After months of lighthearted but informal sing-songs in their workplace in Mitchel Street, Thurles, Men's Shed decided to get serious about the enjoyable evening-time sessions.
The first step was to get a teacher with lots of patience and, in this regard, they struck lucky first time out.
Tipperary Education & Training Board, as helpful as always, asked music teacher, Joan Murray, to go along and meet the Shed members to see what potential was there.
Joan thought it a great idea and, from a tentative beginning, things gradually took off. Very soon the men had an impressive array of old and new songs belting out from the Men's Shed each Tuesday evening. Under Joan’s expert tutelage it wasn't long before they felt confident enough to make their first public appearance.
Contact was made with the Golden Years Day Care Centre, one of the town’s most valuable services for senior citizens, which is located in St. Mary’ Health Centre, and director Catherine Hayes was delighted to invite the choir along to the Centre for their opening concert.
Truth to tell, the Shed Choir could not have chosen a better venue, nor indeed a better audience.
The ladies and gentlemen who attend the Centre on a regular basis are accustomed to the best of everything including meals, entertainment, music, bingo, art, hairdressing, parties, outings and a host of other activities.
From all of that, they have come to expect high standards in the Day Care Centre activities and are never disappointed. Would the Men's Shed Choir meet those standards?
From the opening number of “Come down the Mountain, Katie Daly”, through “Amazing Grace” and “Four Green Fields” to the closing rendition of “Slievenamon” there was little doubt that they would.
There was a terrific audience response to the singing, to the soloists and to the musicians who provided toe-tapping dance numbers in between the songs.
It was a memorable experience for the Men's Shed members and for all the fine people in attendance in the Day Care Centre who gave a most appreciative ovation at the end of the event.
No doubt, there will be more to come from the Centre and from the Men's Shed.
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