The Choir crosses the County’s northern border to sing at Ewyas Harold

Caldicot Male Voice Choir travelled just over Monmouthshire’s northern border into Herefordshire to visit the Memorial Hall at picturesque Ewyas Harold at the head of the Golden Valley and in the lee of the Black Mountains to sing to a packed house of about 200. The concert was arranged to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford and it is understood that about £2000 was raised on the night.

Compered by Tom Williams and supported by guest artistes, fourteen year old soloist Amber Powell and guitarist/vocalist Kirsty Thomas the choir performed on stage to a wide range from its repertoire conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson.

The Choir opened with the rousing hymn tune Rachie to be followed by a selection including the spiritual Ride the Chariot with soloists David Gould and Siân Hatton, the sadly tragic folk song Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn and inspiring African Prayer’ ‘Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika’ partly sung in Welsh.

Guest artiste, fourteen year old Amber Powell delightfully sang two pieces from her musical studies ”To Sylvia’ and ‘Where ‘ere you Walk’. Following with the theme tune from ‘The Sound of Music’ Amber left the stage to appreciative, well deserved, generous applause.

The choir continued by including two premiere arrangements of ‘Calôn Lan’ and the Simon and Garfunkel hit, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Stephen Berry as well as a ‘Miner’s Song’, ‘On the Street Where You Live’ from the musical My Fair Lady and ‘Stout Hearted Men’ originally from the 1940 film ‘New Moon’ and sung by Nelson Eddy.

Talented guitarist and vocalist Kirsty Thomas, who started learning the guitar at 13 years of age, provided a contrasting and entertaining performance of ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Old No. 7’ referring to a famous brand of Kentucky Whiskey and completing with ‘A Coat of Many Colours’ made famous by Dolly Parton.

The Choir returned to the stage to finalise with its versions of ‘With a Voice of Singing’, ‘Anfonaf Angel’, the partriotic ‘O Gymru’ and the well known favourite hymn ‘When I Survey the Wond’rous Cross’ sung to the tune Morte Criste.

The concert ended with the singing of both anthems ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ and rapturous, standing ovation applause for all artistes from an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.

Health and Fitness Fayre March 23rd at the Choir Hall

This is a charity event to help The UK Sepsis Trust (Wales) to raise awareness of Sepsis to the public and within the NHS. If you’re interested in any aspect of improving your health, beauty, fitness and well being please support this event and also help to save lives. Entry is free and there will be lots on offer. This is just one event that Caldicot Male Voice Choir and its associated cycle club and Golf society will be organising to support this worthy cause during the year.

THE RACE NIGHT IS BACK ON FEBRUARY 22nd

Caldicot Male Voice Choir has a proud history of raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities and good causes through its concerts and other activities over many years.  In order to carry out this valuable community work it does of course need to raise funds for itself and to maintain its own magnificent, purpose built Choir hall in Mill Lane which serves the Caldicot Community.

For over twenty years the Choir hall has been host, not only to many concerts and social occasions but also to a fun filled Race Night and this year it is being held on 22nd February starting at  7 -00pm.  Entry is strictly by ticket only at £8 from Ron Powell and includes a buffet.  Ten races are being shown on a state of the art projection system with a 4 metre screen and a superb  sound system to make it all the more realistic.  Races are randomised so no-one has any idea of the winners. A lot of fun is promised as in the past by sponsoring horses and placing small bets in the hope of winning.  There is no chance of losing your shirt.

The evening is backed up by a raffle with fabulous prizes so please come along for a really great night if you like a day at the races! Tickets are going faster than the horses so get your quickly.

Concert at Ewyas Harold

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is looking forward to the concert at Ewyas Harold near Hereford on Saturday 16th February. It will be a fabulous concert with wonderfully talented local supporting artistes. For information the hall is near Pontrilas, mid way between Abergavenny and Hereford. Post code is HR2 0EL Pontrilas Road.

 

For choristers, the dress code is blazers and greys.

CHOIR SINGS FOR CHORISTER’S DAUGHTER AND NEW HUSBAND AT EVENING RECEPTION

Photograph taken by Colleen Gauntlett

On Saturday 26th January Caldicot Male Voice Choir sang at Lucy and Tom’s celebratory wedding evening at the Choir Hall in Caldicot following their 2 pm wedding at Caldicot Castle. Lucy is the daughter of bass chorister Paul Carlson who was introduced to husband Tom by a friend from School. Both trained as teachers but Lucy now works for Torfaen Play Services.
 
As they walked into the choir hall, the choir, conducted by Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson welcomed them in with the rousing Welsh hymn tune, ‘Rachie’, followed by melodic ‘Shenandoah’, ‘On the Street Where You Live’ from the musical My Fair Lady, Eli Jenkins Prayer from Under Milk Wood, ‘Somewhere out there’ from the Stephen Spielberg film ‘An American Tail’, The programme also included romantic Welsh modern tunes ‘Anfonaf Angel’ and ‘Yfory’ and then including the Tennessee Ernie Ford hit ‘Sixteen Tons’ and the Everley Brothers hit ‘Let it be me’ before the choir finalised to rapturous applause from the appreciative guests with the famous Welsh hymn ‘Cwm Rhondda’.
 
The guests rounded off the early part of the evening by enthusiastically playing a selection of party games such as Connect 4, Hangman, noughts and crosses, Frustration and many others from pre-digital and internet days. Caldicot Male Voice Choir would like to congratulate Tom and Lucy on their marriage and wish them every happiness in their future lives together as Mr and Mrs Leigh
 

6 Nations Rugby is Back Again at the Choir Hall

Left click on images to enlarge

All matches of The Guinness 6 Nations Rugby Championship are being shown live on the Caldicot Choir Hall”s Giant 4 metre screen again this year. Together with the Autumn Internationals played by Wales the showings have always been a great occasion in a fabulous atmosphere. Together with a fully licenced, well stocked bar, Leon’s hot dogs and rolls, even tea and coffee there’s everything you need for a great evening or afternoon of Rugby. With coloured lights, great sound, huge screen, flags and bunting, the chance to win on the first try tote, it’s the next best thing to actually being at the live stadium venues. Entry is free but we ask that only drinks purchased at the bar are consumed  – they’re very cheap at club prices so no reason to bring your own.

It all kicks off on Friday February 1st with the France v Wales game.  Doors open at 7-00 pm ready for the kick off at 8-00 pm.

All proceeds are to aid Caldicot Male Voice Choir so we trust that as many choristers and supporters as possible will come along to help out  Even if you don’t care much for Rugby, each showing is an incredible social occasion.

Choristers share their birthday with a celebratory cake

Photograph and post by Lyn Gauntlett

76 years ago on January 16th 1943 the country echoed not only to the boom of Hitler’s bombs but also to the sounds of baritone David Kirton and top tenor Peter Hanks entering the world. This has carried on for many years as they continue to be long standing choristers in Caldicot Male Voice Choir. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, Dave asked Chorister’s wife and Caldicot Male Voice Choir photographer Colleen Gauntlett to make a special cake for both as she has done on several special occasions.
 
Happy to oblige, Colleen presented her creation of a chocolate orange sponge cake complete with fondant covering and orange cream filling to the choristers on 17th January. The decorative theme showed David Kirton in his role as bar manager at the hall (as well as his many other functions) and Peter Hanks in his role as a solo tenor performer at many of the choir’s concerts. Both were thrilled to take home the hand made sugar crafted models of each.

 
The photographs show the 14 inch cake in all its glory before being, as is so often the case, eagerly devoured at a break in practice by the choir and musical team of Shirley Shirley-Anne James, Stephen Berry and John Nicholson until only crumbs remain.

Another birthday milestone for Bill Nash

 

It was with great delight and pleasure that on Monday 7th January the choir was able, once again to wish its oldest chorister a forthcoming happy birthday by enthusiastically singing the tune  ‘Happy Birthday’ to Bill Nash.

Bill will be celebrating his unbelievable 96th birthday on Wednesday 9th January which surely must make him the oldest male voice chorister in Wales still actively and regularly singing. A highlight of his year was to be presented to HRH Prince Charles when the choir was honoured to sing at the Prince’s celebration of his 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace last May.

Bottom bass Bill makes the journey to practice from the centre of Bristol to Caldicot twice a week aided by his family and is still able to make it to many of our concerts.

Bill was born in Llanharan in 1923 to later sing with his father and brothers in Llanharan Male Voice Choir and attend Cowbridge Grammar School from where he left at 16 years old to serve in the RAF before and during the second World War as an aircraft fitter. He served in North Africa, Italy, South Africa and other countries before moving to Gloucester after the war and then to Bristol in 1952 to work many years for the British Aircraft Corporation and where he has lived since. He sang in Redland Male Choir in Bristol for many years before joining Caldicot Male Voice Choir in 1970.

He has, in his long history of about 80 years of male choral singing, sung in every section of a male voice choir. An incredible, probably unequalled record.

Bill has an incredible knowledge and expertise as a chorister and is always willing to pass on his experiences to younger and new members of the choir, not to mention our musical team.

The top photograph shows Bill with his daughter Sharon (his other children being Andrew, Jane, Ellen and Anne)  at Buckingham Palace and the lower shows him being presented with a well deserved Lifetime Achievement award and conferred as an Honorary Vice President of Caldicot Male Voice Choir at a special presentation by John Griffiths AM and Musical Director Siân Hatton at our Annual Concert in April 2014.

Many happy returns and best wishes for a happy birthday and celebration on Wednesday, Bill.

Coincidentally Bill shares his birthday with fellow chorister second tenor Mike Thurman who is a comparative youngster at 71 who was also congratulated at practice. Many happy returns to both.

Footnote.  Roy Noble paid a tribute to Bill on his BBC Radio Wales show on Sunday 20th January 2019 and played Alexander’s Ragtime band sung by the choir. Reports were also published in the South Wales Argus and the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review.

 

Choir entertains residents of Cherry Tree Nursing Home

Photo by Colleen Gauntlett
On Thursday 20th  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 Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson the choir invited the audience to join in with the singing of favourites such as O Come all ye faithful, Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.
 
The Choir also sang God rest you Merry Gentlemen, Silver Bells, Shepherds watched and Wise Men Wonder to the tune of Scarlet Ribbons and 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 tea, traditional mince pies and cakes.
 
Afterwards the choristers entertained the patrons of the Haywain public house which is a favourite watering hole of many of the choir with a wide range of Christmas Carols enthusiastically joined by many of the patrons..

Colleen’s Christmas cake eagerly consumed by choristers

Photos by Lyn Gauntlett
It’s become a Christmas tradition that chorister’s wife Colleen Gauntlett treats the boys and girls of Caldicot Male Voice Choir to a special Christmas sponge cake complete with hand made festive decorations, 2018 is no exception and the cake was presented at choir practice on Monday 17th December.
 
The theme this year was Santa getting stuck upside down in the chimney while the presents for the children are scattered over the roof top.
 
The choristers always appreciate Colleen’s cakes and this one was no exception, being devoured during the break within seconds. Watch out for the sugar rush. Colleen says that the only way she can get them to shut up is to stuff their faces with cake. Doesn’t last long though. They soon get back to singing.

 

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien