Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s Gala Concert on September 5th was extra special this year in that our guest choir was the Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir who made their way down from the City of Spires via the M4 to be with us. Also special was that the concert was hosted by TV and radio personality Roy Noble OBE.
To a near packed house of 400 ticket holders, some 70 members of Caldicot and 30 members of Oxford Welsh took to the stage to thrill the audience with a marathon round of 24 items, four of which, including American Trilogy, Anthem (from Chess), O Gymru and finally The Rhythm of Life were sung by a combined choir of over a hundred voices.
Caldicot Male Voice Choir and the musical team of Siân Hatton, Shirley Anne James, Stephen Berry and John Nicholson included in their performance ‘A Miner’s Song’, conducted by musical director Siân Hatton in front of the composers Dan and Laura Curtis. Originally recorded by over 300 Welsh artists to raise funds for the National Miner’s Memorial, the choir’s rendition is believed to be a world premiere of this song by a single male voice choir. The comments from Dan and Laura were that it was wonderful, an incredible sound and very moving. Also sung for the first time at a major concert were the choir’s performances of ‘What would I do without my music’ and ‘California Dreamin” made famous by the Mamas and Papas. Including favourites ‘The Rose’, The Pearl Fisher’s Duet, Laudamus and our version of Somebody to Love among others the audience were given a night to remember.
Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir, conducted by Helen Swift and accompanied by Tim Croston, contrasted visually with Caldicot in their scarlet dinner suits and gave polished, precise and entertaining performances of a variety of songs including rousing Rachie and Men of Harlech contrasted with Glyn Rhosyn, lullaby Fy Mhlentyn (My Child), Benedictus and spirituals Every time I feel the spirit and Give me that old time religion. They finalised their performance with an amusing adaptation of Cyfri’r Geifr, – Counting the Goats.
Roy Noble OBE as compere, complemented the evening’s entertainment with a polished performance beginning with an introduction of special guests Jessica Morden MP, John Griffiths AM, Brian Strong, chairman of Monmouthshire County Council with other representatives of the council, David Evans, Mayor of Caldicot, Lisa Pearson representing our nominated charity for this year, The Sparkle Appeal and representatives of Serenata Ladies Choir from Magor and also Barry Male Voice Choir. With his stories, jokes, anecdotes and knowledge of the items sung Roy expertly smoothed the proceedings along throughout the evening.
Before the Welsh National anthem was sung, chairman Mark Stocker closed the proceedings by expressing thanks to all those who helped to make the Gala concert a resounding success. Retiring chorister, Aldwyn Caswell was presented with a certificate by John Griffiths AM and Siân Hatton to recognise his contribution over many years to Caldicot Male Voice Choir.
The choir was also pleased to support the Breast Cancer Care Cymru charity who raised over £200 by their bucket collection on the evening. Many thanks to those who donated to this very worthy cause.