Category Archives: 2019

Choir Entertains the Residents of Cherry Trees

On Thursday 19th December, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to make its Annual visit to the Cherry Trees Nursing Home in Caldicot to entertain the residents with a bright selection of Christmas Carols.

Dressed in their colourful Christmas costumes, the Choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John NIcholson invited the audience to join in a medley of Carols including ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Hark the Herald Angels SIng’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ before presenting the choir favourites ‘Silver Bells, ‘Casatschok’ with its loud ending, ‘Shepherds watch and Wise Men Wonder’ to the tune ‘Scarlet Ribbons’, ‘Joy to the World’ before rounding rounding off with a Christmas Medley including ‘Sleigh Bells Ringing’, ‘A Child is a King’ and of course ‘Jingle Bells’. The staff of Cherry trees then provided the choristers to a welcome feast of mince pies, cup cakes and drinks, thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the choristers.

The Choir then departed to local hostelry, The Haywain to entertain the patrons with another rousing round of carol singing before enjoying a feast of Christmas Fayre and other traditional refreshments provided by the publicans.

This is my final post about the Choir’s activities over the Christmas period so may I wish you, on behalf of Caldicot Male Voice Choir a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.


Photos by Colleen Gauntlett


If after reading these you would consider taking up a new hobby in the New Year, why not come along to one of the Choir’s practice nights in Mill Lane on a Monday or Thursday evening from 7pm to see and hear us? You would be made very welcome. There is no commitment.

Choir Joins with Undy Primary School for Carol Concert

On Monday 16th December Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to welcome Undy Primary School children to join it for an Annual Christmas concert with a local School.


The Choir is always delighted to annually welcome a local School to the Choir Hall to join in a fun filled joint concert


Conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson, the concert opened with the Choir singing ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ to the tune of ‘Llanfair’ and ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’ to the tune ‘Scarlet Ribbons’.
The school choir, conducted by Sophie Skellorn and Charlotte Skinner then entertained the audience of proud parents, grandparents and friends to a wide range of Christmas songs including ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ before the Choir returned to sing ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’. A section of the Choir then sang the duet made famous by Bing Crosby and David Bowie ‘Peace on Earth and Little Drummer Boy’ combination.


The children returned in part two to entertain us with delightful versions of ‘Winter Wonder Land’, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’. Many pieces sung by the children included lively dance routines to the envy of many in Caldicot choir.


Then came the surprise of the night when Santa made a surprise visit, much to the delight and joy of the children to join in as a guest singer for Caldicot’s final performance which included ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Casatschok’, ‘Silver Bells’ and finally a Christmas Medley including Jingle Bells when the children were thrilled to be invited on stage to sing with the Choir.


A lovely evening enjoyed by all and the Choir is sure to repeat with another local school next year.


Photographs were taken by Colleen Gauntlett with the School’s permission to use the group photographs.

CHOIR GUESTS AT LYDBROOK BAND CONCERT

On a wet and windy night over 50 members of Caldicot Male Voice Choir ventured deep into the Forest of Dean to take part in a beautiful and enjoyable concert at Cinderford’s Woodfield Snooker Centre where the Choir were guest artistes of the incredible Lydbrook Band conducted by Ian Holmes.at its Christmas Concert on December 14th December.

It must also be mentioned that this was the first concert of Top tenor, Ben Walker after passing his second voice test on December 9th.

The concert opened with the band playing an Overture of Berlioz’s ‘The Corsair’ and followed with a solo tenor horn performance of ‘Over the Rainbow’ by talented Tom Goodman. This was followed by a performance of a new arrangement of the ‘Countryfile theme’ by Guy James for Brass Bands in which the band featured in the TV programme earlier this on October 21st this year

The Choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson presented in its first half, ‘African Prayer’, possibly the most famous of all Welsh Hymns, ‘Calon Lan’ and Robat Owen’s ‘Benedictus’, sung by the choir in the famous St Mary’s Basilica in Krakow in June this year. The performance featured Bob Dylan’s ‘Make you Feel My Love’ which was accompanied not only by John Nicholson on piano but by Leon Jones, his first public performance of this piece on guitar.

The highly talented Lydbrook Band continued with a ‘Balkan Dance’, accompanied the audience in ‘The First Nowell’ and to begin the second part, a wonderful ‘Christmas Confection’

The Choir carried on the Christmas theme in their festive hats to include ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen,’ Shepherd’s watch and Wise Men Wonder’ to the tune ‘Strawberry Fair’, and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’. The Choir finalised with the song made famous and covered by many artistes since Bing Crosby ‘Silver Bells’.

The fabulous concert, enjoyed by over 300 in the audience finalised with the Band playing a medley of Christmas tunes including ‘Away in Manger’, with soloist, Flugel Horn player Tracey Moss and ended with the accompaniment to the audience and choir singing ‘Jingle Bells’.

A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas concert which delighted everyone who took part or watched and listened in the audience.

Choristers consume Colleen’s celebratory Christmas Cake

Colleen prepares to cut the cake for eager choristers

It’s become a tradition at Christmas time at Caldicot Male Voice Choir that Colleen Gauntlett presents the choir with a special Christmas cake as a gift in appreciation of all the friendship, hard work and entertainment the Choristers and Musical Team have provided over the past year.

At practice on 12th December, the Choir enjoyed a fabulous, hand crafted, 10 inch square, three layered, red iced cake featuring six ‘Naughty Elves’ as the theme with a traditional chocolate and orange flavour. Eagerly devoured by the Choir within minutes during the interval, the choristers, led by Assistant Musical Director, Shirley-Anne James showed their appreciation with rapturous applause and cheers much to Colleen’s embarrassment because she had a mouthful of cake at the time!

Colleen would also like to make it known that any resemblance of an elf to any chorister is purely coincidental.The choristers also appreciated that there was enough left for a piece to be taken home to their wives as well.

There’s a lot more than singing in Caldicot Male Voice Choir so if you are interested in joining please come along to a concert or a practice night at the hall in Mill Lane (near the Leisure Centre) on any Monday or Thursday evening (except Bank Holidays and Christmas period).

Fabulous Choir Christmas Party

Photo by Lyn Gauntlett

CALDICOT CHOIR CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS IN PUGWASH PANTO STYLE

Caldicot Male Voice Choir held a fabulous, really enjoyable Christmas Party and Pantomime on December 6th when the Choristers not only settled down to enjoy a really festive evening but also provided all the guests to an amazing evening of entertainment,

With master of ceremonies, Stephen Dance, this included Christmas Songs by members of the Choir, community Carol singing led by Shirley Anne James, an amusing solo Russian drinking song called ‘The Kretchma’ acted out by chorister Andy Friedman and frantic and enjoyable rounds of ‘Pass the Parcel’ well remembered from childhood days.

Written and directed by Ron Powell, practiced over many weeks, in total secrecy, the Choir’s entertainment contribution culminated in a highly humorous Pantomime version of ‘Captain Pugwash’ and his crew’s battle with ‘Cut-throat Jake’ to see who goes to the Christmas Party. The characters are: top row, left to right: Garry Keeble, Dave Gould, Bob Brown, Stuart Parry, Darren Lloyd, Paul Thomas, Grahame Morton, Ron Powell, Russ Woodward, Anthony Griffiths. From row, left to right: Roger Matthews, Shirley Anne James (the crew insisted Shirl be in the photo), Karl Gregory, Chris Nolan and Rob Stallard as Madam Lafayette.

A raffle held to raise more funds for The UK Sepsis Trust raised about £270 bringing the total so far, announced by Anthony Griffiths, to over £6000 this year.

Following the Choir’s entertainment the evening culminated in disco dancing until the close.

This shows that not only is there concert male voice singing while being part of a choir but there is a fantastic active social life with loads of fun as well.

Many thanks to all who made the evening a great success including bar manager David Kirton and staff, entertainments manager Ron Powell and organiser Anthony Griffiths. The evening would also not have been possible without the sterling work of the ’10 o’clock team for setting up the hall and clearing up afterwards. Thanks also to Leon Jones, who with others put up the Christmas decorations.

A special mention must go to Emma from ‘A Touch of Welsh Elegance’ for an incredible job of dressing the tables and chairs for the Choir which no doubt added a rare touch of elegance to one of our parties.

Choir sings in freezing weather in Caldicot Town Centre

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett

On a freezing November 29th when the temperature was below 3 degrees, over 45 choristers of Caldicot Male Voice Choir braved the elements and took to the stage in Caldicot Town Centre to warm up and delight the crowd who had come to join in the festivities of switching on the Christmas Lights in the town.


Dressed in their best Christmas jumpers and hats the choristers, conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Sian Hatton entertained the bystanders by opening with the rousing ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ sung to the tune Llanfair, followed by stirring Christmas carols including ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’, ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and it’s own version of ‘Silver Bells’ recorded by many including Bing Crosby, Michael Buble,Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Elvis Presley but was originally sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the 1951 film ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’


The Choir ended its choral renditions with the Cossack foot tapping, dancing song ‘Casatschok’ and a cheerful medley of Yuletide favourites before announcing loudly that ‘It’s Christmas Time!’. Many choristers then made their way to a nearby local hostelry for a warming cup of chocolate (or so I’m told).

Testing times at Jayne’s Quiz Night

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is well known for the quality and variety of its Social nights and Concerts at the Choir Hall and Friday 22nd November was no exception when it played host to a fabulous, enjoyable but testing Quiz Night with a difference. Organised by Jayne Stallard, wife of chorister Rob Stallard, the questions raised tested the brain power and memory skill of about 70 participants in teams of up to 6.

Apart from the usual Pub Style Quiz questions with a Christmas theme to start, the Quiz strained the powers of the audience with picture testers, music memory of 20 songs and really difficult split face matching of 15 faces. This part of the evening was won by an anonymous team calling themselves ‘The Cheesy Wotsits’ who scored an incredible 85 points.
Not only that but a second part to the evening involved a separate, entertaining and amusing Family Fortunes style quiz won by a group consisting of Linda and Ron Powell, Davina and Gareth Thomas and Beverley and Darren Lloyd. Ron, Gareth and Darren are all members of the Bass and Baritone sections of the choir.

A raffle assisted by quiz adjudicator Gaynor Hudson was also held with prizes donated by David and Coral Kirton, JIm and Janice Olds and others to help with the fund raising which assists the choir in carrying out its charity and concert work.

Many thanks to those who assisted in setting up the hall and to bar staff, choristers David Kirton, Graham Hughes and Robert Doggett

Photographs by Colleen Gauntlett and Lyn Gauntlett

Choir pays tribute to Vice Presidents with Cheese and Wine

Photo by Colleen Gauntlett

The choir is fortunate in that it has over seventy Vice Presidents who by their help and contributions, play a major part in not only enabling the Choir to carry on with its fund raising efforts for charities, bring male choral music to so many in the country but also in maintaining the superb Choir Hall in Caldicot, used by so many in the town.

Every Charity organisation that raises funds needs support and Caldicot Male Voice Choir is no exception. Choir members have raised over £45000 for charities and local good causes in the past six years not counting the many thousands raised by its concert appearances.

As a tribute and expression of gratitude to our Vice President supporters, the Choir invited them to a cheese and wine party at the Choir Hall on November 21st. Having raised over £5400 for the UK Sepsis Trust (Wales) this year, the Choir will be supporting the Welsh Ambulance appeal in 2020 and was delighted to welcome local Welsh Air Ambulance representative Leisa Wilkins to the evening.

Following an introduction and welcome by chairman John Nicholson the evening opened with a video showing the major events of 2019 including the Annual concert, the tour of Krakow in Poland and the tribute to King Goodwill, King of the Zulu Nation in Brecon Barracks.

This was followed by a short concert to the appreciative audience. Conducted by Siȧn Hatton, Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson, the Choir presented some of the songs being practiced for the Royal Albert Hall appearance in 2021 and Christmas Carols from its seasonal repertoire.

If you would like to become a Vice President of Caldicot Male Voice Choir or even a chorister, please get in touch through our web site www.caldicotmalevoicechoir.co.uk

Round tables used to create room to move in pleasing space

The Choir has recently updated its seating arrangements by purchasing 16 round table which can seat up to ten people on each.

Not only is the arrangement more attractive but more people can be accommodated in the hall, more comfortably and wioth more space to move around.

Augmented by purpose made white table cloths the photograph, taken by Rob Stallard shows the first set up in preparation for the visit by Barry Male Voice Choir on 26th October 2019

FABULOUS JOINT EVENING OF SONG WITH BARRY MVC

On the competition stage there is great rivalry between male voice choirs but away from that there is true friendship and camaraderie amongst all who share the incredible, common hobby and experience of singing in a Male Voice Choir.


This was exemplified when Barry Male Voice Choir took up the invitation of the choristers of Caldicot Male Voice Choir to join in with them at an ‘Evening of Song’ at their magnificent Choir Hall in Caldicot. The evening event was held to raise funds for The Sepsis Trust UK, Caldicot’s adopted charity this year and £542 was raised by the generosity of all who attended. This total takes the fund well over the target of £5000 for the charity.


Planned so that the evening enabled both choirs to show off their talents and expertise of choral singing, Caldicot, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson included in its appreciated pieces ‘African Prayer’, ‘Benedictus’, ‘With a Voice of Singing’, ‘Rachie’, Paul Simon’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, arranged by choir accompanist Stephen Berry and to wide acclaim premiered the Bob Dylan composition ‘Make You Feel My Love’ arranged by Sian Hatton and recently recorded by Adele,


The ‘Boys in Blue’, the visitors from Barry, conducted by Dot Connell and accompanied by James Bull further entertained the packed house of invited guests to a wide range of genres including ‘Crugybar’, ‘Au Fond du Temple Saint’ from Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, the warning to ‘Hunker Down’ at the approaching storm, ‘Eli Jenkin’s Prayer’ and the complex piece ‘Sky and Space’ which included arrangements of David Bowie’s Life on Mars and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.


The formal part ended with both choir’s combining in an assembly of over 80 voices to sing favourite hymn ‘Deus Salutis’ to the tune of Llef.
The evening continued with a superb and extensive buffet provided by Caldicot choristers’ wives and an enjoyable, rousing period of ‘Afterglow’ singing by a combination of both choirs which gave the opportunity to sing their favourite songs in a relaxed atmosphere of choral harmony.


In his final address, Barry MVC chairman David Parker expressed his congratulations and appreciation to all concerned in making this a truly memorable evening.


Photos by Colleen Gauntlett