The Wellington Male Voice Choir is a medium sized amateur choir (20-30 voices) that sings songs of many genres - from Bach to the Beach Boys and beyond in traditional male voice choir style (both accompanied and "a cappella"). The choir has been in continuous existence since 1961, providing initially a service to retirement homes and similar charitable groups. In recent years the choir has sought a more public image, and presents public concerts, in addition to retaining as much as possible of the former service performances.
The choir had an unusual origin in that it was founded by a women's group called the Khandallah League of Mothers (Khandallah is a suburb of Wellington City). The League had a Women's choir for many years and in the years prior to 1961 persuaded their husbands to sing occasionally as a men's choir. The men formed a choir on a permanent basis in 1961 (then called the Onslow Male Voice Choir) which has lasted long after the Women's choir (and the League of Mothers) disappeared. It is choir folklore that the choir was initially named "The Khandallah League of Mothers Male Voice Choir"! The Choir changed its name to the current 'Wellington Male Voice Choir' in 1992.
The 50th anniversary of the choir was celebrated in 2011, which included the publication of a history of the choir.
We have had several music directors over the years. Our longest-serving MD was Tom Humphries, who was one of the choir's initial conductors. Tom retired in 2014, and was succeeded by Theresa Rogers. She left to go overseas, and the position was taken over by Bruce Cash. Bruce retired in 2019 and was succeeded by our current MD, Mark Stamper.
The Choir publishes occasional newsletters for members, to keep them up-to-date with activities and news of significant events, plus bulletins related to specific interest. These newsletters are available to members only.
During 2001 the Choir released its first Music CD production, with the title sound track of "Let there be Music". Our second music CD "Let the Music Begin" was recorded in November 2004 and this also features the Wellington City Jazz. These are no longer available.
In September 2003 we made our first overseas tour; with concerts at Orange NSW, Melbourne and at the "Sing Out" festival in Narrogin, Western Australia.
Our major tour for 2004 was to attend the triennial New Zealand Festival of Male Voice Choir which was held in Hamilton, 10-12 September 2004: Viva Voices.
In 2006 we were hosted by the Nelson Male Choir and performed concerts at Nelson and Takaka, 20–22 October 2006.
During 2008 our tour focus was again to Nelson for the Festival of Male Choirs during Labour weekend, 25–27 October 2008, hosted by the Nelson Male Choir with the Sydney Male Choir also participating.
Our second tour to Australia was made on 11-21 November 2010, taking in a Male Choir Association of Australia (MCAA) massed choir concert at Sydney, and joint concerts with local choirs at Orange, Inverell and Sunshine Coast.
We have also sent smaller groups of our singers to take part in several MCAA concerts.
In 2019 we visited Whanganui and joined with the Wanganui Male Choir in concert. They in turn visited Wellington and joined with us in concert one week later.
In November 2022 we will visit Nelson and join with the Nelson Male Voice choir for a concert.