All posts by Tony Griffiths

Cheque Presentation After Charity Concert

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is locally acknowledged for its tradition of raising money for charities and worthy causes so the Choir committee was quick to respond when Councillor Jim Higginson approached choir secretary Jeff Williams with a request to facilitate a charity fundraising concert during the Monmouthshire civic year 2016-17.  Cllr. Higginson, who is also a long standing vice president of the choir, is the outgoing Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council.

A feature of this prestigious ceremonial position is the overt support of a designated charity and Cllr. Higginson had decreed that funds generated throughout his term of office would be shared with the ‘St.David’s Foundation’ and the Welsh children’s hospice ‘Ty Hafan’ based near Barry.  In response to his appeal, Caldicot Male Voice Choir dedicated all the proceeds of its annual St. David’s day Concert to the MCC appointed charities.

Cllr. Higginson attended choir rehearsal on Thursday, 25th May where officials of the choir proudly presented a cheque for £759 in support of two wonderful charities.

The Choir has held a St David’s Day concert at its Choir Hall for each of the past four years and recent recipients of this fund raising concert have been; The Teenage Cancer Support Charity; the Victims of Chernobyl Children’s Trust; Prostate Cancer Cymru and the South East Wales branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

 

The Image shows (Left to right): Jeff Williams (Secretary), Mark Stocker (Chairman), Cllr. Jim Higginson, Micheal Shere-Massey (President)

Choir Cyclists Raise Money For Dementia Charity

Photographs by Stefan Edwards

Another successful Redwick Challenge is over. The 2017 edition on May 21st saw 36 riders tackle the near 2 mile Redwick circuit on a lovely Spring day.  Choristers, friends, and locals joined in, spurred on by family and friends who came to see the spectacle. There were some amazing feats achieved by the riders, but none of this could be achieved without the army of support people who helped with lap counting, getting refreshments, providing food, registration, massage and numerous other tasks that needed to be undertaken. Before we get to the riders, a big thank you is extended to Dave Kirton, Peter Williams, Sharon Ward, Chris Nolan, Jayne Stallard, Stefan Edwards and Ron Stewart, the supporters and the local people at Redwick and the Rose Inn.

On to the riding, amazingly five riders achieved more than 100 miles, with Brian Stephens completing 62 laps (120 miles) to take the top male prize.  The leading female rider was Carolyn Griffiths with 25 laps (49 miles).

Sadly the choir recently lost one of its most respected members. Theo Roberts was always the first man to help out at any event which the choir and the cycle club organised. In his memory, the Theo Roberts Memorial Cup was commissioned to commemorate the most laps completed by one of the four sections of the choir (Top tenor, 2nd tenor, baritone and bass).  It was fitting that the first running of this competition was won by the Baritone Section of which Theo was a treasured member.

This was part of a series of events the choir and its associated cycle club and golf section are putting on this year to raise money for the Severn View Sensory Garden project in Chepstow  This is intended to help enhance the lives of Dementia sufferers which the home caters for.  A big thank you to all involved and over £430 was raised on the day.

Caldicot Choir In Musical Coalition At Christchurch Centre

Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to have been invited back to Newport’s Christchurch Centre for the second time in three years; in order to perform at the annual Rotary Club of Newport “Senior Citizens’ Concert”. The musical extravaganza was staged on Saturday, 20th May, 2017 and was attended by a near capacity 600 audience. The Choir shared the stage with the Newport Borough Band and the Gwent Accordion Club. The concert provided an eclectic mix of musical styles with all three groups coalescing in splendid coalition. The audience was entertained throughout by the informal enthusiasm of the highly amusing compere, Derek Fisher of the Rotary Club of Newport. The choir was conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley Anne James with piano accompaniment by Steve Berry and John Nicholson.

Photographs by Robert Brown

Christmas Celebrations with the Choir

Christmas is a joyous time at Caldicot Male Voice Choir. The yuletide festivities begin at the end of November when the dust is blown off the choristers’ Christmas carol music and the seasonal songs are sounded out once again. The traditional Christmas School Concert is staged at the Choir Hall with an invited local primary school. The proceeds from the ever popular event are donated to the Parent Teachers Association of the appointed school.

On Thursday, 8th December, the immaculately attired and professionally presented pupils of Dewstow Primary School, Caldicot; constituted the invited children’s choir of evening’s ensemble. They combined effortlessly with the male voice choir in a joint celebration of Christmas. The children were superbly conducted by Miss Amy Lawrence, whose own grandfather (Don Lawrence) had been a longstanding chorister in Caldicot Male Voice Choir. The concert concluded with a combined choirs rendition of ‘Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’, as the children’s choir replete with pupils from Key Stage 2 and some as young as six years old; harmonised sweetly with the male choir, whose oldest member on stage was 93 year old Bill Nash!

One week later, on Friday, 16th December; the choir hosted older members of the community, as the Caldicot Senior Citizens Club held their Christmas Lunch at the Choir Hall.

The choir concluded its Christmas activities as it closed 2016 with a visit to the Cherry Tree Nursing Home in Caldicot; where an evening of Christmas cheer was enjoyed with the more senior members of the community followed by a traditional community carol singing at the Haywain pub, enjoyed by all.

 

We wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and we are looking forward to an exciting programme of activities and concerts in 2017.

Written by Jeff Williams

CALDICOT CHOIR COALESCE WITH RECORDER CONSORT IN CHEPSTOW CONCERT

Priory Church of St Mary Chepstow Monmouthshire Wales

 

 

On Saturday, 25th May, 2015, Caldicot Male Voice Choir combined in concert with the Chepstow based Divertimenti Recorder Consort; in order to raise funds for Parkinson’s Research UK. The concert had been arranged by Mr Steve Lewis of the Chepstow and District Parkinson’s Support Group and the venue was the magnificent St. Mary’s Church in lower Chepstow.

The audience was treated to a musical feast of six courses with the choir delivering two well balanced performances of power and precision; either side of a twenty minute showcase of recorder harmony in each half. The sweetly intoned woodwind medleys were provided by the excellent Divertimenti Recorder Consort; the members of which are all from the Chepstow area. The group has been together for three years. They performed two eclectic sets of recorder music which spanned a period of over five hundred years. Musical genres as disparate as the sacred music of the Renaissance composer William Byrd was juxtaposed with the work of twentieth century composer Jelly Roll Morton. Their programme visited many styles of music including Renaissance, Baroque, Folk Song, Jazz, Swing and Latin American Dance.

The choir, under the guidance of Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Steve Berry and John Nicholson; provided an amalgam of light and shade throughout its work. The theme for the evening was set as the Choir opened with a rousing rendition of Welsh chapel classic Rachie (I Bob un sydd Ffyddlon) followed immediately by an ethereally light rendition of The Rose (made famous by Bette Midler).

At the conclusion of a wonderfully entertaining evening; the organiser Steve Lewis thanked Caldicot Male Voice Choir and the Divertimenti Recorder Consort for their generous support. A debt of gratitude was also expressed for Rev. Chris Blanchard for the use of the church and the Monmouthshire County Council Passenger Transport Unit (MCC PTU) for providing a coach for the choir. Special thanks are also extended to coach driver Geoff Taylor of MCC (PTU) who voluntarily drove the coach to the concert.

 

Jeff Williams
Secretary

Children and Choir Bring Christmas Cheer

 

 

After a two year hiatus, the long standing tradition of the Caldicot Choir Carol Concert was reintroduced onto the choir’s Christmas calender. The ever popular concert features the choir and a local primary school in yuletide harmony; singing festive songs and raising funds for the designated Parent Teacher’s Association.

Thus it was that on Thursday, 11th December, 2014; the children and staff of local Welsh medium primary school, Ysgol Gymraeg y Ffin were invited to the Choir Hall to share a joint concert with Caldicot Male Voice Choir.  A near capacity 150 parents and grandparents thronged into the hall, which quickly became abuzz with chaotic excitement.

The stage set, the choir opened the concert with a rousing carol set to the tune of ‘Llanfair’ followed by ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Christmas Medley’, featuring traditional favourites such as ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. The school choir filed onto the stage to huge cheers and charmed the audience with very disciplined and tuneful singing that completely belied their cherubic appearance. Particular highlights from the school choir performance was the ‘dolce’-sweet rendition of the children’s classic ‘Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd’ and a wonderful solo performance of ‘Troyte’s Chant’.

The male choir concluded the concert with ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Casatschok ‘, ‘God Rest ye Merry Gentleman’ and the wonderfully comedic, ‘The Carol Singers’.

Choir Inspires Famous Victory

Saturday, 29th November 2014

 

WALES 12 SOUTH AFRICA 6

 

 

 A MILESTONE MOMENT AT THE MAJESTIC  MILLENNIUM.

 

Caldicot Male Voice Choir were highly honoured to have been invited to the majestic Millennium stadium, on Saturday 29th November, 2014 to join with choral colleagues from Maesteg a’r Cylch and Penybontmawr, as guest choirs of the Welsh Rugby Union. The richly rewarding requisition for the three choirs was to deliver the national anthems of Wales and South Africa to the sell out crowd; as a preface to the titanic test match between the two proud rugby nations.

The 2:30pm kick off necessitated an early start for the choir and a significant number of the Caldicot lads used the opportunity to savour the sizzling delights of the breakfast menu at the Haywain pub. The back of the coach resounded to the impromptu and slightly cautious, final rehearsal of “Nksosi sikelel’i Afrika” as it meandered through the streets of Newport, on its circuitous route to the citadel of Welsh rugby.

By the twelfth hour of the day, the three guest choirs were entombed within the bowels of the stadium, in a cavernous grey area known as “The Dragon’s Mouth”. Under the tutelage of Dr Haydn James the final rehearsal commenced before the choir and Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh were instructed to egress onto the hallowed turf. In coordinated synchronicity and marching proudly behind the men in red tunics, the choristers entered the arena to a wall of sound.

A short performance of traditional Welsh hymns and rugby themed classics were sung at the perimeters of the pitch before the choir and band assembled to greet the players. A crescendo of unrestrained cheering followed the ignition of a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and the stage was set. The anthems then delivered and the pre-match ritual completed, the band and choir filed away towards the stands; where they cheered Wales to a milestone victory over the mighty ‘Springboks’.

The choir then made its way to the usual Cardiff stamping ground, the Gatekeeper pub on Westgate Street and were joined in the post-match revelry by the Cardiff Blues Choir (Côr Y Gleision) to end a memorable day.

 

Photos by Nina Hughes and David Price

For more photos, see those taken by Stefan Edwards on his Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/oakfield.photography/media_set?set=a.10205419116818245.1073741963.1259577063&type=1&pnref=story

Twistin’ the Night Away

beatles

 

What a great evening at the Choir Hall on Saturday, 15th November.

About a hundred and fifty people flocked to the hall to watch the local group ‘The Beat Goes On’ getting the room rocking with their array of Beatles hits. They were all there, from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Yellow Submarine’, a splendid time was had by all. For a few moments, a number of the choristers were transported back in time to the sixties when joining the band on-stage for the chorus of ‘Hey Jude’.

The dance floor was packed all night, never before have you seen so many choristers pulling some shapes. Congratulation must also go to the people who turned up in sixties gear, they certainly made a major contribution to the atmosphere of the evening.

Not only was there the excitement of the band and the dancing, the Annual Draw was made by Choir Chairman Mark Stocker, and three people walked away with valuable cash prizes just in time for Christmas.

A big well done to the Choir’s Entertainment Manager Ron Powell and his helpers for organising the event, I am sure there will be more to come.

 

 

Choristers and friends cycle for Prostate Cymru

 

What an event!  Four days of sheer torture and happiness. Three hard stages of cycling plus three nights camping out with a great bunch of lads.

 

Day 1 – leaving the Choir Hall early afternoon in the mini-bus, driven by Leon to the Gateway Holiday Park in Llanelli. Eventually tents put up and bedded-down for the night following a meal and a couple of beers in the camp clubhouse.

 

Day 2 – joined by ex-Welsh Rugby International, Ray Giles, it was on the mini-bus to Fishguard followed by the fantastic support crew. On arriving in Fishguard and making our way down to the Old Town, the only way out was via a steep hill a mile long. Some miles later on leaving the food stop at Crymych, we took a wrong turning and ended up 10 miles out of the proposed route, eventually arriving at Carmarthen some two hours later than scheduled. The rest of the journey saw us climb (yet again) to Kidwelly before reaching Pembrey Forest and the Millenium Coastal Path, eventually arriving at the campsite some 80 miles later having climbed 5500 feet. Time for a shower, food, drink and a good nights sleep.

 

Stage 1 riders: Leon Jones, Tony Griffiths, Spike Hughes, Grahame Morton, Nathan Finney, Greg Tinker, Bob Stevenson, Steve Tobin, David Whittle and Ray Giles.

 

Stage 1 Support Team: Alyn Dawe, Peter Williams, David Currie Dave and Coral Kirton, and Roger Matthews.

 

Day 3 – The second ride saw nine riders (minus Ray Giles) leave the campsite having said goodbye and thank you to the holiday camp for their kind hospitality, heading for Swansea. A lovely ride down the Clyne Valley led us to Swansea sea-front, resplendent in the July sunshine with stunning views across the bay to the Mumbles. It was time for an attempt at the fearsome cobblestone climb of Constitution Hill, famously used in the Tour of Britain, only around 300 metres long but with a gradient of 20%. Three riders; Nathan Finney, Steve Tobin and Bob Stevenson took up the challenge and won, fair play to them, awesome effort. The ride then continued up the Tawe Valley with a stop at Asda in Ystalyfera for lunch, paying a visit to the Dan yr Ogof cave site before taking on the long 8% climb up Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons. A fast descent into Sennybridge and then into Brecon arriving at tea-time at Pencelli Castle campsite. Fish and chips and beer was ordered before laughing the night away around the campfire (well a chair). Distance 60 miles with 4500 feet of climbing.

 

Stage 2 riders: Leon Jones, Tony Griffiths, Spike Hughes, Grahame Morton, Nathan Finney, Greg Tinker, Bob Stevenson, Steve Tobin and David Whittle.

 

Stage 2 Support Team: Alyn Dawe, Peter Williams, David Currie, Dave and Coral Kirton, and Roger Matthews.

 

Day 4 – We were joined at Brecon Canal Basin by another twelve riders bussed up from Caldicot for the third stage. Following photos and good wishes it was a quick stop back at Pencelli Castle to say our thank you’s to site owner Gerwyn, who kindly made a donation of £50 to the charity, before taking on the seven mile climb up to the top of Talybont Reservoir. Met by comforting drinks and sugary sweets handed-out by the support team, to replenish ourselves after the climb, we made our way following the Taff Trail through Merthyr Tydfil to Quakers Yard for lunch. After a brief stop, we had our first drop of rain as we headed through Ystrad Mynach and Ynysddu before arriving at the Monmouthshire Canal at Cross Keys. On through Newport, home was in sight as we rode through Magor, Undy, Rogiet finally arriving at the Choir Hall around 6:30pm, met by rapturous applause by the waiting crowds of choristers, families, friends and the Mayor. Folllowing photographs, it was an evening of entertainment with a lovely Pork Supper, a presentation of flowers and wine to the support team, and apt music from chorister David John spelling out the dangers of Prostate Cancer and a communal sing-song led by Jason Dawe (guitar), Alyn Dawe (Harmonica) and Mike Griffiths playing the cahon. Distance 70 miles with 5800 feet of climbing.

 

Stage 3 riders: Leon Jones, Tony Griffiths, Spike Hughes, Grahame Morton, Nathan Finney, Greg Tinker, Bob Stevenson, Steve Tobin, David Whittle, John Antell, Kenneth Dann, Chris Nolan, Carolyn Griffiths, Julie Donoghue, Mike Griffiths, Diane Potter, Sue Earnshaw, Alyn Dawe, Jason Dawe, Andy Thomas (Prostate Cymru) and David John.

 

Stage 3 Support Team: Peter Williams, David Currie, Roger Matthews, Theo Roberts, Kirstie Benjamin, Sue Murphy, Helen Dawe, Dave and Coral Kirton,  and David Hennesy.

 

Many thanks must go out to our fabulous support team, without them it would not have happened and to our cycling friends who came along and helped raise money for a worthwhile cause.

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