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Choir Entertains the Residents of Cherry Trees

On Thursday 19th December, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to make its Annual visit to the Cherry Trees Nursing Home in Caldicot to entertain the residents with a bright selection of Christmas Carols.

Dressed in their colourful Christmas costumes, the Choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John NIcholson invited the audience to join in a medley of Carols including ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Hark the Herald Angels SIng’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ before presenting the choir favourites ‘Silver Bells, ‘Casatschok’ with its loud ending, ‘Shepherds watch and Wise Men Wonder’ to the tune ‘Scarlet Ribbons’, ‘Joy to the World’ before rounding rounding off with a Christmas Medley including ‘Sleigh Bells Ringing’, ‘A Child is a King’ and of course ‘Jingle Bells’. The staff of Cherry trees then provided the choristers to a welcome feast of mince pies, cup cakes and drinks, thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the choristers.

The Choir then departed to local hostelry, The Haywain to entertain the patrons with another rousing round of carol singing before enjoying a feast of Christmas Fayre and other traditional refreshments provided by the publicans.

This is my final post about the Choir’s activities over the Christmas period so may I wish you, on behalf of Caldicot Male Voice Choir a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.


Photos by Colleen Gauntlett


If after reading these you would consider taking up a new hobby in the New Year, why not come along to one of the Choir’s practice nights in Mill Lane on a Monday or Thursday evening from 7pm to see and hear us? You would be made very welcome. There is no commitment.

Choir Joins with Undy Primary School for Carol Concert

On Monday 16th December Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to welcome Undy Primary School children to join it for an Annual Christmas concert with a local School.


The Choir is always delighted to annually welcome a local School to the Choir Hall to join in a fun filled joint concert


Conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson, the concert opened with the Choir singing ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ to the tune of ‘Llanfair’ and ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’ to the tune ‘Scarlet Ribbons’.
The school choir, conducted by Sophie Skellorn and Charlotte Skinner then entertained the audience of proud parents, grandparents and friends to a wide range of Christmas songs including ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ before the Choir returned to sing ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’ and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’. A section of the Choir then sang the duet made famous by Bing Crosby and David Bowie ‘Peace on Earth and Little Drummer Boy’ combination.


The children returned in part two to entertain us with delightful versions of ‘Winter Wonder Land’, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’. Many pieces sung by the children included lively dance routines to the envy of many in Caldicot choir.


Then came the surprise of the night when Santa made a surprise visit, much to the delight and joy of the children to join in as a guest singer for Caldicot’s final performance which included ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Casatschok’, ‘Silver Bells’ and finally a Christmas Medley including Jingle Bells when the children were thrilled to be invited on stage to sing with the Choir.


A lovely evening enjoyed by all and the Choir is sure to repeat with another local school next year.


Photographs were taken by Colleen Gauntlett with the School’s permission to use the group photographs.

CHOIR GUESTS AT LYDBROOK BAND CONCERT

On a wet and windy night over 50 members of Caldicot Male Voice Choir ventured deep into the Forest of Dean to take part in a beautiful and enjoyable concert at Cinderford’s Woodfield Snooker Centre where the Choir were guest artistes of the incredible Lydbrook Band conducted by Ian Holmes.at its Christmas Concert on December 14th December.

It must also be mentioned that this was the first concert of Top tenor, Ben Walker after passing his second voice test on December 9th.

The concert opened with the band playing an Overture of Berlioz’s ‘The Corsair’ and followed with a solo tenor horn performance of ‘Over the Rainbow’ by talented Tom Goodman. This was followed by a performance of a new arrangement of the ‘Countryfile theme’ by Guy James for Brass Bands in which the band featured in the TV programme earlier this on October 21st this year

The Choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson presented in its first half, ‘African Prayer’, possibly the most famous of all Welsh Hymns, ‘Calon Lan’ and Robat Owen’s ‘Benedictus’, sung by the choir in the famous St Mary’s Basilica in Krakow in June this year. The performance featured Bob Dylan’s ‘Make you Feel My Love’ which was accompanied not only by John Nicholson on piano but by Leon Jones, his first public performance of this piece on guitar.

The highly talented Lydbrook Band continued with a ‘Balkan Dance’, accompanied the audience in ‘The First Nowell’ and to begin the second part, a wonderful ‘Christmas Confection’

The Choir carried on the Christmas theme in their festive hats to include ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen,’ Shepherd’s watch and Wise Men Wonder’ to the tune ‘Strawberry Fair’, and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’. The Choir finalised with the song made famous and covered by many artistes since Bing Crosby ‘Silver Bells’.

The fabulous concert, enjoyed by over 300 in the audience finalised with the Band playing a medley of Christmas tunes including ‘Away in Manger’, with soloist, Flugel Horn player Tracey Moss and ended with the accompaniment to the audience and choir singing ‘Jingle Bells’.

A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas concert which delighted everyone who took part or watched and listened in the audience.

Choir sings in freezing weather in Caldicot Town Centre

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett

On a freezing November 29th when the temperature was below 3 degrees, over 45 choristers of Caldicot Male Voice Choir braved the elements and took to the stage in Caldicot Town Centre to warm up and delight the crowd who had come to join in the festivities of switching on the Christmas Lights in the town.


Dressed in their best Christmas jumpers and hats the choristers, conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Sian Hatton entertained the bystanders by opening with the rousing ‘Christmas Time Again is Here’ sung to the tune Llanfair, followed by stirring Christmas carols including ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’, ‘Shepherds Watch and Wise Men Wonder’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and it’s own version of ‘Silver Bells’ recorded by many including Bing Crosby, Michael Buble,Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Elvis Presley but was originally sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the 1951 film ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’


The Choir ended its choral renditions with the Cossack foot tapping, dancing song ‘Casatschok’ and a cheerful medley of Yuletide favourites before announcing loudly that ‘It’s Christmas Time!’. Many choristers then made their way to a nearby local hostelry for a warming cup of chocolate (or so I’m told).

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.

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