Rushmoor Male Voice Choir giving concert at Haslemere Methodist Church

Monday 6th June 2022 4:00 pm
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Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir singing at North Camp Methodist Church in Farnborough on April 30th 2022.
Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir (Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir )

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Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir is performing a concert at Haslemere Methodist Church on June 11 at 7.30pm.

With a number of Ukrainian refugees now living in the area, the choir will be singing A Prayer For Ukraine in Ukrainian as part of the show.

Musical director Stephen Petch arranged it for male voices. It is a traditional hymn by Mykola Lysenko with words by Oleksandr Konysky which has become the spiritual anthem of Ukraine.

It was first performed at North Camp Methodist Church in Farnborough on April 30 during a concert originally intended to just raise funds for the choir to continue its charity work in Surrey and Hampshire.

But choir chairman Peter Viveash said: “We could not ignore the desperate plight of the millions of Ukrainian refugees needing humanitarian assistance and the boys wanted to show our support.

“So we decided to donate over half of the proceeds from the concert to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.”

Mr Petch will provide the arrangement of A Prayer For Ukraine to any male voice choir interested in performing it. For details email [email protected]

The choir is recruiting new members and any men who love to sing and have fun raising money for local charities should email for details of a ‘men singing together’ taster programme it is launching soon. No previous experience is required.

In its concerts the choir tries to cater for all tastes, with a repertoire ranging from classical to modern, from anthems and spirituals to show tunes and popular songs.

It provides its services to charities and prior to Covid it helped to raise around £10,000 every year for local good causes.

The choir was founded in 1960 by Geoffrey Waller, specifically to sing in the Aldershot Music Festival, and approaches to local church choirs brought volunteers from many backgrounds – with an odd one from here and an odd one from there – so the name ‘Odd Fellows’ was coined and the choir is still known locally as the Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir.

Succeeding Geoff was Colin Wilson, who developed the choir’s style over 20 years, and since 2001 current musical director Stephen Petch has continued that development.

Among other achievements, Steve has taken the choir on multiple occasions to the Royal Albert Hall as participants in the London Welsh Festival of Male Voices, and to perform in Rushmoor’s twin town of Oberursel in Germany.

For tickets for the Haslemere concert, priced £10, call Malcolm Harris on 01428 483054.

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