I’ve got mucky hands and I work on cars, was Richard Ayre’s first reaction to the idea of joining a choir.
The parts manager with West Pinchbeck Lotus specialist garage Kelvedon Motors assumed that singing in a choir wasn’t for the likes of him.
However, less than three years later he’s glad he overcame that first instinct because he says: “It’s helped my confidence in life.”
Now he is encouraging other men who think that singing with a choir isn’t their style to unite in song – for a particularly worthy cause.
Peterborough Male Voice Choir is performing at Broadway Theatre on Saturday, June 25 (7.30pm) in Men United In Song to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
Leading up to the concert there is a 12-week project allowing men with no singing experience to learn to sing from scratch under professional direction and support.
There are introduction sessions at the Broadway Theatre on Friday, April 1 (7-9pm) and on Saturday, April 2 (10am-1pm) so that budding singers can find out more.
And Richard is hoping that his experience might encourage other men to overcome their doubts.
The former cart and motorbike racer says: “It’s for people from all walks of life and a bit like Military Wives in that it’s ordinary people brought together to make a choir.
“People think it’s going to be highbrow, but it’s a bunch of people having a great social evening.”
The choir is performing everything from classic pieces right through to Fields of Gold and Elvis numbers.
Though people can simply join for the 12-week Men United project, Richard says there are opportunities if they do decide to carry on, such as taking part in competitions and performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which is what the choir did in September.
He says: “I was a typical English person that puts themselves down first, and I think it is very easy to think you are not up to something. People should give it a go. When we did the concert we did the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra put their instruments down and applauded us.”
Call 01733 425194 for more information.