I have been a part of the choral tradition of the Anglican church for over 10 years. To be exact, 14. I started singing as a treble.
As you will notice with the above choir, it is all male. I bet you're saying one word- sexist.
Well, yes. Yes it is. I freely admit that. I also realise admitting it does not excuse it. Why, though, does the tradition of men and boys choirs still exist in the 21st century? More to the point, why do I think it should exist?
I just found out that in first year classical singing this year at WAAPA there are 3 men. THREE. Hardly any men. and SEVENTEEN women. Why does this happen? Well I don't know why in this day and age schoolboys think it's 'uncool' to sing. I really think that what happens in school choirs is that they have a surplus of sopranos and mezzos, and one tenor and one boy singing the bass part, but who really is a tenor. Honestly- an environment in which boys are told that it is good to sing (sing strongly, no less) around older men who are singing is extremely valuable.
Especially when opera companies are calling around for hours trying to find ONE tenor, because their audition panel saw 70 sopranos. Then you wish that there was a culture in which males are told that it is good to sing.
The all male choir tradition is what got me singing. I'm sure it will get a lot more men singing in the future.