A CHOIR is searching for new blood to join in their song as part of a movement to maintain an integral element of Welsh culture.

Flint Male Voice choir have been pleasing crowds since 1975, and over four decades later, are still singing from the hymn sheet.

But this year, choristers are appealing for more singers to join them in the fun and rewarding group which offers a social aspect as well as a musical one.

The two latest recruits, Mark Williams and Darren Grief, made their debut performance in September at Chester town hall in a joint concert with Chester Male Voice Choir and the Australian Welsh Male Voice Choir. The international alliance meant the concert, entitled 'World in Union', was a complete sell out.

Mark Williams said: "I joined Flint Male Voice Choir shortly after I retired, mainly for the social aspect and to try and keep my brain active. Singing at the World in Union Concert in Chester Town Hall as part of Flint Male Voice Choir gave me a great sense of achievement.

"I could not have accomplished this without the support provided from the whole choir. There is a very strong feeling of togetherness and friendship within the choir. I am really enjoying the challenge of learning all the pieces and this boosts my self-esteem and confidence."

Darren Grief said: "I joined in April this year and was quite apprehensive about joining, as I am not usually confident in meeting new people. I had this thought of being shunned or ignored because of my age and being a newcomer, but it was the total opposite. There was a warm welcome as if I had been a member forever. I have never shook so many hands and met so many people in one night.

"Once I had joined, I was put with a mentor who put me under his wing and guided me through the beginning and shared his knowledge and experience. I was also put into a music tuition, which occurs once a week to help me get to the standard I needed for the concerts.

"On the night of my first concert, it was a nervous and awe-inspiring moment. I was afraid I would freeze and forget everything I had learned, but I was assured by every member that I would be fine and was congratulated on becoming staged and passing my apprenticeship."

After the concert, Darren said he went home and tried to get some sleep but was still on a "high with adrenaline." He said he couldn't sleep and needed a couple of hours and cups of tea to calm down after what he had just experienced and looked forward to the next time he performed.

He added: "The conclusion to all of this is joining the choir was the best thing I have ever done and I always look forward to going twice a week to rehearsals and meeting my new friends and catching up. All I can say to potential new members is to come and give it a go and you will always feel welcome and part of a family, it doesn’t matter if you think you can't sing, we will help you to find it."

Men are being welcomed to attend rehearsals every Wednesday and Sunday evening from 7.15-9.15pm in the Emaus Chapel, opposite Flint McDonalds. As the choir motto goes: "You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."