Welcome to the Arcadians Lamplighters Male Choir.
The choir was newly formed in 1999 and was instigated by our (MD) Music Director, Doreen Bryars who had long harboured a dream to conduct an all male choir. There were twelve men in the choir when it started up and it has now grown to over sixty.
The choir is part of the Arcadians Theatre Group and to join the Lamplighters you have to become a full member of Arcadians. They provide all the necessary facilities of the Miners Lamp Theatre for the Lamplighters rehearsals and provide funding for most of the expenses, particularly the expensive music. Most of the income and donations received from conducting concerts is paid to the Arcadians. Every year the Lamplighters have been complimented by the Arcadians for providing them with income in excess of expenses.
The Lamplighters repertoire covers a wide variety of songs. One of the main aims is to entertain all the varied audiences on the program, while continually improving the overall sound and presentation.
Practice is on a Monday morning 9.30am till 12.00, with a tea break at half time, at the Miners Lamp Theatre in Corrimal.
New comers are always welcome and it is suggested for at least the first visit they sit back and watch and listen. If, as it is hoped, you are still keen you can have your voice range checked to determine which section would be best for you. There are four sections in the choir, Tenor, 2nd Tenor, Baritone and Bass.
Doreen, the Music Director will try and place you alongside a singer who can support and guide you through over the next few weeks during your induction and learning period.
To assist you to learn you will be provided with some loan music by the music librarian.
It is considered best if you take 6 weeks to decide whether the Lamplighters is right for you and during this time you should try to get to know as many people as possible and if also possible go and watch and listen to the choir at one of their concerts. The Lamplighters will all be introduced to you and will assist you before, during and after rehearsals.
Once you have decided to really become a Lamplighter we will be thrilled to welcome you as a full
Member and sign you up.
There is now no joining fee, just an annual subscription of $30.00 for membership of the Arcadians Theatre Group, a prerequisite to being a Lamplighter.
At all concerts, small or large a Lamplighters ‘costume’ is used. There are the following items that are mixed and matched for performances. Doreen selects what is to be worn at each concert.
The base for all the various shirt, waistcoat and tie combinations are black trousers, black shoes and socks, these and a long sleeved white shirt we ask that you purchase for yourself.
The other items listed below are to be obtained from the Costume Manager, Lorraine McLean and husband Robert (2nd Tenor). They are sold to you at cost price.
*Most Formal Uniform – White Shirt and Bow Tie and Lamplighters Waistcoat.
– Bow Tie purchase from Robert/Lorraine.
– Waistcoats are kept by Lorraine and handed out at a concert and recollected afterward. You will be measured for a suitable waistcoat and then assigned one for when used at future concerts.
*White Shirt and Lamplighters Blue Tie
– Lamplighters Blue Tie purchased from Robert/Lorraine.
*Blue & White Checked Shirt (New December 2015) and Lamplighters Blue Tie
– Checked Shirt purchased from Robert/Lorraine (please get measured for a shirt you keep).
*Blue Short Sleeved Lamplighters Shirt (collared T-Shirt)
– A less formal costume, occasionally used at a concert but mainly used when the choir travels as a group – Blue Shirt purchased from Robert/Lorraine.
Auxiliary Lamplighters clothing (optional) are a Jumper and a cap (both with logos)
Robert Mclean can give you a quote for all the above items and arrange for you to be measured.
If you partake of the tea or coffee during rehearsals there is a cost of 50 cents and if you also decide to have a biscuit there is an additional cost of 50 cents to put in a kitchen honour box, this money goes to the Arcadians Auxiliary who are the suppliers.
At each Monday rehearsal we run a voluntary raffle to gather some extra dollars towards a Lamplighters ‘Trip Fund’ $2 /ticket – prizes donated by attending choristers.
The aim is to have all sheet music complying with all copyright laws.
When you start singing with the Lamplighters you will be given loan copies of music the Director considers you need during your introduction period.
Once you decide to join and are accepted the music librarian will supply you with a full set of music, or as much as is available. Missing music will be obtained for you as soon as possible through new purchases or licenses.
It should be noted that although you will be supplied with a copy of music with your name on it the music still remain the property of the Lamplighters, or more correctly of the parent body the Arcadians Theatre Group. The music should be kept in good order and all marks must be made in pencil so they can be erased if passed on to another singer.
Doreen, our Music Director, makes practice recordings for all four voices separately so that all choristers can practice the way she wants us to sing a particular song, in our own home. These come as a CD, or can be downloaded from a link supplied by request. This link contains most of the music that the Lamplighters have learned and sung over the years.
Due to copywrite reasons, this link is only available on request. Please make use of this valuable source.
Due to the size of the choir it is very important that we give the Music Director our attention and help in maintaining order and discipline especially at the start and after breaks. It can be frustrating when 40-60 men continue talking.
When we go on stage to perform in front of an audience we go on in a predetermined formation. We care about our appearance even before we start singing so be quiet and eyes on our Music director?
Enjoy your singing and don’t expect to learn it all in a day; you are surrounded by good friends who will help you whenever possible.
The Lamplighters Originals are actually defined as Doreen the founder and 12 men. One extra was Ron Morris, the ex Wollongong surf champion, who was a major influence on Doreen forming the group. He was an inspiration during his last year of suffering from cancer as he continued to sing and played his banjo with the Minstrels to the end. The 14th man was Pat Nolan who joined very soon after the 12 and gave the group its name.
The name ‘Lamplighters’ is ideal as the group rehearse at The Miner’s Lamp Theatre and several singers were ex miners. It has also led to the Lamplighters making Canadian Rita MacNeil’s stirring song ‘Working Man’ their theme song and on special occasions all the choir members wear miner’s safety hats complete with lamps to perform this number.
The new Miner’s Lamp was kindly donated to the Lamplighters Male Choir by the then 99 year old Welshman Albert Morgan, a long time friend of one of the choir members and a lifelong lover of male choral singing. He was happy to know that this shiny brass lamp will be displayed at every Lamplighters’ concert in the future as the symbol of the choir and The Arcadians Theatre Group’s home the Miner’s Lamp Theatre.. Sadly, Albert passed away at the age of 106 on July 6th 2015. He will be sadly missed particularly by “The Originals”.
The wives and partners of the choir members have formed themselves into a very important support group and recently named themselves the Lampettes.
This very industrious and social group meets monthly for morning coffee discussions and strongly assist and promote the Lamplighters in many ways. Whenever the choir has any concerts with other choirs they are there to provide great refreshments for all the performers. Many of these ladies travel to Lamplighter concerts and are always helping in the promotion of the Lamplighters’ larger concerts in all sorts of supportive ways. The Lampettes are a great asset.