Choir News

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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

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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.

May 20th-22nd – Lake District Tour

A very enjoyable weekend, both musically and socially.  We are grateful to East Yorkshire Coaches, who are generous sponsors of our choir, and their very proficient and friendly drivers, Paul and Andy – also to the Cumbria Grand Hotel, excellent service at very reasonable prices. Several choir members are booking for personal holiday breaks.  Grange is great.

 Thanks are also due to Beverley Town Council, who very generously made a contribution towards the hire of one of the two coaches hired.

We knew that we were up against it as both of the choirs with whom we performed joint concerts have tremendous reputations, not only for their very high musical standards, but also for their great hospitality.

Kendal’s KShoes Male Voice choir is well known to us.  We sang with them in Toll Gavel last year and made some very good friends, not only as a group but also personally.  In view of Kendal’s recent aqueous problems there were some fairly tasteless water jokes from both sides.  Kendal’s MD Ian Allan expressed surprise that we should have the nerve to offer “Bridge over Troubled Water” and Beverley MC Mark Williams got into some trouble over the theme from “Titanic”.  

The choir derive their name from the fact that they get free shoes from “Kendal Shoes” (now Clarke’s).  We missed the opportunity to suggest that they be renamed KWellies Male Voice Choir.

Rainy boat trip

We had gone on a Lake Windermere ferry trip in the afternoon and there was an unplannned interlude, when Hugh Walton told us that he had just met a young couple who had  got engaged that day.  He wanted us to gather round and sing “When I fall in Love” so we did – sing, that is.  Can’t remember their names, but we wish them well.  

The concert with the equally excellent Barrow Male Voice Choir was just as successful, though here we were making new friends and new promises were being made.  Terry Lynn, our next Chairman, made contact with his counterpart in Barrow and a visit by them to Beverley is very much on the cards  next year.  In fact, we shall insist upon it.

The evening was not even spoiled by the fact that our coaches could not manage to get close to the venue – and we had to walk – and it was raining (when is it not).  The concert was in Ulverston, and, as Ulverston’s own Stan Laurel might have been told “Here’s another fine mess you’ve got us into!”

Stan Laurel inn

Musical highlights of the weekend, in the opinion of the author:

Kendal’s “Danny Boy”,

Barrow’s “Steal Away”.

Beverley’s “Mulligan Musketeers”.

But you can see our African Prayer from the Kendal concert on YouTube.

May 14th – Concert in All Saints Church, North Cave

We enjoyed singing again in this lovely church. 

Martyn Mellodew entertained the audience on the organ as they entered and Glynn Cohen charmed us with some beautiful melodies in the pauses while the choir rested and the Revd Barry Worsdale amused us with a Geordie version of the Flight from Egypt in Exodus.

May 7th – Concert in Howden Minster

The first concert in the Minster Spring Festival of music.  It was a true pleasure to sing again in the Minster for the first time in perhaps 10 years.  

Martyn Mellodew entertained the audience on the organ as they entered and guest artistes were Deb Henderson and choir president Andrew Eastwood.

We gave an airing to “A Yorkshire Mixture” in anticipation of our trip across the Pennines in two weeks time.

Barrow Choir plan to entertain us after the concert in “The Red Rose” club, so we have to do something.

April 30th – Wedding in Ellerker of Katie Pugh and Carl Blagdon.

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Katie Pugh

A new experience for the choir in that this was the first occasion on which we have been asked to sing as the the guests entered the church, and as the Bride arrived (“When I fall in Love”) and during the signing of the Register (“The Rose” and “You raise me up”).  

We also hadn’t envisaged the joy of seeing the radiant bride skipping down the aisle after the ceremony to our rendition of the “Mulligan Musketeers”!

The service itself was equally joyful, being conducted by Rev Mike Proctor, the legendary South Cave motor-cycling Santa vicar.  

Best wishes, Katie and Carl in your life together.

April 22nd and 23rd – A busy weekend with concerts in Scawby and Snaith.

2 more successful concerts on 22nd & 23rd April both ending with “Last night of the Proms” audience participation.

In Scawby we were accompanied by a very talented local folk group, “De Capo”

The one in Snaith on St George’s Day was particularly colourful.  It also had 2 “firsts” – with a solo performance by Martyn Mellodew on the organ (Hans Leo Hassler: Sexta Intrada (from “Lustgarten neuer teutscher Gesäng”) and Mendelssohn: War March of the Priests (from “Athalie”)…

…and a duet, three delightful songs from our Assistant Musical Director & his 13-yr old daughter Elizabeth, who, for one so young, jogged up to the mike with great confidence and sang with great composure.

Saint George’s day seems to be very much in the ascendancy these days – we had to turn down a third request to accompany our friends, the Riverside Brass Quintet, at a concert in Hull.  Perhaps it is the influence of the Brexiteers!

April 1st 2016 – “Last Night of the Proms” Concert in St Michael’s Church, Cherry Burton.

Our first concert of the year and a thoroughly enjoyable one – well, we enjoyed it and the capacity audience seemed to as well.  Apparently raised close to £1000 for the church fabrics fund, which makes the event particularly satisfying.

MD Liz was as always a very impressive Britannia and Chris Szafran excelled himself with three magnificent solos – Nessun Dorma, “Goodbye” from the White Horse Inn and, erm, another one.

P1000074

MC Mark Williams also made his mark by announcing one of the new songs from our repertoire, the theme from “Titanic” as “one which should go down well”

A particular delight was provided by the other guest artiste, Melissa Brown, grand-daughter of our late, great chief grunter (bass), Gordon King, who, as Mark said, would have been very proud.

Never having performed in public before, Melissa gave  very beautiful and assured renditions of Elton John’s “Your Song” and Christina Perri’s  “A Thousand Years.