Alive and well!
There’s something special about a group of men singing together in harmony. Many secular male chorals and choirs enjoy a broad repertoire of songs from musicals, folk, light classical and popular modern genres. However, when men sing songs of praise from redeemed hearts then that’s something really special!
The unique resonance of four-part harmony takes on a far grander dimension when the song is of a Heavenly Father reaching out in love through Jesus Christ to singer and hearer alike.
Are there any active Christian male voice choirs around these days?
The answer to that question is a resounding YES! A fellowship of gospel male voice choirs is alive and well! Known as the Festivals of Male Voice Praise, some 60 affiliated choirs are engaged in gospel outreach throughout the UK and in the USA, Canada and Australia.
One in Christ
Co-ordinated and promoted by an elected National Council, the FMVP movement was born in the 1930s. Its founder, James McRoberts, held the first festival of combined choirs in 1935 in Glasgow. The event was a great success and choirs quickly grew in number and popularity.
Down through the years, FMVP has played a significant role in the spread of the gospel in the UK and abroad. Local choirs sing in churches, mission halls, prisons, residential homes and a host of other venues. Area Festivals are held annually and these are important additions to a choir’s regular activities.
The All Britain Festival sits at the pinnacle of the movement’s calendar. Held on average every four years, the massed choir of around 400 men offers a visual and musical feast. The last ABF was a memorable evening in 2006 held in St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
Ask any man what it means to be part of an FMVP choir and his reply will invariably include – joy of singing, service, commitment, acceptance, friendship and fulfilment.
Choirs consist of men from a variety of church denominations. The bonding catalyst is a shared faith in the saving and keeping power of the Lord Jesus. Herein lies a foundational strength of FMVP – the men are ‘all one in Christ Jesus’.
Christian men will always find a welcome at one of the local choirs. Catching the enthusiasm is guaranteed – having a reasonable singing voice an advantage!