Singing for blokes, chaps & other men

A singing workshop day led by UK member of the Spooky Men’s Chorale – Dominic Stichbury, will take place on Saturday 25 November, as part of a Council project to encourage more male singers to take part in group singing in Hull.
In this, ‘Singing for blokes, chaps & other men’, one-day workshop at Albemarle Music Centre, Ferensway, Hull between 10am – 4.30pm, Dominic will teach a variety of songs – from the rousing to the beautiful – arranged especially for male voices and allowing participants to stretch beyond the baselines and dum dums they may be accustomed to. All parts will be taught by ear in an inclusive and welcoming way. He is particularly encouraging of those men whose last singing memory was in school uniform.
Dominic is founder and leader of London based Chaps Choir – which has come to represent a new page in male voice singing – and London’s only inclusive male community choir Bellow Fellows. Men are underrepresented in most UK choirs since 2013 it has been choir leader Dominic Stichbury’s aim to get more men singing.

Dominic, said: “People ask why more men don’t get involved in singing together. What is the fear around singing together? Are men too busy to find the time? Do men write off singing because they think they can’t if they don’t play an instrument or assume that they are going to be asked to read music? There are lots of stereotypes about what men singing together in groups might be, for example, the traditional male voice choir, or a barber shop group, or sometimes an assumption that they will just get to sing the ‘dum dums’ in the bottom of an arrangement, and perhaps that’s off-putting to some people? People have their own ideas about what it is like to be able to sing or not sing. When you sing in a group you get a chance to smooth out some rough edges.

“This workshop gives an opportunity for men to come into a safe and non-judgemental space to explore voices, and we’ll also find a chance to challenge the more experienced singers as well.
“This workshop is one way to help to break down some of those barriers to men getting involved, and to show the men of Hull that singing can be for them. I’m really happy to be supporting Hull’s Singing City initiative to encourage more men to try singing together. We’ll be singing a variety of songs on 25 November. It’s open to all, whether you sing already or have not sung since school. I’d particularly like to encourage men who have not sung for years to come along. It’s guaranteed to be fun, guaranteed to be light hearted – if you haven’t sung in years – come along and have a go.”
Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism and Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure Limited, said: “Men are under-represented in singing groups nationally, including in Hull. This workshop is the beginning of an outreach programme and part of the Council’s ‘Singing City’ initiative, which seeks to encourage more men to get involved in group singing.”
The Freedom Chorus is delighted to have welcomed their 700 member and is also encouraging men to join the city’s largest singing group. Around 12 per cent of Freedom Chorus members are men, but less than 10 per cent participate in singing projects. For more information on the Freedom Chorus visit http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/portal/page-_pageid=221,685770&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
Carl Good, aged 56, from Hull, signed up for the Chorus after taking part in a workshop as a Hull2017 volunteer. He is excited to be part of the Freedom Chorus. He said: “I suppose my previous singing experience was confined to the shower or other private space but with the opportunities afforded to everyone during UK City of Culture, I have literally found my voice and had the encouragement to sing in a more public arena.

“I have attended informal workshops and enjoyed singing within a choir setting. It is this experience that I would like to share with others and together with my new found confidence I decided to join the Freedom Chorus.

“The more informal structure of the Freedom Chorus sits better with my work and family commitments and I am really looking forward to taking part of the exciting upcoming projects.”
Places on the one-day workshop are limited so booking a free place is essential via www.HullBoxOffice.com or call 01482 221 113.

Contact Hull City Council’s Arts Development on 01482 300 300 for further information