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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

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.

CHOIR ROARS IN FRONT OF ICC WALES DRAGON

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.

CHOIR SINGS AT ANNUAL WORLD SEPSIS DAY DINNER

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.


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.

Fabulous Concert in Aid of Sepsis UK Trust

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is proud of its heritage of raising funds for charity and good causes and Saturday 6th July at Caldicot Choir Hall saw a new dimension in its efforts to raise funds for its adopted charity, The Sepsis UK Trust (Wales) this year. The event raised about £1800 for the charity which aims to increase awareness of this killer disease. It claims the lives of about 55,000 a year in the UK

A musical evening was provided by not only the choir but performing alongside us were talented soprano Kayleigh Hallworth, accompanied by Stephen Berry, who sang a mix of songs from West End musicals and shows as well as Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Songbird’ to delight the audience. Accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson and conducted by Sian Hatton, the choir played its part by singing ten items including ever popular ‘A Miner’s Song”What Would I do Without my Music?’, ‘California Dreamin”, the premiere of Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’ and finalising with a return to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

Compere Stephen Dance eloquently kept the proceeding flowing with introductions and well researched information, while Terence Canning, Director of the Sepsis UK Trust (Wales) gave a moving presentation of the effects that Sepsis has had on his own and others. A video of Jayne’s Story was also shown.

The evening was also augmented by the choir’s musical director Sian Hatton’s piano recital of Bach’s Prelude in C Major and Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’. Sian Hatton and her husband David Gould had the audience in stitches of laughter by presenting a humorous version of ‘The Green Eye of the Yellow God’ with actions.

Finally the evening would not have been complete without the support of Merthyr based band ‘Wall Street’ who with their mix of dance and smooth music from the sixties to the present day kept the packed audience dancing to the late hours.

All the artistes gave their services freely to aid the charity and all are thanked for their support by the choir and The Sepsis UK Trust.

Choir enjoys June Krakow Tour

About 40 choristers from Caldicot Male Voice Choir, the music team of Sian Hatton, Shirley Anne James, Stephen Berry and John Nicholson and another 40 supporters left the choir hall to undertake a five day tour of the wonderful Polish city, Krakow on June 6th 2019.

On the first day, during glorious weather the choir enjoyed a short tour of the famous Wawel castle and Market Square followed in the evening by a performance in the magnificent Bazylika Mariacka (St Mary’s Basilica) situated in the famous market square as a guest choir of the International Cracovia Cantons Choral festival alongside choirs from the USA, the Czech Republic, England and Lithuania. During this performance the choir premiered its version of ‘Benedictus’ alongside ‘Cwm Rhondda’ and ‘Deus Salutis’.

The third day saw the choir follow in the steps of Copernicus, Chopin, Mendeleyev, Pope John Paul II and US President Bill Clinton among many others. The choir descended over 380 steps and walked 3 km to the depths of the World heritage site of the Wieliczka salt mines where the choir was privileged to sing ‘Rachie’ and ‘Deus Salutis’ in the incredible cathedral like cavern of St Kinga’s Chapel.

The fourth day saw the choir perform ‘A Miner’s Song’ as one of only five choirs to be invited to sing at the Festival’s Gala concert in the packed Philharmonic Hall to be followed by an hour long concert at the ‘Twelve Apostles’ church of St Peter and St Paul to a capacity audience. Musical Director Sian Hatton delighted the assembly by opening the concert with a solo performance of the Polish National Anthem.

Many of the group took the opportunity on the penultimate day to visit the nearby Auschwitz and Birchenau Nazi concentration and death camps where over 1.1. million people were murdered; a sombre, harrowing and moving experience, never to be forgotten.

The final day, before an evening flight home, many took the opportunity to visit the beautiful town of Zakopane overlooked by the magnificent and imposing Tatra mountains.

The Choir arrived home in the early hours of June 12th, exhausted but knowing that they had enjoyed a wonderful tour in a beautiful city.

Choir Visited by Icelandic Choir

Joint Choirs sing Calm is the Sea before the Afterglow

Sunday evening 28th April saw fabulous entertainment at the packed Caldicot Choir Hall when Caldicot Male Voice Choir paid host to visiting Choir ‘Karlakor Eyjafjardar’ from northern Iceland. The Icelanders had already performed at St John’s Church in Cardiff, visited Swansea and the Gower coast and watched Cardiff Blues play the Ospreys at the Principality Stadium before coming to Caldicot. Many thanks to David James of the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir for his part in suggesting the visit.


Conducted by Gudlauger Viktorson, the Icelanders gave a rousing performance of non-traditional music based on vivacity and fast tempo mixed with modern Icelandic songs, Blues adaptations and even a small dance routine, much to the amusement of the audience. Like Caldicot, they also included their version of Sixteen Tons originally recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Caldicot Male Voice Choir, conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson complemented the evening with a wonderful performance of traditional Welsh songs; ‘Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn’ and ‘Anfonaf Angel’, Cwm Rhondda, spiritual ‘Ride the Chariot’, ‘Sixteen Tons’ and ever popular, ‘A Miner’s Song’.

Following a superb buffet and exchanged gifts and presentations, the evening was rounded off by both Choirs combining on stage to sing alternate verses in English and Icelandic of the haunting ‘Calm is the Sea’. Incredibly, this was a superb performance without any prior rehearsal.

Finally finishing with impromptu afterglow singing, the Icelanders travelled back to Cardiff with the sound of ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ in their ears and memories of Caldicot and its Male Voice Choir that are sure to linger for many years.

Wonderful 2019 Annual Concert

Photograph by Colleen Gauntlett

Once again a wonderful concert was presented by Caldicot Male Voice Choir on Saturday evening 6th April at Caldicot Leisure Centre. Many thanks to all who came and supported us including special invited guests and vice presidents.


Soloist Rhydian Jenkins was superb with a fabulous demonstration of controlled singing expertly accompanied by Jeanette Massocchi. Dean Powell as compere was his usual professional, witty self and it’s always a pleasure to have him compere our concerts.


The choir’s performance was exemplary and many thanks to the music team of Sian Hatton, Shirley-Anne James, Stephen Berry and John Nicholson for their leadership and hard work.


The Choir included a wide range of songs from its repertoire including opener Men of Harlech, followed by The Prayer, part sung in Italian, ever favourite A Miner’s Song and the first welsh number ‘Llef’. Further pieces in Welsh were ‘Gwahoddiad’, a new version of Calon Lan arranged by Stephen Berry, ‘Y Tangnefeddwyr’, ‘Anfonaf Angel and’ finalising with ‘O Gymru’ arranged by Dr Haydn James who was in the audience. The choir was joined by Rhydian who sang the solo part in this item.
The Choir also premiered at the Annual Concert, Simon and Garfunkels ‘Bridge Over Trouble Water’, again arranged by Stephen Berry and foot tapping ‘Amen’ -This Little Light.


A presentation in the form of framed Certificate and gold lapel badge was made to David Gould for completing a remarkable 50 years continuous service to the choir (only the third chorister in the choir’s history to achieve this) and Mervyn Roberts honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award Certificate for his close to forty years of dedicated and outstanding service to the choir. Congratulations to both.

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