I have always been a singer. It is using the one instrument which is easiest to carry about with you!
For many years I have performed in amateur productions of such delights as Gilbert & Sullivan, Lehar, Rogers & Hammerstein, etc. Because of my voice (bass) I usually get lumbered with playing the baddy (type casting!). One of my most successful roles was as Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore. I also thoroughly enjoyed being the Pirate King (from Penzance) and The Mikado, although I have taken Pooh Bah as well.
Currently most of my singing is confined to the Church choir at Yelvertoft, where I act as Cantor as well.
Being known as a singer can have its drawbacks. Recently I was attending an international conference which was held in an Oxford College. After a very good dinner, preceded by a few pints of Headbanger in The Turf and accompanied by some very fine college claret, we were all enjoying the usual genial statesmanlike banter when suddenly the President banged the table, stood up and announced in a very loud voice "Now Alan Chantler will sing us a song." and sat down again! What followed may be the only performance of the Hippotamus Song to take place in the great hall at Keble College, Oxford!
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