harmonies, the strong guys can lead in each section, so a mix of talent levels works well.

“Singing is a natural bodily function and good for both body and soul.”

Anyone interested in sounding out the formation of a men’s choir in Gisborne is invited to an initial meeting in the St Andrew’s Church Community Centre lounge on Sunday at 5pm.

MAN UP: The sepulchral figures in the background of this picture are arrested in mid-exit by the resonant sound of London’s Chaps Choir and now Gisborne is about to build its own stop-em-in-their-tracks men’s choir. Picture supplied