Choral singing is the path to natural euphoria 

By Zander Heeger

Drs Charles Chouler and James Rawlings in full voice.It has been reported in research that choral singing is beneficial for both body and soul. But don’t just take my word for it. A highly respected surgeon and a doctor, who also happen to be members of the Quarrymen Male Choir, are both of the opinion that singing is one of the healthiest pastimes on the planet. It’s a sure-fire way to feel good and prolong your lifespan, say Drs James Rawlings (right) and Charles Chouler (left), pictured here.

Experts concur that singing is a wonderful way to induce a rush of endorphins. Endorphins are neuro-transmitters produced in the brain that reduce pain. They have also been known to induce euphoria.  People often feel better after a long run or a good laugh. It may well be that one has relieved exercise guilt or heard a knee-slapper, but the elated feeling, which can last up to 12 hours for some people, more likely has a scientific explanation. It comes from a release of endorphins.

Drugs such as morphine, heroin and cocaine are classic endorphin-releasing entities. But luckily for us, there are less-addictive ways of experiencing such sweet rhapsody. You may have to run for an hour to get a runner’s high, depending on your body. Singing is less effort and much more fun.

Choral singing is also a highly disciplined and creative team activity. Harmonising with others fills one with a renewed sense of promise and optimism. In the rehearsal hall, every voice offers something invaluable to the whole. Simply put, singing is good for the soul. You will meet and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with kindred spirits who all share a fundamental love of music and singing.

The Quarrymen is my favourite male voice choir in the peninsula. The choir was established in 2007 and is based at the Glencairn quarry where they practice every Thursday evening.

So, if you want to feel good, come and sing with the Quarrymen. Phone Chairman Hans Zwets on 083 222 9111 to sound him out.

Zander Heeger is a free-lance writer and ardent admirer of The Quarrymen

Singing for dummies

To join the Quarrymen, you don’t need to have a trained voice or be able to read music. Bonus if you can, but it’s no problem if you’ve never sung in a choir. Don’t be intimidated. If you can keep a note reasonably steady, come along. Attend one of the Quarrymen’s choir practices as an observer and decide if you like what you hear. If you do, Winsome (the gentle musical director) will run through a simple scale exercise to determine your voice group (tenor, baritone or bass), and Pavarotti Bob’s your uncle!

The induction process for new members is gradual and painless. But it is also thorough because the Quarrymen is a competent group of singers and once you’ve learnt the voice parts and gained some confidence singing, it is pure pleasure and fun. As one quarry quip goes: We don’t sing because we’re happy; we’re happy because we sing.

See also http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/08/make-your-voice-heard-for-the-rainbow-nation/

 Quarrymen Concert at the Masque

The Deep South’s favourite male voice choir will dig out all the deeply moving classic numbers and some playful new nuggets. Guest performance by The Dixie Swingers. Bookings 021 788 1898Tickets R60 (R50 Theatre Club)

Sunday 27 November at 7pm

At the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg

Bookings 021 788-1898

Tickets R60 (R50 Theatre Club)