ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- Whether it's in our cars, on the way to work, on stage, or in the shower, singing just does something to you. “FOX in the Morning” went to the Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester to hear the sounds of a male chorus and to see how much fun singing in a group can be.
As we arrived, the men began their program with Irving Berlin's “God Bless America.” The chorus sang many songs including “Bingo”, “Old Macdonald” “Take me out the Ball-Game,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” So, why exactly is the chorus here? Mark Neville, a member of the chorus explains. “Well, we're members of the Rochester Male Chorus and we're here today to share a little bit about vocal music with the young people. This is part of their 'Jump Start the Arts Program' here at the Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester,” said Neville. The staff at the museum contacted us and asked if we might like to do a performance and help share our brand of the arts with the young people. What we would like them to remember most is the unique sound and blend of a male chorus. Most choruses are men and women. It's a unique opportunity to hear a male chorus,” Neville explained.
The director of the Rochester Male Chorus, Joel Blair, explained the importance of being a conductor and what happens if someone isn't in control. “The job as conductor is to keep everybody together at the same time. Otherwise, we would have 30 different ideas on how to perform a song and so I study the score and try to come up with the most artistic and best way to perform a piece,” explained Blair.
Mike Temple, who is also a member of the chorus, explains that even though rehearsals can be intense, being in the chorus is a lot of fun as well. “I've been in the chorus approximately three years. I was recruited by Joel, our conductor. He used to be the choir director for a church I was at. I like being with the guys. We have a great time together. The songs we come up with are fantastic. It's not church material that I'm used to. So, it's a nice wide range. And singing in parts is something I really missed. So, it's wonderful to be able to do that,” said Temple.
All three members both agree, music is fun and well needed in the lives of young children. They also say they are here for early recruitment. Mark Neville explains... “Kids do a lot of singing, as you know, in school and at home. What we're working on with visits like this is to help them understand that they can do this when they're grown up too and have a lot of fun doing it. So, that's one of the reasons we're here is just to start planting those seeds. Because, some of these folks will be the Male Chorus members 30 years from now.”