The Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir has announced that it is being renamed the Hampshire and Surrey Hills Men’s Choir “to reflect today’s reality”.

The choir is also embarking on a major recruitment drive to boost numbers as it develops further going forward into its new era.

A men’s choir nicknamed ‘The Odd Fellows’ was created by Aldershot’s ‘Mister Music’ Geoff Waller in 1960 to compete in the Aldershot Music Festival.

The name was coined because the choir comprised an odd fellow from here and an odd fellow from there.

What was initially intended as a single event group soon became an established choir that has continued to perform and raise money for local good causes over the last 64 years.

During that period the choir was occasionally renamed to reflect its activity at the time, and most latterly was known as the Rushmoor Male Voice Choir or the Rushmoor Odd Fellows Male Voice Choir.

Today the choir draws its members from, and performs regularly, across Surrey and Hampshire, so it decided to mark the start of a new phase in its development by updating the name to reflect this reality.

Announcing the development, choir chairman Peter Viveash said: “We are welcoming new members from a wider area now and are being invited to perform outside the Rushmoor district, so we felt that should be reflected in our name.

“In addition the Odd Fellows nickname was a bit confusing for anyone who didn’t know our history.

“What hasn’t changed though is the ethos of the choir that has been with us since 1960. It is the club-like atmosphere of men having fun, singing well and raising money for local charities.”

The choir is now opening its doors to any man interested in having a go at singing by holding a free Pie and a Pint and a Song taster evening at Camberley Heath Golf Club on Monday, April 29.

There is no audition to join in, no need to be able to read music and everyone will enjoy a free drink, a snack and a short singing session guided by the choir’s exceptional musical director Philip Viveash-Brainch.

Alternatively anyone is welcome to visit a rehearsal – they take place each Monday evening from 7.30pm at the North Camp Methodist Church Hall in Farnborough.

Further details for the taster evening or rehearsals are on the choir’s new website at