The Choir

 

 

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(Click to enlarge photos)

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Hugh Walton  Ian       Christie Andrew Noon Wilf Cooper Bernard Norris Bill Webster  Phil MacMullen   Mike    Offen  Nick Hart 
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Richard Soltysek Ian Metcalfe Richard  Carter Peter Stevens Alan Speed Bob Watson       Bill         Wilcox Tom Walker     Steve Horner
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Chris Szafran David Williamson  Peter Newall David Wilmot Steve Watts Malcolm Whitfield Julian Musik Nick Andrews Alan   Lee Peter Goonan
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Malcolm Mathias Tom Danter Terry       Lynn Glyn Cohen Jon Capel Barry Gibson       Ken             Doran David  Rutter David Cross
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Paul Camm (VP) Amy Butler (Pianist) Kate Andrews (President) Liz     Wilson  (MD) Nigel Clarke (Asst MD)

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First Tenor            Second Tenor              Baritone                  Bass 

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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 and 2017 have been, respectively, the Teenage Cancer Trust, the Dove House Hospice trust, the RNLI and  Hornsea Inshore Rescue. The Chairman’s Charity for the choir year July 2017-July 2018 was the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and President Kate’s charity, 2018-2019, is again Dove House Hospice, a charity close to her heart.  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”.

 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.

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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.  

We have recently re-introduced the post of vice-President, a position held currently (since July 2017) by Paul Camm, a Patron and, with his wife Cathy, an extremely loyal supporter of the choir, having taken over from our current President, Kate Andrews.  Historically, the President was the Beverley Town Mayor, but this practice has been discontinued in recent years.

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

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Memorabilia

Some photos (Click image to improve quality(and again to enlarge).   Any member with further items of memorabilia they would wish to be included should please submit them to website admin.

       1974 Presidents Evening

1981, Presidents Evening

1992 – A prize to anyone who can explain why there are two photos, one with more choristers than the other!

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1991 trip to the Royal Albert Hall with other Yorkshire Choirs – Note the white roses.  Wonder what happened to our old habit of wearing same to sing a Yorkshire Day concert each year?  See the late great Derek Robinson conducting in fine form in the Beverley Advertiser photo at departure.  The ever-present Dorothy Walker wields the Union flag

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John  Fenlon

Ian Christie

Gerald      Flint

Idris Samuel

Stan   Roberts

Jeff Constable

John     Vine

Bob Dobbs

Jim Corbitt

Len Winter

Mike Offen

 
Brian Hutchins Henry Dover Ron  Sutcliffe Peter Newall Eddie Harrison Derek Mainwaring Frank Meadley Ken Doran John Wright Eric Lovatt    
Mark Williams David Wilkinson John    Perry Clive Lobley Don Charleworth Bob     Calvert Basil Thompson Bill  Guest Alan Hunter Peter Tanton Reg Osgerby  

Ian Brocklesby

Fred   Clark

Jack Holdsworth

Sam Ringrose

Eric     Godson

Gerald     Riley

Bill    Bolton

Dorothy Walker

Derek Robinson

Michael McVeigh

Ian Walker

Roy Baskerville

1994

As of June 2019, just four of the above, Mark Williams, Mike Offen, Ken Doran and Ian Christie, still sing with the choir.  Reg Osgerby was the last founder member to leave us, aged 94 some 5 years ago.  We sang his request “Eli Jenkins’ Prayer” at his funeral.  The song was not part of our repertoire and we had to learn it from scratch for his funeral.  Reg, a true rascal, probably knew that. He was a very fine bass singer who had served as a Sergeant in the East Yorkshire Regiment during WW2.

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                                                                                                                               1995 – 40th Anniversary – Ferguson Fawsitt

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Royal Albert Hall, 19th November , 1994. The previous such concert in the Albert Hall, in 1992, the “1000 Voices” concert,  raised £56,000 to be spent in Yorkshire on Cancer Research, some of this amount being allocated to Hull University and the Princess Royal Hospital.

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Year?

In Toll Gavel – with the now disbanded Lydian Male Voice Choir.  The big chap at the back is Peter Brady, who later joined BMVC and once distinguished himself in a panto by playing all seven dwarfs.  He tragically died while on holiday in Turkey though his widow Sue is still a patron.

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In Hull  City Hall with Hull, Driffield, and Lydian Male Voice Choirs and the EYMS Band.

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                                                                                2000 – Presidents handover from Raymond Coles to Ann Christie – the first of Ann’s two presidencies!

  Ian Christie Keith McCoy Peter Duffus Eddie Harrison Bob Dodds John Cross Jim Corbitt Graham Smith Len Winter   
Brian Hutchins Geoff Rawlings Malcolm Wiles Brian Railton Jeff Constable Frank Meadley Derek Mainwaring Gordon King Eric Lovatt
David Wilkinson Clive Lobley John Cooke Mike McDonald Idris Samuel Derek Robinson Ken Doran Derek Rigby John Wright Andrew Eastwood
Mark Williams Eric Godson Bill Guest Alan Hunter Bill Bolton Jock McVeigh Ian Walker Peter Newall
Ann Christie Raymond Coles Pat Cave Ian Brocklesby
(Incoming President) (Outgoing President) (MA) (MD)

Year?

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2011

 A close study of chair legs reveals that things look a bit cramped in the centre front as very supportive President Philip Smith, (who very sadly died young not long after his term of office ended), Pat and Liz are sharing two chairs between them.  Don’t ask.

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2014

Gordon King ( front row, extreme right) became the first member to sing at his own funeral!  As the exit music, we heard Gordon’s fine bass voice in the solo part of “The Hippopotamus Song” from an old CD.  Nigel presented Gordon’s daughters with a beautiful reproduction of the track.  There was also a recording of the lovely voice of his grand-daughter, who later sang a guest spot at two of the Choir’s concerts. An extreme devotee of the Choir, Gordon, though quite ill, sang at a concert in Withernsea three day before his death. 

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An earlier version of the Choir badge.  Note that we have gone from DJ to blue to scarlet and, in 1917, to our current burgundy colour.

Programmes from a 1997 visit to Germany.

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