Real Men Sing! Festival is Oct. 1

Now in its 15th year, the tradition of the Real Men Sing! festival continues. Attendees will be junior and senior high school students together with area men’s choral groups will again be participating. 

The all day festival will conclude with a concert open to the public, Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Staples Motley High School Gym, doors will open at 6 p.m.

The Staples Area Men’s Chorus (SAMC) who host this festival began this tradition in hopes of keeping men singing throughout high school and into adulthood.  This will be Rob Freelove’s first year as SAMC Director and host at this annual event. 

“I’m excited to get the men together where they can be guys and sing, and not worry about the normal high school things like peer pressure and other things that may interfere with their enjoyment of singing,” Freelove said.

Area schools who have not registered can still do so by visiting the website. Thanks to the generous donations of SAMC audience members and other community members there is no charge to students who want to participate. 

In 2015, 329 singers participated.  Participating schools included; Bertha-Hewitt, Brainerd, Browerville, Little Falls, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Marshall, New York Mills, Park Rapids, Pequot Lakes, Pillager, Pine River, Sebeka, Staples-Motley, North Dakota State University and St. Cloud State University. 

This year Bemidji State University is expected to participate. 

There will be two groups based on ages, adult and high school students participating in Real Men Sing! and the junior high group will  participate in the Real Men Sing jr!

Dr. Bret Amundson, will be conducting the RMS!  Dr. Amundson is the Director of Choral Activities and Director of General Education at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth. He also directs the Concert Choir, Bella Voce, Women’s Choir, teaches courses in music education and conducting and is the Director of the College’s Dignitas program. He is the Artistic Director of the Lake Superior Youth Chorus, Artistic Director of the Twin Ports Choral Project and the Choir Director at Pilgrim Congregational Church.

RMSjr! will be conducted by Dr. Sarah Cohen of the College of St. Scholastica where she serves as the Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Vocal Music Education. Dr. Cohen directs the Women’s and Men’s Choirs, and Concert Choir. She teaches courses in vocal music education and conducting, supervises vocal music education student teachers and teaches a freshman Dignitas course. In the Duluth community, she is the Assistant Chorus Master of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Choir, Assistant Artistic Director of the Lake Superior Youth Chorus, Director of the LSYC Prelude Program and sings with the Twin Ports Choral Project.

There will be workshops throughout the day a long with a participant talent show prior to their final rehearsals for their evening concert which is open to the public. 

There will be a variety of musical pieces performed.Among the selections, is a 16th century piece, a piece from a musical, the song ‘Coffee in a Cardboard Cup’, by Mandy Patinkin, which reflects people living in a fast-paced society.  

The Real Men Sing! project is made possible by a grant through the Five Wings Arts Council with funds from the McKnight Foundation, Legacy funds and support from the Staples Host Lions Club, Staples Motley Area Community Foundation, National Joint Powers Alliance, 3M and Popplers Music. 

Tickets are available at, from any chorus member or at Nelson Insurance Agency, 325 2nd Avenue NE, Staples, 218-895-5045.

Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:

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