THE Basingstoke Male Voice Choir is raising its voice in song for a special reason this year – their 60th anniversary.

Founded in 1964 by local police officer Idris "Taffy" Roberts, the choir has brought rich baritone melodies to Basingstoke and beyond for six decades.

Their first rehearsal took place 60 years ago in April 1964 in Coombehurst School which then existed in Basingstoke.

Originally a small group, the choir grew to nearly 100 members in its mid-80s heyday.

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Over the years, the choir has graced stages across the globe, performing at Welsh eisteddfodau (festivals), touring Canada, the USA, and the Netherlands.

They've also shared the spotlight with TV personality Harry Secombe.

Closer to home, the Basingstoke Male Voice Choir has been a constant supporter of local charities, raising funds for organisations like St Michael's Hospice, the Camrose Centre, the Samaritans, and Parkinson's Society.

Though their numbers have dwindled somewhat, the choir remains active and enthusiastic.

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Rehearsals take place every Tuesday evening, at 7.30pm at the Moose Centre, and anyone interested is welcome to join in the fun – singing or simply listening.

To mark their 60th anniversary in style, the choir will be hosting a celebratory concert on June 29 at Church Cottage, next to St Michael's Church, in Basingstoke.

Tickets will cost £10, with proceeds going to a local charity.

Posters will soon appear around the town and instructions on how to buy tickets will be on the poster.