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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe choristers’ perceptions of Welsh men’s choir participation. Four choirs were observed in concert and rehearsal settings across Wales. Focus group interviews were conducted with between 4 and 10 members in each of the 4 choral settings for a total of 24 total interview respondents. The interviewees had a spread of years of male choir participation, from 4 months to 47 years, and a spread of ages, with members ranging in age from 32 to 89. The interview questions were designed to be flexible, yet focused. An interview guide was organized with a set of predetermined, open-ended semi-structured prompts, dealing with the topics: enjoyment, organizational structure, recruitment, language, music, challenges, and future directions. Results highlighted the musical and social benefits as well as nationalistic benefits that participants perceived. The singers also noted certain challenges that their groups needed to work through, such as recruitment, economic issues, health of the members, and a decrease of social time available. Conclusions address the results in terms of general community music issues, including the potential impact of community issues on the future of music making in the United States.

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