The Choir

 

 

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(Click to enlarge photos)

2019 – (Photo by Philip Robinson Photography)


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The Choir’s membership is currently around 50 and we have represented the town of Beverley at some of the Country’s most prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, London (on several occasions), Bridgewater Hall and the MEN Arena, Manchester, also the Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.  We have also sung on several occasions in Beverley’s twin town of Lemgo, Germany.

We have performed at venues large and small from Hull, Beverley and Howden Minsters to many small though welcoming locations throughout the North of England and beyond, when considerable sums of money have been raised for worthy causes.

We support each year a specific charity, alternately the Chairman’s or the President’s Charity.  The charities for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been, respectively, the Teenage Cancer Trust,  the Dove House Hospice trust, the RNLI, Hornsea Inshore Rescue, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Dove house again.   We raised £1640 for “Hornsea Inshore Rescue” at a joint concert with Mansfield MVC in Toll Gavel and Chairman Terry Lynn’s charity for the year 2017-18 was the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, for which about £1200 was raised in a joint concert with “Riverside Brass”. President Kate Andrews’ concert for Dove House Hospice raised a similar amount in a joint concert with Kidderminster Valentines Ladies Choir in July 2019.  Chairman David Cross’ Charity for Choir Year Jul 2019-Jul 2020 is The Fabrics fund of St Mary’s Church Beverley.  A joint concert with Derbyshire’s Dalesmen MVC on 27th September 2019 raised, again,  about £1200 for this worthy cause.  The Choir became largely inactive due to Covid-19 for most of the 2020-21 choir year.  Nevertheless we felt we should continue to be a charitable Choir and President Paul Camm presented a cheque from the choir for £250 to his chosen charity, again Dove House Hospice – a clear favourite with the Choir!

 Our Musicians

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Our  Musical Director and Conductor is Liz Wilson.  She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, in 1975 and, having studied choral conducting with Elgar Howarth, one of the most conspicuous figures in modern English musical life, she thereafter taught music as well as performing as a soprano soloist in various operas, operettas and oratorios.

Between 1994 and 2006 Liz conducted the Hull Lydian Male Voice Choir, and has looked after Beverley for the last 17 years. She is also the MD of Driffield Male Voice Choir (Thursdays) as well as Beverley (Mondays).

You can look at, and listen to, Driffield Choir at:

www.driffieldmalevoicechoir.co.uk

Liz teaches singing and, as a fine soprano, sings solo and duet with the choir.

Click the play arrow to hear Liz sing “O Holy Night” with the choir.

She has conducted massed Male Voice Choirs on several occasions and recently conducted and directed the orchestra and cast in Beverley Musical Theatre’s very successful production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Hull’s New Theatre.

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Liz Wilson

 

We are blessed among choirs in having not  one but two highly-gifted Musical Directors.  Our Assistant Musical Director, Nigel Clarke,  leads us very enthusiastically at rehearsals and at concerts when Liz is not available.

Nigel studied Music and Applied Physics at the University of Surrey, which involved the professional recording of music, choral singing, piano-playing and conducting.   He then played violin and viola in an orchestra in Leeds and sang in the Leeds Festival Chorus.  Career demands (at  BBC Leeds) then necessitated a period in the musical wilderness which continued for almost 20 years!  It is our good fortune that by the time he felt able to return from it, he had moved to BBC Hull and settled in Beverley.

As well as conducting the choir, he also plays the organ for us. Click the play arrow to hear him play for the last verse of Morte Christe at a recent concert:

He also uses his technical skills to produce vocal recordings of all four parts of all of the songs in our repertoire to assist members in learning their songs.  We know of no other choir which enjoys this invaluable service.  Nigel is a fine baritone, often a soloist, and yet can also reach, more or less, the very highest tenor and lowest bass notes in his recordings! Click the play arrow  to hear him singing all 4 parts in Mozart’s Ave Verum from one of these recordings:

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Nigel Clarke

Nigel Clarke

Our musical accompanist, since July 2018, is Amy Butler.  Amy began her piano studies at the age of five. Her first teacher was Diana Bushby, under whose training she received the highest mark in the UK in her Grade 8 piano examination. She received a young musicians’ scholarship from Cottingham Recital Club and went on to train with the international concert pianist Martin Roscoe, subsequently being awarded the ABRSM Music Performance Diploma.

Amy studied for four years at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she won a choral scholarship. During this time she was involved in numerous university recitals, performing works ranging from Beethoven to Andrew Lloyd Webber.  She graduated with a first class degree.

Amy performs across the UK as an accompanist, soloist and ensemble pianist.  Click the play arrow to hear Amy play Debussy’s Clair de Lune and the 3rd movement of Haydn’s Sonata in C Hob XVI:50. This recording was made at  a concert she performed at Doncaster Museum in 2017. She can also play the Hippopotamus Song!

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Amy Elizabeth Butler

Our President

Our new President, Paul Camm, took over from his excellent predecessor Kate Andrews at the AGM on 29th July 2019.  He will have a hard act to follow, but over two years as a very active VP Paul has, with great support from Kathy, proved his commitment to the Choir in a very happy, smiley way.

From the age of two, Paul lived in Australia and Malaya before moving back to Hull and completing his education.

He married Kathy in 1970 and lived and worked in Derbyshire, moving back to East Yorkshire in 1974. They have 2 married sons and 4 granddaughters. Kathy and Paul both became Patrons five years ago.

Paul has worked in the Timber Trade, Demolition and Waste Management Industries carrying out various roles for major plcs in England and Scotland.  These roles were very complex and involved working with Local Authorities, the Environment Agency and Local Communities.  At the age of 60 he retired but continued doing consultancy work on a regular basis but has now retired completely.

Paul enjoys music, though he maintains that  he cannot sing or hold a note.  Those who have stood next to him after he has lubricated his vocal folds on many occasions know that that is not quite true. We have not managed to persuade him, however, and will now have to wait two years before we can have another go!

He is a philatelist and also enjoys sport, particularly Rugby Union, where he played for Hullensians RUFC from the mid sixties until the ripe old age of 50.  He was on the Committee for many years and President for 28!  Two years at BMVC will not allow him to get into his stride!

He handed over his Vice President’s badge to Rona Dickinson, another strong supporter of our choir.

Short History of the Choir

 The Choir was formed in 1955 from members of the choir of  St.Nicholas’ Church, Beverley.   In that year the choir had about 24 singers, with Bob Carr, former organist and Choirmaster at St Nicholas’, as conductor. 

The Choir moved to Toll Gavel Church in 1972 and David Wilkinson was appointed conductor in 1982 on Bob’s death.  

The choir was in decline at this point, but a recruiting campaign raised numbers to about 35 by the mid 1980s (membership is currently 56).

In 1987, the Choir joined the “1000 Yorkshire Male Voices” concert at the Royal Albert Hall to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research, and the choir’s desire to raise funds for charitable causes continues to the present day.  Details of our specifically Charity concerts since we started the practice five years ago can be seen above.

David Wilkinson retired as Conductor (Musical Director) in 1992, when he handed over to Ian Brocklesby, was appointed Honorary life member and  continued as a choir member until retiring in 2016. 

Liz Wilson took over in 2002 on Ian’s death and Nigel Clarke was later appointed Assistant Musical Director.  

More of our more recent history can be seen by moving to the “Choir News” page.

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