Seventeen months ago, Caldicot Male Voice Choir coalesced with the Bradford-on-Avon Freemasons in collectively facilitating a fruitful and productive ‘sell out’ concert, at the town’s majestic Holy Trinity Church. Such was the success of that evening, in July 2012; that the choir was invited back to Wiltshire by the Freemasons, for a reprise of the assignment, on Saturday, 23rd November, 2013.
The Freemasons’ ornate Lodge in Bradford-on -Avon is over 500 years old and considerable funding is required to meet the ongoing preservation costs. The concert was arranged to reduce these costs and thus facilitate a more fulsome flow of financial aid to the many local charities that the Freemasons support.
The venue was, once again, the imposing Holy Trinity Church which sits, reverentially elevated, over the riverbank of the gurgling River Avon. The ecclesiastical magnificence of this vast church, with its high vaulted ceiling, made for a sublime acoustic performance and the large audience was treated to a marriage of mellifluous melody and rousing power.
The concert commenced with a vigorous rendition of ‘Entrance and March of the Peers’ from the operetta Iolanthe. Throughout the performance, masterpieces of popular music were intertwined with powerful anthems from the male voice choral genre. The genius of Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ and Freddie Mercury’s ‘Somebody to Love’ were showcased alongside the Welsh classics ‘Myfanwy’ and Laudamus (Pen Calfaria). The choir were accompanied on keyboard by John Nicholson and Stephen Berry; the latter of whom, skillfully manned Holy Trinity’s powerful organ, as the choir sang Elvis Presley’s ‘American Trilogy’ and Emrys Jones’ ‘Morte Criste’ (When I survey the Wondrous Cross).
The Choir’s Musical Director, Sian Hatton, guided the audience through the evening. She beguiled the assembly with recitals of Marriott Edgar’s famous monologues, ‘The Lion and Albert’ and ‘Albert’s Return’; seamlessly switching from her ‘dolce’ sweet Sirhowy lilt to broad Lancastrian mill town brogue. The choir’s Musical Director was ably supported throughout by Assistant Musical Director, Shirley Ann James.
Caldicot Male Voice Choir always welcome potential new members. Rehearsals are at the Choir Hall, Mill Lane, Caldicot, on Monday and Thursday evenings at 7:15pm.