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Choristers invite Vice Presidents to the Choir Hall

Last Monday 13th November saw the Choir Hall play host to invited vice presidents of Caldicot Male Voice Choir. The Choir has about 80 Vice-presidents who donate funds and support us in all our charity work, events and concerts. A cheese and wine party preceded a short concert conducted by Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson and an evening of ‘Afterglow singing’ which gave the VP’s an opportunity to renew old friendships and meet the Choir President and members of the committee and choristers. Short presentations were given by President Michael Shere-Massey, chairman John NIcholson and PRO Lyn Gauntlett

The Choir gave an appreciated short concert of recently learned pieces before a far less formal singing of favourite Afterglow songs. Everyone agreed it was an enjoyable occasion and are keen to see it become a regular event. The support of vice-presidents is essential and is truly appreciated by the Choir and if you would like to become one, please contact any member of the choir or through our web site.

Photograph by Colleen Gauntlett

The Race Night is coming back

 

Many of you have been wondering when is the Choir going to have another Race Night? Well, the good news is that it will be on Friday January 26th 2018. Please contact Ron Powell if you would like to sponsor a race, a horse or get a ticket for the night. Cost is £8 and includes refreshments. This long standing event has been a great success over the years and we’re sure this will not be an exception.

Raise money for the Choir through Give as You Live

Many of you will have noticed that on this web-site’s Home page there is a new button at the bottom of the page.

If you would like to donate to Caldicot Male Voice Choir, please click here

This will allow you to make a donation directly to Caldicot Male Voice Choir by clicking on it.  It will take you directly to the ‘Give As You Live’ donation page on their website where you can make your donation and sign up for gift aid if you are a taxpayer.

The Choir is a registered charity and receives no income from other sources. It relies on its own fund-raising, sponsorship and donations to keep going and provides not only a wonderful hobby for its members but brings the culture of Welsh Male Voice Singing to the many and in so doing also raises many thousands of pounds for other charities and good causes.

I don’t know how many of you shop on-line but the site gives you the option of signing up so that if you do buy on line, you can click on the link below, choose from over 4200 shops including Amazon, E-bay, John Lewis, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Screw Fix etc. and this takes you directly to your account on your chosen shop.  You then make your purchase as normal through debit card, credit card or Pay-pal.  You can also search for car, house insurance and utility providers. A percentage of the value of your purchase will then be donated to the choir.  It does not cost you or the choir a penny to make it happen.  How does it pay for itself?  The web site obtains a commission from each of the retailers not from the choir or yourselves.  It really is very easy and there’s no risk.

To get to the Give as You Live website web-site……Click here…….GIVE AS YOU LIVE

I have reproduced the donation button on this post so give it a go.  You’ve got nothing to lose and the choir has a lot to gain to carry on with its concert and charity work.

If you would like to donate to Caldicot Male Voice Choir, please click here

Choristers practice again for Royal Albert Hall

 

About 55 Caldicot choristers gave up their Sunday afternoon to make the short journey to Rogerstone Primary School where they were put through their paces of the songs they will singin the programme at the Royal Albert Hall in May next year.

Conducted, instructed, cajoled, persuaded and even coerced into getting it right by conductor Dr. Alwyn Humphreys, the choirs from all over Gwent enthusiastically sang their parts from many old and new favourites including Rachie, Gwahoddiad, Tangnefeddwyr, Shenandoah and even Alexander;’s Ragtime Band.  Not quite up to the required standard yet but there is seven months to go and we’ll get there for a great night in London.  None of us can wait but there’s still a lot of work to do, but well done for a great effort and fabulous sound.

Choristers step out at Equestrian Dressage Event

On a lighter note from recent posts the Choir was happy to sing at the David Broome Events Centre (Cricklands) near Caldicot to entertain the participants and organisers of the British Home International Equestrian Dressage Competition which invites teams form all over the British Isles to compete. At the welcoming party, while the participants were eating a meal of chips and chilli and a variety of Welsh traditional offerings of cawl and welshcakes, the Choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and accompanied by John Nicholson and Stephen Berry performed with a variety of songs from its repertoire such as Rachie, Llef, Somewhere Out There, Troyte’s Chant, O Gymru, A Miner’s Song, Aus der Traube in die Tonne and Cwm Rhondda.

The evening was made a little more special in that it was top tenor Paul Priest’s and bottom bass Colin Hart’s first concert.  I’m sure there will be many more.

After the meal the choir continued to entertain the crowds with a period of ‘Afterglow’ singing, led by Dai Gould to a delighted audience which often joined in with Fields of Athenry, My Grandfather’s Clock, The Gypsy and even Sospan Fach.

From the many comments and thanks it was clear that the audience, many of whom had never experienced the singing of Welsh Male Voice Choir close up, were thrilled and excited with our performance. This is why we do it, folks.

Sad loss of Bass Chorister Roy Jones

Once again and tragically we are informed of the passing of another much loved chorister and we regret to inform you that the latest loss is of Roy Jones who passed away on 5th October after a long spell of ill health.
 
A quiet, reserved but thoughtful and caring man, Roy was a highly respected and well liked bass chorister. His wife, Diane found a diary which confirmed that he joined the choir in 1977. Forty years continuous membership is an attestation of his dedication, loyalty and unbounded enthusiasm for the choir. As a natural Welsh speaker, Roy was a huge asset in helping the choir with ensuring that our Welsh diction and pronunciation maintained a very high standard.
An ex train driver he had also worked at Llanwern steelworks and Sudbrook pumping station. Among his many particular friends his loss will be most felt by ex Railwaymen and work colleagues in the choir, not least Wyn Goodwin, Harry Giblin and John Wyson.
 
Among his many proud moments in the choir, Roy was delighted to read the poem ‘Mae’r Rhain yn Allaf Addewid’ (These I can Promise) in Welsh at the train wedding in Cheltenham of chorister Graham (Spike) Hughes to Nina in 2013.
 
A past hobby had been working as a volunteer at Coleford helping to rebuild steam trains and he was well known locally as a gifted maker of walking sticks, many provided to other choristers.
 
The Choir is pleased that it was able to present Roy with a greatly deserved Lifetime Achievement Award last April as an attestation of his wonderful dedicated service to the Choir. Roy is quoted as saying ‘I really didn’t expect this, it’s such an honour and I am determined to get back to singing with you soon’. Sadly, it was not to be.
 
Our heartfelt sorrow and condolences go out to Diane and all Roy’s friends and family at their loss. Hwyl fawr am y tro, annwyl ffrind, goodbye for now, dear friend. RIP. You will be long remembered with deep affection, this we can promise.

Choir Says Goodbye to Chorister Malcolm Reed

 

It was a measure of the high esteem felt for Malcolm, both in the Choir and in the Caldicot Community that there was standing room only at his Funeral Service on Tuesday 26th September at Caldicot Methodist Church..  Amongst the congregation over sixty choristers were privileged and proud to pay tribute to Malcolm by singing, at his family’s request Eli Jenkins’ Prayer (Troyte’s Chant)  during the service and Speed Your Journey from Verdi’s opera, Nabucco as the mourners left the Church. So many were present that this had to be sung twice.  Both songs were conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry.  The songs were also sung by the Choir at Malcom’s late wife Claudia’s funeral in 2011.

The Service, conducted by Rev. Preben Andersen opened with a recording of ‘Over the Rainbow’ sung by the late Eva Cassidy and included the hymns ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ and ‘How Great Thou Art’.  It also included a moving and brave tribute to Malcolm’s life from his grand daughter Natalie. Our prayers, thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad moment.

The photograph above was taken at Cardiff Castle in 2012 when the Choir ironically sang for Directors of Tata Steel who were there to discuss the possible closure of Llanwern steelworks where Malcolm and so many other Choristers worked for many years..

Choir presents Awards to four Choristers at the Gala

Photographs by Colleen Gauntlett.  Left click on images to enlarge.
Caldicot Male Voice Choir is proud of the dedication, long service and achievements of its choristers over many years and is pleased to mark and reward these services with periodic presentations. At the end of its Gala concert on September 9th the Choir was pleased to present top tenor Anthony Howells and second tenor Roger Francis with certificates and special lapel badges to mark their remarkable achievement of 25 years of continuous service with the Choir.
 
Also presented on the same night were awards of Lifetime Achievement and Honorary vice presidency to two choristers who have over several years made significant contributions to the aims and values of the Choir, namely retired chorister John Ashcroft who was a long serving PRO and committee member of the choir and Peter Heslop, the longest serving chairman of the choir of over 14 years until 2009 and is still vice chairman of the choir.
 
The certificates and awards were presented jointly by Siân Hatton, Musical Director of the choir and Jessica Morden MP, a valued and long standing supporter.

Long serving Chorister presented with Civic Award

 

 

Another post shows four choristers being presented with the Choir’s long service and lifetime achievement awards at the end of the Gala concert. There are also a number of unsung heroes who do tremendous work and show outstanding commitment to the choir who often go unrecognised outside the choir circle.

It is with great pleasure that one of these, David Kirton has been presented with a Caldicot Citizenship award in recognition of his huge contribution and efforts to assist Caldicot Male Voice Choir. David has not only been the voluntary licencee of the choir bar but in his 26 years membership of the choir he has also provided outstanding service in addition as hall manager and transport manager. Without David’s involvement and time spent the Choir and its hall would be hard pressed to function.

David has also been recognised for giving up his spare time to drive voluntarily for Monmouthshire County Council’s Grass Roots bus service on several days of the week, a service much appreciated by many of the vulnerable and elderly people he helps.

Well done, David. This award is richly deserved and may I on behalf of the Choir also thank you for all your achievements.

The photograph shows David being presented with his award by Caldicot Mayor Phillip Stevens and Deputy Mayor Oliver Edwards. Oliver is also a bottom bass chorister in the Choir and recently toured with us to Scotland.

Sad loss of leading top tenor, Malcolm Reed

 

It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that leading top tenor Malcolm Reed passed away on Monday 11th September at 1 pm.

Malcolm had been an ever present and excellent top tenor in the front row for nigh on forty years.  He was devoted to the choir and despite his long illness, never complaining, he was until his admission to hospital recently, a stalwart, leading chorister at the end of the front row of tenors both at practice and concerts.

Unmistakable at the front with his shock of white hair (immaculately groomed) and beaming smile, he had a wonderful sense of humour and fun and although small in stature and modest in nature he had a huge, proud heart, a caring and friendly personality and he will be greatly missed. Immensely loyal and proud to be a member of Caldicot Male Voice Choir he embodied the full spirit of what it means to be a chorister and we shall always be grateful for his huge contribution and long service to help make this a great choir.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends at this very sad time but rest assured that Malcolm will be remembered for a long time to come as one of Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s great choristers. Rest in Peace, dear friend.

 

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