Male Singers of Florida
The Male Singers of Florida (Floridan Laulumiehet) was founded in Lantana, Florida during the fall of 1969 by a group of ten men, most of whom had been choir members, musicians, and theatrical performers. Leading this assemblage was Martti Orjala who became the choir's first director. The group quickly grew to 20 singers and performed their first concert the following spring. Merja Poutiainen, a highly talented musician, became the choir's assistant director and continued as director for over twenty years. Throughout the years nine conductors have stood before the Floridan Laulumiehet (FL), including composer Erik Lindström and Aikamiehet founder and director Erkki Planting. Heikki Perttu currently leads the group.
During the summer of 1971 five Florida singers joined the Finnish Male Singers of North America (Amerikan Laulajat [AL]) on their Finland tour, and have been represented on every AL tour since then. Four years later, still under the tutelage of Martti Orjala, FL conducted it's own tour of Finland. Floridan Laulumiehet have hosted numerous AL Male Choir Days (Mieskuoropäivät) and traveled extensively through out Florida, the United States, and Canada on both concert and pleasure trips. The Male Singers of Florida have continuously been involved with community functions, performing during Independence Day and Christmas celebrations, entertaining at nursing and rest homes, and sponsoring visiting foreign choirs and song groups.
FL has been fortunate in maintaining a cast of fine singers, always numbering from 35 to 50. In February of 2009 the Floridan Laulajat celebrated their 40th anniversary.