Category Archives: 2014

More New Members Join in December

I don’t know what inspires people to join our choir.  Is it because they already have friends who are choristers, have they seen us in the local papers, visited our web site or been to one of our concerts?  Whatever the reasons we have seen our numbers rise by 24 new choristers in the past twenty months since the Annual Concert in 2013 and we will continue to welcome any one who wishes to join us.

 

On December 8th we were pleased that our ranks swelled by another two members when local residents Andy McDonnell and Dave Woolnough walked through the doors of the Choir Hall, listened to us for a while, had a chat to some of the lads and went into the back room with Siân for their voice assessment.

 

We are pleased and thrilled to welcome Andy to swell the ranks of the baritones and Dave who will join the ranks of the 2nd Tenors and we are sure they will have have a long and enjoyable time with us.  A very warm welcome, lads!

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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’.

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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

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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.

 

 

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Remembering Them at Caldicot Castle

 Photos by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on the image to enlarge.

The final concert of three in one week by the choir to support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Welsh Warrior was an incredible event at the fabulously poppy festooned Caldicot Castle.  Organised by Monmouthshire County Council on Saturday November 8th.,  an audience of over 1500, on a cold but dry evening were thrilled to be entertained by presenter and soloist tenor Wynne Evans, the Military Wives Choir who made the journey down the  M4 from RAF Brize Norton to be with us, local artists, trio Rusty Shackle and of course ourselves, 73 members of Caldicot Male Voice Choir and the four members of its Musical Team.

Welsh tenor and radio personality, Wynne Evans opened the proceedings with the usual joke of original members of Dad’s Army behind him (wearing thin now Wynne), followed with his incredible presentations of ‘Tell my Father’, from the 1999 musical ‘The Civil War’ and the 1914 American song written to encourage the purchase of War Bonds, ‘Over There’ before introducing us to open our concert, conducted by Siân Hatton, Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson with favourites ‘Rachie’, ‘The Rose’, ‘Mansions of the Lord’, ‘Yfory’, ‘Eli Jenkins Prayer’ and ‘African Trilogy’ (soloist Siân Hatton).

The Military Wives Choir opened their concert performance with a medley of wartime favourites including ‘It’s Long Way to Tipperary’, Keep the Home fires burning’ and We’ll Meet Again’ made famous by Dame Vera Lynn.  They followed this with an enthusiastic rendering of the spiritual ‘Lean on Me’ and  ‘Stay by my side, we can rule world’.

The interval followed where the audience tucked into a hog roast with rolls included in the ticket before returning to their seats in anticipation of more thrilling performances from ourselves, the Military Wives Choir, Rusty Shackle and of course, Wynne Evans.

The return to the seats was greeted by the poignant presentation of ‘Last Night before we go to War’ by the popular local trio Rusty Shackle before Caldicot Male Voice Choir presented four pieces  beginning with Welsh hymn, ‘Llanfair’, the moving Jean Valjean’s prayer ‘Bring Him Home’ from the musical Les Misérables and then the spiritual ‘Ride the Chariot’ (soloists Siân Hatton and David Gould) before finalising their performance with ‘O Gymru’ with Tommy Hole as the soloist.

Wynne Evans opened with the tenor favourite from the musical ‘The Man from La Mancha’ – ‘The Impossible Dream’ before the introduction for the second time of the Military Wives Choir who once again treated the audience to a mix of songs including ‘With or without you’, John Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’. ‘Wherever you are’ – my love will keep you safe and finally the appropriate Gary Barlow song ‘Sing’ – sing it louder, sing it clearer.  They certainly did!  A wonderful performance on a freezing night.

Before the Remembrance parade, Wynne Evans closed his appearance and introductions with the beautifully sung Welsh prayer to the Lord,  ‘Gweddi’r Arglwydd’.

The evening closed with a short parade by members of The Royal Welsh Regiment and Army Cadets before the playing of the Last Post.  ‘At the going down of the Sun and in the Morning, We will Remember Them’.  We were delighted that The Military Wives Choir had also made the effort to learn and sing the words and tune of ‘Mae hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ alongside ‘The Queen’ to fittingly end the evening,

Although a very busy week, Caldicot Male Voice Choir is proud and delighted to have supported The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Welsh Warrior Charity during Remembrance Week to commemorate the one hundredth Anniversary of the start of World War 1.  We are also thrilled that on each of the three occasions over seventy choristers and Musical team gave up their time to support all three concerts, not only on the nights but during long and intense practices over the previous two months.

Post script.  The Military Wives Choir presented us with a beautiful, framed photograph of themselves standing in front of a Galaxy Transport aircraft at Brize Norton.  This will take pride of place on our Choir Hall wall.  Many thanks for the wonderful tribute, ladies.

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At All Saints, Long Ashton to Support Poppy Appeal

Programme1

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on the images to enlarge.

 

On a wet and stormy Friday night on November 7th  the Choir of about 70 members made  its way over the Severn Bridge and on to All Saint’s Church at Long Ashton Bristol to support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Church Restoration funds.  Every time we visit this Church it is always to a full house and again this time we were not disappointed.

Conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James, accompanied by John Nicholson and Stephen Berry,  the choir presented a full programme of a wide range of music from Welsh favourites, ‘Rachie’,’ Yfory’ and ‘Gwahoddiad’ to fitting ‘Mansions of the Lord’ from the film ‘We are Soldiers’, ‘He’,’Bring Him Home’ from Les Misérables and ‘There is No Death’.  The Choir was pleased to present for the first time for many years, ‘The Rose’ made famous by Bette Midler and later by West Life.  Included also were the Elvis hit ‘American Trilogy, ‘You Raise Me Up’,  and finalising with the foot tapping ‘The Rhythm of Life’.  ‘Mansions of the Lord’ and ‘He’ were almost drowned out by the howling gale and torrential rain beating down on the church roof.

The Choir were joined in the concert by the talented children of Downs School who presented a wide range of musical styles from a Queen Medley, delightful vocal and instrumental solos to Choral medleys and solos from Les Misérables’ by the School’s Chamber Choir and soloists.  Their items were conducted by Clive Dickinson and accompanied by Susan Gregory.

Following the concert the Choir and supporters made their way through the torrential downpours to the Royal British Legion club at Long Ashton for a welcome warm reception, refreshments and again, a hearty afterglow to the delight of the patrons.

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Massed Choirs at Wales Remembrance Festival

 Photos by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on images to enlarge

 

On Saturday 1st November, the Choir was privileged to be invited to join several other choirs from across Wales to sing at the The Wales Festival of Remembrance 2014 at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.  After making our way through the labyrinth of corridors and stairs that are hidden behind the stage over 60 choristers from Caldicot assembled in the heights behind the  stage with another 400 from all over Wales.  The Festival, which featured Katherine Jenkins OBE and in the company of HRH The Duke of Kent was presented in the first half by TV presenter Arfon Haines Davies

 

Following the opening by the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh, conducted by Major Denis Burton, the massed choirs accompanied by David Last on piano, David Geoffrey Thomas on organ and conducted by Dr Alwyn Humphries, gave strong performances of Llanfair and Bring Him Home.  More followed from the Regimental Band and the delightful Siren Sisters singing in swing style, period nostalgic songs from both World Wars. The Hywel Girls Choir and Hywel Boy Singers dressed in World War 1 period costumes gave an amazing performance, particularly of the Halleja Chorus from Handel’s Messiah which led to a well deserved standing ovation for over two minutes.  This will live long in the memories of all who were there.  Blue Riband winner, baritone Andrew Matthews performed with a remarkable voice as Guest soloist  and The Junior Lansker Singers from Pembrokeshire followed to give a fabulous performance on their first visit to Cardiff .

 

Before the appearance of Katherine Jenkins, the choir thrilled the audience  with the Wesleyan Hymn Morte Criste accompanied by the Regimental Band.

 

Mansions of the Lord, from the 2002 film ‘We Were Soldiers’ was started by the Youth Choir and finalised by the Massed Choirs and the ultimate Finale was a rousing performance of the Battle Hymn of the Republic by the Massed Male Choir and Katherine Jenkins, accompanied by the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh and conducted by Alwyn Humphries.

 

Following the Second half Parade of Standards, the Muster and the Remembrance Service in which Guide me. O Thou Great Jehovah was sung by both choir and audience , the Choirs closed the service with the poem, ‘There is No Death’.

 

 

 

 

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Quiz Night Finalises Fund Raising for Prostate Cymru

 

Photographs by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on images to enlargeqP1010737

 

 

 

 

October 24th saw the last of the fund raising events supported by the Choir this year to raise funds for Prostate Cymru, our nominated charity.

 

Several events have been staged, starting with a Table Top Sale last January, an Open Rehearsal Evening in March and major events by the cycle club, Côr Meibion Caldicot Cycle Club which held an Endurance ride around Redwick in April followed by an epic 3 day cycle ride across South Wales from Fishguard to Caldicot in July, raising over £5,000 in the process from sponsorship and donations.

 

A Golf Day was held in September at the St Pierre Resort, Chepstow and this alone raised over £700 and so we come to the final event, the Quiz Night.

 

Hosted by Quiz Master, Lyn Gauntlett, the event consisted of eight rounds of 10 questions each, ranging from Pop music to geography, history, local knowledge and trivia which had the roughly 90 participants straining the old grey cells to find the right answers, with varying success.  The eventual winners were the Sudbrook Cricket Club with a  score of 69. The first prize of £40, as were the second and third of £20 and £10 were generously donated to the charity by all three prize winning teams.  A raffle was also held which added £158 to the funds raised.  The money raised for Prostate Cymru at the Quiz night has been totalled at £396, a fabulous effort by all involved.

 

It was also a celebration for Lucy Edwards (Stefan’s daughter) who celebrated her 18th birthday on the night and had her first legal alcoholic drink at the choir hall bar.   Everyone sang Happy Birthday.  Congratulations Lucy.

 

A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by everyone and another Quiz night is planned for January 29th next year.  Be sure to be there even if you’re not much good at quizzes, you’ll still enjoy yourself.

 

Many thanks to Wyn, Russell, Lee and Theo for their hard work running the bar, to those who set out the hall earlier and for clearing up afterwards (Jeff’s team, it always seems to be the same people!), and to Tony, Peter, Grahame, Leon and Kirstie for organising, scoring, running the raffle and selling tickets on the night.

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Brothers Join Brother in Tenors

We already had one brother, top tenor John Antell in the choir and a few months ago his two brothers Nick and Nigel also walked through the doors and after listening to us ofr a short while, walked into the back room with Siân to take their first voice tests to determine which section they should join.  Both turned out to be top tenors.

 

We are delighted to announce that after going into the back room, again with Siân, they emerged having passed their second voice tests to become full members of the choir, which now makes 84 members eligible to sing in concerts.

 

Many congratulations to both of you and we are sure we are the only Male Voice Choir to have three brothers in the top tenors at the same time!  Anyone car to contradict?

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South African Anthem

As most of you know we’ll be singing at the Wales – South Africa game on 29th November at the Millenium Stadium.

 

The choir is very busy practising all the pieces we have to sing including the South African National Anthem

 

If you click on the link below it will take you to a You tube page which plays it quite slowly and may help with pronunciation in practice.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI3QBNctBTQ&app=desktop

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