Choir News


 

Friday,11th August – Choir Social

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Our Annual event for the general amusement of ourselves and our Patrons.  After a successful “Afterglow” in Beverley’s Conservative Club in June we decided to use the venue again and the staff again looked after us very well indeed.  

The event was again organised superbly by Linda and Chris Szafran with technical and other assistance from Nigel Clarke.  

Entertainment comprised:

Love songs to guitar accompaniment – Malcolm Mathias.  

Bagpipe solo – Nick Hart.

Comedy Musical – Martyn Mellodew and assistants.

Magic – Ray Burrell.

Comedy songs – Nigel Clarke.

Comedy Sketch – Peter Goonan and David Cross.  

Comedy songs – Bernard Norris and Colin Stow.

Gravity-defying contortions – Steve Watts.

Chris of course did lots of delightful singing and we were delighted that Pat Cave returned from retirement to accompany him.

A few words of appreciation were expressed by Kate Andrews on this her first occasion as our President.

 

 

Tuesday, 1st August

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The choir sang at Tickton Grange on the occasion of the Civic Dinner hosted by Beverley’s new mayor, Cllr Anne Willis.  The occasion being Yorkshire Day, we were happy to sing “A Yorkshire Mixture” and, among others, the Mayor’s request, the “Hippopotamus Song”.  The move from the bar to the dining room by the guests having taken place a little later than anticipated, audience participation in the latter was rather more enthusiastic than is usual.

 

Beverley Town Council being generous sponsors of our choir, we were happy to provide our services fee-free for the Mayor’s event.

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Monday, 31st July

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AGM-and the handover of President and Chairman.

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Andrew Eastwood said how much he had enjoyed his term as President and the choir expressed their appreciation for all that he has done to help keep the Choir in the public eye and to host our various dignitaries at concerts.  He expressed the gratitude of his chosen charity, Hornsea Inshore Rescue, for the funds we produced for them, £1640, at our joint concert in June.

He was presented with a “Past President” badge, which bestows upon him the status also of Honorary Life Member.

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Andrew handed over to Kate Andrews who in turn handed over the Vice President badge to Paul Camm who, with wife Kathy, is a Patron of the Choir and has strongly supported us over the years.

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Kate has been a stalwart Vice President over the past two years and she expressed her desire to work closely with choir wives, our most important supporters and critics.  She immediately invited all wives to a social get-together in a local restaurant on 4th September.  It is understood that wives’ response has been enthusiastic.

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Peter Goonan handed over as Chairman to Terry Lynn, who in turn was pleased to welcome David Cross as his deputy. Terry announced his intention to step up recruiting and urged members to approach any singing friends they might have.  He also exhorted them to make regular use of the recordings produced for them by Nigel to ensure we continue always to sing without needing to hold copy in front of us at concerts.

David will also assist Peter in his new post as Website Administrator.

The Choir kindly presented Peter with two handsome whiskey tumblers to mark the end of his two years as Chairman.

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Steve Horner was appointed PRO, the post having been relinquished by Harry Burton after years of sterling work.  Harry remains a choir member, though ill health has led him to surrender, with much reluctance, this Committee post.

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Saturday 22nd July

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Our second trip out in two days and at 36 members a concert it would be hard to fault commitment.  It would however be easy to feel sympathy for those members who missed this concert as guests of the highly-acclaimed East Yorkshire Motor Services Brass Band, under the baton of their Danish conductor, Stig Maersk – Liz Wilson being back with us from her sickbed and even managing a soprano solo with her usual aplomb!

It was generally agreed that the brass and voices made for a very balanced and contrasting mix.  The audience clearly thought so and there was a standing ovation after the finale – the Band and Choir combining for the very rousing “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.  

The EYMS band is acknowledged as one of the top Brass Bands in the world.  It is easy to see why and we felt honoured to be invited as their guests.

The concert took place in the newly-dedicated Hull Minster, currently undergoing extensive building work, one result of which was the leaking onto some band and choir members of water trickling through the roof.  We have in our repertoire a song called “Wade in the Water”. If we’d known we would have included it!

 

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Friday 21st July

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Our first concert with our new accompanist, Emily Blackridge, and those who were at the concert I’m sure will agree we have found a star.  What a great relief after losing to retirement our Pat Cave after so many very successful years.  After only three rehearsals, Emily also has become an integral and very popular member of the choir with seemingly little effort (apart from the mere fact that she has clearly been practicing her socks off at home while also holding down a day job).  Well done, Em.

The concert was for the Rotary Club of South Cave and Wolds in support of their Operation Freetown, the aim being to provide an operating theatre in Sierra Leone’s only public hospital (to serve a population of about 7 million!).  

We are delighted to note that the concert raised over £700 for this worthy cause.  Hats off also to our ever-supportive wives and Patrons – 26 of them – whose ticket purchases helped significantly.

Liz Wilson was unwell and Nigel Clarke again proved how lucky we are, and she is, to have such a very able deputy.

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8th July, Wedding of Bill Waddington and Nikki

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The choir turned out in force for the wedding of Bill and Nikki in the beautiful All Saints Church in Hessle.  It was a special occasion for us as Bill is an old friend of the choir and technically a member.  He came to a few rehearsals a while ago and then took a ten-year sabbatical!  He is a fine bass and we very much look forward to his return.  Bill is a very busy and senior local solicitor who has been described as “spreading himself a bit thin”   Nevertheless, he should have time for us now that he is no longer darning his own socks.  Our very best wishes go with our lucky friend and his very lovely bride.

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2nd June, Joint Concert with Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir

 

Joint Choirs with HIR Reps

Our President’s Charity Concert for Hornsea Inshore Rescue was quite an administrative feat, with 90 choristers on stage.  We were fortunate to be able to sing in Toll Gavel Church with the highly-acclaimed Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir and to raise a total of £1600 for our charity.  The cheque was presented by Vice President Kate Andrews after the concert at an “afterglow” in the Conservative Club, Beverley.  

Liz conducts “Yesterday”

Beverley Town Council provided a grant to meet most of our costs for the occasion, so that all of the receipts from ticket and programme sales could go to the Charity

A recording of the finale, “An American Trilogy”, can be seen, courtesy of Ian Wilson, husband of our MD Liz,  on YouTube at: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63DXQRY0cl4

– Mansfield MD Meryl Chambers conducting.  

Ian also provided the photos.

Guests of honour were Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Caroline Fox, Beverley Mayor Anne Willis and Hornsea Mayor Ann Padgett.

At the “Afterglow”, Mansfield presented a very attractive “Robin Hood” clock and a custom-made plaque commemorating the event. BMVC responded with a “Yorkshire Mixture” hamper put together by Jan Capel and including parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme picked that afternoon but already, like the two choirs, wilting a bit by 11pm!

New Pianist

 

Sad though we are to be losing “Our Pat”, who retires at the end of June, we are delighted to have managed to find a new, and similarly talented Musical Accompanist to replace her.

 

Emily Blackledge came along to rehearsal on Monday 8th May and picked up the threads seamlessly.  We had seen her play Bartok in Hull on the viola on Sunday and there she was knocking out “Don’t Fence Me In”, to coconut shell percussion, on Monday!  

See the extremely accomplished Emily’s website at:

http://www.ebmusician.co.uk/about.html

Emily will play her first concert with us at South Cave’s All Saints’ Church on 21st July.  See the Events page for details.

22nd April – Last Night of the Proms concert, Snaith Priory

A repeat of last year’s concert and just as successful.  the audience were stunned by our new uniforms and the concert was again very professionally organised.

In the absence of Pat, Sue Finn accompanied us as well as providing a solo spot, playing “Over the Rainbow” and a fascinating rendition of “Fire,Fire”, early 20th-century silent movie accompaniment.  Those of us old enough, well, all of us actually, could almost see the Fire Engines dashing along with people falling off!

Liz was as usual a mellifluent Britannia for the patriotic stuff, or as MC Mark calls it “The Brexit Medley” and Chris Szafran sang very beautifully three songs of his choosing, “Granada”, Nessun Dorma” and “I’ll Walk with God” from the Student Prince.

Must have been alright as we were immediately asked to come back next year

18th April – Beverley Mayor’s Civic Dinner

The choir was pleased to be invited to sing for the Beverley Mayor Cllr Rob Begnett and his guests before his Civic Dinner at the East Riding Theatre.  A good turnout and a good opportunity to thank Beverley Town Council for generously sponsoring our choir over the years.

9th April – Patron’s Concert

It was a very hot Sunday afternoon for our concert this year, and again with Liz away we were lead by our deputy Nigel Clarke.  

Peter Goonan unusually entertained us with a couple of Russian songs half way through, and then at the end he introduced Terry Lynn, who will be our chairman later this year, and David Cross, who will be his vice-chairman.  He then made a presentation to our pianist for 17 years, Pat Cave.  We will miss her very much as our accompanist, although hopefully we’ll regularly see her at our concerts and socials.

1st April – Last night of the Proms Concert

What seems to have become our annual Concert in the Church of St Michael and all the Saints in Cherry Burton (already booked for 21/4/18).  Very efficiently organised by the Friends of St Michael and our own Barry “Dynamo” Gibson, the church was a riot of flags, bunting and patriotic fervour – a true celebration of Brexit, even by the remainers. The concert raised more than £1200 towards the rebuilding of the church porch.

Britannia this year was the delightful Deb Henderson (pictured above), who sang the patriotic songs most beautifully, as she had done some years ago at the opening of the KC Stadium in Hull.  Deb and her daughter, Kate Sweeting, herself well-known locally as  a presenter with BBC Humberside, also sang together a Mozart duet and the Flower Duet  from Delibes opera “Lakme” as well as a solo each – more Mozart from Deb and a lovely rendering of “Summer Time” from Kate.  A tear or two was apparent in the eyes of several handsome hell-raisers in bright scarlet blazers.  

Bouquets were presented to Deb and Kate and to our Pat, who sadly will be retiring as piano accompanist later this year after 17 years.

In the absence on holiday of Liz Wilson, Nigel Clarke conducted the choir very capably indeed and a further well-received contribution was made by second tenor Glyn Cohen, who sang  “If ever I should leave you” from Camelot and a very lovely song most of us had not heard before, “Annabel Lee” by, would you believe, Edgar Allan Poe!

11th March – East Yorkshire Voices

Our first concert of the year was a joint one with Driffield Male Voice Choir in Driffield.

It was great fun, and we tried out many new songs.

18th December – Prelude to Christmas

prelude2016

A departure from the norm this year as we invited Driffield Male Voice Choir, rather than a local children’s choir, to sing with us .  It was a very successful and jolly affair attended by about 250, who made quite a bit of noise during the “12 Days of Christmas”, this year conducted by Hugh Walton and Nick Andrews.  

They did it very well indeed, though many will have been picturing our Eric up there as he was for so many years.

Guests of Honour were Beverley Deputy Mayor Cllr Ann Willis, Beverley Lions President Bill Rice and crewmen Tom Columbari and Damian Grimley from our charity this year, Hornsea Inshore Rescue.

 Nigel Clarke made a CD which audience members, or anyone else for that matter, may buy for a modest £4 including p&p.  Email Nigel on:

beverleymvc@gmail.com

with your address and he will tell you how to make payment.

In thanks for their having supported us in this event, we shall reciprocate by singing with Driffield at their Spring Concert, in Driffield, on Saturday 11th March 2017.  Watch our events page, and theirs, for details.

 See: www.driffieldmalevoicechoir.co.uk

Pub Nights in Beverley and Snaith

Monday 12th December saw us on our annual trip to sing carols in Beverley Tesco on behalf of Beverley Lions.  It was as always a successful venture raising more than £200 for local charities.  This was again followed by our annual visit to the Dog and Duck for pies, peas and more carols.

A new venue was added this year to our carolling tour with a visit on 15th December to the Brewers Arms in Snaith, a bit outside our usual area so we went by charabanc with a crate of Broon Ale in the boot.  Landlord Chris seemed extremely pleased to see us, providing sustenance with very tasty hot pork rolls and making a very generous contribution to choir funds.  

The evening was billed also as our Choir’s “Christmas party” and hopefully this will continue in later years.  We all had a grand time and really let our scalps down.

December 9th Carol Concert – Brough Golf Club

The second year we have provided this very enjoyable concert.  Choir attendance reflects the warm reception and hot mince pies we received last year.  We ate quite a lot of them – maybe we won’t be invited back.

November 28th – 90th Birthday Party for Peter Newall

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Beverley Male Voice Choir’s most senior member is 90 on Friday, 2nd December! The picture portrays all it takes to reach that age and still look good.  Peter Newall, of Skirlaugh, joined the choir 35 years ago and has been one of its most enthusiastic members ever since, including a long period as Hon Secretary. Peter served briefly in both the RAF and the Eighth Army “Desert Rats” towards the end of World War 2 and before demob was responsible for supervising specialist German PoWs in Tel-al-Kebir, Egypt. During the choir’s recent trip to Lemgo, Beverley’s twin town in Germany, he was seen to be keeping a wary eye on 80-year-old-plus passers-by! After the war he joined the “Pru” and became a financial adviser.

A surprise party held in the Dog and Duck, Beverley, was very well attended by both choir members and Peter’s family, including his two daughters, Julie and Lesley.

October 8th – Choir Dinner  

The dinner, in Beverley Lairgate Hotel, which seems to have become our default venue, was very pleasant indeed, as was the service as always.  

Tom Richardson, the Hotel Manager, provided complimentary drinks on arrival in recognition of the Hotel having become one of our sponsors this year.

We decided this year to forego a guest speaker in favour of a little self-provided entertainment.  Ray Burrell, first tenor and secretary of the Hull Branch of the Magic Circle, again bamboozled everyone with his remarkable performance.

Chris Szafran, also first tenor, got on his costume and paint to sing the very moving aria from Pagliacci.  Tears and wine – oh, dear.  Nigel recorded the event and placed it on Youtube.  See it at :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQtwdHl7Eas&feature=youtu.be

September 16th – Concert for Hornsea Lions

An annual event which is invariably enjoyed immensely by Choir and audience alike.  Excellent solo performances by Chris Szafran, Andrew Eastwood and a new friend, Emily Fox, who sang most beautifully for us.  

It was a pleasure to meet John and Kym Pugh, representatives of our Charity for this year, Hornsea Inshore Rescue (HIR), who came along to meet the choir and also very much enjoyed the concert – well, they said they did.  

BMVC with HIR's Kym and John Pugh

BMVC with HIR’s Kym and John Pugh

Two new songs were given their first hearing of recent times, Flanders and Swann’s “Hippopotamus Song” and our new opening number “Let All Men Sing”.  Both songs seemed to survive the experience quite well.

We were pleased to see a good turnout as we are always glad of the opportunity to boost income in support of the excellent work of the Lions.

August 8th – Choir Social Evening in the Lairgate Hotel

Ably organised and compered by Chris Szafran assisted by Nigel – of course, who didn’t seem to pause for breath all evening.  

Chris opening

The event was very well supported by choir members and Patrons alike and a very varied programme of songs, recitation and sketches kept us entertained throughout.  

entertainers

New kids on the block, (ie who had not entertained us before), were Ray Burrel who had us baffled with his mesmeric magic, and Martyn Mellodew, who brought back to life both Victor Borge and Bob Newhart (In fact he was probably a bit better than either of them!).

Ray and Martyn

There was even a final contribution from our dear friend, the late Eric Godson, who organised our social evenings for so many years and appeared for the last time on a DVD compilation put together by Nigel.  Bittersweet is the only appropriate word.

Eric

Nice to see among the guests Leonie Creswell, Driffield Male Voice Choir accompanist, who helped us out so very ably and so pleasantly during the temporary absence last winter of our Pat and who has become a true friend of our choir.

July 2nd – Concert in Goole Parish Church

One of our favourite venues with great acoustics and organised by Goole Lion Roger Basing in consultation with Hughie Walton.

Goole Parish Church

Very welcome refreshments  provided by their ladies – real dairy cream in the cakes.  The concert was very well received by a supportive audience and the highlights were probably the ladies again!  

Excellent solo performances by Melissa Brown again, herself a “Goolie”, with three lovely and poignant songs in the first half and MD Liz Wilson on her usual scintillating form and an entirely different genre in the second.  

Pat Cave accompanied both soloists as well as the rest of the choir and as always acquitted herself with great enthusiasm and verve.

 We were also, as always, enthusiastically supported by our wives.

Considering we are a Male Voice Choir, the ladies really do steal the show a lot of the time!  What next?  President Clinton and PM May to accompany Chancellor Merkel?  Surely Mrs Putin won’t step up to the plate!

Ah, but wait, Second Tenor Martyn Mellodew again played the organ quite beautifully as people entered the church, including his own, as yet unnamed, composition.

The event raised a very satisfying £800 for the Church

Author signing off and preparing to be rebuked again for irrelevant and irreverent waffling .

June 24th – Joint Concert with Abertillery Orpheus Male Choir – Toll Gavel.

Morte Criste joint item

An almost capacity audience of about 300 came along to see us perform separately and jointly with this splendid Choir.  Either we had suddenly become very popular or the reputation of Welsh choirs in general and this one in particular had gone before them.

This concert had been conceived and developed by our Treasurer, Tom Danter, himself of the Welsh persuasion, who worked tirelessly over almost a year to bring everything together to make a truly memorable occasion.

We made some good friends and expect we shall be travelling to Wales for a return trip sometime over the next two years.

There were presentations at the end of the concert, including our now standard “Yorkshire Mixture” hamper, on this occasion put together by our website quality control member, Linda Szafran, wife of Chris, tenor soloist, whom, reportedly, Abertillery wished to kidnap and take back with them.

The final joint song of the evening, Morte Christi, “When I survey the Wond’rous Cross” drew our first standing ovation of the year, well, maybe ever actually, and there were some visibly damp cheeks among the audience.

 The “afterglow”, in the King’s Head and again organised by Tom, was also a successful affair.  The local youthful inhabitants of the pub seemed startled to see 90 mostly elderly men in red blazers descend upon them.  

One wished to know whether it was a jolly by Butlin’s or the Chelsea Hospital.  Cheek.

June 4th – Whitgift

Congratulations to Hugh and Julia Walton on their Golden Wedding.  Thank you for including the choir in your celebrations.  We thoroughly enjoyed the mini concert we gave you and the social gathering in the pub afterwards.

The popularity and local esteem enjoyed by the Waltons is such that the church was filled almost to capacity.  The choir sang six songs, mostly of a romantic nature and some with special significance to Hughie and Julia.  

Chris Szafran sang two solos – The Holy City and Nessun Dorma, and Martyn Mellodew ably accompanied the hymns on the organ.

Special thanks are also due to Kate and Nick Andrews who provided the choir with some very tasty “pit-stop” refreshments before the event – chocolate cake to sell your soul for.