Category Archives: 2017

Glad I can still do this, Bill Nash.

 

Happy New Year to all our Choir Web site fans fans.

I am so glad that for the past five consecutive years I have reported that on January 9th it was Bill Nash’s birthday.  This time it was his 95th!

Still a stalwart of the choir for about 46 to 47 years he turns up at most practices to take his place in the front row bass section and long may this continue.

Made an honorary vice president a couple of years ago Bill still surprises us with his expert knowledge of our music and is never shy from commenting and advising when necessary.

I hope on behalf of the Choir that you had a splendid birthday and that you continue to have many more.

The photo shows Bill in his bow tie (just in case you confuse him with Karl Gregory in the polo shirt) at the afterglow following the Gala concert in September 2017.

Choir sings at Cherry Tree Nursing Home

Last night, 21st December the choir was pleased, as part of its Christmas programme to visit the Cherry Tree Nursing Home in Caldicot to entertain the residents and staff with a range of Christmas Carols from its programme. Conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry the choir invited the audience to join in with the singing of favourites such as O Come all ye faithful, Christmas Time again is here, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and God Rest You Merry Gentlemen.
 
The Choir also sang Joy to the World, A Christmas Medley of four well known songs including Jingle Bells, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Sleigh Bells Ringing and A Child is a King. The widely appreciated evening was finalised with Big Crosby’s ‘I’m Dreamin’ of a White Christmas’ before the Choir were treated to refreshments of traditional mince pies and a welcome glass of warming sherry.
 
Following the concert the choir walked around to retired chorister Colin Jones’ home to sing a few carols for him. Colin is unable to get out of the house much due to ill health and after serving in the choir continually for over 50 years he misses it very much. He showed his appreciation by a massive thumbs up and every chorister present shook his hand, even the new members who didn’t know him personally.
 
Afterwards the choristers entertained the patrons of the Haywain public house which is a favourite watering hole of many of the choir.
 
Photographs by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on images to enlarge

Choristers consume Colleen’s Christmas Cake

 

The final choir practice before Christmas last night saw Colleen Gauntlett come into the Choir hall with her present for all the choir in the form of a home made, decorated, giant sponge cake. This was, as is usual with all the cakes she makes, eagerly devoured by the choristers on the night (including those with diabetes – naughty).

Colleen has often, in the past 5 years brought in a cake to celebrate special occasions like Christmas, St David’s Day or her husband’s (my) birthday. Her most famous cakes were the five fruit cakes made for the 50th Anniversary which modelled many of the choristers and the Choir badge in 3 dimensions. Her cakes are always appreciated by the choristers, many of whom take a piece home for their wives, although I understand some wives didn’t get piece.

The photo shows Chris Richards, John Nicholson, Colleen Gauntlett, Chris Nolan , Stephen Berry and David Hennesey  waiting for their slice.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone.

Choristers sing at Ancient White Hart Inn

Photo by Colleen Gauntlett

Described in the poem ‘Usk’ by T.S. Eliot, the 15th century, family run White Hart Village Inn in Llangybi once owned by Henry VIII and part of his dowry to Jane Seymour, has in its long history echoed to the sound of the chants of Cistercian Monks and to the tramp of Cromwellian army boots. Nothing however has compared to the sounds of Caldicot Male Voice Choir when it turned up to entertain the patrons and diners with its Christmas carolling on December 15th.

Standing with their backs to an ancient 15th century fireplace, complete with a Priest hole the choir, accompanied and directed by Stephen Berry, entertained with a collection of songs and Carols recently performed at its concerts with local Caldicot schools. The programme included ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ sung to the rousing hymn tune ‘Llanfair’, the Christmas hit ‘Silver Bells’ sung by so many including Bing Crosby, Matt Monroe and Perry Como, the ancient carol, ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’, the Russian drinking and dance song ‘Casatschok’, a Christmas medley which included ‘Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, ‘A Child is a King’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’ sung to the familiar tune ‘Scarlet Ribbons’.

This was followed by a range of community carol singing, enthusiastically joined in by regular patrons and visitors alike, with none more so than the proprieter’s young son, 8 year old Zaki. The singing included seasonal favourites ‘O Come all ye faithful’, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, ‘The First Nowell’, ‘Good King Wenceslas’ and ‘Silent Night’ in which Zaki delightfully and confidently sang the first verse.

During the break in performances the choir was treated to a fabulous feast of festive refreshments including mulled wine provided by the proprietor, Khaled Shalaby. Many thanks for inviting us and looking after us so well.

The evening was rounded off until the arrival of the bus with a session of ‘Afterglow’ singing thoroughly enjoyed by all of the late night diners and village regulars.

 

Second School Christmas Concert of the Year with Castle Park Primary School

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on images to enlarge

The Festive Season continued in its full spirit when Caldicot Male Voice Choir carolling concerts with a local school continued with the invitation to the children of Years 5 and 6 of Castle Park Primary School to join in an evening of cheerful carolling to an audience of over 100 beaming parents, grandparents aunts, uncles and over fifty choristers on Thursday 14th December.  The first surprise was that an unexpected return visit by Santa Claus thrilled and delighted the children who had already taken to the stage.

Introduced nervelessly by Mason of Year 6, the children gave an enthusiastic and talented performance of a wide range of poems and carols, opening with ‘Here we come a Wassailing’ (introduced by Violet) which is an old English word for ‘a toast’ – Cheers!  This rousing number was followed by Sharima’s introduction of  ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ to which the audience joined in but needed picture cards to remind them of each gift brought by their true love. Cian then told us that Year 5 will sing Welsh folk tune ‘Sospan Fach’ and Cody introduced Year 6 to give a rendition of the poem ‘Colonel Fazackerley’ which tells of his meeting with a ghost which invited himself to Christmas dinner. Summer of Year 5 introduced ‘Something is happening’ a song telling of the story of Christmas and then Anoushka also of year 5 the singing of the traditional ‘Away in a Manger’ in which Evieanna, Brooke and Gracie delightfully sang the first verse.

In a change from the usual concert dress uniform of blazers and greys Caldicot Male Voice Choir took to the stage in colourful Seasonal attire and fancy dress of decorative pullovers and Santa hats.  The Choir’s first half programme, conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson included favourites ‘Casatchok’, ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ sung to the hymn tune Llanfair, ‘A Christmas Medley’, ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’.

Following an interlude Caldicot Male Voice Choir returned to the stage to sing their version of hit ‘Silver Bells’ sung by many including Bing Crosby, Doris Day, John Denver, Johnny Mathis and many others, ancient carol ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ played in Supermarkets everywhere, ‘Joy to the World’, Bing Crosby’s famous Christmas song ‘I’m Dreamin’ of a White Christmas’ and finishing with a humorous rendition of ‘The Carol Singers’,  originally written for the male choristers of Manchester Cathedral is a parody of the world’s worst carol singers in which they are finally arrested and jailed by policeman ‘old Bob Bates’ characterised by top tenor Bob Doggett.

Evieanna of Castle Park School Choir welcomed us all back to the second half performance when the choir continued to entertain us with a mix of ”Mary’s Boy Child’, sung to a swing time rhythm and a cheerful ‘Santa Clause’ introduced by Year 6 pupil, Naveah. Kyle then said that the words of a simple song were changed to make it Christmassy – ‘I Wanna Hear Bells’  We certainly did – it was that loud but wonderfully sung.  In contrast, Cieran told us that their version of ‘Silent Night’ which followed was challenging because the last verse ‘Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht’ was sung in German. Well done for a perfect performance.  ‘The true meaning of Christmas’ was told in a poem written by Tom Krause and introduced by Mason of Year 5 before the wonderful performances of the children were finalised by Noah of Year 6 with the loud hand clapping and foot stamping which came as an enjoyable and integral part of  the invitation to ‘Come on and Celebrate’.  It was a good job the staging was sturdy enough to stand up to over 50 children stamping as hard as they could to the rhythm.

The evening closed with a finale of Caldicot Male Voice Choir, Castle Park Primary School and all the audience joining in with the well known favourite ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’

The evening was a great success enjoyed by all and was a reflection of all the hard work put in by the weekly practice of Castle Park Primary School Choir,  Their musical team of Mr M Jones, Mrs S. Wilcher and Mrs T. Withey, together with head teacher Mrs Kay Ford can be rightly and justly proud of their pupils.  Many thanks must be extended to the School’s PTA who provided the refreshments and organised the raffle. Tribute must also be paid to all those choristers who helped set up the hall beforehand and to chorister Leon Jones who provided and set up the Christmas trees and decorations.

 

Carolling Choristers join with Rogiet Primary School for concert

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on images to enlarge

Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s hectic Christmas season sounded off with a wonderful combination of Christmas seasonal songs sung by both the Choir and children of Rogiet Primary School choir on Tuesday 12th December at Caldicot Choir Hall.  In front of a packed hall of over one hundred proud parents and over fifty Caldicot Male Voice Choir choristers, the mixed choir of 34 children, introduced by head teacher Kathryn Evans, formed up on the stage to be suddenly and ecstatically thrilled by the unexpected appearance of Santa Claus taking time off in his busy schedule to pay a special visit.   The delight on all their faces was a joy to behold matched only by the surprise on the parents’ faces.

Led by teachers Lauren Miles and Anna Cox the children opened with precise and confident versions of ‘Glory to God’ followed by rousing ‘Sing Out at Christmas’.  Traditional ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ delighted an appreciative audience and before finalising the first performance with ‘This is the Time and the Season’, seasonal poems were orated by pupils Lowri and Isobel to add a poignant touch to their first half.

In a change from the usual concert dress uniform of blazers and greys Caldicot Male Voice Choir took to the stage in colourful Seasonal attire and fancy dress of decorative pullovers and Santa hats.  The Choir’s first half programme, conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson included favourites ‘Casatchok’, ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ sung to the hymn tune Llanfair, ‘O Holy Night’ with soloist Sian Hatton, ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’.

Following an interlude Caldicot Male Voice Choir returned to the stage to sing their version of the Perry Como hit ‘Silver Bells’, ancient carol ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’, ‘Joy to the World’, Bing Crosby’s famous Christmas song ‘I’m Dreamin’ of a White Christmas’ and finishing with a humorous rendition of ‘The Carol Singers’, a parody of the world’s worst carol singers in which they are finally arrested and jailed by policeman ‘old Bob Bates’ characterised by accompanist and choir chairman John Nicholson.

Rogiet School Choir again took to the the stage to entertain us with a mix of ‘Who is the Man in the Bright Red Suit’, ‘Half the World Away’ and ‘Jingle Bells’, delightfully read poems by William and Cerys and finalising a wonderful performance ‘Yeah! Tomorrow’s Christmas’, ‘Christmas is a Magical Time’ and completing with ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’  Following a standing ovation and well deserved tributes from Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s musical team, the finale was a fabulous action packed, joint version of ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ in which one of the highlights was the joining in with the children of all the actions by Caldicot’s youngest members Sam Atkins and Liam Evans who had the advantage of being former pupils of Rogiet School and helped teach the children all the actions beforehand.

The evening was a great success enjoyed by all and was a reflection of all the hard work put in by the weekly practice of Rogiet Junior School Choir and many thanks must be extended to the School’s PTA who provided the refreshments and organised the raffle. Tribute must also be paid to all those choristers who helped set up the hall beforehand and to chorister Leon Jones who provided and set up the Christmas trees and decorations.

 

Choir Sings for Lady Golfers at St Pierre

 

 

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett

 

The Choir gave up its normal practice night to travel just down the road from its Choir Hall in Caldicot to the Marriott Resort, St Pierre Golf Club where it happily sang a collection of songs to the Ladies section of the St. Pierre Golf Club at their Annual Dinner on November 23rd.

Conducted by Musical Director Siân Hatton and accompanied by John Nicholson, the Choir’s selection included popular Welsh favourites; ‘Cwm Rhondda (Bread of Heaven)’, ‘Rachie’ and ‘Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn’. The entertainment for the ladies over their teas and coffees also included the Choir’s versions of ‘The Impossible Dream’ from the musical Man of La Mancha, American folk song. ‘Shenandoah’ and the German drinking song ‘Aus der Traube in die Tonne’.  The Choir finalised its programme with the greatly appreciated Welsh modern song ‘O Gymru’ in which Siân Hatton took the solo part.

The Choir, to be joined by many of the Ladies, retired to the neighbouring bar for appreciated refreshments and a follow up of ‘Afterglow’ singing led by chorister David Gould.  The only regret expressed by the ladies was that time did not permit a longer performance but all agreed that it was wonderful contribution to a fabulous evening.

Choristers invite Vice Presidents to the Choir Hall

Last Monday 13th November saw the Choir Hall play host to invited vice presidents of Caldicot Male Voice Choir. The Choir has about 80 Vice-presidents who donate funds and support us in all our charity work, events and concerts. A cheese and wine party preceded a short concert conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson and an evening of ‘Afterglow singing’ which gave the VP’s an opportunity to renew old friendships and meet the Choir President and members of the committee and choristers. Short presentations were given by President Michael Shere-Massey, chairman John NIcholson and PRO Lyn Gauntlett

The Choir gave an appreciated short concert of recently learned pieces before a far less formal singing of favourite Afterglow songs. Everyone agreed it was an enjoyable occasion and are keen to see it become a regular event. The support of vice-presidents is essential and is truly appreciated by the Choir and if you would like to become one, please contact any member of the choir or through our web site.

Photograph by Colleen Gauntlett

The Race Night is coming back

 

Many of you have been wondering when is the Choir going to have another Race Night? Well, the good news is that it will be on Friday January 26th 2018. Please contact Ron Powell if you would like to sponsor a race, a horse or get a ticket for the night. Cost is £8 and includes refreshments. This long standing event has been a great success over the years and we’re sure this will not be an exception.

Old friends share the same 85th Birthday

 

Last month we were delighted to have wished long serving choristers and close friends, baritone Tom Hole on the left and bass John Wyson very many happy returns on celebrating their 85th birthdays on October 29th.  Both were born many miles but only hours apart. John was born in Malta and lived there during the German bombings during World War 2 but we’re not sure where Tommy was chiselled out.  We wish them many more shared birthdays together.

This photo was taken at the funeral service of much loved vice president Margaret Moss at Cirencester Baptist Church on 30th October 2017.

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