Category Archives: 2013

St. DAVID’S DAY CONCERT FOR TEENAGE CANCER TRUST

TCT poster

 

Please click on the pictures to enlarge.

 

The Choir was pleased to welcome Anne and David Huxtable to Choir Practice on Thursday evening.  Anne and David are representatives of The Teenage Cancer Charity Trust which is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and increasing the chances of survival for young people between the ages of 13 and 24 who have cancer. It should surprise you to learn that on average six young people are diagnosed with cancer every day.

 

This charity relies entirely on donations and fund raising and Anne and David came along last year to enquire if we could perform at a concert in aid of their charity.  Their comments were that they really enjoyed listening to ’such a wonderful choir’. We are of course, delighted to have the opportunity to sing to help this charity.  Having cancer is the worst experience in the world.  Teenagers are supposed to be having fun with friends, enjoying life and looking forward to the future, but for many this is impossible.   A Teenage Cancer Trust Unit provides optimum care through an innovative combination of design, equipment and facilities, specialist staff and culture.   The aim is to provide teenagers and young people suffering the effects of cancer and its treatment with the experiences of as normal a life as possible.  Please visit their web-site by clicking on Teenage Cancer Trust to find out more.

 

In response to their appeal the choir is proud that, prior to our Annual Concert on April 12th, we will be supporting this essential and worthwhile charity by holding a concert on St David’s Day, 1st March at the Choir Hall in Mill Lane, Caldicot at 7-00pm.  Doors open at 6-30pm.  A fully licensed bar is available.

To guarantee your ticket please contact Anne on 029 2040 5923 or e-mail teenspirit.cardiff@gmail.com.  Tickets are £7-50 each.

 

The choir is arranging this concert free of charge and all proceeds will be donated to the charity.  Please come along and support us and we will be trying out one or two new pieces prior to the Annual.

 

 

Choristers Continue Christmas Carolling at the Haywain

 

Photos taken by Amy Jones.  Left click on images to enlarge.

 

After last week singing at the Castle Inn and the cutting of the Christmas Cake at the Choir Hall, Côr Meibion Caldicot Choristers completed their Christmas celebrations as a choir by entertaining the local community at a packed Haywain pub after practice this Thursday.  Braving a near freezing night, they collected in a hot and humid crowded bar to treat a packed house to a rousing and entertaining mix of Christmas songs and carols.  Conducted  by Siân Hatton with Shirley Ann James and accompanied by John Nicholson on the keyboard, the choir opened with Joy to the World, following on with Russian wintry, dancing folk song Casatchok (didn’t see many choristers dancing like Cossaks though) and a popular Christmas Medley (ending with Jingle bells) the choir invited the seasons revellers to join in with I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Walking in a Winter Wonderland and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer before singing a few favourite Christmas carols.

 

Before the choir hall was built in 1996, many choristers would cram into The Haywain after practice at the nearby school for thirst quenching refreshment and sure of a warm welcome, the tradition is held by a popular visit to the pub every Christmas.  Long may it continue.

 

 

Craving Choristers Collectively Consume Colleen’s Creative Christmas Cake!!!

 

Not only does Colleen Gauntlett often take photographs of the choir during its concerts and other activities for the web site and newspapers, it’s become the custom for her to try out her celebration cake designs on the choristers (who can forget the cake displays made for the 50th Anniversary) and on Monday 16th December at practice, the choir was delighted to taste her latest creation.

 

Featuring a lazy Santa and Rudolph having a quick nap before going out on a frosty night, they are surrounded by a host of special gifts, Christmas crackers, mince pies and a carrot for Rudolph.  However, Christmas was ruined for them by the choristers of Caldicot Male Voice Choir eating them all before they could get started!  Christmas is therefore cancelled this year!  Only joking!  Santa, Rudolph and all the other bits were safely packed away for the grandchildren of two choristers to look after so Christmas is back on!  Hooray!

 

The 12 inch fruit cake, generously laced with Cointreau and Brandy was cut up by Colleen and husband Lyn and shared out to the eagerly waiting 65 choristers and musical team with more than enough for many choristers to take home to their wives (so they said).  It’s amazing that after many hours of work in the creation, it was devoured within minutes! Ha! Ha!

 

Many thanks were expressed by Chairman, Mark Stocker and all the other choristers to Colleen for her generous contribution and for the support she gives the choir.

Carolling Choristers at the Castle Inn

 

On Thursday 11th December after practice, the choir made its way up Church Road on a rainy, blustery night to begin its round of seasonal festivities at the bar of the Castle Inn near the picturesque Caldicot Castle.  Crowded into the lounge, the choir entertained the locals at  this historic hostelry with a rousing round of carols and wintry songs.

 

Following a performance of Joy to the World, Casatchok and a Christmas Medley, the choir invited the regulars and supporters to sing with them through a compote of well known Christmas Carols including Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Once in Royal David’s city and several others before being treated to a table of fine Christmas fayre, courtesy of generous hosts Steve and Judy.

 

 

A Sad Loss of Allen Griffiths

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The choristers and Musical team were deeply saddened last night to hear of the sudden death, after collapsing at his home earlier this week, of Allen Griffiths.

Allen was a regular non-singing attendee of practice nights to support his son, baritone Tony Griffiths and would also be seen helping out at fund raising events and looking after the Book Club which has raised hundreds of pounds for the choir.

Allen was a true gentleman and staunch supporter of the choir, often wishing that he still had the voice to sing with us. His presence at practice and choir events will be sorely missed.

 

Our thoughts, sympathy and condolences go out to Tony, Carolyn and all their family at this very sad time.

 

Details of the Funeral : – St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bulwark at 10:30am on Monday, 23rd December followed by burial at Llanelly Hill, Gilwern.

Choir Welcomed Back To Wiltshire Wool Town

 

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.

Choir Serenade For St. David’s Foundation

On Friday, 15th November, as autumn finally surrendered to winter; Caldicot Male Voice Choir performed the first of a brace of official November concerts before the Christmas celebrations close the curtain on 2013.

 

In milky moonlight, blazers buttoned against the evening chill; the choristers alighted a warm bus to navigate a meandering lane to the contemporary village hall of Llanishen. The splendid amenity was the venue for a concert arranged to raise funds for The St. David’s Foundation.

 

The Choir regaled its enthusiastic audience with an eclectic mix of power and mellifluous control from its extensive repertoire. The majesty of Welsh chapel classics, Llef and Laudamus (Pen Calfaria) were intertwined with Georges Bizet’s world famous duet from The Pearlfishers. The tuneful tranquility of Wilfrid Shaw’s Evening’s Pastorale was juxtaposed with Gwyn Arch’s arrangement of African Trilogy. An audience favourite with its haunting Zulu melodies and South African national anthem.

 

A fine solo performance was given by the Choir’s Musical Director, Sian Hatton, who sang two beautiful Michael Head compositions, The Singer and The Little Road to Bethlehem.

Special praise should also be accorded to the evening’s other soloist, chorister Peter Hanks (top tenor) who very bravely sang W.S. Gwynn-Williams’ My Little Welsh Home and the traditional Cornish song Sweet Nightingale, despite suffering from a very heavy head cold. The Choir were accompanied on piano by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson.

 

Caldicot Male Voice Choir warmly welcomes new members and rehearses at Caldicot Choir Hall, Mill Lane, Caldicot on Monday and Thursday nights between 7:15 and 9:15pm.

Numbers on the increase !

All 70 choristers who were at practice last night gave a rousing warm welcome to another two new members, Garry Veale falls into the ranks of the top tenors and Lee Rees joins the 2nd tenors.  Garry is a former school mate of Leon Jones, is a member of Côr Meibion Caldicot Cycle Club and is well known to many of the choir.  Lee has recently moved to the Caldicot area from Ebbw Vale.

 

Other good news is that during November, newcomers Stephen Edwards, Frank Wells and Phil Cody all passed their second vioce tests to become full members of the choir.  Well done to you all and may you have a long and happy association with our Choir.

 

While many choirs are struggling to maintain their mere existence we are extremely proud to say that our membership number is being maintained, and slowly increasing, with these new additions.

We welcome them and hope they enjoy both the musical and social activities Caldicot Male Voice Choir has to offer.

If you’re thinking of joining please come along to practice on a Monday or Thursday night, 7.15pm at the Choir Hall, Mill Lane and you will be made most welcome.

Choir Cycle Club Quiz Night

Photos by Coll. Left click to enlarge

 

 

Friday 1st November saw the first ever Quiz Night at the Choir Hall. This was organised by the Choir’s cycle club (Côr Meibion Caldicot Cycle Club) as a thank you to all the choristers who supported it on its fund raising activities for the Victims of Chernobyl Childrens’  Trust earlier this year.

 

The Quiz, hosted by quiz master Lyn Gauntlett (wearing a bright red fez with no intention of emulating Tommy Cooper and who had never done this before), consisted of eight rounds of 10 questions per round compiled and designed by Lyn to test the participants knowledge to the limit.  Many would say beyond but if they were made too easy then everyone would win. Questions, interspersed with jokes and informative remarks, ranged from General knowledge, Films and TV, People, Geography and places, Science and technology Sport and Music. About 100 people turned up to form 14 teams ranging in number from four to eight.  Each table was appreciatively supplied with complimentary bottles of wine, courtesy of the Cycle Club and Choir.

 

Scores were kept by Tony Griffiths and First Prize of £60 was won by a team of local Caldicot regular quiz goers (Strictly Come Tweeking who said they were really challenged and that it was the best quiz they’d been to for a long time) with a score of 77%, followed in second place by choir group ‘It’s Only a Quiz’ with 63% and in third place another choir team ‘The Music Nomads’ who wandered in closely with 61%.  The scores reflected the testing nature of the quiz but many were complimentary on the nature and level of the questions.  Battlestar Taftacica need to come down to earth more often after scoring only 28%, but well done and thanks for landing to take part.

 

A raffle was organised by chorister Ron Powell and this contributed well over £100 to the grand total of about £280 raised for the choir on the night.

 

Most agreed that they had a really good night and strongly suggested that it should be repeated on a regular basis.  Watch this space.

 

Thanks to Tony Griffiths, Ron Powell, Leon Jones, Grahame Morton and Nick Powell for organising and contributing so much to the success of the evening.

 

Many thanks again to Dave Kirton, Roger Francis and Wyn Goodwin for their sterling work behind the bar.

New Committee Changes at AGM.

 

Following the Annual General Meeting held at the Choir Hall on Monday 28th October, the choir paid tribute to the outstanding work, achievements and efforts put in by retiring Chairman, Leon Jones and Secretary, Ken Cooper.  Leon has been chairman for over four years and has led the choir through the planning stages and implementation of our 50th Anniversary Year and its celebrations.  During his time as Chairman, the choir has undertaken two tours, the first on the Azura Cruise ship in 2010 and then this year to Cornwall.  Many changes have been introduced to move us forward, not least including extensions to the building to provide more storage and office space.  Leon continues in his role as chairman of the Cycle Club which last year raised over £6000 for the Victims of Chernobyl Children’s Trust.

 

Ken took over the reins of Secretary following the sudden death of Roy Shuck some eighteen months ago.  He has, in difficult circumstances, conducted the choir’s business with  calm efficiency.  Both Leon and Ken have been elected to the new committee and their experience and expertise will continue to be valuable assets to the management of the Choir.

 

Leon has been replaced as Hon. Chairman by popular chorister Mark Stocker.  Mark’s continuing commitment and dedication to the choir is without question and in his acceptance address to the Choir he assured us of his endeavour to lead the choir to even greater accomplishments.  Jeff Williams, a long standing tenor has taken up the role of Secretary.  Jeff will be remembered for his time just over a year ago as Public Relations Officer when his unique style, hard work and literary talents led to increased awareness of the Choir locally and nationally.  Jeff was also instrumental in his eighteen months as PRO until illness forced his temporary retirement, for obtaining a number of prestigious concerts including Exeter, the Swalec Stadium and Colston Hall.

 

Roger Matthews was voted unopposed to continue the role of  Treasurer, a job he has carried out for the past two years, following the retirement of Ron Palmer.  Lyn Gauntlett continues on from the half way stage of his two year tenure as Public Relations Officer with a promise to continue to seek ways to promote and enhance the image of the Choir.

 

Also retiring from the committee are Tom Hole, who has done a splendid job of  looking after the wardrobe and uniforms, Wyn Goodwin, vice chairman and stage marshal who has done much appreciated, sterling work in his time on the committee, not least in producing magnificent annual calendars with his son James.  Newly elected to the committee is Dave Hennesey and returning after absence are Peter Heslop, Bob Doggett and John MacCarthur.

 

This web site joins in with the Choir in wishing every success to the new administration and fully supports the tributes and gratitude paid to retiring members of the past committee.