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Pelynt Male Voice Choir
Long service certificates being presented to members of the choir by the Federations Chaiman Phil Taylor.
Photos submitted by John Trethewey
Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir
"A Tribute to our Former Musical Director and Vice Chairman, Brian Oates"
BRIAN OATES, who died on May 29 at the age of 83, was an outstanding musician, a Royal Marine Warrant Officer and bandmaster, tutor, and a former secretary and Musical Director of the Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir.
He was an absolute stalwart of the choir which might well have folded but for his taking over as MD in 2005. His life of service beyond his profession embraced the Methodist Church, Boys' Brigade, work as a Special Constable, with National Coastwatch, and the National Trust.
He held an honours degree in music, gained in his own time in his mid 50s, and was a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music. As a bandsman he was a solo flautist and played piccolo, but he also wielded the tambourine to virtuoso effect whenever percussion was appropriate in choir renditions. His mastery of the flute lent haunting accompaniment to songs such as Titanic and Pride of Cawsand in which a solo was composed by former MD Jonathan Delbridge explicitly to showcase his talents.
During his time at Deal in the '70s, Brian used to play in the pit orchestra at theatres in Kent for musicals like Oklahoma and South Pacific. Typically, when asked to instruct the saxophone, he did so. He had no experience of the instrument. He simply went off and learned to play it.
He also had a splendid tenor voice, and it was because he missed singing that he was prompted to revert to the ranks of the top tenors after his stint as Rame MD. However, he continued to serve as deputy MD until shortly before his death, taking over regularly from MD Jonathan Lewsey who greatly valued his talents.
Brian was born on October 6, 1937, at St Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall, to Ellen Cordelia Oates (nee Grenfell) and Norman Oates. He was just five years old when his father died during World War II, as a result of a recoil accident involving an anti-aircraft gun. Brian and his mum moved to Penzance where he attended Lescudjack School and Penzance Grammar - now Humphrey Davy School.
When Brian was 10 his mother remarried and moved to Caerau in Wales where Brian went to Maesteg Grammar School and began learning the flute. Lessons cost half a crown (12.5p in today's money) which included the cost of his tea! He played in the school orchestra and eventually the Mid-Glamorgan Youth Orchestra and the Glamorgan Youth Orchestra.
Brian was around 14 when the family returned to the St Just area and he went back to Penzance Grammar. On his 15th birthday Brian auditioned for the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS). He joined up in October 1952, and the following year was selected to represent the RMBS at the coronation. He watched the procession from the steps of the Victoria Memorial, near Buckingham Palace, an enduring memory.
After completing "Boys' Time" Brian was drafted to the East Indies Station and on his 18th birthday he landed with the band in Colombo, in what is now Sri Lanka. His inaugural 10-month posting included visits to Madras, Calcutta, Karachi and the Persian Gulf. The naval shore establishment in Ceylon, HMS Highflyer, was not all music; afternoons included swimming at Nicholson Lodge beach, and a bit of sailing.
Brian's step-father had died while he was abroad, and he had not been allowed home, though his mum could have done with the support of her only child. However, he got leave in the Penzance area on his return before being posted to the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSM) at Deal, Kent. There he continued his association with West Street Methodist Church and was introduced to the Boys Brigade. At this little chapel in Finglesham, Kent, he met Eve and started seeing her at Youth Club events. He was apparently more interested in her than she in him, but perseverance paid off!
Brian was drafted to HMS Drake, in Plymouth, where a couple of years later he passed the audition for the Plymouth Group Band of the Royal Marines. Brian and Eve were married on December 20, 1958, at Havelock Hall Methodist Church, Deal, and they started married life in Plymstock. By then Brian was a Boys Brigade warrant officer, and subsequently became lieutenant in the 11th Plymouth Company at Crownhill Methodist Church.
Their first son, Gerald, was born in December 1960. In 1961 the family moved back to Deal where Brian had been promoted to Corporal and appointed as a flute instructor at the RMSM. Both Eve and Brian became involved in the life of West Street Methodist Church and Brian became an officer in the 2nd Deal Company Boys Brigade, later serving as Company Captain.
Shortly after Nigel's birth in April 1964, Brian was drafted to Plymouth-based aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. He saw service mainly east of Suez including the Beira Patrols, enforcing the oil sanctions of Rhodesia as the Eagle spent 72 continuous days at sea. Visits included Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mombasa.
After some 30 months on the Eagle, the band was drafted back to Deal. Brian worked there for the Training Office (Music), completed the Bandmasters' Course, did another instructing stint (as Sergeant) and spent some time in the Central Music Library. Following promotion to Colour Sergeant, Brian was drafted to HMS Pembroke at Chatham in 1971 where he became Warrant Officer Class 2 Bandmaster in 1972, visiting many parts of Europe. In 1976 he returned to Deal, becoming Assistant Supply Officer (Music) until retirement from the RMBS in July 1977.
He immediately became Volunteer Band Civilian Instructor at HMS Fisgard, Torpoint, where he greatly enjoyed training artificers in the band. The family moved from Deal in November 1977. Brian joined the Devon and Cornwall Special Constabulary in 1979, serving for 13 years and becoming Section Officer. When Fisgard closed in 1984 Brian transferred to the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon, where he and Eve enjoyed Wardroom Dinners, Ladies' Nights, and cocktail parties. When RNEC closed in 1994 Brian moved to Devonport Naval Base to form their Volunteer Band. He finally took early retirement in October 1996.
He was church secretary at Cornerstone Church, Torpoint, for some three years, but soon after standing down, he became a Worship Leader and a Steward, before resuming as Church Secretary in a job-share. He also became editor of the church's monthly newsletter.
He became deputy MD of Rame in 2001, deputy conductor of Torpoint Lady Singers, helped with Torpoint Silver Band, and volunteered at Antony House. He was among the Rame choir members honoured three years ago with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, for their charity work.
Brian's funeral took place on June 22 at Bodmin followed by a memorial at Cornerstone Church, Torpoint. No less than 17 pieces of music featured at the service, but sadly no singing was permitted. Recordings by The Sixteen choir and Ely Cathedral Choir were included along with two tracks from a Rame cd: Calm is the Sea, and Minnadhu Breaks. Brian performed in these recordings.
He is survived by his wife, Eve, sons Gerald and NIgel, and six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Gerald and Nigel performed an outstanding take-off of Morecambe and Wise, exiting the church to "Bring Me Sunshine".
The choir plans a memorial concert to mark members lost during the pandemic as soon as life returns to normal.
City of Truro Male Choir
"Cornish Choirs Sing to G7"
As part of Cornwall's Cultural Programme for G7, six Cornish choirs, whose members represent all ages, have joined together for the first time. With local, young soloists, they perform 'The World as One', a song especially commissioned from Russell Pascoe. "It's a plea to the leaders for action and lasting change, a call for unity and global responsibility in quite a popular style". The project was coordinated by City of Truro Male Choir who were joined by Truro Choral Society, Three Spires Singers, St Mary's Singers, Cornwall County Youth Choir, Cornwall Youth Chamber Choir and young soloists Adam Delbridge-Smith, Isabelle Thorns, Rosina Flint, Will Randlesome, Martha Jones and Freddie Parsons. The song has also been recorded and videoed by Cornwall County Youth Choir and by City of Truro Male Choir. It has also been adopted by the European Erasmus+ Programme and MEGA (Make Environment Great Again) Initiative with participating institutions in Belgium, Slovakia, Spain, Germany, and Poland.
Truro Male Choir's video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yCmbkIGX3s
Report submitted by Harry Haward
NEWQUAY MALE VOICE CHOIR
Wednesday 26th May has become a significant day in the history of Newquay Male Voice Choir. In the evening of that day, after 441 days of waiting, most of the choir finally managed to get back together again for a proper face-to-face rehearsal. After more than a year of frustration with, for most of it, COVID regulations forbidding amateur choral groups from getting together, MD, Richard Braebrook, supported by accompanist, Simone Maier, was finally able to stand in front of and direct the choir en masse. The evenings of 'fun and frolics', and 'chaos and confusion' as choir members tried to make the most of what 'Zoom' allowed were finally over. The event had to take place outside and the choir is indebted to Lane Theatre who made their outside space available and even provided COVID secure access to their bar afterwards. Regulations remain such that only a maximum of 30 people could gather together and everyone had to be carefully socially distanced. However, on a gloriously sunny evening, it proved to be a great success, finding the choir to be in very good heart and surprisingly up to speed with their performance. So, NQY MVC is back! We have our fingers crossed for the Prime Minister's announcement on 21st June but we are very tentatively making plans to resume public performances later in the summer. Watch this space. "Tomorrow will be a good day."
Jim Christophers (Secretary, NQY MVC)
NEWQUAY MALE VOICE CHOIR
A year (and a bit) in the life of an ordinary choir in extraordinary times
2020 will be remembered for a very long time as the year in which the world fought against a Coronavirus pandemic. Male Voice Choirs were hit hard by the restrictions and regulations brought in by the Government to try to stem the spread of an insidious disease that threatened the health and well-being of vulnerable people across the land. Essentially from March 23rd all amateur choral activity stopped as the first national lockdown was imposed. This is a reflection on how an ordinary male voice choir in Cornwall desperately tried to stay engaged and motivated over a year and a bit that was unlike any other.
Newquay Male Voice Choir proudly asserts, "We are not just any choir, we are a Cornish Male Voice Choir." However, apart from this particular distinction, we seem to be pretty much representative of our choral genre - a group of men of a certain age who gather together to share an enthusiasm for and enjoyment of singing and, certainly in many cases, the 'craic' that goes with it. We practise once a week, present concerts as often as we can and particularly enjoy meeting up with like-minded choral groups in shared events. On the 23rd March 2020 our world fell apart when the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a National Lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic that was beginning to engulf the world.
Firstly, I should express our enormous admiration and thanks to those choirs who very quickly adapted to a virtual digital world and kept the male voice choir movement in the spotlight. Evidence of how successful they were is easily available via YouTube. For us, this proved to be well out of our technical reach so, like many other similar choirs I suspect, we struggled to adapt to this very different environment.
As I write this, with a promising weather forecast, 30 members of the choir (28 singers plus our MD and accompanist) are planning to get together in a couple of days' time for a rehearsal in the car park of our local theatre. This will be the first time we have been able to meet face-to-face since our last weekly choir practice held on March 11th last year! Our planned practice on the 18th March had already been cancelled as that would have been the evening before the start of our tour to Gloucester and Cheltenham. By the date of our next scheduled practice, 25th March, our tour had been postponed and 'Lockdown' had been declared. Such was the traumatic beginning of a journey into and through territory that we had never explored nor experienced before.
Our immediate rection was one of shock. It appeared that a rug had been pulled from beneath us. Our whole raison d'etre had been removed. However, it seemed likely that things might be back to normal by the summer, or at least September. We just needed to sustain things for now. Then there emerged a realization that COVID was more insidious and life-threatening than anything we had experienced before. Furthermore, virtually every member of the choir fell into the Government's 'vulnerable' category. Whatever we may attempt to do would need to be very cautious and require very careful consideration of the ever more constraining restrictions and regulations that were being imposed.
Our instinctive, reaction was to make sure that members were properly connected via the telephone. Weekly e-mail messages invited members to contact, for example, the next person on the choir list, someone in another section with whom you do not usually converse .... We also shared choir 'news', for example, that the tour was likely to be rescheduled for the Autumn (little did we know). We shared things that we were learning during lockdown (It's easier to cut hair with clippers than with scissors; be careful when ordering on-line; Facetime and Skype are wonderful things). We created a 'Lockdown Looks' gallery in which we shared photographs of our new unkempt tonsorial appearance.
By April we had further delayed our tour to Spring 2021 (little did we know) and I was asking whether anyone had any knowledge or experience with an app I had heard of called Zoom that apparently some choirs were making use of. There was not much of a response! However, in the middle of May we had our first virtual committee meeting on Zoom. We logged on for the free option so only had limited time but it worked. We had found a way in which this small group of 5 could 'meet' to discuss ideas and issues related to the choir and its response to lockdown. With some easing of restrictions, things were beginning to look more promising.
In June there was some further easing of restrictions as we entered a summer that promised something approaching normality. However, without the choir being able to rehearse, a review of the choir's future bookings led to all remaining concerts being postponed to 2021 but with some prospect that we may be asked to participate in most of our usual Christmas activities (little did we know). Our tour was postponed to a date even further away, October 2021.
On the 26th June we had the first of a number of choir get together on Zoom. There were 12 participants and my notes record that 'it was not very productive' with most of the limited time we had dealing with 'technical issues relating to sound and vision'. We established that Zoom does not support synchronized choral singing and that our 'turn taking' would need to improve if we were to take things further.
On the 1st July, 100 days into our lockdown, I sent my last weekly e-mail out to members. The road ahead was looking less rocky, there was further easing of restrictions. We had survived for nearly four months with choir members by and large engaged, motivated and with a sense of momentum.
There followed a summer and Autumn of frustratingly false hope. To begin with restrictions and regulations continued to be eased and people found opportunities to get out and about more. We were encouraged to 'eat out to help out' and were granted permission to meet in groups of no more than 6 in a person's garden, something which added a new dimension to choir committee meetings. However, there was still no opportunity for choirs the size of ours to get together and the science surrounding the transmission potential of aerosols produced during singing sounded alarm bells. But, as the summer progressed news was coming through the grapevine of choirs who had developed covid secure approaches to gatherings. We consulted enormously helpful advice from 'Making Music' and the 'Association of British Choir Directors' and made contact with two local choirs who had successfully managed to bring their members together in large open sided barns. Could we do the same? There followed a period of research of potential premises and discussion considering the 'can we, but should we' dilemma of bringing together a group of potentially such vulnerable people. By the middle of September we had found somewhere and had begun the interesting task of undertaking a health and safety risk assessment. However, tantalizingly, just as we seemed ready to move forward, restrictions were reimposed and we found ourselves back where we started.
Then in December came the vaccinations. Once again the momentum of the pandemic shifted. Conversation within the choir now focused on who had had the vaccine, which type had they received, whether there were any after effects and, eventually, who had received both doses. We stepped away from 2020 and into 2021 with a renewed positivity tempered with a realism acquired from our experience to date.
Momentously, on the 13th January 2021 choir members were invited to their first proper singing opportunity on Zoom. Participants were promised 40 minutes of 'mayhem, mirth and music'; 16 members attended. We certainly had fun as we grappled with the technology. The 'mute all' function came into its own and allowed us to experiment with some 'social singing' with one participant singing the melody of a song while the others (all muted) sang along with them in their own homes. At the time it was the best we could do, but it was not entirely satisfying. However, shortly afterwards things improved no end when we paid a subscription and signed up for Zoom properly. This now afforded more time, allowing our MD to take us through a set of breathing and vocal exercises to support our singing. Having our accompanist with us also encouraged us to experiment singing our part (while muted) with the accompaniment in support (not as successful as we had hoped it might be). We also had one or two solo performances.
This is how things continued, a mixture of 'fun and frolics' and 'chaos and confusion', on a weekly basis up to the 3rd March when we made a significant breakthrough. Thanks to some remarkably generous support from a very good friend and colleague in South Wales (many thanks, Amy), we learnt how to 'share audio'. This gave us access to the digital files containing the tracks that we had recorded for our CD. (Yes, by an extraordinary quirk of good fortune, having done the recording immediately before lockdown, we had managed to produce a CD despite all the various restrictions and regulations of 2020.) This gave an enhanced singing experience with individuals, while muted to all others, able to sing their part ostensibly as if in the full choir. This is what we have done weekly since.
In between the musical events, social get togethers saw us sharing gardening tips, telling our favourite jokes, celebrating our most memorable sporting moments, recalling instances of mistaken identity ......
And there we have it. We hope to be back inside rehearsing by the end of June and have optimistically pencilled in a public performance for 13th August this year. We have our fingers crossed that this will take place and be the first of many other singing opportunities to come.
That's what we did, but what did we learn?
This is probably best encapsulated in this comment, received from one of our choir members, "The last year has reinforced my conviction that one of life's essentials is friendship and our need for companionship. Belonging to a choir has been a lifeline for all of us and, whilst Zoom has not been suitable for communal singing, it has enabled most of us to maintain group contact and enjoy the laughter and camaraderie that is such a vital part of choir life. Possibly even more vital as most of us are retired and many lead otherwise solitary lives!". Tony, many thanks for this.
So, what did you do during lockdown?
Jim Christophers (Secretary, NQY MVC)
Mousehole Male Voice Choir
Recognition Of 70 Years Service To The Choir
Derek Harvey is the elder statesman of Mousehole Male Voice Choir. He joined when he was 17, on 19th October 1950, before many of us were born.
In honour of his 70th anniversary - surely unprecedented in the history of the choir - five of us (the maximum allowed under the present restrictions) went to the Solomon Browne Hall to present him with a Nigel Hallard print of the harbour. The five of us were very glad to represent the choir and show Derek how much we value what he's put into supporting Mousehole over such a long period. The label on the back of the picture says:
"Presented to Derek by his fellow members of the Mousehole Male Voice Choir as a mark of their affection and in recognition of his outstanding and remarkable 70 years of service to the choir."
It was also good to put on choir uniform for the first time in more than a year, not since our concert in February 2020 in Chapel Street Chapel to help raise funds for Julyan Drew's memorial seat in Newlyn. Getting dressing up wasn't as easy as you might think - buttoning up a shirt collar, remembering how to knot a tie, wondering why the trousers had shrunk so much, and dusting a pair of black shoes took some doing.
But it was worth it to stand in the sunshine in Mousehole with Derek and to thank him with a gift that shows how attractive the village is. We hope it will also bring back happy memories for him. Derek brought along a big album of choir photos going back many years and we spent some time looking through them and putting names to some of the faces - Cecil Blewett and Garfield Ladner, Sidney and Tommy Waters, Ivor George and Edgar Wallis, and many more.
Derek has sung under five Musical Directors, and he could probably tell you exactly how many concerts he's performed in and what pieces each one contained. In all these years, he missed only two Summer Festival Concerts and he sang at another despite hurting his back after falling off a roof. He's been Attendance Officer for over fifty years and, with the late Harry Pender, was awarded the annual Achievement Cup at the last AGM.
Hopefully when the choir is back together, we can in person thank Derek for his dedication to Mousehole Male Voice Choir and wish him even more years as a member.
Report submitted by Simon Bromage PR MMVC
City of Truro Male Choir
Truro Men Rediscover Their 'Inner Child'
To celebrate World Children's Day in the UK, Truro's male choir have rediscovered their boyhood by making a video of Sam Cooke's 'Wonderful World'.
"I originally wrote this arrangement for my school boys' choir, 'The Cousin Jacks', but it struck me as a good vehicle for City of Truro Male Choir to have fun," said Musical Director, Russell Pascoe. "We've made several wild and anarchic videos during lockdown and this one takes 'bizarre' to a new level. Our videos have been seen by tens of thousands, all around the world - it's amazing! We have dedicated the video to the Cornwall Music Therapy Service which supports children in challenging circumstances. We support CMT and hope that our audience will via YouTube".
The video is to be found at https://youtu.be/yl4FpeJk20o
The choir meets online (at the moment) to rehearse and is open to any guys who enjoy a good sing. Just contact our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Report submitted by Harry Haward
City of Truro Male Choir
Choir Sings for Sir Tom
As Truro's Male Choir's first new piece of repertoire for 2021 is "You'll never walk alone", they felt it should be dedicated to Sir Tom and people and places that inspire their community. As well as recording themselves, choir members have provided pictures which inspire them to illustrate their new video, which can be seen at https://youtu.be/aNeC9scjYeU
The Choir's Musical Director, Russell Pascoe said "We had planned to learn this as our first new piece for 2021 to cheer ourselves and raise our own and others spirits. Choosing pictures to illuminate the sense of the piece gave us an interesting challenge and produced some insightful results. We feel this is a fitting tribute to Sir Tom and will encourage people to continue to contribute to his Foundation, the details of which are shown at the end of the video."
The video will be premiered at 0900 on Tuesday 9 February on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/aNeC9scjYeU
Report submitted by Harry Haward
City of Truro Male Choir
Three Choirs and Covid
The Musical Directors of three Cornish Male Voice Choirs have shared their experiences of becoming 'virtual' choirs during the Covid lockdown this year. Their conversations explore how they started going 'virtual', how they progressed and what else they did. The three Directors are Marcus Alleyne of Loveny Male Voice Choir, Stephen Lawry of Mousehole Male voice Choir and Russell Pascoe of City of Truro Male Choir. Their conversation is to be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8_cdwHUFJKUjTj7uq9G7Gg/featured
John Larke Chairman of the Truro Choir said "Our Choir was very uneasy when we started the process. Having progressed, we felt it was important to make the lessons learned available to others to encourage them to put their toes in the 'virtual' water. Our starting point was the realisation that the vast majority of our singers had a modern phone and an email address. We are particularly grateful for the direct financial support of FEAST and Cornwall Community Foundation in making the project happen." FEAST is a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall.
Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
City of Truro Male Choir
Choir Jingles for Food Bank
Building on the success of "The Lion sleeps tonight" (which included a cameo from Kernow King - Ed Rowe), City of Truro Male Choir have teamed up with BBC Radio Cornwall for their second Christmas offering. The video features the choir and BBC presenters prancing and singing 'Jingle Bells' arranged by Musical Director Russell Pascoe. It was filmed and recorded by members on a normal choir practice night. The choir were delighted to showcase the vocal talents of Daphne Skinnard, Tiffany Truscott, James Churchfield and Laurence Reed who joined the 'elf-like' joyful singalong. Russell Pascoe said "It has been huge fun bringing this project together with the help of our friends at BBC Radio Cornwall. Daphne Skinnard is a choir Vice President and great friend to our choir. However there is also a serious side to this project - we have dedicated it to the Truro Food Bank who operate out of our rehearsal venue at All Saints Church, Highertown. We hope that people will give generously if they have been amused by our antics"
The video will be premiered on the choir's YouTube platform at 9.00PM on 19 December https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8_cdwHUFJKUjTj7uq9G7Gg/featured ."
Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
City of Truro Male Choir
Choir and Kernow King Go Wild for Newquay Zoo
Following the release of their very first video which received an accolade from impresario Aled Jones, City of Truro Male Choir have gone a step further and produced an even zanier offering. Featuring thirty nine members of the choir in various forms of jungle attire, it is dedicated to Cornwall's Newquay Zoo. Cornwall's own actor/comedian Edward Rowe, known locally as 'Kernow King', kindly gave his time and support and joined in the fun. The film was edited by award winning filmmaker Brett Harvey who took time out from completing his forthcoming feature film LONG WAY BACK. https://www.o-region.co.uk
The choir's Musical Director, international composer Russell Pascoe, who appears in the video being chased by a lion said "In these appallingly difficult covid times I have been delighted by the men's enthusiasm and participation. We learned all our singing parts at our weekly virtual Zoom practices and all of the parts were recorded individually and mixed remotely by Choir member Adam Delbridge–Smith. Filming was carried out in a covid secure manner in Truro's Boscawen Park. Most importantly this project has been a way for our group to stay connected whilst we are unable to meet face to face. We had a great deal of fun making the film and hope we can bring a chuckle and a smile to people's faces in these stressful times as well as raise some much needed funds for the Zoo, which can be done via their website at https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/support-us/donate."
Choir Chairman John Larke said "This second video is also part of a larger project we are undertaking to record how we as a choir have adapted to using virtual means to continue as a choir and to record our performances for the benefit of others. We will then be circulating this information to the wider choral community to encourage others to try such methods. It has allowed us to keep our spirit, music and social cohesion together, which is what amateur singing is all about. We would not have been able to proceed with this project with the direct financial support of FEAST and Cornwall Community Foundation. FEAST is a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall."
The video will be premiered at 0900 on Thursday 12 November on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/2ny1x55YsZs
Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Mousehole Male Voice Choir
Paul Feast Concert With A Difference
On Sunday 11th October Mousehole Male Voice Choir gave the traditional feast concert in the parish church. This concert though, was different. Due to the on-going Covid-19 situation, the concert itself was a virtual one featuring songs performed by the choir and recorded for posterity and available on 'You Tube'. A very limited audience was present, in line with the restrictions, and the 'choir' were hosted for the evening by the choir's indomitable musical director, Steve Lawry.
The evening followed the same format as a proper concert (ie groups of three). The first group commenced with the hymn tune "I Need Thee Every Hour" which had been performed at an outdoor concert in Mousehole, conducted by Tom Waters and accompanied by John Harry. This was followed by songs recorded on one of the choir's very successful tours and performed in Southark Cathedral, London.
During the interval the audience were entertained by the pupils of Mousehole school and videoed at the school. This included a piece called Paul feast calypso.
What made this evening unique was the presentation to one of the choir's top tenors, Derek Harvey. Derek celebrates 70 years in the choir on 19th October this year. In 1950, when he joined he was auditioned by the then musical director, Maddern Williams. After being accepted, Derek said "You weren't allowed to sing in a concert unless the conductor thought you were able to - you never had any probation period then and never did a concert until the following Summer". The choir's president, Kath Matthews presented Derek with a certificate recognising 70 years of singing from the The Cornwall Federation of Male Choirs. The choir's Chairman, Jon Pender, also spoke a few words about Derek and presented him with a Congratulations card from the Choir. Jon read the words in the card out to the audience "To Derek, Many congratulations and a special thank you for achieving a remarkable 70 years dedicated and loyal service. This is not only as a first tenor singer but also as an outstanding assistant treasurer for most of your service. Best wishes from all your friends in Mousehole MVC". Derek then received a well deserved standing ovation from all present.
The choir will present Derek with something more substantial once the restrictions have eased and all the choir can gather to mark this wonderful anniversary together. Maybe this anecdote sums up Derek's dedication, as a carpenter and joiner he said "I was working on a roof. fell off, fractured three vertebrae and did the Summer Concert in agony. We did 'Nidaros' and I was determined I was going to sing that after all the practice we had done on it over such a long time. I went to the concert - but I wasn't very comfortable".
The two outstanding pieces of music during the evening was the Choir singing 'Gwahoddiad' with the Sierra wind Orchestra USA at St Mary's church during the Golowan festival and also 'And Can It Be' at the International Choir Festival Competition in 2019 in Truro Cathedral. The final section included 'The Old Woman' conducted by Portia Grant at Mousehole Chapel in 2009 and 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with guest artist Faryl Smith from a recent Summer festival concert in St Mary's Church, Penzance and the popular and most appropriate piece in these difficult times "We Rise Again" recorded at Barnstaple Parish Church. The evening finished with the blessing and prayer given by the Vicar, Rev Andrew Yates.
This evening would not have happened and been as successful as it was without the amazing work which went into creating the virtual concert by Steve Lawry and Kevin Wild. Thanks must also go to Rev Andrew Yates in hosting this special evening.
Photo Credits: Jon Pender & Jane Harvey
Report submitted by Simon Bromage PR MMVC
Loveny Male Voice Choir
Return to Rehearsal
On Thursday evening Lovwny Male Voice Choir were able to return to rehearsals making them one of the first choirs on the county to hold a physics rehearsal.
Following the recent relaxation of guidelines applied to amateur singers Loveny MVC wasted no time in taking full advantage and set the ball rolling to return to singing together. During the whole of lockdown and all through restrictions the choir has not missed a single proactive. Musical Director Marcus Alleyne generated over 80 bespoke rehearsal files to facilitate the weekly Zoom sessions allowing each section to wing along with not only their individual harmony line but also all 4 harmony lines.
LMVC baritone Bryan Crowel spent w number of course reading the guidance qne generating the covid safe risk assessment to ensure all the entire team were safe and Colin Arthur is generously offering use of his barn until we are ready to go indoors.
MD Marcus Alleynw said ”It was fantastic to return to live physical rehearsal and absolutely marvelous to see such a good turn out with 75% of the choir in attendance.”
Report submitted by LMVC
City of Truro Male Choir
"MEN STAND TOGETHER FOR NHS"
City of Truro's male choir has been having fun during lock-down and produced a music video which they have dedicated to the NHS. The choir is fortunate to have amongst their younger singers, Adam Delbridge-Smith completing a Music Degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Oscar Davies who is a Production Assistant in London. They have been weaving the electronic sound and video images together into an amazing and original video!
Choir Musical Director and international Cornish composer, Russell Pascoe said "One of our choir members suggested we sing the Frog's Chorus with its refrain, 'We all stand together' in honour of the NHS". As a twenty first century inclusive choir, we felt the message encapsulated how we are all feeling in these difficult times. I enjoyed arranging it for the lads and it has given us the opportunity to have fun working together by using Zoom rehearsals and recording technology. Most of us had to learn new skills in order to participate. It has been superb to see members help and support each other in order to make this weird and wonderful tribute!
The video can be seen on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/AlTbJafB9NM
Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
"In Covid Times"
Whilst the choir keeps going via Zoom, we all long for the day when we can return to singing together in the same location. When lockdown came a few of us experimented with our MD on how we might use the medium for substitute choir practices. Fortunately there was a lot of advice on line on how to go about this. So we then asked the choir if they wanted to "have a go" and the result is that we now have a weekly virtual practice including sectionals with over two third of the choir members participating. We have focused on maintaining our repertoire as well as even starting to learn a new piece of music. Silver surfers, who needed some IT help, were assisted by phone to get them into the system. We have all slowly adapted to what is required and regardless of the limitations, it has kept us together in song. Our musical team have been admiral in adapting to their new and sometimes quite difficult way of doing things.
Nationally serious research has been taking place and a recent report from the Guardian Newspaper is to be found at
In addition there is an interview ( 15 minutes but worth it) with Consultant ENT Declan Costello , an expert on the voice. He has been leading the research into Covid-19 and the potential dangers concerning singing and wind instrument playing. Phase one of his research is now complete and its finding will inform Government policy. The conversation between him and Sam Evans of OneVoiceCampaign is to be found at https://www.onevoicecampaign.org/video
There is hope in the pipeline and we encourage all singers, to find a way to keep practicing.
Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Item updated 02/8/20
MEN OF SONG
'Cornice viewed from front'
'Cornice viewed in profile'
Item updated 29/01/17
The choir were saddened to learn of the passing of our very much beloved friend and baritone, Harry Pender in the early hours of Tuesday 17th March after a long illness. Harry first joined Mousehole Male Voice Choir as a teenager in 1946 but left when called up for his National Service, which he spent in the army. After being de-mobbed, with the rank of Sergeant, he worked locally as a motor engineer and businessman before forming the partnership of Blewett and Pender, Motor Cycle Engineers, in Albert Street, Penzance.
Harry re-joined the choir in 1985 and the following year was one of the original members of The Cornwall Male Choir formed to tour the U.S.A. That choir continued for another 20 years, superseded by The Kernow Male Choir and The Trelawny Male Choir. Harry sang with all these choirs visiting The USA. and Canada on several occasions plus Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and parts of Europe.
Harry was constantly working behind the scenes for Mousehole MVC. He had been the choir’s music librarian for many years; he also took charge of CD sales and organised the Methodist school room ready for choir practice. He was always one of the first to arrive and the last to leave, such was his dedication. Choir Musical Director Steve Lawry, said of Harry, “His personality shone in everything he did, and his sense of fun and mischievous smile will live long in the memory. There can never have been a more conscientious librarian either. Not only on the ball with all the music ready at each practice, but if I ever asked on a Monday night what copies were available when planning a new programme I would have a list by the end of the next morning! Then there are all the ladies who were persuaded by his charm to run the CD stall at concerts, who will also miss his warmth and appreciation.” He did not mind being the subject of a bit of fun with the members but was highly respected by everyone. He will be sadly missed. When looking at the comments made about Harry on the choir’s Facebook page, what comes out time and time again was that he was full of kindness, full of fun, a gentleman and a great ambassador for the choir.
A light has gone out within the choir with his happiness and laughter gone from us. Harry you were an absolute legend and the choir are poorer without you. Rest in peace, dear friend and enjoying singing your heart out with the choirs of angels.
24th March 2020
Item updated 30/3/20
For the second time in a month I report the death of a second tenor in the Marazion Apollo male Choir.
Alex Taylor, who joined the choir only about five years ago and was known for his solo performances of 'Simon & Garfunkel' numbers at our summer variety concerts, sadly died on the evening of Christmas Day. Alex had been receiving treatment for leukaemia over the past few months. All looked well at the end of summer but the disease did not respond to the second course of treatment. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.
It is with great sadness that we record the death of our oldest and well revered choir member on this day 26th November 2019.
Ken Cargeeg has been an active member and former chairman of Marazion
Apollo since January 8th 1951. That is 68 years with this choir and
prior to that Ken sang as a founding member of St. Buryan Male Choir for
8 years and the former Heamoor choir for 2 years. That makes a total of
78 years of singing in male voice choirs and he was rehearsing our
Christmas music only last week. Surely this is a record of service that
will be very difficult to surpass.
In his later years Ken had also gained a reputation for delivering impressive monologues at our concerts with never a script to be seen.
Rest in Peace Ken
Submitted by Stuart Meyers
Item updated 01/01/20
We have been having a sort out of our music and have some pieces of music (TTBB) which are looking for a good home. Could you advertise this on the Federation Website please? They are free and are on a first come, first serve basis. If anyone is interested in them, could they contact Tim James, choir secretary on 01736 361371 or email their request to him on: email@example.com
8th October 2019
Item updated 26/10/19
It is with great regret that the members of Praze Hayle Male Choir recently voted to dissolve the Charity and dispose of its assets.
The Choir was formed in 2006 by the merger of the former Praze Male Voice Choir (founded in 1924) and Hayle Male Voice Choir (founded in 1978) so there was a very proud history over the years with both choirs being successful in competing in a number of music festivals, tours and participating in Massed Choir Concerts both in Cornwall and at larger venues such as The Royal Albert Hall.
The new choir continued competing in the same vein and enjoyed many happy times entertaining audiences and raising thousands of pounds for various charities and good causes.
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all those who have been involved over the years, especially to all the Musical Directors and accompanists, without whom it could not have happened, and to the late Hamilton Hawkins who was a great member, supporter and inspiration to us all.
Several members are joining other local male choirs to continue their love of singing and our assets are being distributed to those choirs and other similar institutions to help them continue their splendid work. We wish them every success and say "Thank you for the Music".
18th. August 2019
Item updated 28/08/19
Mousehole Male Voice Choir have lost one of their finest. Arthur Brown joined the choir in 1951 as a fresh faced youngster, and has been a loyal, keen and enthusiastic choir member ever since. The choir honoured him as a Life Member, but sadly his life has run it's course, after a difficult last few months of ill health.
However Arthur will be remembered by all those who have been in the choir with him as a gentleman full of fun, with a witty remark or ribald comment for every occasion! He remained a strong singer to the end, and always gave a warm welcome to new choristers. There are many good stories about Arthur from local events and tours, and it is obvious that he was generally in the thick of the action! He may have calmed down in later years, but the sense of fun and mischief and the twinkle in the eye never left him.
Arthur has always been a great ambassador for the choir amongst visitors to Mousehole, telling them what concerts are coming up, and soliciting support (as well as the occasional pint) from folk who called in the Ship Inn. It has always been apparent that he is beloved by holiday makers, as if he was ever missing from a harbour concert it was amazing how many people would come up at the end to inquire after him!
If he got as much fun out of his 68 years of dedicated service to the choir as he gave to others then Arthur will have had an abundance of joy.
Thank you Arthur. Rest in peace.
Item updated 11/06/19
THE Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir is sad to report the death, three days short of his 94th birthday, of our oldest member, Fred Luckraft - possibly the federation's oldest active cloister. With his rich bass voice he was a fully active member to the last, always first in line - ahead of younger men - to help store equipment after rehearsals.
So it was fitting that the choir paid tribute in Maker Church, on May 17, at a memorial service celebrating his life in the very place where Fred had first discovered his love of singing, having performed there as a choirboy. The following day he had been due to sing in a Maker concert which, with the help of Wadebridge MVC, raised £550 for the iconic bell tower which is in need of repair.
Fred was among the Rame choir's earliest members when it was founded in 1976, and played a significant part in the charitable ethos which was instrumental in them receiving the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service last year. When Cornwall Council honoured the choir with a reception, it was Fred who was charged with accepting a framed parchment on their behalf from the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall.
Fred was no stranger to the notion of service to others, in a range of roles not only remarkable on the basis of longevity. He was simply peerless.
He served for many years as secretary of the Millbrook Permanent Annuity Society, supporting members' widows, and was a member of the Pelican Masonic Lodge. He was the Rame choir almoner, and also, for some three decades, Rame's representative at the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs where his wise and friendly counsel was much valued. He was delighted when nominated by his colleagues to receive the federation honour of the President's Plate.
During his service as federation rep, the choir participated in several concerts, the two most recent of which, at the Royal Albert Hall and in Plymouth, resulted in more than £90,000 being raised by the federation for Cornish charities.
Fred was born in Cawsand on August 25, 1925, into a naval family - his father, George, was in the Royal Navy - and a world where films were silent, the first TV images were yet to be transmitted, and Britain was heading into the Depression with two million unemployed.
The family lived in Garrett Street in a spectacular location overlooking Cawsand Bay, but when he was just five years old, the idyll was shattered when he lost his mum, Gladys. She had gone to nurse the vicar of Maker Church's two-year-old daughter, who was suffering from tuberculosis. The child survived, but Fred's mother contracted the illness, and died.
Fred attended Four Lanes End Junior School and then Hoe Grammar School in Plymouth before studying engineering at Camborne College until the summer of 1945.
Thereafter he served in the Royal Navy, as a radar operator on board the corvette, HMS Jasmine, seeing active service in the Middle East, Burma, and Indian Ocean, before being being demobilised in 1946.
On leaving the service he worked for the South West Electricity Board before studying at St Paul's College in Cheltenham (now the University of Gloucestershire) as a mature student in order to become a teacher. He was a secondary school teacher of maths and technical drawing in Devon and Cornwall for the rest of his working life, retiring at 55. He taught at schools in Liskeard, Callington, and Torpoint, although he continued to do supply teaching thereafter.
He married a Millbrook girl, Dorcas Caroline Jane Austin, in 1952. She predeceased him in July 2005. His younger brother, John, passed away some 10 years ago. Fred is survived by his daughter, June Caroline, granddaughter Emma, grandson Noel (married to Jennie) and great-granddaughter Eva.
Fred was a fine all-round sportsman. He was employed as a lifeguard at Plymouth Hoe swimming pool while on holiday breaks from St Paul's, and he became an instructor/examiner for the Duke of Edinburgh award, which on occasion called for him to go out on rescue missions on Dartmoor.
Fellow choristers recall him as an excellent batsman with Mount Edgcumbe Cricket Club and he was a forward with Plymouth Albion Rugby Club from 1948 - '52. He boxed in the navy, and later became a national schoolboy boxing coach before serving as chairman of the Schools Amateur Boxing Association. For many years he sailed a 23-foot Hurley competitively. They also recall him helping push a borrowed piano the wrong way along a one-way street, then returning it after choir practice!
A man of forthright opinions, which he was not slow to share, he would admit that he might have his faults, "but being wrong is not one of them!"
He and Dorcas took great pleasure in their touring caravan in the late 70's and then later enjoyed a static caravan on The Lizard which Fred continued to use until last year. They very much enjoyed holidays with the family in the USA, and in Portugal, also visiting Tunisia.
He was every inch a local character and was among the subjects whom the noted Whitsand artist, Louise Courtnell, selected for Project Lydos which involved her painting portraits of many of the characters and worthies of the twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand. It was often assumed that the project's name had some profound classical allusion. In fact, as Louise confided, it stood for: "Lift your drawers or swim," - fishermen's advice regarding toilet facilities!
Fred will surely be an asset to God's choir in the sky where Rame members who have beaten him to it will be in for some earache if they failed to lay in some Pusser's rum for his arrival!
Terry Hodge, Chairman, presents the President's Silver Plate Award 2016
to Fred Luckraft of Rame Peninsula MVC
Fred with the choir's youngest member, Robin Willoughby,
when Cornwall Council presented us with a parchment
to mark Rame having been nominated for the Queen's Award.
Item updated 02/06/19
On Thursday 7th March Burraton Male Choir had their first concert of the year. The concert was held at Saltash Wesley Methodist Church and a most enjoyable evening was had by all. Special guests at the concert was Grace Notes Acapella, a Ladies Acapella Chorus based in Saltash singing four-part harmony in the barbershop style.
The evening was compered by Radio Cornwall's Donna Birrell and Sheila Pender secretary of the Burraton Ladies Committee presented a cheque for £400 to Children's Hospice Southwest.
The evening ended with everyone enjoying a Cornish supper laid on by the Ladies Committee.
Item updated 04/04/19
Photo by John Evans
THE Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir is helping a project to prevent the demise a 13th century bell tower in East Cornwall.
The Maker Ringers, who use the tower for weekly practice, and perform there at services, weddings, funerals, and to celebrate national events, have already contributed £2000 to kick start their "Appeal to keep Maker bells pealing" for generations to come. Fund-raising events are planned and potential grants are being explored.
The Church of St Mary and St Julian at Maker has perched upon the high ground above Mount Edgcumbe for almost 900 years. From its iconic 13th century sandstone tower the bells have called the peninsula's faithful to worship, tolled to signal the death of monarchs, rung in rejoicing at weddings, and marked great historic events since the Napoleonic era.
However, its six bells, cast in 1808 - the heaviest weighing 13cwt - now risk being silenced.
Urgent restoration, to strengthen the belfry floor and repair its roof, will cost an estimated minimum of £20,000. Professional survey is on-going.
The tower's Grade I listing by Historic England speaks of a significance far beyond its status as a landmark on Admiralty charts.
It commands sweeping views of Plymouth Sound and the Hamoaze, and if its stones could talk, might whisper of murder within its walls (a watchman manning the signal station above the belfry, killed for his watch and silver shoe buckles).
Yet much more might have been witnessed from its lofty pinnacles: Barbary pirates enslaving Cornish fishermen; Drake venturing forth against the Armada; the Mayflower setting off for the New World; Hawkins pioneering England's role in the slave trade; Nelson slipping ashore for alleged romantic assignations; French frigates anchored with impunity in Cawsand Bay; Napoleon captive on board Bellerophon; the conclusion of successful global circumnavigations by Drake and Chichester; the blitz of Plymouth, Mount Edgcumbe House in flames, and the nightly wartime anti-aircraft barrage.
Preserving this bell tower, so deeply embedded in local and national history, is of paramount importance to the community.
A coffee morning in Kingsand Institute on Saturday March 30 (10am) is scheduled, and further fund-raising is planned by opening the tower to visitors from 11.00am to 2.30pm on two Bank Holiday weekends:
Easter Sat/Sun/Mon (April 19, 20, 21); and Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5. Refreshments will be available. Come up and see one of East Cornwall's most splendid views. If you wish to support the appeal, please contact the bell tower captain, John Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org), or phone 01752 823066.
Submitted by Doug Gillon
Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir
Item updated 04/04/19
The Plymouth Hospitals Charity Annual Review 2017-2018 contains a piece about the Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir which describes the work Derriford are doing with the technology associated with molecular scanners. Rame MVC - along with many other Cornish choirs - have made great efforts to collect a lot of money for this worthy cause.
If anyone would like to donate to this worth while cause, please contact Rame Choir direct.
Submitted by Graham Hoare
Webmaster for Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir
Item updated 12/02/19
St Stythians MVC were delighted to finish joint second in the Advanced Male Voice Choir section of the Camborne Music Festival last Saturday. In an extremely strong section, which boasted The Celtic Male Ensemble (winners), Holman Climax MVC and Kerrier MC, St Stythians rose to the occasion scoring 86;85 and 87 with their three pieces. The highest score being achieved by The River of Life, an original piece composed by Gareth Churcher and words by Bob Willmott (a top tenor with the choir).
The adjudicator, Marilynne Davies, BA; Med; LRAM; PGCA; FRSA, gave detailed and informed comments on all the choirs' pieces, with a touch of wry humour.
If you feel that you would enjoy spending time with a very social group of people who enjoy singing and raising money for charity then why not join us.
Our practice night takes place every Tuesday night (7:45-9:30) in the schoolroom at Stithians Methodist Church, where there is plenty of parking (TR3 7AN).
Please check the choir website for further details; ststythiansmvc.weebly.com or follow us on Facebook.
You could also contact: Secretary: Jackie Dunstan 01872 553276; Chairman: John Houldsworth 01326 250744 or any other choir member.
St Stythians Male Voice Choir celebrated their annual dinner at the Penmorvah Manor Hotel last Friday (23rd November).
Over 70 choristers and friends enjoyed an excellent meal and were entertained by Akoustek. Karen Hurn and Barbara Martyn were the choir's guests of honour. Karen regaled her audience with humorous anecdotes from her musical past.
A prodigious fund raiser, Karen has used her "gift of singing" to raise approaching £200,000 for charity. Chairperson, John Houldsworth, then thanked Karen, the staff of the Penmorvah and J C Williams (Helston), the choir's main sponsor.
Long service awards were then presented to Mark Curnow for 10 years; John Musgrave, Mike Paddon, Glyn Pettifer, David Wilkin and Chris Dunstan for 20 years.
Chris was also presented with a certificate from the Cornwall Federation of Male Voice Choirs in recognition of 50 years' service, which included membership of other Cornish choirs.
Flowers were then presented to Lynda Jones (Ladies committee) and Karen Hurn, as well as a special presentation to Jackie Dunstan for her efficient work as choir secretary.
Once the formalities were completed, it was time to relax and socialise whilst listening to the smooth music of Akoustek.
Garnet Martin's Table
John Houldsworth making a presentation to Chris Dunstan
John Houldsworth making a presentation to Mark Curnow
Karen Hurn, Kathryn Downing and Barbara Martin
Ken and Kathryn Downing's Table
Ken Downing making presentation to Jackie Dunstan
Ken Downing presenting flowers to Karen Hurn
Ken Tregove's Table
Reports by John Houldsworth
Item updated 04/08/18
Picture of Russell with the new men
In 2016, City of Truro Male Choir appointed Russell Pascoe to be their Music Director. Since his arrival and due much to his recruiting prowess, the Choir has gained over twenty new members of all ages and is going from strength to strength.
Russell was born in Cornwall and educated at Helston School and Bristol University, where he studied composition with Derek Bourgeois. In 1987 he founded the Cornwall Youth Chamber Choir and was awarded the Gorsedd prize. He also worked with the Cornwall Male Voice Choir, Duchy Opera and ran five school based choirs including the popular 'Cousin Jacks' choir for boys at Richard Lander School in Truro.
As a composer, Russell has had his music performed from Finland to Mexico and has produced music in most genres; opera, orchestral, chamber and choral. He has taught composition for the South West Music School and in 2000 was nominated as one of Classic FM's Music Teachers of the Year. He was runner-up in the South West Teacher of the Year 2004 and was made a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 2000.
Since his appointment as Music Director for Truro's Male Voice Choir, Russell has led the choir in numerous concerts throughout Cornwall, including the Cornwall Music Festival, where the choir were awarded a Distinction.
Russell says. 'As a proud Cornishman, it is a great honour to conduct City of Truro Male Choir a choir in the heart of Cornwall. It is a great opportunity forge a community of singers and to let them enjoy singing in concerts and purely for fun in pubs! It is fantastic that we have been able to engage so many new members of varied ages'.
The choir practices at All Saints Church, Highertown, Truro on Thursday nights at 7.30PM. They offer a friendly and supportive environment in which to enjoy singing. Our website and Facebook page show us in action.
Report by Harry Haward
Publicity Officer for Truro Male Choir
Item updated 04/08/18
Members of Mevagissey Male Choir are sad to announce the death of their much loved accompanist for many years, Brian Mitchell .
Brian died on Sunday 15 July. He was well known all over the county for his organ playing, and his quiet unassuming manner.
Sent by Nick Nicholls (Chairman Mevagissey Male Choir)
Item posted 06/08/2018
The choir enjoyed a fantastic evening last night at Bocaddon. A delicious menu was on offer which included home produced veal sausages and burgers and a wonderful selection of deserts provided by our ever supportive wives and partners. The evening provided an opportunity to hand over a cheque for £1100.00 to the Relay for Life team, which was raised at an earlier safari supper. (Photos courtesy Rod Roose)
Report by Geoff Bowyer, Pelynt Male Choir
Item updated 25/07/18
Rosemary Cole BEM B.Ed.hons FISM
The choir is delighted to announce that its Director of Music, Rosemary Cole has been recognised in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours List with the award of a British Empire Medal for services to singing and the performing arts in the South West.
Rosemary was the main instigator in forming the choir in 2006 with just 9 members. A member of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs, the choir now has around 40 members and thanks largely to the her hard work and talents the choir has a very full programme of successful concerts which includes the traditional male voice repertoire and modern compositions both sacred and secular.
Report by Geoff Gunning, Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir
Item updated 21/06/18
From Left to Right
Ted Pinguey, Terry Hodge, John Trethewey, Phil Taylor, Steve Ley
At the end of January the Federation received a request from the Lord Chamberlains Office at Buckingham Palace, inviting members of the Executive Committee to attend a garden party to celebrate the 70th Birthday of Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall on the 22nd May 2018.
After contacting the Executive Committee, names were forwarded to the Palace and in due course official invitations were received. We were told not to inform anybody of this event because of the security involvement for the day.
On the day we all had an early start, meeting at Plymouth railway station to catch the 9:49 train to London. The journey was uneventful, but some of the passengers on the train were from Cornwall and also going to the party.
We then made our way to the Palace arriving at around 2:30 pm for the gates to open at 3:00pm. On entering the Palace Gardens we had time to look around the vast gardens, making our way to the lawn area, to join up with the other 6500 guests for the event. All the guests were involved with organisations that Prince Charles was patron of.
At the appointed time of 4:00pm a fanfare heralded the arrival of the Royal Party including the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and his new bride Meghan, (Duke and Duchess of Sussex).
Prince Harry started the proceedings with a speech explaining what the day was about, during his speech a bee happened to sting him on the neck; his subsequent comment caused much amusement.
The Royal Party proceeded down the steps, for a group photograph with all of the officers of the organizations that they are involved with as Patrons.
The attending throng formed two lines on the lawn for the Royal Party, so that they could walk down chatting and shaking hands with as many people as possible.
At this time the tea tent was opened for sandwiches/cakes tea or coffee (very nice!).
The rest of the afternoon in very hot weather was spent chatting with people from all over the World enjoying the event.
The party finished at 6:00pm and we made our way back to Paddington station to catch our train at 20:03 due to return to Plymouth at 23:25. We were on time all the way until rail works near Ivybridge held us up for 35 minutes, getting home later than expected.
Report by Ted Pinguey Publicity Officer for The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs.
Item updated 10/06/18
Terry Hodge, Chairman, presents the President's Silver Plate Award
to John Larke MBE of City of Truro Male Choir
At the Federation Annual General Meeting held on 17th April, City of Truro Male Choir was announced as the winner of this year's President Plate Award. The Chairman, Terry Hodge, congratulated the choir on their excellent work within the community and their youth involvement.
The choir always try to be part of the local community, here are a few things they have been involved in during the past year.
1 Lady Mary Holborow Memorial Service at Truro Cathedral.
2 Singing at the bandstand of Victoria Gardens, Truro on two occasions as the Britain in Bloom Judges visited.
3 Participating in the Truro Day Celebrations.
4 Supporting Tregthnan Estate Charity Open Day.
5 Supporting Trewithwen Gardens Charity Open Day.
6 St Pirans Day Shot at the Rising Sun Pub.
7 Carols at Tregolls Manor Retirement home.
8 Managed all the choir competition and concert marshaling at the HFC during the International Festival.
There youth involvement is working with local schools and held a St Pirans Day Concert with Threemilestone Primary School Choir and supported them with their Christmas Concerts.
they held a joint concert with Truro School Wind Band and their Barbershop Choir.
They have also recruited younger singers and now have 7 members of the choir in the range of 13 - 21.
Item updated 21/04/18
Burraton Male Choir
Burraton Male Choir proudly showing off their new uniform just before their first concert of 2018. St Piran's Day Concert at Saltash Wesley Methodist Church in aid of Little Thing & Co., The Baby Bereavement Charity.
Little Things & Co. are a UK based charity offering practical and emotional support to those who have suffered the loss of a baby.
The concert raised over £600 for the charity.
Item updated 18/03/2018
Photo of awards L to R- David Blackman; Denzil Oates, Glyn Hooper, Geoff Aver(Choir President), John Larke, John Harris
At the beginning of December, City of Truro Male Choir President Geoff Aver presented long service awards to choir members. Denzil Oates and John Harris, seen either side of the President, have been singing continuously with the choir for seventy and fifty years respectively. With the other awards the accumulated singing time for the five members, comes to one hundred and seventy years. Denzil joined the original Chacewater choir in 1947 and says he is looking forward to the next ten years. He was also Chairman for thirty years.
Report sent in by John Larke, Chairman, City of Truro Male Choir
Item updated 02/01/2018
At a summer concert held in St.Just Methodist Chapel with joint guests Pendeen Silver Band and St. Buryan Male Voice Choir, the concert raised a total of £1201.50 for each of two local charities. Presentations were recently made to St Julia's Hospice, Hayle, staff and the trustees of the Douglas Woolcock Foundation Trust based in St. Just
Report sent in by Stuart Meyers, Marazion Apollo Male Choir
Item updated 19/11/2017
Loveny Male Voice Choir is delighted to welcome Marcus Alleyne to the position of our Musical Director, and looks forward to an enjoyable and successful partnership into the future, with the support of our Deputy Musical Director Colin Arthur.
Marcus Leeverson Alleyne
Following a premature end to a Royal Naval Medical career due a hockey injury it was the perfect opportunity to revert back to a childhood passion. Maintaining a very active role in music well into his late teens, the transition from medicine to music came easily. Since graduating from Plymouth University several Musical Director opportunities have arisen, and Marcus now holds several full time positions as either associate or resident MD. Current positions held : Music of the Night Choral Foundation, Plymouth Phoenix Chorale, Sterts Arts Centre, Sounds Musical Theatre Company, Cadon Chamber Choir, Levowan XII,d the SWPC, and Loveny MVC. A small amount of his time is also taken up by private vocal tuition and music theory. With a firm knowledge and wealth of experience in both choral and orchestral conducting there is a huge variety in the work that he performs on a daily basis…
Musician, academic, educator and conductor Marcus Leeverson Alleyne started his musical life at the age of 11 beginning piano tuition and maintaining the role as an active chorister. At the age of 15 he took part in his first opera accepting the lead role of Tamino, in Mozart’s Magic Flute, as one of the youngest tenors in Europe to do so. During this time he continued classical voice training under the tutelage of Jonathan Lewsey. Whilst studying Marcus received Young Musician of The Year Award and in the same year the Tim Timmis “services to music” award. During his graduate studies he worked closely Artistic Director of Peninsula Arts, Simon Ible and while here was fortunate enough to work alongside The Bournemouth Symphony and Ten Tors Orchestra, composer Nigel Shaw, Percussionist Evelyn Glennie and guitarist Craig Ogden.
Marcus also spent time conducting the University Student Choir, Big Band and Orchestra. In 2011 Marcus founded Orchestra 4 Cornwall, which continues to draw musicians from all over the country to raise funds for a variety of charities. Following the successful debut performance of O4C he was offered the position of resident Musical Director of The Music of The Night Choral Foundation, current holders of the Plymouth City Music Festival Mantle Cup for two consecutive years.
Marcus also currently holds the position of Musical Director with The Plymouth Phoenix Chorale. A 40 strong Devon based mixed chorus who focus on an incredibly eclectic repertoire of both sacred and secular spanning some 400 years. In addition to the ever increasing repertoire the Phoenix also aim to debut new contemporary compositions in at least one of their annual concerts. With connections to Bob Chilcott Codon Chamber Choir is North Cornwall’s answer to Harry Christopher’s 16, with its 18-20 versatile and experienced singers. Due to the wealth of experience the choir does not require a full time Musical Director and work with them is often more consultancy based during the lead up to performances.
As one of Plymouth’s oldest theatre companies, Sounds Musicals Theatre is one of the more recent appointments. With a strong focus on early musical theatre and experienced actors and musicians the company performs much of its annual works at the Devonport Playhouse, which is one of Plymouths best venues for amateur and professional theatre alike. This year Marcus was required to step in and take the leading role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd just weeks before the opening night following the ill health of the original leading man. With his ever strengthening links with conductors and composers in America such as John Cornish and Dan Forrest, Marcus brings a unique style and sound to both choral and orchestral work throughout the South West and is often afforded the opportunity to premier and showcase new works from such composers. In the last 3 years he has showcased and premiered 8 pieces of contemporary music. In the summer of 2015 Marcus was appointed director of music for the then Palace Theatre Philharmonia and Chorus and was heavily involved in raising funds to support the restoration of the Union Street Theatre, however due to several reasons he resigned from the position in October 2016 and withdrew services from the charity running the restoration. Marcus then went on to develop the Southwest Philharmonia and Chorus utilising 140 musicians from across the peninsula.
Item submitted by Mick Anstice
Sec. Loveny MVC
talking to the Duchess of Cornwall
laughing with the Duchess of Cornwall
On Friday the 21st July 2017 there Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, paid a visit to Newquay. They were there to visit a new housings development where it was planned to have a tea party in honour of the Camilla’s birthday. Steve Ley and myself were invited to the event as representatives of The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs. We were introduced to the Duchess and told her all about the Choirs here in Cornwall. The event had to be moved into the fire station because of the inclement weather. Everyone was grateful that they came to the rescue!!!!
Report by Ted Pinguey Publicity Officer for The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs.
Item updated 18/08/2017
Combined Choir at Saltash Wesley Methodist Church
WHAT A FANATASTIC EVENING. Words cannot fully describe the concert last Friday evening, 4th August at Salatash Wesley Methodist Church, when a group of male choristers from Cornish male voice choirs gathered together to give a concert in aid of the Coverack Flood Disaster and what a memorable evening it turned out to be.
It all started just over a week ago when Phil Taylor, Musical Director of Burraton Male Voice Choir, asked the question during rehearsal, “who would be interested in doing a combined concert next Friday in aid of the Coverack Flood Disaster. Those available said yes and so the wheels went into action, emails were sent out and the choice of pieces chosen, phone calls made.
On the evening the choir was accompanied by Paul Fry on piano and Ken Pethick on organ and directed by Phil Taylor. 100 male voices joined together from different choirs mainly from the East of Cornwall and gave a packed audience a night to remember. The choral pieces, The Rose, Morte Criste, The Lords Prayer, Bring Him Home and many more were interspersed by soloists.
The guest soloists for the evening were, William Thomas (Baratone) from St. Ives, and instrumentalist Saltash born Michael Burke (Concert Pianist) from Manchester.
Both were absolutely amazing, William sing Anthem from Chess plus a tribute to Cornwall he wrote himself were some of the pieces he sang and Michael played two pieces from the composer Liszt.
The choirs represented were Burraton, Rame, Launceston, Liskerret, Loveny, Pelynt, Polperro, Tamar Valley, Tintagel, Marizion & others.
The concert as previously mentioned was in aid of the Coverack Flood Disaster and raised £1600 for this fund. Thank you all, choristers, audience and soloists for a wonderful evening.
Item updated 08/08/17
Terry Hodge, Chairman, presents the President's Silver Plate Award
to David Williams of Loveny MVC
At the Federation Annual General Meeting held on 9th May, Loveny Male Voice Choir was announced as the winner of this year's President Plate Award. The Chairman, Terry Hodge, congratulated the choir on their excellent work within the community.
Loveny always try to be part of the local community, here are a few things they have been involved in during the past year.
1 Each year we have a concert in St Neot with all proceeds going to the local community as a thank you for their support.
2 We go along to the local school and sing for and with the children in preparation for the annual carol concert
3 Sing with the children in the carol concert which is a wonderful and uplifting experience.
4 This year we sang at Mount Edgecombe Hospice for the switching on of the Christmas lights.
5 We went to Camel Creek Adventure Park and sang carols for the families staying there
6 After the children’s parade through the street at Bodmin for St Piran’s Day we will be leading the singing on Mount Folly with Trelawny etc.
7 We will be taking part in the Trelawny Shout at The Weavers public house on 5th March with good friends, good beer and great comradeship.
Item updated 01/06/17
Item updated 31/03/2018
Please find below an email received from Sally Burley:
We would like to invite any of your choir members to come and sing as part of the Man Engine Resurrection Tour 2018, therefore please can you pass on the information below:
The Man Engine choir will take part in the Afternoon ceremonies at Geevor and Heartlands on Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April respectively.
We will be singing two songs (mixed voice with 3 parts) and a simple chant.
To learn these songs Hilary Coleman will be holding 4 rehearsals:
- Two at Pendeen Parish Hall, Church Rd, TR19 7SE
on Tuesdays 6th & 20th March, 6-7:30pm
- Two at Heartlands, Chi an Bobel, Pool, TR15 3QY
on Tuesdays 13th & 27th March, 6-7:30pm
As a thank you for peoples participation we are offering ONE free ticket to each choir member for any of the Afterdarker performances (Geevor, Heartlands, Lostwithiel or Tavistock)
To be a part of the Man Engine Choir we ask that you attend at LEAST TWO of the four rehearsals offered.
Ideally please email either myself or Hilary to let us know you would like to be involved and you will then receive copies of the words and music.
Oll an gwella
On behalf of Golden Tree Production
Item updated 14/02/2018
Please find below an email recieved from Paul Martyn of PM Sound
After more than 25 years, countless hours of recording, editing and producing on behalf of most of the male voice choirs in the Federation, I have decided that now is the time that I have to take off my headphones, stow away my equipment and bring PM Sound to a close. PM Sound has enjoyed a very long and very productive association with Cornish male voice choirs and I have gained enormous personal satisfaction from the part I have been able to play in helping the choirs to preserve their repertoires, record their development and disseminate their ‘sound’ to audiences all over the globe. We started with vinyl, then cassette tapes before moving on to CDs and other digital formats but at each stage PM Sound sought to produce recordings of the highest quality, showing off our Cornish choirs at their very best. I have made wonderful friendships within the male voice choir movement, enjoying the warm fellowship between the choirs; something that has never been more evident than when they have made the pilgrimages to the Royal Albert Hall and I have been delighted to have been invited by the Federation to record them.
I wish all male voice choirs in Cornwall all the best in the future and extend a warm welcome to anyone who is able to drop in for a chat (morning’s are best), especially if that gives us the opportunity to reminisce over some of the old times!
Best wishes to you all, Paul Martyn (PM Sound Tel: 01872 263300)
Item updated 29/01/17
Please find below a email sent by Jim Christophers, Secretary, Newquay MVC regarding the progress being made of three of their members who where involved in a serious accident whilst returning from a concert on Saturday, October 29, on the St Columb Major side of Winnards Perch roundabout.
All those associated with Newquay Male Voice Choir, but especially their a capella chorus, Oll an Gwella, would like to thank from the bottom of their hearts all those who have responded with such compassion and concern for the welfare of the three members of the choir who were recently involved in a very serious traffic accident. You will be pleased to hear that both David and Nick are now making tentative steps to rejoin singing activities as we head towards Christmas. Andy’s situation was always more complex, having suffered spinal injuries, so he will not be back with us for a while. However, we are pleased to report that he has moved onto the next stage of his recovery and rehabilitation and has just been transferred to a specialist spinal rehabilitation centre in Salisbury. Andy is a realist but with a remarkably up-beat outlook on life generally and his present situation specifically. We will let you all know when he is back and singing.
Item updated 09/12/2016
After three months of hard work MOUSEHOLE MALE VOICE CHOIR entered Camborne Music Festival on Saturday, singing in the Senior class for Male Voice Choirs. We found ourselves in competition with Four Lanes Male Choir and St Stythians Male Voice Choir (the previous years winners), and after a very close contest, the choir won The Ewart Kinsman Cup and The Bob & Eileen Gilbert Baton.
The adjudicator, Stephen Roberts, awarded the choir an overall mark of 264 for the choir’s rendition of Larry Nickel’s “Four Strong Winds”, Joseph Martin’s arrangement of “Sing Your Way Home” and the traditional spiritual, “Battle of Jericho”, arranged by Mark Hayes. He described the choir as having “Good harmonies and a nice balance between (the) parts”. He also praised our selection of music which showed a contrast between each of the pieces, saying “You do draw us into your singing” and “you sit very well with the piano accompaniment”
One of the comments we received from a member of one of the other competing choirs was “Congratulations on your achievements, please wait for another 25 years to compete!!!”
Needless to say the choir are absolutely thrilled with this success and it is the first time that the choir have competed since 1994, The choir are truly blessed in having an exceptionally gifted musical team in Stephen, David and Annette in getting us to this winning standard.
Mousehole Choir receiving The Ewart Kinsman Cup
Stephen Lawry with the
The Bob & Eileen Gilbert Baton.
Item updated 27/11/2016
On Saturday 2nd July 2016, some 270+ male voices from all over the county descended on the Plymouth Pavilions for a charity concert in aid of Saint Petroc’s Society, The Cove Macmillan Support Centre at Treliske and the Cornwall Music Service Trust. The concert included performances from the Duchy Tuba Quartet and soloist Laura Nicholas accompanied by Alistair Taylor.
Mrs Sibley receives the cheque for
Cornwall Music Service Trust
Mrs Jackie Davis and Sandra Gilbridge receives the cheque for
St Petroc's Society
Dr Pottnger receives the cheque for
The Cove Macmillan Support Centre
The Plymouth Pavilions charity concert raised £10,560 which was donated equally to the three charities, £3520 each.
Item updated 05/11/2016
Please find below an email received from Bewnans Kernow:
The Bewnans Kernow Annual General Meeting 2018 will take place from 10.30am on Saturday 27th January in the Grenville Room, Lys Kernow / New County Hall.
We are in the process of arranging high-level training around the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Please get in touch by email - email@example.com if you would like more information.
Gans gorhemminadow a'n gwella
Bledhen Nowydh Da
Bewnans Kernow Trustees
Email sent in by Bewnans Kernow Trustees
Item updated 08/01/2018
Please find below an email recieved from Paul Haines
I’m writing this to everyone that took part last year, and also to others that might be interested to be involved this year. There will be a similar event this year on Thursday 21st September, and an additional day on Saturday 23rd September.
The event last year seemed to go very well with 20 choirs taking part, speakers talking about peace, organisations that work with peace, and an appearance ‘live' on BBC Spotlight. There was a lot of interest for the event being repeated this year.
This event is linked with "One Day One Choir”, a global initiative to encourage choirs around the world to sing for peace on the UN World Peace Day, or International Day of Peace. Choirs singing in Truro will be singing for peace with 100’s of choirs around the world. Please take a look at the website. www.onedayonechoir.org
This coming September the event will be held over two days and the plan will be to have at least 30 choirs performing.
On Thursday 21st September, the plan is to repeat the event from last year, with two sessions in the afternoon and one in the evening, and on Saturday 23rd September the hope would be to have a morning and afternoon session. The Truro Methodist Church has been confirmed as a venue, and the Cathedral are yet to confirm.
Please put the date in your diaries and can choirs look to see which day and time would suit. Please spread the word and encourage others to take part in whatever way they can. If you have any thoughts or suggestions please get in contact. I will be away from 1st February till 12th March and will then be picking up emails and responding when I’m back.
The plan is also to raise donations for the UK Charity “Children of Peace”.
CHILDREN OF PEACE CHARITY ORGANIZATION
Non-partisan children's charity organization for Palestinian and Israeli children. Developing friendship and trust via arts, education, health and sports.
Item updated 04/02/17
Please find below an email recieved from Jim Christophers, Secretary of Newquay MVC
Newchurch Male Voice Choir from the Isle of Wight are performing with Amy Sapwell's inTune ladies choir in St Michael's Church, Newquay on Saturday, 17th June in a concert commencing at 7.30pm. Admission is free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of the RNLI. Newchurch, who are celebrating their golden anniversary this year, will be known to several Cornish choirs who have visited the Isle of Wight. They would welcome any opportunity to catch up with old friends during the evening.
Item updated 12/06/17
Terry Hodge, Chairman, presents the President's Silver Plate Award
to Fred Luckraft of Rame Peninsula MVC
At the Federation Annual General Meeting held on 10 May, Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir was announced as the winner of this year's President Plate Award. The Chairman, Terry Hodge, congratulated the choir on their excellent work within the community. Three choirs made an entry for the Award, Burraton MVC, Launceston MVC and Rame Peninsula MVC. All entries were excellent and the judges had a hard decision to make. Fred Luckraft received the Silver Plate on behalf of his choir and the runners up were presented with a Commendation Certificate.
Fred Luckraft stated it was a particular pleasure for his choir to be awarded the plate. The donor of the plate, previous President, the Reverend Professor Barry Jennings, initiated this annual award. He had lived in the Rame area and knew the choir well. After retiring as a scientist from ECC he took up holy orders and asked Rame Peninsula MVC to sing at his ordination ceremony.
Graham Tucker receives
Certificate of Commendation on behalf of
Stephen Ley receives
Certificate of Commendation on behalf of
Item posted 11/05/2016
Penny Higman, Federation Secretary
|At the Federation Annual General Meeting Penny Higman was warmly welcomed as the new Federation Secretary by the committee and all the members. Penny is an experienced secretary and has worked for many years in a secretarial and administrative capacity for different organisations. She takes over from Linda Jones who has resigned from the post. Linda will continue to manage the Federation website for the time being.
The Chairman thanked Linda Jones for her work as Federation Secretary for over 12 years. He presented her with a gift from the Federation, a beautiful, elegant vase made by Dartington Glass and a delicate pink orchid. Linda thanked the members for their kindness. She also thanked them for being such wonderful people to work with and praised the Federation for its many activities which raise thousands of pounds for charities and bring pleasure to so many with their wonderful music.
Item posted 11/05/2016
Terry Hodge, Chairman, makes presentation to
Linda Jones, retiring secretary
Please find below an email recieved from Jim Christophers, Secretary of Newquay MVC
Three Federation choirs are gearing themselves up for what promises to be a high energy evening of male voice choir singing in St Michael’s Church, Newquay at 7.30pm on Saturday, 20th May. Newquay Male Voice Choir will be performing with Four Lanes Male Choir and Pelynt Male Choir in a concert in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care. MD’s, Richard Braebrook, Tim Hosken and John Trethewey have drawn up a programme to show off all that is best from their respective choirs with a finale of pieces in which all three choirs will combine to try to raise the roof of what is a substantial building. The choirs are delighted to be joined by guest soloist, Alastair Taylor. Tickets can be reserved in advance at £6 a head by contacting Jim Christophers, Secretary of Newquay MVC, on 01637 878805 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission on the door will be £7
Item updated 09/05/17
|City of Truro Male Choir are absolutely delighted that Cornish composer and bard, Russell Pascoe has agreed to become their new Musical Director. "We have tried to recruit Russell several times over the last few years and it is a great privilege for us that at last he has said 'yes'" said John Larke, Choir Chairman. Russell, well known for his wide range of compositions, wrote his first piece for this choir back in 1992 and they currently sing his popular composition, ‘My love is like a red, red rose’ . We look forward to new compositions written for us and new, exciting challenges.
"I have admired this award winning choir’s quality over the years” said Russell “and have also been impressed with their commitment in rehearsals and am looking forward to working with them in the future. It’s a lot of fun. Having conducted a variety of school choirs, including ‘The Cousin Jacks’, I know that there are hundreds of men in the community who have enjoyed the singing experience, and many who wished they had taken part when they were younger. The recent celebration of St Piran’s Day proved that there is an appetite for singing in pubs and I’d like to build on this with the choir, as well as performing concerts around the region. It’s going to be a lot of fun!”
City of Truro Male Choir rehearse every Thursday evening at All Saints Church, Highertown, Truro from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. Anyone interested should either come along at 7.15pm, contact Russell on FaceBook or ring John on 01872 865431 or 07968 515673 for more information.
Sent by John Larke, City of Truro MC
Item posted 03/05/2016
Mevagissey MC at the Minack Theatre
|"A bit like the Minack, only HOTTER!" That's how the forthcoming tour to Cyprus later this year was presented to the Mevagissey Male Choir at the initial stages of planning. Having performed some successful joint concerts with both Plymouth and Culdrose Military Wives Choirs in Cornwall and Devon, the seed was planted in the mind of Graham Rundle, the tour organiser, and so a trip to Cyprus was decided.
"We have performed sell-out concerts with the Plymouth Military Wives Choir in the past, including the Minack Theatre and knowing Cyprus well, one thing lead to another. After an email to the Military Wives Choirs in Cyprus the outcome was for Mevagissey Male Choir to be invited out there in October 2016 to perform a Gala Concert with both the Military Wives Choirs of RAF Akrotiri and Episkopi. The venue for this concert is scheduled to be at the iconic ancient Roman amphitheatre at Curium, built in 2 BC. It has featured gladitorial contests in the past so no pressure!!"
Curium Amphitheatre in Limassol
Military Wives Choir RAF Akrotiri
|While in Cyprus the choir has also been requested to perform a concert in their own right for the Army Benevolent Fund at the Pissouri amphitheatre, again open air, but of a much more recent construction. A favourite of the 'ex-pat' community.
The choir has quite a heavy work load for this year - a victim or their own success - and kick off their season at the iconic Minack Theatre in May, back by popular request following their previous sell-out performance there. Many local concerts follow plus our acclaimed 'concerts on the quay' of Mevagissey harbour throughout August, not least a performance at the Hall for Cornwall in September, featuring some very special guests. Then culminating with the Cyprus Tour in October.
Any man who enjoys singing or would just like to know more about Mevagissey Male Choir, call Graham Rundle on 07799512295 or visit the website www.meva-choir.co.uk.
Sent by Graham Rundle, Mevagissey MC
Item posted 02/05/2016
Members of St Buryan Male Voice Choir are sad to announce the death of their Vice Chairman and Deputy Musical Director, Andrew Schlemmer.
Andrew joined the Baritones 13 years ago and rarely missed a practice. He was a very accurate singer and a good person for new members to sit next to. To say we will miss him is an understatement. Rest in peace old friend.
The funeral service for Andrew Schlemmer will be at St Buryan Parish Church on 25 April at 2.30 pm.
Sent by Mike Searle, St Buryan MVC
Item posted 10/04/2016
St Stythians Male Voice Choir Annual Gala Concert was held at Falmouth Methodist Church on Saturday 10th October 2015. Our guest choir was the Silver Ring Choir from Bath. This mixed choir is a well-travelled, well-known and talented group whom we were delighted to welcome to Cornwall. Our soloist was Karen Hurn, known for her performances throughout the County. The event was compèred by the inimitable Adrian Wilton with his rare blend of dialect comedy and knowledge of the choir scene. It was a wonderful evening and we hope to see and hear more of Silver Ring in future.
The concert also set the scene to mark a wonderful achievement. Our Musical Director of the last 29 years, Ken Downing, has completed 50 years of service with St Stythians Male Voice Choir. Ken joined the choir at the age of 14 as a top tenor. He has sung subsequently in each section of the choir and he also served as Secretary for 18 years (1976-1994). Shown here are Choir Chairman, Garnet Martin, presenting Ken with tokens of our appreciation and certificates marking 50 years with St Stythians MVC and from the Federation of Cornish MVC marking 50 years of service to singing in Cornwall. Remarkable records.
Our Choir treasurer, David Wilkin also received a Federation certificate marking his 50 years of singing in Cornwall with Chacewater, Holman Climax and St Stythians Choirs.
Choir Chairman, Garnet Martin making the presentations to MD, Ken Downing
Sent by David Hutson, Secretary, St Stythians MVC
Item posted 12/10/2015
Birthday celebrations for Fred Luckraft of Rame Peninsula MVC
With cake and a toast of Puzzers Gunpowder strength Navy Rum from our lady supporters committee, Fred Luckraft celebrated his 90th birthday in style at choir practice.
Fred Luckraft is an inspiration to everyone in the Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir. A member for 30 years, he is a very long term committee member and our representative for the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs. He has many long term friends in the Federation.
In these pictures Fred is seen cutting the cake, going through the many cards with our President, John Woodfield, and receiving yet another bottle of Pussers Rum from our accompanist, Liz Sidebotham.
Fred never shirks from the heavy duties of moving the piano or lumping the chairs around and he remains one of the fittest men in the choir. Surely we can look forward to celebrating his 100th birthday in 10 years time.
Sent by Roland Stuart, Rame Peninsula MVC.
Item posted 01/09/2015
Phil Taylor, Vice Chairman, presents Peter Robinson of Mousehole MVC with the
President Plate for 2015 at the Federation meeting on 16 July 2015
At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Federation the winners of the President's Plate were announced - Mousehole Male Voice Choir. This was awarded in acknowledgement of the work they do to involve the wider community in male voice singing. Unfortunately and unusually the representatives from Mousehole MVC were unable to be present at the AGM. The Plate will of course be presented to them at the next Federation meeting in July. Three entries had been put forward this year. Phil Taylor, Vice Chairman, stated it had been a close contest. All three entries were outstanding but the verdict was unanimous between the judges and Mousehole MVC are worthy winners. Certificates of Commendation for their excellent work in the community were presented to the two runners up, Pelynt MVC and Launceston MVC.
The President's Plate award was started by Barry Jennings in 2011 on his retirement as President of the Federation. Mousehole MVC were the first winners of the award, presented in 2012.
Vice Chairman, Phil Taylor, presents
Certificate of Commendation to Gordon Davison, representing Launceston MVC
Vice Chairman, Phil Taylor, presents
Certificate of Commendation to Graham Hicks, representative of Pelynt MVC
Item first posted 27/04/2015 and updated 20/07/2015
St Stythians Male Voice Choir, competing for the first time at the Wall Music Festival (12 - 16 May) on 14th May, narrowly defeated Stithians Ladies Choir by 1 point (88 to 87 points) in the Open Choir class. A new mixed choir, Maen Voes from St Keverne, formed only last autumn, came a creditable third place. The Adjudicator, Christopher Moore, complimented each of the choirs on their programmes, their commitment to the Cornish choral tradition and to this well-supported village festival. The choir, as winners of the class, was invited back to sing in the post-festival concert on Saturday 16th May. Truro High School Choir (92 points in their class) opened the concert which featured all of the class winners. The concert closed with St Stythians Male Voice Choir.
Sent by David Hutson, St Stythians MVC.
Item posted 18/05/2015
The Cornwall International Male Choral Festival, from 29 April to 4 May, gave a fantastic week of singing, friendship, education and competition with 70 choirs involved from 13 nationalities across the world. Congratulations to all the choirs at the Festival and congratulations to our Federation choirs who took part, including Associate Members, the Cornwall Boys Choir. Particular congratulations go to Four Lanes Male Choir and Loveny Male Voice Choir. Four Lanes MC took the Trophy, the PM Sound Shield, for Best Overall Cornish Choir, also winning the Pendennis Shipyard Trophy for their section, '41 Voices and Over'. Loveny MVC won the Trophy in their section, '40 Voices and Under'. See all results: CIMVC Festival Results
Here is a message from Rob Spowart of Newquay Male Voice Choir:
"I have a very good (and very old!) friend in Blaenavon Male Voice Choir who I was delighted to catch up with last weekend at the CIMVC Festival. Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choir Members will know that I am very keen to explore ways in which the Male Voice Choir movement might encourage a new generation of singers to involve themselves in choral singing. In Cornwall, we have our President's Plate Award which recognises the efforts made by choirs to widen the interest of their local community in choral singing and especially to recognise a choir's encouragement of male choral singing in their local schools.
"Members of my friend's Choir explained a little about a high profile project in which they were engaged, so I asked for details. Please see below - purely for information and in the hope that it might inspire us to think laterally about ways to encourage male choral singing in a younger generation.
Best wishes - Rob Spowart"
Save our Male Voice Choirs is a documentary film following Blaenavon Male Voice Choir as they look to encourage new, younger members to join them, adapt their repertoire and to embrace social media. The film not only follows Blaenavon MVC, but also Pendyrus, the Australian Welsh Male Voice Choir, London Welsh Male Voice Choir, Tenby MVC, Bristol MVC, Marazion Apollo MVC, Sons of Lafayette from the USA, Chor Musica from Canada and The St Petersberg Boys Choir from Russia. The film also features Mannerstimmen Basel of Switzerland and Tallinn University Choir from Estonia, as well as featuring the CIMVCF, where Blaenavon MVC were crowned Best British Choir for 40 and under voices. See the choir's Promotion Video below.
Sent by Rob Spowart, Newquay MVC.
Item posted 11/05/2015
When the Mevagissey Male Choir step on to the risers at St John's in St Austell on Saturday 2nd May, they will be achieving yet another memorable landmark in their proud history - their 1,000th concert.
Following hard on the heels of last year's 40th anniversary celebrations, which included a Gala concert at the Eden Project, this new milestone coincides with the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival. As a result the Meva Choir will be sharing the stage for this momentous event with choirs from Germany, Switzerland, Wales and England.
Mevagissey Male Choir's first ever concert took place on 17th April 1975, five months after the original 20 founder members got together to sing. Six of those founders are expected to take their places on the risers on 2nd May - a seventh, David Foard, who until recently was still singing with the Choir, sadly passed away only last month.
Since those early days the Choir have visited the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Holland, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland, as well as Wales and Scotland, and have performed three times in Westminster Abbey, the only male voice choir believed to have done so.
Later this summer the Choir has been invited to sing with the Plymouth Military Wives Choir at the Plymouth Guild Hall and they are already looking forward to the concerts they will perform on the Mevagissey quayside every Monday evening in August.
Sent by Mike Tate, Mevagissey MC.
Item posted 24/04/2015
NEW MUSICAL DIRECTOR for RAME PENINSULA MVC
Rame Peninsula Male Voice Choir is delighted to welcome Jonathan Lewsey, the choir's new Musical Director.
Jonathan Lewsey was educated at The Purcell School of Music. He has pursued an active and diverse career as singer, actor, conductor, lecturer and author. He was for several years Artistic Director of the Mayer-Lismann Opera Centre in London and has performed widely in opera and concert including at The Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Purcell Room. He was for seven years Director of Sterts Theatre in Cornwall where he conducted numerous productions of popular musicals and founded Sterts Singers. He is firmly of the belief that anybody can sing anything and is looking forward to his new challenge as Musical Director for Rame Peninsular Male Voice Choir.
MD for Rame Peninsula MVC
News item posted 24/03/2015
Becky Lovegrove, Musical Director
St Buryan MVC
ST BURYAN MALE VOICE CHOIR welcomes new MUSICAL DIRECTOR
St Buryan Male Voice Choir is delighted to announce the appointment of Becky Lovegrove as their Musical Director to succeed the late Portia Grant. Becky is a gifted musician and teacher and we all look forward to a long and happy association.
The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs is pleased to welcome our new Associate members, Mendip Male Voice Choir.
The choir is already known to some Federation members. Mendip Male Voice Choir was started in 1919 and is now 70 singers strong. The choir performs many concerts each year with a varied repertoire of traditional and secular music. Over the years their concerts have raised considerable funds to support numerous charities.
Learn more about the choir by looking up their website, to be found on our Member Choirs page, under the Associate Members Section: Member Choirs
The Federation looks forward to occasions when we can work together with Mendip Male Voice Choir.
Mendip Male Voice Choir with (left to right) Hannah Lockwood, Resident Soloist, Jamie Knight, Musical Director
and Jamie Mason, Accompanist..
Photograph by Neil Watson
News item posted 10/12/2014
Calling all merry hearts and true - have you fixed the where? The‘when’ is already fixed! The Trelawny Shout is happening again this year - a charitable singing of The Song Of The Western Men in pubs across Cornwall at 9 pm on St Piran’s Day, 5th March.
How can choirs help this great community event? By scattering members into as many participating pubs as possible, and ’leading’ the singing at the magic hour. A constantly updated list of pubs will soon be available on the Trelawny Shout Facebook page - www.facebook.com/trelawnyshout, as well as on the Cornwall Community Foundation’s website - www.cornwallfoundation.com and the St Austell Brewery’s website too - www.st.austellbrewery.co.uk. If your local isn’t involved, chat up the landlord and make it happen! £8,000 raised last year, the target this year is £10,000. Every single penny stays in Cornwall.
Sent by Rebecca Gregson, Trelawny Shout
Item posted 11/01/2016
The Federation has been able to present a small additional donation to each of the 3 beneficiaries of our massed choir charity concert held last year at the Royal Albert Hall, Cornwall Hospice Care, BBC Radio Cornwall Charity Appeal and the RNLI. In this photograph Federation Chairman, Terry Hodge, presents a cheque to members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.
News item posted 10/12/2014
Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs disburses proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity concert, Kernowyon A Gan (Men of Cornwall Sing), to recipients
Photograph by Eric Heesom
There was much to talk about when over 100 invited representatives of Cornish male voice choirs gathered together at the Lanhydrock Hotel on Friday, 7th March, to witness the disbursement of the proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity concert organised by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall in London last November. A total of £73,426.71 was presented to the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal, each charity receiving a sum of £24,475.57.
Terry Hodge, Chairman of the Federation, reflected on “a truly remarkable evening at the Royal Albert Hall” and thanked “all those involved, including those who attended the concert and filled the venue, for their effort and support in raising such a magnificent sum for the three charities. It was beyond our wildest dreams that so much would be raised. There is no doubt that the funds presented this evening will have a significant impact on the work of three excellent charities for the benefit of people in and of Cornwall.”
Guy Botterill, RNLI Fundraising Manager for the south west, and Suzanne Tanner, representing the St Ives RNLI branch, received their donation to the RNLI from John Trethewey, Treasurer of the Federation and president of Looe RNLI. They explained that the money would be used to help to provide a new tractor for the St Ives lifeboat. Suzanne was astonished by the amount which meant that they had just about reached their target.
In receiving the donation for Cornwall Hospice Care, made by Terry Hodge, Chairman of the Federation, Kevin Marsh, Facilities Manager, emphasised how important fundraising is for the work of the organisation and thanked those involved with the concert who had helped to raise such an impressive amount.
Daphne Skinnard, Assistant Editor for BBC Radio Cornwall, accepted the cheque on behalf of the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal from Phil Taylor, Vice-chairman of the Federation. She explained that the appeal now would be raising funds to support local community initiatives. The amount donated to the appeal was several times more than anything expected and gives the new appeal a tremendous start.
The above photograph shows the presenters and recipients of the cheques surrounded by representatives of some of the choirs who participated in the concert and attended the presentation evening. During the evening souvenir photographs were presented to the four Musical Directors, Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor, who prepared and conducted the massed choir, and to Bishop Tim Thornton who so expertly compered the event. Others recognised by the Federation were accompanists, Annette Turton, Elizabeth Sidebotham, George Smith and Chris Bennett, along with organist, Jonathan Delbridge, and guests, Angela Renshaw, on behalf of Cambiata Cornwall, and Tim Boulton, on behalf of the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. Eric Pinch, the singing cyclist, was also recognised for his efforts in single-handedly raising over £1,000 as a result of his sponsored cycle ride from Tavistock to the Royal Albert Hall. George Smith, a stalwart within male voice choir circles, has since passed away. The news of George’s passing was met with great sadness and regret by all members of the Federation.
Sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer, CFMVC
Message from Eric Pinch
I would like to thank the Federation in presenting to me a certificate of appreciation for my cycle ride to the Royal Albert Hall last November. Also to the various choirs and individuals that sponsored me and to those who gave to me on my journey.
It is just 2 years since I joined the Tamar Valley Choir and what a time it has been - so many memories, with the Albert Hall right at the top. Next cycling adventure a circular: Essex, the Norfolk Broads to Yorkshire and return. In 2015 a cycling tour of the Cornwall International Male Voice Choir Festival catching a few concerts around the Duchy as well as attending our own concert in Callington.
Once again Many Thanks,
Eric "The Singing Cyclist"
Last archived on 2 June 2019 by Stephen Ley