Dragon Photo presented to ProSteel Engineering

Richard Selby proudly holding Colleen’s Photograph.
Ken Cooper left and John Nicholson, right

On 15th September Caldicot Male Voice Choir had the privilege of being the first choir to sing at the new 89 million pound International Convention Centre, Wales at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport. On the plaza outside the Centre is an impressive, huge 22 tonne, 10 metre high Red Dragon of Wales and the Choir lined up in front of this to have its photograph taken by volunteer choir photographer Colleen Gauntlett.

The huge, three dimensional dragon was built and erected by ProSteel Engineering Ltd, a local company based in Portskewett, Caldicot and took seven months to complete.

This impressive photograph with the Celtic Manor in the background was enlarged to a print of 18 by 12 inches and framed in a light oak frame. This was presented by representatives of the choir, Chairman John Nicholson and secretary Kenneth Cooper together with Leon Jones who took the photograph, to Richard Selby, Director of the company at ProSteel Engineering’s headquarters in Caldicot on 17th October.

Richard is quoted as being thrilled and delighted with the photograph which will take pride of place on the company’s boardroom wall. A smaller 16 inch framed copy of the photograph hangs proudly on the Choir Hall wall as well.

ProSteel Engineering is a long standing supporter and sponsor of Caldicot Male Voice Choir which is delighted to have made this unique presentation.

Choristers prepare for Royal Albert Hall in 2021

Six second tenors in the front

Sunday 13th October 2019 saw the first rehearsal of those Choirs that will be travelling to London in May 2021 to participate in the Welsh Association of Male Choirs’ incredible Festival of Male Choirs in the magnificent surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall.

Caldicot Male Voice Choir has participated in many of these occasions in the past, the most recent being in 2018 just before its performance at Buckingham Place to celebrate HRH Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday.

Such was the occasion then, that Caldicot MVC applied to repeat the experience and chose to join in with over 800 choristers at the event in 2021. The process started with the first rehearsal for choirs from South East Wales at Rogerstone Primary School where conductor Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE, accompanied by pianist Caradog Willliams put the assembly of about 300 through its early paces of songs including A Roman War Song, Speed Your Journey, You’ll Never Walk alone and World in Union.

There is long way to go with many choirs learning several pieces for the first time over the next eighteen months but if past experience is anything to go by, the performances at the Royal Albert Hall will be incredible and Caldicot Male Voice Choir is extremely proud to be accepted to take part once again.

Choir’s Birdie Boys Raise Funds for Sepsis

On Saturday the 5th October the rain held off long enough for some 42 golfers to go a sponsored round in aid of The Sepsis Trust UK. at Llanwern Golf Club near Newport. The event was organised by members of Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s Golf Society, the Birdie Boys.

Attended by Terence Canning, Director of the Trust in Wales was delighted that at the evening dinner following the golf, organiser Anthony Griffiths advised that just over £700 was raised for the charity.

The Sepsis Trust UK (Wales) raises funds to enable increased awareness of the dreadful killer disease which claims over 55,000 lives in the UK Annually and Caldicot Male Voice Choir is very close to exceeding its target of £5000 to help this cause. In the past 6 years events similar to this by the choir have raised over £45000 for local and National charities in addition to the many thousands raised by its concerts at venues throughout South Wales and West country. The next public event is a 5K run at Rogiet Country park on Sunday 20th October at 10am. Look out for the advertising and come along. Entry is only £10 and all proceeds will go towards The Sepsis Trust UK

Choir Sings at Magor’s St Mary’s Church

The Choir conducted by Sian Hatton

Photograph by Colleen Gauntlett

On Saturday 28th September over forty of the Choir’s members made the short journey to St Mary’s Church in Magor to support the Magor Benifice Churchmen’s Society and Magor Events which raise funds to local deserving good causes and charities.

Organised and compered by Robert Kenny, the concert opened with the rousing, patriotic Men of Harlech and the packed programme, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson contained a variety of pieces including Welsh songs Calon Lan, Bugeili’or Gwenith Gwyn, Yfory , Afonaf Angel Rachie and Cwm Rhondda.

The Choir was also delighted to present firm favourite, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and contrasted with A Miner’s Song, Amen, Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, Yesterday and Sixteen Tons. The Choir also premiered the Flanders and Swann’s humorous ‘The Hippopotamus Song’ during which the audience joined in with ‘Mud, Mud Glorious Mud’.

The concert was further augmented by the incredible soprano voice of Glenna Parry, accompanied by her husband Gavin who presented a range of songs from opera and musicals including Summertime from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Joining with the Choir’s Musical Director, Sian Hatton a number of duets were performed finalising with the hilarious Rossini’s Cat’s Duet depicting two feuding soprano felines. The duo were joined by Shirley Anne James to perform ‘Three Little Maids from School from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera ‘The Mikado’.

The concert finalised with Isaac Watts ‘Morte Criste – When I survey the Wond’rous Cross’, accompanied by John Nicholson on Church organ and Gavin Parry on piano.


Photographs taken by Colleen Gauntlett

Caldicot Male Voice Choir became the first ever choir to sing at the new International Convention Centre, Wales at the Celtic Manor, Newport on Sunday 15th September 2019. This was also the first ever convention and exhibition held at the centre which has not officially opened yet.

The Choir sang at the invitation of the Association of Stoma Care Nurses which provides care, facilities and education for stoma patients. The Association also organised the event which attracted several hundred visitors to the huge centre

Conducted by Musical Director Sian Hatton and assistant MD Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson, the Choir opened with Cwm Rhondda and treated the delegates to a rousing performance which also included not least Yfory, Sixteen Tons, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Rachie, Begeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn, What Would I do Without My Music? and African Prayer.

The Choir finally assembled on the Plaza in front of the gigantic steel Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) for an historic photo followed by an impromptu, unaccompanied performance of ‘Stout Hearted Men’ and ending with ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’, the Welsh National Anthem over and above the sound of the M4 traffic.


Part One for the drinks reception

Photographs by Colleen Gauntlett

Caldicot Male Voice Choir was pleased to perform at the World Sepsis Day Dinner at the Park Plaza Hotel in Cardiff on Friday 13th September. The entertainment was in two parts of about 30 minutes each. Part one was at the drinks reception prior to the dinner and part 2 was between the main course and dessert servings. The Choir is well on course to raising its target of £5000 this year for the Sepsis UK Trust (Wales) and the invitation from the charity director Terence Canning was in recognition of the choir’s efforts. Choristers Anthony Griffiths and Grahame Morton passed over another £1500 on the night to Terence. Among the distinguished guests in the audience was the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Daniel De’Ath who expressed his appreciation.

Opening with Men of Harlech, highlights of the evening included the choir’s presentations of Bohemian Rhapsody, California Dreamin’ and What would I do without my Music? Welsh offerings included Yfory, Anfonaf Angel and African Prayer. The Choir was conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson. The concert ended with a standing ovation following Cwm Rhondda.

Terence Canning, Director of The Sepsis UK Trust said that the Choir was amazing and thanked everyone for their support and efforts.

Choristers attend first Anniversary of Sensory Garden

Choristers with the Pasha Pops girls

Caldicot Male Voice Choir has a proud history of raising funds through its activities and concerts for National and local charities and good causes. 2018 was no exception when it succeeded in raising about £4000 to enable the Severn View Nursing Home in Chepstow to create a sensory garden for its residents, many of whom suffer from dementia and related illnesses.
In recognition of this, through chorister Alyn Dawe, the home invited a delegation of choristers from the Choir to a first anniversary party of the opening of the garden on 11th August which is now beautifully resplendent in a multitude of colourful flowers and shrubs.

The small number of choristers present entertained the thrilled residents with a short programme of songs including Let it be Me, Annie’s Song, Stout Hearted Men and My Grandfather’s Clock.

It was a great pleasure for the choristers and the residents to be reunited with the fabulous sister singing duo, the Pasha Pops who, in period costume with genuine props for the era, entertained us all with their fabulous return to singing the songs of wartime Britain in the forties.
It was a wonderful afternoon enjoyed by all and many thanks to the Nursing home for the refreshments and hospitality

Choir Sings at Caerphilly Castle Wedding

Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to be invited to sing at the wedding of Jess Andrews and Peter Green in the majestic hall of Caerphilly Castle on 9th August. Luckily the rain held off for the happy couple who met in the Tippling Philosopher in Caldicot (now closed) 9 years ago. Jess is a teacher of Welsh at Caldicot Comprehensive School and Peter works for a famous brewery in Caldicot. They are off on honeymoon to a fabulous tour of the Far East which includes Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Borneo and the Maldives.

The Choir was conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry. The Choir’s other accompanist, John Nicholson joined the ranks of the second tenors on this occasion.

The waiting wedding guests were entertained by the Choir with its version of the Everly Brothers hit ‘Let it be Me’ to be followed on the entry of the bride with the Welsh song ‘Yfory’ with it’s words of hope for ‘tomorrow.’ During the signing of the register the Choir further entertained the guests with ‘You Raise Me Up’ and the Elvis Presley hit ‘Only Fools Rush In’.

The bride and groom, Mr and Mrs Green were thrilled that after the ceremony the Choir sang its own arrangement of the famous Welsh Hymn, ‘Calon Lan’ with soloist David Gould. The appreciative guests left the hall to the sounds of the choir singing ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’.

Photo taken by Colleen Gauntlett.

Choir Sings at Monmouth Gymanfa Ganu

Shirley Anne, all smiles.
The boys I love are up in the gallery

For the third consecutive year, Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s Assistant Musical Director Shirley Anne James, was invited to conduct the Annual Gymanfa Ganu at the beautiful Monmouth Methodist Church as part of the Monmouth Festival on Thursday 1st August. Shirley Anne has been conducting Gymanfaoedd Canu and singing festivals since her early twenties, beginning in towns and villages near her home town of Llandovery, leading to conducting Gymanfaoedd Canu at Marcross in the Vale of Glamorgan for several years.

This year was different however in that about 50 choristers of Caldicot Male Voice Choir travelled to Monmouth to support Shirley Anne and the event which attracted about 150 participants to the Church.

Conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Church organist, David Morgan and singing from the balcony (standing room only), the choir enthusiastically joined in with the mix of well known Welsh and English hymns such as Cwm Rhondda, Rachie, Ellers, Jesus, good above all other, Rhosymedre, Gwahoddiad and several more. The choir played a further part by delighting the audience with its own version of Calon Lân, conducted by Musical Director Siân Hatton and accompanied by arranger Stephen Berry.

This was a wonderful evening of communal singing, enjoyed by all who took part and the Choir certainly hopes to participate again next year.

Photographs by Colleen Gauntlett

Choir Sings for King of the Zulu Nation

The Choir in front of the Barracks
Flanked by Band of the Royal Regiment of Wales and The Zulu Bodyguard

Caldicot Male Voice Choir has a long connection with Royalty having sung before Queen Elizabeth II, The Duchess of York and recently the Prince of Wales.  However, perhaps its most unusual connection to date was to be privileged to be invited to sing before King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, King of the Zulu Nation at a Military Pageant at Brecon Barracks on Sunday 21st July.

The King and entourage of Princes, Princesses and his Zulu bodyguard were visiting Brecon over four days to commemorate the 140 year Anniversary of the Zulu War, the battles of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift the subject of the 1964 film Zulu starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker.  Following a pageant and re-enactment of the Battle of Isandlwana where over 1400 British troops were killed, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was invited to sing the three National Anthems, N’Kosi Sikele Afrika, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau and God Save the Queen as part of the Beating Retreat Ceremony at the end of the day.

King Goodwill watches us sing the National Anthems

Flanked by the King’s Bodyguard of 30 Zulu warriors in battle uniform, leopard skins and lions tails and accompanied by the Band of the Royal Welsh Regiment and Corps of Drums conducted by Major Dennis Burton, the Choir delighted the King with their performance before marching from the Parade Ground to rapturous applause from an appreciative audience.

This was a unique occasion in which Caldicot Male Voice Choir was proud and honoured to participate.