Now the painting is finished !

After all the hard work at the weekend it was time for the carpets to be brought back to life. AGS Carpet Cleaning were called in to action and did a great job. Nicky and her team did themselves proud as they washed and scrubbed with machines and various liquids to rejuvenate the carpets back to their former sparkle. Highly recommend them, look them up online.

and to go with the new paint scheme…..

Choir Hall Maintenance Weekend

On a bright Saturday morning the hall was opened up for the start of the maintenance plan drawn up by Leon Jones. A willing group of choristers, and choristers wives, turned out to rejuvenate the hall and carry out some essential maintenance.  As you will see from the pictures below, the committee had previously agreed to trying a new colour scheme in the small rehearsal room before progressing to the Main hall.  We think it looks great and brightens up the room, especially with the new LED lights.

Some necessary work was carried out in the beer cellar to keep the beer flowing !

The bar area, shelving and lighting had a refresh..

 

Meanwhile a lot of work was done on the grounds too…even in the rain !!

Our uniform room had a makeover…wow…. it looks great now !!

Floors got scrubbed…

And of course….there were tea breaks !!!!

and more tea breaks………!

Huge thank you to the ladies who provided the workforce with bacon and sausage rolls on Saturday and sandwiches and cakes on Sunday.

To all those who helped out in any way…. thank you for helping to keep the choir hall maintained and looking as good now as it did 20 years ago.  To those who couldn’t make it this time….see you next time !!

Fabulous Gala Concert with Risca Male Choir

 

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

Those of you who go to Caldicot Leisure Centre in Mill Lane cannot fail to see Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s Choir Hall with it’s bright red badge above the entrance.  This magnificent hall was opened in 1996 through funds raised by the choristers and grants at that time. To celebrate the opening, three local choirs, Risca, Cwmbran and Blaenavon were invited to Caldicot to perform in a special inaugural Gala concert. The start of the tradition of annual Gala concerts.

Caldicot was thrilled that 22 years years later, Risca Male Choir accepted the invitation to return to perform in Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s 22nd Gala concert on September 8th at the Leisure Centre where the capacity audience of over 400 was presented with one of the best Gala performances for many years. Introduced by the professional performance throughout of compère and host Dean Powell Caldicot, conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson and including about 15 who were at the inaugural Gala, opened proceedings with resounding ‘Men of Harlech’ to be followed by varying styles of ‘Mansions of the Lord’, haunting ‘Tangnefeddwyr’, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ by Malotte, spiritual ‘Ride the Chariot’ and the premiere performance by Caldicot of ‘The Prayer’, a beautiful song much of which is sung in Italian.

Risca followed, conducted by new Musical Director Tomos Gwyn and accompanied by Alison Thomas with a range of song styles including vigorous ‘Gloria’, the beautiful Rudyard Kipling inspired ‘Seal Lullaby’, spiritual ‘Goin’ up a Yonder’ to be followed by tributes to the First World War dead, the poem ‘In Flander’s Fields’ and the poem by Robert Binyon ‘For the Fallen’ with the words ‘They shall not grow old…..’,  Risca choir included about ten members who were part of the first Gala Concert.

Taking to the stage after the interval, Risca presented us with contrasting styles of the famous ‘O Danny Boy’, rhythmic ‘Gonna Rise Up Singing’, ‘Hiraeth’ expressing the virtues of the particularly Welsh emotion of longing. Included was the soft, Welsh lullaby ‘Si Hei Lwli ‘Mabi’, Anfonaf Angel and patriotic ‘O Gymru’, extolling the virtues of Wales.

Showing off the range of songs sung by Welsh male choirs, Caldicot presented a varied second half programme of ‘African Prayer’ based on the South African National Anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’I Africa but sung in both Xhosa and Welsh, a now firm favourite the memorable words of ‘A Miner’s Song’, a foot tapping copy of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s ‘Sixteen Tons’, the tragic love story of Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn and finally the most famous of all Welsh hymns, ‘Cwm Rhondda’.

Both Choirs combined on stage for about 100 voices to sing the famous all time favourite hymn, ‘When I Survey the Wond’rous Cross’ sung to the tune ‘Morte Criste’ as a finale.  Amazing!

There is no doubt that the audience, including special guests Jessica Morden MP, Peter Clarke, chairman of Monmouthshire County Council and councillors Alan Davies, David Evans, Tony Easson, Jim Higginson representing Caldicot wards, Rev. Preben Andersen of Caldicot Methodist Church, Dr Haydn James, musical director of the Welsh Rugby Union and Wales and British Lions Rugby legend Gerald Davies in his capacity as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire, was absolutely thrilled with the evening of tremendous Male Voice Choir singing by two of Wales’ leading choirs. A night to remember!

Many thanks to all who helped in the creation and organisation of such a wonderful concert.

 

Another two new choristers join our ranks

The word must be going around about how good it is to be a chorister in Caldicot Male Voice Choir because another two walked in the door last week.

Earl Harvey lives in Caldicot and was encouraged to come along by his neighbour, chorister Dave Hennesey to join and we’rs so glad he did.  After listening to us for the first half of a practice he immediately offered to go into the back room with Siân to go through his first voice test.  He came out to the announcement that he is a very welcome top tenor.  Earl is retired but spent many years as a court usher to Gwent Magistrates, so I’m sure he’s shown many of you the door in his time.

Similarly, new entrant Alasdair Stewart also did his first voice test and emerged from the back room as an equally welcome second tenor.  Stewart is the son of former chorister Ron Stewart who emigrated to Canada where Alasdair was born,  He has recently returned and lives in Cladicot and works in Lydney.

A very warm welcome to both and we’re sure they will enjoy every moment of being in the choir.

Birdie Boys off for a round at St Pierre

Photographs by Ron Ashton, Colleen Gauntlett and Lyn Gauntlett

Caldicot Choir’s golfers, The Birdie Boys not only tweet and twitter in the choir, they and their friends play a round of Golf or two to raise funds for Charities.  Last Saturday 23 of them came along to the St Pierre Marriott Golf resort near Chepstow to play on the Mathern Course in a special Golf Day to help Caldicot Male Voice Choir continue to raise funds for good causes through its concert activities.

While trying to emulate the achievements of past winners on this course such as Jacklin, Woosnam, Langer, Ballasteros and Gallagher, six teams of four started off from the clubhouse and hotel and after a marathon 5 mile walk (although some went by buggy) through the links while trying to get a little white ball down a sequence of 18 holes, they all managed to get back to the hotel by about 5-30pm.

The eventual winners of the event organised by choristers Maurice Penny, Tony Griffiths and Alyn Dawe was a team from the Choir captained by chorister Tony Griffiths and guest golfers Mike Griffiths, Chris Orum and Dale Harris. Birdie Boys captain on the day, Alyn Dawe presented the intrepid four with a magnificent trophy, donated by The Birdie Boys golfers  Second place was a team of choristers represented by captain Dave Gould, Paul Thomas, Ron Powell and Mark Stocker. Third place was another team of choristers; Tom Hole, David Hennesey, Alyn Dawe and Jason Dawe. Nearest the pin on the 5th hole – Chris Orum, nearest the pin on the 18th – Dale Harris and finally, longest drive on the 17th – chorister Karl Gregory.

Following the fish and chip supper and the presentations of awards by Birdie Boys captain Alyn Dawe, a raffle with prizes on the night and sponsorship of each of the 18 holes and pins raised about £700. The main sponsors were Flexi-Print, Gambia Horse and Donkey charity, JAGA transport, Ray’s Garden Services, Blood Bikes Wales, MPS, The Tredegar Arms, Shirenewton and Timothy Taylor’s Brewery not to mention several individual sponsorships.

A fabulous day of golf was enjoyed by everyone in perfect weather conditions.

Long serving chorister passes away

 

The Choir was saddened to learn at practice on 23rd August 2018 that long serving, retired baritone chorister Doug King sadly passed away on Monday 20th August 2018 after a long illness. This photograph was taken at Bingham Hall in Cirencester on September 29th 2012.

Doug retired in 2014 after about 40 years service to the choir. Following his retirement Doug was awarded an Honorary Vice Presidency and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Concert in 2016 by John Griffiths AM and Music Director Siân Hatton.

He was a calm, quiet gentleman, rarely ruffled who always had a smile on his face. Although his seat at the choir in the centre of the baritones has been taken by others he is still missed as a loyal and respected chorister.

Our condolences and sympathy go out to his family and friends at this sad time. His funeral will take place at the Langstone Crematorium on Monday September 3rd, Service is at 11-30am.

22 Years since Risca Male Choir at the opening of Caldicot Choir Hall

Photo by Colleen Gauntlett

 

In 1996 work was completed on building the brand new, purpose built, magnificent Choir Hall in Caldicot.  Owned and funded by Caldicot Male Voice Choir with help from local authorities and the National Lottery grants, the building’s completion was marked by holding a Gala Concert to which Risca, Blaenavon and Cwmbran Male Choirs were invited to join Caldicot in a feast of wonderful Welsh male choral singing. Since then a Gala concert to which another choir or musical group is invited has been held each year to remember this auspicious occasion .

In the past, Blaenavon and Cwmbran Male Choirs have returned to the Choir Hall and now, after a gap of 22 years Caldicot Male Voice Choir is thrilled and delighted to invite Risca Male Choir once again to its Gala concert.  Risca is arguably one of the leading choirs in Wales and together with Caldicot, fresh from its acclaimed appearances recently at the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace are sure to give a give a fantastic evening’s entertainment.

We are also pleased to welcome back for the fourth time the talented, humorous, witty and extremely choir knowledgeable, Dean Powell to host the concert.

The concert is at Caldicot Leisure Centre in Mill Lane Caldicot on Saturday September 8th and doors open at 6-30 pm.  Tickets are £10 each from Alan Pearce on 01291 422005 in advance, from the Leisure Centre, from any chorister or at the door on the night.

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is always keen to welcome potential new members so if are interested in starting a new hobby, learn new skills and make new friends then please take a look at our web site www.caldicotmalevoicechoir.co.uk or visit the choir hall on any Monday or Thursday night from 7 pm.

Risca Male Choir Joins us for Gala Concert

 

Following on from its recent appearances at The Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace in May, Caldicot Male Voice Choir is making a welcome return to The Leisure Centre in Caldicot on September 8th at 7-00 pm for its Gala concert with guest choir, Risca Male Choir. Also making a welcome return is our compere for the evening, Dean Powell. The poster says it all so make a note in your diaries and be there for a great evening of musical and comedy entertainment. Where else can you get to see and hear two of Wales’ leading choirs on the same stage?

Choir Sings at local Wedding

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett. Left Click to Enlarge

 

 

On a glorious Summer Saturday 4th August, over 50 members of Caldicot Male Voice Choir made the short journey to St Mary Virgin Church in Caldicot to take part in the celebration and service of the wedding of Caroline Nash to Andrew Bundock.  Caroline is a teacher at Castle Park Primary School in Caldicot and has heard the choir sing before at its recent Christmas Concert at the choir hall when it shared the stage with the wonderful school choir.  Andrew works locally as a civil servant and the couple have been together for nineteen years before tying the knot.

Prior to the marriage service, conducted by Rev Richard Terrado-Reardon, the choir entertained the waiting congregation with favourites Anfonaf Angel, On the Street Where You Live from ‘My Fair Lady, Wise Men Say (Only Fools Rush In), made famous by Elvis Presley and Let it be me, recorded by the Everley Brothers.  The Choir was conducted by Musical Director  Siân Hatton and accompanied on keyboard by John Nicholson.

Hymns sung and joined in enthusiastically by the Caldicot choir included ‘Lord of All Hopefulness,’ ‘Give Me Joy in My Heart’ and not forgetting a must at weddings ‘Love Divine, all loves excelling’.  The church organist for the wedding was the choirs other accompanist Stephen Berry. The hymns and service were interspersed with a Bible reading from Corinthians delighfullyr read by Catherine Stephens and a beautiful, poignant poem, written by the Bride, Caroline and read by Anna Melling as a tribute to the life she had already spent with her new husband Andrew .

During the signing of the register, the choir further entertained the wedding guests with renderings of modern Welsh song ‘Yfory’, expressing the promise of ‘tomorrow’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’ made famous by Westlife, Josh Groban and many others.

Finally the newlyweds walked down the aisle to the refrains of the much loved Welsh Hymn ‘Calon Lân’ sung by the choir and accompanied by Stephen Berry on the church organ and then, in what is becoming a wedding tradition with the choir, to have their photograph taken outside the church with the choristers in the background while singing Calon Lân.

 

Choir Sings for Severn View Garden

 

A selection of photographs taken by Colleen Gauntlett
Caldicot Male Voice Choir is proud of its long history of raising funds for good causes and on Saturday 21st July it saw the culmination of its main 2017 Fund Raising project, suggested by chorister Alyn Dawe to help build a Sensory Garden at the Severn View Residential Home in Mounton Road, Chepstow.
 
To quote Project Leader Maureen Jenkins.
 
“At Severn View Residential Home in Chepstow we care for, and support 32 people; most of whom are living with dementia. Whilst dementia can be a cruel disease, we do know that it is possible to live well with this disease. An important part of this is having free, safe and open access to outside spaces to be busy gardening, spend time alone or with friends and feel the sun and wind on your face. In a world of confusion, sometimes fear and often sadness a garden specially designed for those suffering with dementia can be a healing place that promotes well-being. We would like to be able to “open the doors” and see our residents faces when they go out to a safe, secure and beautiful garden.”
 
“Among the many contributors to help create the garden were Chepstow Lions, Chepstow Masons, Tesco (Chepstow),Tesco Bags of Help, Caldicot Male Voice Choir, Gwent Constabulary, Community Sponsorship, Chepstow Town council, Chepstow Townswomen’s Guild, Steve Bushell and Quest Construction, The families of the residents past and present who have helped and those who continue to do so. Tribute must be paid in particular to Rachael Davies for her tireless, devoted work to create the garden supported by Rob Campbell, Anne Masters and recently Andy Herbert.”
 
Through various events throughout 2017, Caldicot Male Voice Choir and its associated cycle club, golf society and supporters raised over £4500 to enable a magnificent Summer House and other structures around the garden to be built. Events included a St. David’s Day concert, a Quiz Night, a Table top sale, the now annual Redwick Cycle Challenge and a sponsored long distance cycle ride from Hay on Wye to Caldicot in pouring rain. The Choir’s Golf Society raised about £1000 with a golf tournament at the St Pierre Golf Club.
 
At the Garden party to celebrate the opening of the Garden, the Choir together with entertainers, the extremely talented and humorous ‘The Pashy Pops’ duo singing popular songs from the Forties and Fifties, and the amazing Severn Tunnel Band. The Choir, conducted by Siân Hatton and accompanied by John Nicholson assembled in front of the Summer House to entertain the residents and guests to a range of songs including Rachie, Llef, Somewhere out there and rousing Stout Hearted Men much to the delight of everyone involved.
 
To see the beautiful garden in all its Summer glory and to see the smiles of delight on the residents guaranteed that all the Choir’s and other supporters to create the wonderful garden was time and effort well spent.
 
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