Men needed for musical mission

The Hastings Big Choir at last year's Hastings Proms
The Hastings Big Choir at last year's Hastings Proms

A CHARISMATIC choirmaster is reprising his mission to get Hastings singing - and this time he’s particularly on the hunt for musical men.

In just eight weeks last year, Roger Wilcock recruited and trained the 140-strong Hastings Big Choir for their triumphant debut performance at the first ever Hastings Proms in Alexandra Park. Now the choir has been invited back, but Mr Wilcock is keen to add some more male talent to make this year’s musical offerings even more spectacular.

So alongside the Hastings Big Choir, which he will be directing again, Mr Wilcock is hoping to set up a male voice choir to perform the Three Tenors’ 1990 World Cup Italia smash hit Nessun Dorma.

He said: “I want to put the spotlight on the men of Hastings and I am very confident the talent is out there - I hear people in town humming and singing as they go about their work. It doesn’t matter if you have a high tenor voice or a great deep bass - I will find you a note to sing.”

No experience is necessary and the male voice choir will be singing a range of songs - all members will also be invited to sing with the Hastings Big Choir.

Mr Wilcock was inspired by Gareth Malone’s television shows in which he took on seemingly impossible musical tasks to create choirs in some unlikely places, and he admits last year’s proms exceeded his wildest dreams.

“I was overwhelmed with the choir’s performance and the audience reaction,” he said. “I have not stopped walking on cloud nine since.

“I would encourage everyone to come and have a go. There will be a two-week try-out period for both sides with no pressure and no auditions. Then there will be a cool-off period when people can make their minds up, because then we will come back and the hard work will really begin. But you don’t have to be able to read music or have sung before, if you want to sing then come along.”

The first session for the male voice choir takes place at The Tabernacle church, Cambridge Road, on Tuesday, April 12, between 7pm and 9pm. The first session for the Big Choir will take place at the same venue on Tuesday, May 3.

For more information email hastingsbigchoir@hotmail.com or call Roger on 01424 810420.