(Click photos to enlarge and again for full screen)
Choir Social, 17th August
Superbly planned and compered again by Chris and Linda Szafran, ably assisted by Barry Gibson, our social again was held in the Conservative Club in Beverley.
There was a very good turnout by choir members and patrons alike and the entertainment was, well, entertaining. The buffet and the service provided by Rob and the others was just as good as it always is.
There was magic from Ray Burrel, songs from Barry Gibson, the Cycling Club mini choir and stand up comedy from Chairman Terry Lynn, who is looking forward to his appointment next Wednesday with a representative of the Commission for Gender and Racial Harmony (Beverley Branch).
There was alternative musical comedy from Martyn Mellodew and chums and more music, vocal and guitar, from Nick Hart. Nick tried last year to accompany his own vocals on the bagpipes, but it didn’t work.
There was a comedy sketch by David Cross and Peter Goonan and, of course, piano accompaniment by our ever returning, thank goodness, Pat Cave.
There was a very entertaining sketch from Dave Williamson and, as always, some wonderful arias from our Meistersinger, Chris.
The loudest round of applause of the evening was reserved for a wonderful snarling, squawking Fiddler-on-the-Roof “Rich Man” in the person of Peter Chew, unaccompanied either by instrumentals or microphone.
Sad news – departure of Emily Blackledge.
We have become very fond of our Emily since she joined us just a year ago. She has blown through our choir like a breath of fresh air – funny, quirky, bonny – but above all a very talented and conscientious professional. But she has her career to think of and has received an employment offer which made it impossible for her to stay with us. She is to become a sound technician with an Abba tribute group. So, Emily, we say “thank you for the music.” We wish you very well in your future career and hope that you will always stay in touch with your new friends.
Emily was presented with a farewell gift of a necklace with a treble clef motif. Her moving farewell speech suggested that she has become just as fond of us as we have of her.
Glad news – arrival of Amy Butler
We have been very fortunate to find a replacement for Em with speed which can only be described as remarkable for citizens of our age group.
Amy Butler 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. We bid Amy welcome and look forward to many years together. What a lucky choir we seem to be.
More about Amy and the “Saltmarshe Duo”, of which she forms 50%, can be seen at www.saltmarsheduo.co.uk
Chairman’s Charity Concert, June 30th
Chairman Terry Lynn’s Charity Concert this year was in support of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. It was a very successful event in which we were ourselves very ably supported by the very talented Riverside Brass. We last performed together with the ensemble three years ago in Hull Minster and knew that we were in for some great music. Anyone looking to hire a group to play some excellent jazz, marches, overtures etc, should look no further and should contact Dixon Laing (flugelhorn, concert announcer, and purveyor of excellent repartee) on 01482 508532 or trombonist Taff Howarth by email – email@example.com.
The Choir and Brass jointly performed two great Welsh hymns, Cwm Rhondda and Gwahoddiad, no doubt to be followed up by complaints from the Beverley Noise Abatement Society. The ensemble’s drummer, Alan, a Hull music teacher, also very ably accompanied the Choir in our first ever performance of a song sung entirely in Zulu – Aya Ngena. Euphonium soloist Liz Hatton gave an amazing rendition of Monti’s “Czardas”. The horn was covered by Dan Edwards, another music teacher, and an excellent musician playing several instruments including the guitar which he plays with aplomb.
The event was very well attended by an enthusiastic audience including the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Chairman, Councillor Margaret Chadwick and Beverley Town Mayor Bryan Pearson and their consorts.
The concert produced over £1200 for the charity.
MC Mark Williams reminded the audience that the event also marked the first anniversary of our very talented and popular Musical Accompanist Emily Blackledge joining the choir.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance representative, Marion Gamble, thanked Terry and the choir for supporting and raising funds for this very worthy cause. They rely totally on charity and need to raise £12,000 a day to stay in business. Anyone wishing to assist the charity or gain more information about it, should visit www.yorkshireairambulance.org.uk
Service of Remembrance, June 25th
A very moving event to remember those who died in the First World War. Organised by Rev’d Stephen Caddy, assisted by Rev’d Rob Birnie, Chaplain at the Defence School of Transport. Music was provided by the Choir and by Beverley Brass Band. There was a short talk on the German Spring offensive in 1918 by Historian Barrie Barnes, author of “Known unto God” and a reading by Beverley Grammar School Captain Joshua Thorpe.
Present were representatives of the Royal British Legion, Beverley Grammar School Army Cadet Force detachment, RAF personnel from Leconfield, the RAF Association, the Air Training Corps and other organisations. The Beverley Mayor and Commanding Officer DST Leconfield also attended.
A minute’s silence was preceded by the last Post and by a lament on the bagpipes by the Choir’s Nick Hart
Patrons’ Concert, May 20th
This year’s Patrons concert was as usual a great success, great fun for choir members and loyal patrons alike. The Chairman extended his thanks to members’ wives who kindly provided cakes and help in the kitchen.
President Kate Andrews sent to the Chairman the message:
Would you kindly convey appreciation to all the Choir members who turned out on a hot Sunday afternoon to sing for a very well received Patron’s concert. The convivial atmosphere and the hospitality after the concert made for good BMVC PR!”
Last Night of the Proms Concert, Snaith Priory, April 21st
Our third concert at the glorious Snaith Priory. Quite a way to travel, but we are always made to feel so welcome that it is worth it. More enthusiastic and patriotic flag waving and solo spots from tenor Chris Szafran and Martyn Mellodew on the organ.
Last Night of the Proms Concert, Cherry Burton, April 14th
Our first concert of the year, and the fourth time we have provided a “Last Night of the Proms” Concert for the “Friends of St Michael”. There was as always much flag-waving enthusiasm and there were also “Songs of the First World War” to mark the centenary of the end of the conflict.
Solo spots were provided by Liz Wilson and Nigel Clarke and we even managed to recruit a new member, a second bass, George, from the audience.
We were delighted to be informed that the concert raised £1187 for the Church and even more so to be invited back for a fifth appearance in 2019.
Beautiful bouquets were presented to Liz and Emily, wine for Nigel, and a special word of thanks was extended to our own Barry Gibson, who had worked very hard at lighting, ticket sales and acoustics to make the evening a success.
Wedding in South Dalton of Sally Fortnum and Lewis Allison , February 17th
Our first wedding of the year in the lovely St Mary’s Church. See the Church at :
It must have been the coldest day of the year – people were going outside to warm up a bit. There was a very good string quartet, called “The Dotted Crotchets” from Ramsbottom (It’s true, we tell you) who provided most of the music, so that we were required only to sing one song – “Can you feel the love tonight?” (More “Can you feel your toes this afternoon?”) and to add volume to the hymns. Star turn of the day, apart from the bride with her exposed shoulders, poor wee thing, was our own Martyn Mellodew, who not only played the organ for the hymns, but also, in the absence of either Liz or Nigel, conducted the choir – and made a very good job of it.
Oddly, the bride, the groom and the quartet all came from Lancashire! They all received a very warm, (warm?) Yorkshire welcome.
We were very sad to learn that our friend Colin died peacefully at home during the night of 27th December 2017. He had been ill, suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, for some years and was taken into hospital in early December. He was able to return home before Christmas and his family were able to come home to say goodbye to him before he died.
Colin maintained his trademark wit and very dry humour to the end.
Our thoughts are very much with Pam and family at this very sad time.
The funeral took place at All Saints Church, South Cave on Wednesday 10th January and afterwards at Cave Castle Hotel. The choir sang “As long as I have Music” and “Softly as I leave you”.
The church was filled with Colin’s friends from his cycling days, his sailing activities, his pre-retirement work and, of course, the choir.
Prelude to Christmas, 17th December
Our major event of the year, Prelude was very well attended and went off very well indeed. We were accompanied this year by “Cantabile”, a delightful ladies’ choir comprising former members of Hull High School for Girls under their Musical Director Gill Barker.
As always there was plenty of audience participation in the Community carol singing and the “Twelve days of Christmas”, ably supervise by Bill Wilcox and Hugh Walton, was a great success as usual.
The two choirs jointly sang “A Flower in Winter” – they were the flowers, we were the winter, and “We wish you a Merry Christmas”.
Profits from programme donations will go to our Chairman’s Charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, for whom we shall also present a charity concert in June 2018.
Great to see in the audience Graham Smith who, we understand, will be returning to us in January after a long period of absence occasioned by illness.
This was our final event of 2017 and we sincerely hope that 2018 will be just as enjoyable and just as well attended by our incredibly supportive families, patrons and groupies. We are very grateful to them all and wish them and all our readers, if there are any, a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Beverley Festival, 10th December 2017
Our annual opportunity to support our Town by singing at the Festival. A full church for our share of the proceedings and the streets of Beverley thronged with, apparently, up to 50,000 visitors. We always enjoy this very relaxed event and the enthusiastic participation of the audience.
Concert at Brough Golf Course, 8th December 2017
Our third Christmas concert in Brough and again very much enjoyed by us and, apparently, by the golfers. A mixture of regular and festive songs with very vigorous audience participation.
There were mince pies and mulled wine and a jolly festive atmosphere.
There was “An African Prayer” and “African Noel” for the especial nostalgia of South African club steward Wes.
There were Hughie and Wilx hilariously misguiding the audience through “12 Days of Christmas”, which was slightly disrupted when, as our MC pointed out, every time we got to “Four”, all the golfers hit the deck and spilled their drinks.
There was Pat Cave on piano again, snuggled cosily with her keyboard beneath the boughs of a massive Christmas tree.
Harry Burton, 1934-2017
It is with much sadness that we learned of the death of our old friend and fellow chorister Harry Burton. Harry was one of the hardest-working members of our choir, having served us as Baritone, President, Patrons Coordinator and a very effective Public Relations Officer. In his 84th year and just 5 months after celebrating his Golden Wedding Anniversary, Harry finally succumbed to the cancer with which he had been battling for quite some time.
Harry was also our link man with our sponsors, the Beverley Lions Club, also recruiting many Lions as Patrons and ensuring their support at regular concerts, specifically the annual concert in Beverley Memorial Hall for Lions’ Charities. Though quite ill, he had announced his intention to try to join the choir on stage for a few songs at the most recent of these on 19th November. It was sadly not be, as he was in hospital by then and died just five days after it.
It is perhaps typical of Harry that in a phone call from hospital to a choir member just three days before his death, he was concerned that the switching on of the Christmas lights in Beverley should take place without any hitches. Being a master electrician, he had been involved with the event for 20 years. He was also keen to check that arrangements for the annual BMVC/Beverley Lions carol singing in Tesco on 12th December were in place!
The funeral was at Haltemprice Crematorium on Thursday 7th December and a packed chapel bore witness to the very high regard in which various sections of the community held Harry. A good turnout from the choir sang Gwa Hoddhiad and Cwm Rhondda, for which the ever-organised Harry had left his final request of his choir.
We shall very much miss Harry and our thoughts are very much with Jean and her very strong and supportive family at this sad time.
Concert for Bridlington Rotary Club, 1st December 2017
A concert in St John Burlington Methodist Church, Bridlington, to raise funds for the Bridlington Rotarians on behalf of St Catherine’s Hospice. We were joined and out-charmed by the very talented children of The Choir of Quay Academy, who sang out strong and loud with great musicality and enthusiasm under the inspirational direction of their Musical Director Tim Wilson.
The concert was a part of the Festival of Christmas Trees and there was a very good audience turn-out … lots of parents with cameras, who probably turned out on a cold and slushy December evening just to watch the Beverley Male Voice Choir!!
Pianist Emily was unavailable and Pat Cave again turned out for us – again returning from her notional retirement.
We wonder whether any of the boys in the children’s choir were looking round at us and reflecting that if they play their cards right they could still be enjoying their singing just as much in another half century (or more).
Concert for Beverley Lions’ Club, 18th November
Our annual Concert in the Memorial Hall for Beverley Lions’ Charities. A little too early this year for our usual Community Carols, but the audience were still invited to join in with “Songs of the First World War” – and did so with great gusto and humour.
The guest artiste was Alice Kitchings, a singing student of MD Liz Wilson. She sang us five songs, including songs from “Anastasia” and “My Fair Lady”. The audience clearly much appreciated the fun and sparkle Alice brought to the proceedings.
Pianist Emily being otherwise occupied, now reserve Pat Cave stepped into the breach. Always good to see her back with us.
Sad to report, one of our members, John Burt, became ill during the concert and was taken to hospital. We are glad to say though that by the next morning he was well on the road to recovery. We wish John and Val well and very much look forward to John’s return to our ranks.
Wedding in Hornsea of Emma and Kristan Webb, 17th November
A delightful wedding in Hornsea’s United Reformed Church. The choir enjoyed joining the guests in the hymns – “One More Step Along the World I Go”, “Morning Has Broken” and “Lead us Heavenly Father. ”
In keeping with the “Disney theme” of the wedding, the choir sang “Can You Feel the Love” from Lion King and the bride left the church to the strains of Mickey Mouse’s “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”.
We thank the happy bride and groom for the pleasure of singing for them and send them all our very best wishes for their future together.
Joint Concert with the Seer Green Singers, 27th October
A most enjoyable visit by our new friends from the South! An excellent selection of songs by Seer Green (Buckinghamshire), enthusiastically led by MD Jane Smith, gave much pleasure to both an appreciative audience and to the home choir members. There was even some vigorous and refreshing choreography in the execution of “Bring me Sunshine” and “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”. We could do that too! Couldn’t we? Erm…
The evening had something of an international flavour, with BMVC singing in French and Xhosa, Seer Green in Italian, Latin and Russian. The joint songs of the finale, a love song, “Yesterday” and a patriotic one, “Anthem” were passionately delivered and very well received.
Tom Danter again stepped in at the last minute as Choir Marshal, with his usual unruffled organisational skill, Mel Watson having needed to send his apologies at the last moment due to Rita being unwell. We wish her a speedy recovery.
The concert was followed by our usual “afterglow” in Beverley’s Conservative Club, with a light buffet and exchange of banter and presents.
Yet again, all four principals, Liz, Emily, Jane and Kerry-Anne stole the show from the male majority! They were better-looking too. Jane emailed: “Many thanks for a wonderful evening last night. My guys had a great time, and your hospitality was very generous”.
This was Chairman Terry Lynn’s first major venture and he cannot fail to be pleased with how well it went.
One sad aspect of the evening was that we were saying farewell to one of our most popular members, first tenor George Birch, who is emigrating to the West Riding of Yorkshire. We wish George all the very best for the future and hope he will call in to rehearsal if ever he finds himself in Beverley on a Monday evening.
Choir Annual Dinner, 7th October
At Cave Castle Hotel, South Cave, and a great success. The evening, very efficiently organised by Chairman Terry Lynn, was well attended and the meal and service were excellent. Also very popular was the after-dinner speaker, Chris Whitfield, who regaled us all with some of his hilarious tales of farming life in Wetwang and area. President Kate Andrews emailed:
” Terry, what a splendid choir event! Thank you for organising everything. Those who did not attend will soon get to know just what they missed! A special evening.”
Photos courtesy of Nigel Clarke. Click on individual photos to view then click again to see full screen.
Concert in Goole Parish Church, 29th September
Our annual concert in Goole. A good turnout as usual, choir and audience, and some grand solo singing from Chris Szafran.
Wedding in North Cave, 23rd September
The delightful wedding in All Saints Church, North Cave, of Helen Kite and David Dawson. Conducted by vicar and BMVC friend Rev. Barry Worsdale, and therefore full of fun and warmth.
We have sung at North Cave Church on 4 occasions over the past two years and it is always a great pleasure. To sing at the happy occasion of this lovely bride and her handsome groom was indeed a joy.
Hornsea Lions Concert, 8th September
A successful concert in aid of Hornsea Lions charities. Solos were by Chris Szafran (accompanied by Pat Cave, out of retirement for the evening) and Liz Wilson (accompanied by Emily). In attendance were President Kate Andrews and VC Paul Camm. Mel Watson was MC, who displayed his usual charm and humour.
An impressively hirsute past-President Andrew Eastwood was also present in his capacity as consort to the Driffield Mayor, Anne Willis.
Choir Wives Evening, 4th September
New President Kate Andrew kindly invited the choir wives to a gathering at Lucia’s Italian restaurant in Beverley. The evening went down very well and Kate’s generosity was very much appreciate by all of the wives who attended.