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CHOIR NEWS and NOTICES

News, notices, musical job vacancies, achievements and items of interest
Job Vacancies News Archive

To post your choir's news items or notices on this site contact the Federation website manager, Steve Ley on
s-ley@hotmail.co.uk or tel: (01752) 214807
.


DISCLAIMER: Any opinion expressed and advice offered in this website is not necessarily that of the Federation or its officials and no responsibility can be accepted for the results of following contributors' advice.


City of Truro Male Choir

Choir Sings for Sir Tom

As Truro's Male Choir's first new piece of repertoire for 2021 is "You'll never walk alone", they felt it should be dedicated to Sir Tom and people and places that inspire their community. As well as recording themselves, choir members have provided pictures which inspire them to illustrate their new video, which can be seen at https://youtu.be/aNeC9scjYeU

The Choir's Musical Director, Russell Pascoe said "We had planned to learn this as our first new piece for 2021 to cheer ourselves and raise our own and others spirits. Choosing pictures to illuminate the sense of the piece gave us an interesting challenge and produced some insightful results. We feel this is a fitting tribute to Sir Tom and will encourage people to continue to contribute to his Foundation, the details of which are shown at the end of the video."

The video will be premiered at 0900 on Tuesday 9 February on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/aNeC9scjYeU

Report submitted by Harry Haward
Press Officer
8th Feb 2021


City of Truro Male Choir

Three Choirs and Covid

The Musical Directors of three Cornish Male Voice Choirs have shared their experiences of becoming 'virtual' choirs during the Covid lockdown this year. Their conversations explore how they started going 'virtual', how they progressed and what else they did. The three Directors are Marcus Alleyne of Loveny Male Voice Choir, Stephen Lawry of Mousehole Male voice Choir and Russell Pascoe of City of Truro Male Choir. Their conversation is to be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8_cdwHUFJKUjTj7uq9G7Gg/featured

John Larke Chairman of the Truro Choir said "Our Choir was very uneasy when we started the process. Having progressed, we felt it was important to make the lessons learned available to others to encourage them to put their toes in the 'virtual' water. Our starting point was the realisation that the vast majority of our singers had a modern phone and an email address. We are particularly grateful for the direct financial support of FEAST and Cornwall Community Foundation in making the project happen." FEAST is a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall.

Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Chairman
1st Jan 2021


City of Truro Male Choir

Choir Jingles for Food Bank

Building on the success of "The Lion sleeps tonight" (which included a cameo from Kernow King - Ed Rowe), City of Truro Male Choir have teamed up with BBC Radio Cornwall for their second Christmas offering. The video features the choir and BBC presenters prancing and singing 'Jingle Bells' arranged by Musical Director Russell Pascoe. It was filmed and recorded by members on a normal choir practice night. The choir were delighted to showcase the vocal talents of Daphne Skinnard, Tiffany Truscott, James Churchfield and Laurence Reed who joined the 'elf-like' joyful singalong. Russell Pascoe said "It has been huge fun bringing this project together with the help of our friends at BBC Radio Cornwall. Daphne Skinnard is a choir Vice President and great friend to our choir. However there is also a serious side to this project - we have dedicated it to the Truro Food Bank who operate out of our rehearsal venue at All Saints Church, Highertown. We hope that people will give generously if they have been amused by our antics"

The video will be premiered on the choir's YouTube platform at 9.00PM on 19 December https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8_cdwHUFJKUjTj7uq9G7Gg/featured ."

Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Chairman
20th Dec 2020


City of Truro Male Choir

Choir and Kernow King Go Wild for Newquay Zoo

Following the release of their very first video which received an accolade from impresario Aled Jones, City of Truro Male Choir have gone a step further and produced an even zanier offering. Featuring thirty nine members of the choir in various forms of jungle attire, it is dedicated to Cornwall's Newquay Zoo. Cornwall's own actor/comedian Edward Rowe, known locally as 'Kernow King', kindly gave his time and support and joined in the fun. The film was edited by award winning filmmaker Brett Harvey who took time out from completing his forthcoming feature film LONG WAY BACK. https://www.o-region.co.uk

The choir's Musical Director, international composer Russell Pascoe, who appears in the video being chased by a lion said "In these appallingly difficult covid times I have been delighted by the men's enthusiasm and participation. We learned all our singing parts at our weekly virtual Zoom practices and all of the parts were recorded individually and mixed remotely by Choir member Adam Delbridge–Smith. Filming was carried out in a covid secure manner in Truro's Boscawen Park. Most importantly this project has been a way for our group to stay connected whilst we are unable to meet face to face. We had a great deal of fun making the film and hope we can bring a chuckle and a smile to people's faces in these stressful times as well as raise some much needed funds for the Zoo, which can be done via their website at https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/support-us/donate."

Choir Chairman John Larke said "This second video is also part of a larger project we are undertaking to record how we as a choir have adapted to using virtual means to continue as a choir and to record our performances for the benefit of others. We will then be circulating this information to the wider choral community to encourage others to try such methods. It has allowed us to keep our spirit, music and social cohesion together, which is what amateur singing is all about. We would not have been able to proceed with this project with the direct financial support of FEAST and Cornwall Community Foundation. FEAST is a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall."

The video will be premiered at 0900 on Thursday 12 November on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/2ny1x55YsZs

Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Chairman
12th Nov 2020


Mousehole Male Voice Choir

Paul Feast Concert With A Difference

On Sunday 11th October Mousehole Male Voice Choir gave the traditional feast concert in the parish church. This concert though, was different. Due to the on-going Covid-19 situation, the concert itself was a virtual one featuring songs performed by the choir and recorded for posterity and available on 'You Tube'. A very limited audience was present, in line with the restrictions, and the 'choir' were hosted for the evening by the choir's indomitable musical director, Steve Lawry.

The evening followed the same format as a proper concert (ie groups of three). The first group commenced with the hymn tune "I Need Thee Every Hour" which had been performed at an outdoor concert in Mousehole, conducted by Tom Waters and accompanied by John Harry. This was followed by songs recorded on one of the choir's very successful tours and performed in Southark Cathedral, London.

During the interval the audience were entertained by the pupils of Mousehole school and videoed at the school. This included a piece called Paul feast calypso.

What made this evening unique was the presentation to one of the choir's top tenors, Derek Harvey. Derek celebrates 70 years in the choir on 19th October this year. In 1950, when he joined he was auditioned by the then musical director, Maddern Williams. After being accepted, Derek said "You weren't allowed to sing in a concert unless the conductor thought you were able to - you never had any probation period then and never did a concert until the following Summer". The choir's president, Kath Matthews presented Derek with a certificate recognising 70 years of singing from the The Cornwall Federation of Male Choirs. The choir's Chairman, Jon Pender, also spoke a few words about Derek and presented him with a Congratulations card from the Choir. Jon read the words in the card out to the audience "To Derek, Many congratulations and a special thank you for achieving a remarkable 70 years dedicated and loyal service. This is not only as a first tenor singer but also as an outstanding assistant treasurer for most of your service. Best wishes from all your friends in Mousehole MVC". Derek then received a well deserved standing ovation from all present.

The choir will present Derek with something more substantial once the restrictions have eased and all the choir can gather to mark this wonderful anniversary together. Maybe this anecdote sums up Derek's dedication, as a carpenter and joiner he said "I was working on a roof. fell off, fractured three vertebrae and did the Summer Concert in agony. We did 'Nidaros' and I was determined I was going to sing that after all the practice we had done on it over such a long time. I went to the concert - but I wasn't very comfortable".

The two outstanding pieces of music during the evening was the Choir singing 'Gwahoddiad' with the Sierra wind Orchestra USA at St Mary's church during the Golowan festival and also 'And Can It Be' at the International Choir Festival Competition in 2019 in Truro Cathedral. The final section included 'The Old Woman' conducted by Portia Grant at Mousehole Chapel in 2009 and 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with guest artist Faryl Smith from a recent Summer festival concert in St Mary's Church, Penzance and the popular and most appropriate piece in these difficult times "We Rise Again" recorded at Barnstaple Parish Church. The evening finished with the blessing and prayer given by the Vicar, Rev Andrew Yates.

This evening would not have happened and been as successful as it was without the amazing work which went into creating the virtual concert by Steve Lawry and Kevin Wild. Thanks must also go to Rev Andrew Yates in hosting this special evening.

Photo Credits: Jon Pender & Jane Harvey

Report submitted by Aimon Bromage PR MMVC
15th Oct 2020


Loveny Male Voice Choir

Return to Rehearsal

On Thursday evening Lovwny Male Voice Choir were able to return to rehearsals making them one of the first choirs on the county to hold a physics rehearsal.

Following the recent relaxation of guidelines applied to amateur singers Loveny MVC wasted no time in taking full advantage and set the ball rolling to return to singing together. During the whole of lockdown and all through restrictions the choir has not missed a single proactive. Musical Director Marcus Alleyne generated over 80 bespoke rehearsal files to facilitate the weekly Zoom sessions allowing each section to wing along with not only their individual harmony line but also all 4 harmony lines.

LMVC baritone Bryan Crowel spent w number of course reading the guidance qne generating the covid safe risk assessment to ensure all the entire team were safe and Colin Arthur is generously offering use of his barn until we are ready to go indoors.

MD Marcus Alleynw said ”It was fantastic to return to live physical rehearsal and absolutely marvelous to see such a good turn out with 75% of the choir in attendance.”

Report submitted by LMVC
30th Aug 2020


City of Truro Male Choir

"MEN STAND TOGETHER FOR NHS"

City of Truro's male choir has been having fun during lock-down and produced a music video which they have dedicated to the NHS. The choir is fortunate to have amongst their younger singers, Adam Delbridge-Smith completing a Music Degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Oscar Davies who is a Production Assistant in London. They have been weaving the electronic sound and video images together into an amazing and original video!

Choir Musical Director and international Cornish composer, Russell Pascoe said "One of our choir members suggested we sing the Frog's Chorus with its refrain, 'We all stand together' in honour of the NHS". As a twenty first century inclusive choir, we felt the message encapsulated how we are all feeling in these difficult times. I enjoyed arranging it for the lads and it has given us the opportunity to have fun working together by using Zoom rehearsals and recording technology. Most of us had to learn new skills in order to participate. It has been superb to see members help and support each other in order to make this weird and wonderful tribute!

The video can be seen on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/AlTbJafB9NM

Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Chairman
2nd Aug 2020

"In Covid Times"

Whilst the choir keeps going via Zoom, we all long for the day when we can return to singing together in the same location. When lockdown came a few of us experimented with our MD on how we might use the medium for substitute choir practices. Fortunately there was a lot of advice on line on how to go about this. So we then asked the choir if they wanted to "have a go" and the result is that we now have a weekly virtual practice including sectionals with over two third of the choir members participating. We have focused on maintaining our repertoire as well as even starting to learn a new piece of music. Silver surfers, who needed some IT help, were assisted by phone to get them into the system. We have all slowly adapted to what is required and regardless of the limitations, it has kept us together in song. Our musical team have been admiral in adapting to their new and sometimes quite difficult way of doing things.

Nationally serious research has been taking place and a recent report from the Guardian Newspaper is to be found at

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jul/22/sing-funnel-covid-19-lab-hoping-declare-singing-safe?fbclid=IwAR3ZG_DTlJCdxL1fz4rTJIK8hZsDQh-aOO6S2VR9ju01A7V2V5a3YZXkNSo

In addition there is an interview ( 15 minutes but worth it) with Consultant ENT Declan Costello , an expert on the voice. He has been leading the research into Covid-19 and the potential dangers concerning singing and wind instrument playing. Phase one of his research is now complete and its finding will inform Government policy. The conversation between him and Sam Evans of OneVoiceCampaign is to be found at https://www.onevoicecampaign.org/video

There is hope in the pipeline and we encourage all singers, to find a way to keep practicing.

Report submitted by John Larke MBE, TD
Chairman
23rd July 2020

Item updated 02/8/20


Mousehole Male Voice Choir

New Choir President for Mousehole MVC.

At the choir's annual general meeting on Monday 9th March 2020, the choir elected a new President. The choir were unanimous in the decision and it gives us great pleasure to announce that Mrs Kath Matthews has now become Choir President. Kath has been a stalwart of the choir for over forty years, Kath first became associated with Mousehole Male Voice Choir in 1976 when she was a music student. She became a primary school teacher specialising in music and was a soloist with the choir under musical director, Eric Dale.

Kath joined MMVC Ladies Committee in 1977 and has had the role of secretary and chairman. She is, at present, chairman of the committee.

She sang with her husband John and brother-in-law Kevin in a group called 'Nampara,' singing in local concerts and choir tours.

Kath was made a bard of the Cornish Gorsedh in 2010, her bardic name being 'J'n Kana Fleghes' - 'Joy in Children's singing.' In the same year she was also awarded the Brian Spiegelhalter Citizen of the Year award for Penzance.

Kath takes much pleasure in being the accompanist for her twin daughters, Jenna and Morwenna known as 'Twin Harmony' who delight in singing throughout the county and especially enjoy singing with MMVC.

MMVC holds a very special place in Kath's heart as it was through the choir that she met her husband, John, in 1976. Her father-in-law Garfield was also a life member of the choir.

She feels very humble to follow in the footsteps of such esteemed presidents.

Having being appointed Kath said "I just wanted to express my sincere thanks and gratitude in electing me as your forthcoming president. I am indeed honoured, thrilled and feel it a great privilege to follow in the footsteps of such prestigious past presidents. I hope that I can serve you as well as these wonderful people have done in the past. My connection with MMVC began in 1976 and it has been a great honour to be associated with this wonderful organisation who show so much concern and support for each other".

Simon Bromage
PR
24th March 2020

Item updated 30/3/20



CORNWALL IN HIGH PLACES

Below is a very intersting article sent by Linda and Tom Jones after a visit to London.

On a recent visit to London, we discovered an interesting fact about Burlington House, home of the Royal Academy: Burlington House cornices have something surprising and special about them!

The main (north) building of what is now Burlington House in London’s Piccadilly was built as a private residence in the early 1700s. East and west wings were subsequently added, and it was eventually sold to the British government in 1854 for £140,000. It was renovated by the architect Sydney Smirke RA who replaced the east and west wings with larger structures, but left the main building largely intact. The main building was then leased to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1868.

During the renovation process, complex moulded cornices were fitted to ceilings in the main galleries. Fragments of these cornices were on show at a recent exhibition in the RA. The first photograph shows what appears to be a typically complex cornice - fit for a palace. However, the second photograph shows its edge profile which is a beautiful replica of … a map of Cornwall!

As explained in the exhibition, the “cornices can still be read as abstract objects. But to those who recognise the shape of their profile, they appear as architectural elements with a specific meaning that connects to personal myths and biographies: a trip to the seaside, childhood holiday or simply part of everyday life.”


'Cornice viewed from front'

'Cornice viewed in profile'


Item updated 29/01/17



MEN OF SONG
by Jeff Campbell of Tamar Valley MVC


Men of Song, written by Jeff Campbell, sets out the history of British male voice singing; it is a book likely to be be of great interest to male voice choristers and fans of choral singing around the UK.

Jeff Campbell has dedicated his time to researching his book, a subject about which he is passionate. He also decided he would like this project to be a means of helping his 11 year old granddaughter, Skye Campbell, who suffers from Down's Syndrome together with some serious health complications including a heart condition. Skye attends the Bidwell Brook School, a special school which Jeff states does wonderful work with the children. He intends to give any proceeds from the sale of his book to a fund to assist his granddaughter's future.

The paperback contains 344 pages with full colour pictures. It is available now from Jeff direct priced £11 this includes post and packaging or Ebay priced £12, both can be payed for by using PayPal. For further details please contact Jeff on 01548 831559 or email to menofsong2016@gmail.com.

Item updated on 13/11/2016



SONG BOOK

A new Song Book has been compiled by members of Nankersey Male Choir. The Song Book contains 51 well known songs and hymns and is intended to be used on informal occasions (possibly with a pint in hand!) whenever choir members get together for a sing song outside of concert "conditions". It is also intended to act as an aide memoire for those who find themselves at a loss to join in because the words are either unknown or temporarily forgotten! Thanks to everyone who has helped in the compilation.

We are pricing the Song Book competitively at £2.50 only and this must represent good value as it is handily sized for placing in a jacket pocket and the cover is laminated for durability. The Song Book is dedicated to Nankersey's 12 founder members and a photograph of those worthy gentlemen appears in the book.

Choir members within the Federation qualify for this bargain price provided the song book(s) can be delivered by hand (at a Federation meeting for instance) or song books may be obtained for £3.50 by post. Anyone who is interested in obtaining a copy or copies should please get in touch with Fred Bidgood, tel: 01326 373984;
e-mail: familybidgood@hotmail.co.uk
.

Sent by Fred Bidgood, Nankersey MC


ARRANGING A CHOIR TOUR?

Neil Shepherd, MD of "Laudate!" and also a qualified travel agent and tour operator has kindly offered suggestions and advice to choirs planning tours.

This item first posted June 2009 and retained for reference. Click on the link below.

Tours


08/02/21 - Stephen Ley