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Moulton Chapel farmer encourages more to sign up for men's choir scheme

A Moulton Chapel farmer who joined a charity singing project last year is urging others to find their voices and get involved in 2019’s scheme, which he is helping to mentor.

Last spring John Wakefield (39) took part in Men United in Song, which culminated in a concert in Peterborough and raised more than £5,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

The ten-week project starts again next month and is open to men who have little or no singing experience. Those who have signed up so far range from 13 to 75 in age, and come from all walks of life.

The Men United 2018 cohort (7274369)
The Men United 2018 cohort (7274369)

John says those who take part will learn what type of voice they have, how a choir works, the basics of reading music, breathing techniques and timing.

“I gained a huge amount from the project last year. I learned what type of voice I had and what kind of notes I could sing,” he said.

“I learned the basics of how to sing and whilst I’m still far from a great singer I am learning all the time.

Men United during a live performance (7274371)
Men United during a live performance (7274371)

“I made numerous friends too. The choir is about working together both in your section and as a whole and everyone helps each other out where they can. It is never about individual stars. The concert at The Cresset in front of 600 people is something I will never forget.”

The scheme is run by the charity Peterborough Sings, which aims to encourage people of all ages and genders to sing and includes Peterborough Voices, Peterborough Youth Choir and Peterborough Male Voice Choir, of which John is now a member.

Men United in Song is run in conjunction with Peterborough Male Voice Choir, under its musical director Will Prideaux.

Choir member John Wakefield is urging others to sign up. (7274373)
Choir member John Wakefield is urging others to sign up. (7274373)

The songs learnt are a mixture of show songs, songs from films, pop, folk and traditional choral pieces and will be performed at a concert in May at The Cresset.

Since the project finished John was invited to carry on singing in the choir and has performed several concerts and in competitions with it. He is also helping to mentor this year’s new members.

“I’ve carried on singing in the choir and have learnt a lot more – we have done concerts in Peterborough, King’s Lynn and Birmingham, as well as Remembrance and Christmas concerts,” he added.

“I’ve also taken part in two major competitions including the Llangollen Eisteddfod Choir of the World competition where our performance was shown live on S4C television.

“One of the great things is you get to meet people outside of your normal social circle.”

* For more information, call 01733 425194, email menunited@peterboroughsings.org.uk or visit www.peterboroughmvchoir.org.uk/psings/peterborough-male-voice-choir/men-united-song/

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