Members of The Cavan Singers performing back in 2019. Photo: Adrian Donohoe.

Spare a Tenor?- Cavan singers need more men

Local community choir, the Cavan Singers, have launched an appeal for more members to join, especially men.

Singing together since 1984, and now under the musical guidance of Claire O’Reilly who has taken over from Eileen Tackney, the Cavan Singers boast a membership of close to 60, but the number of male singers within the group fluctuate at around only 10% of that figure.

“It’s very small. They often joke about being outnumbered, but we’re a very open and friendly group, and we’re always delighted to invite new faces to join in,” says Mairead Conaty, Chairperson of the local SATB choir- S for soprano, A for alto, T for tenor and B for bass. “We’re looking for more men in particular. As one of our members says, it’s not exactly raining men in the Cavan Singers. It is a four part choir, but if you can sing we’d love to hear from you, particularly tenors.”

The group restarted their choral practice programme last week at the Hotel Kilmore following the summer break in expectation of being ready for their Summer Concert scheduled for May 2023.

Covid did have an impact, with singing “the last thing to come back” once restrictions began to be lifted states Mairead.

Though the Cavan Singers regrouped in November 2021, even then, and relocated to the Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Felim due to the hotel being used as a HSE vaccination centre, they found their get-togethers “limited”.

But Mairead now hopes with more people beginning to work from home, or moving out of the cities to be closer to families, there is an “opportunity” for talented local singers to flex their vocal muscles on stage rather than to their radios stuck in commuter traffic.

The Cavan Singers also want to appeal to a younger demographic. To do this they have begun expanding their musical remit to include more popular music by the likes of Adele, Elvis Presley, and others.

“We’d like to have even a few young age groups as well,” says Mairead, who worries that the perception outside of the group is that the Cavan Singers focus is solely on “higher brow stuff”.

“We are looking for people of all ages, they don’t have to have prior experience with a choir, they just have to be able to sing the notes. Try it! You might be surprised how much you get out of it.”