About 850 choristers from 49 male voice choirs are travelling to London to take part in the Festival of Male Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday evening May 19th.
Giant Screen Rugby is coming back to Caldicot Choir Hall with the screening of all of Wales’ Autumn Internationals beginning with the Australia match on November 11th. Will Gatland’s new look Welsh team finally beat the Aussies? Let’s hope so. The poster says it all.
With a giant 3 metre screen, superb sound, refreshments, flags and lighting effects it will be a great atmosphere.
This screening will be followed up with the games against Georgia (18th November), New Zealand (25th November and South Africa (2nd December) and perhaps others.
The 6 Nations showings were a huge success last February and March and this will be just a good.
As the poster says, as part of its effort to raise funds for the Severn View Without Doors project, Jayne Stallard, wife of chorister Rob Stallard is hosting a Quiz Night on October 20th at the Choir Hall. The charity is the choir’s nominated charity for this year and already a large amount has been raised by the Cycle club and Golf Society. The aim is to pride sufficient money to pay for three outbuildings, including a gazebo and potting shed for a sensory garden in Chepstow to help sufferers of dementia and related illnesses. Please pass the word around and get as many teams to come as possible.
What a great evening at the Choir Hall on Saturday, 15th November.
About a hundred and fifty people flocked to the hall to watch the local group ‘The Beat Goes On’ getting the room rocking with their array of Beatles hits. They were all there, from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Yellow Submarine’, a splendid time was had by all. For a few moments, a number of the choristers were transported back in time to the sixties when joining the band on-stage for the chorus of ‘Hey Jude’.
The dance floor was packed all night, never before have you seen so many choristers pulling some shapes. Congratulation must also go to the people who turned up in sixties gear, they certainly made a major contribution to the atmosphere of the evening.
Not only was there the excitement of the band and the dancing, the Annual Draw was made by Choir Chairman Mark Stocker, and three people walked away with valuable cash prizes just in time for Christmas.
A big well done to the Choir’s Entertainment Manager Ron Powell and his helpers for organising the event, I am sure there will be more to come.
Photos by Coll. Left click to enlarge
Friday 1st November saw the first ever Quiz Night at the Choir Hall. This was organised by the Choir’s cycle club (Côr Meibion Caldicot Cycle Club) as a thank you to all the choristers who supported it on its fund raising activities for the Victims of Chernobyl Childrens’ Trust earlier this year.
The Quiz, hosted by quiz master Lyn Gauntlett (wearing a bright red fez with no intention of emulating Tommy Cooper and who had never done this before), consisted of eight rounds of 10 questions per round compiled and designed by Lyn to test the participants knowledge to the limit. Many would say beyond but if they were made too easy then everyone would win. Questions, interspersed with jokes and informative remarks, ranged from General knowledge, Films and TV, People, Geography and places, Science and technology Sport and Music. About 100 people turned up to form 14 teams ranging in number from four to eight. Each table was appreciatively supplied with complimentary bottles of wine, courtesy of the Cycle Club and Choir.
Scores were kept by Tony Griffiths and First Prize of £60 was won by a team of local Caldicot regular quiz goers (Strictly Come Tweeking who said they were really challenged and that it was the best quiz they’d been to for a long time) with a score of 77%, followed in second place by choir group ‘It’s Only a Quiz’ with 63% and in third place another choir team ‘The Music Nomads’ who wandered in closely with 61%. The scores reflected the testing nature of the quiz but many were complimentary on the nature and level of the questions. Battlestar Taftacica need to come down to earth more often after scoring only 28%, but well done and thanks for landing to take part.
A raffle was organised by chorister Ron Powell and this contributed well over £100 to the grand total of about £280 raised for the choir on the night.
Most agreed that they had a really good night and strongly suggested that it should be repeated on a regular basis. Watch this space.
Thanks to Tony Griffiths, Ron Powell, Leon Jones, Grahame Morton and Nick Powell for organising and contributing so much to the success of the evening.
Many thanks again to Dave Kirton, Roger Francis and Wyn Goodwin for their sterling work behind the bar.
Left click on images to enlarge
Those of you who couldn’t get here or couldn’t get a ticket, look at the photos and see what you missed! Shame I can’t reproduce the sound on the site.
Following the success of the last time Barry Hammett’s Swingshift Band appeared at the Choir Hall in May, we were delighted and thrilled that Mark Stocker arranged for them to appear again, not only to welcome in 2013 but also to kick start the celebrations of the Choir’s 50th Anniversary! What a way to start! To a packed house of over 160, young and not so young, the Band opened with ‘Fly me to the moon’ and later invited us to ‘Wait till the Midnight Hour’. The choir hall rocked, rolled and swung to a fantastic mix of music right through to the early hours with a mix of ‘Mambo Number 5’, Michael Bublé’s ‘Just haven’t met you yet’, ‘Have you met Miss Jones’, to Bill Hayley’s ‘Rock around the Clock’ and ‘See you later alligator’, ‘Crazy little thing called love’, and Georgie Fame’s ‘Yeah, yeah!’ There was something for everybody during their three headline performances. Particularly special was their trademark Blues Brothers’ welcome to New York including fabulous audience participation. Faithful to the sights and sounds of “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues, the band gave a riveting mix of soul blended with rock and jazz in true Blues Brothers styles of ‘Everybody needs somebody to Love” ‘Gimme Some o’ lovin’, ‘Shake it baby’, ‘Hold On’, ‘Minnie the Moocher’ ‘Jailhouse Rock, ‘Soul Man’ and ‘Papa’s gotta brand new bag’ among others. No wonder this Band is arguably one of the finest function bands in the country. If you want to learn more about the band then please click on http://www.swing-shift.co.uk/
After time for a few drinks, piles of sausage rolls, sarnies and Pringles and more chat while listening to music from the sixties (remember them, lads) and between the performances, the audience was treated to a selection of music chosen by our own chairman, Leon Jones, who is not considering a change of career as a result. The raffle was expertly organised and conducted by Mark and volunteers with a large number of donated prizes. Surprise, surprise, but no entry ticket had a number printed on the back, so the £500 prize went unclaimed.
The final session started with ‘Burn, baby burn’, ‘I don’t feel like dancing’ (most did), ‘Johnny be Good’ and finally climaxed with Amy Whitehouse’s ‘Valerie’ just before midnight. During a short break in the band’s incredible performance and the reveler’s enthusiastic dancing, the New Year was welcomed in by a cascade of balloons set high in the ceiling and a chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ sung with traditional fervour and swaying until the bar re-opened at 12-10am with complimentary drinks for all. With continuous gyrotic dancing to ‘Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours’, the Beegee’s ‘I should be dancing’, appropriately ‘Give me just a little more time ‘ as the bar closed at 12-30, ‘Burning love’ , ‘Play that funky Music’, ‘Ride Sally Ride’, ‘Down to New Orleans’ and with the echoes of Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ echoing in their ears, everyone left in the early hours of 2013 knowing (or perhaps not at the time) that they had truly enjoyed a night to remember. The Band played for an exhausting two and a quarter hours and went through an incredible 34 different songs during the evening.
Without a doubt, this was the most enjoyable and entertaining New Year’s Eve at the Choir Hall for many years. It was heartening to see a full house so thoroughly enjoying themselves and it sets the standard for the future. Barry Hammett’s Swingshift Band will be a hard act to follow. The scene has been set – watch out for our other 50th Anniversary concerts and events!
Not only an appreciation of Barry Hammett’s Swingshift Band for an awesome evening’s entertainment, but once again, many, many thanks to the bar staff, Dave Kirton, Wyn Goodwin, Sian Hatton, Dave Gould, Phil and his wife and to all those unsung volunteers who turned up on Tuesday morning to clear up the debris and get the hall ready for practice on Thursday. Tribute and thanks must also go to Kirsten and Steve of Inanda Events, Magor for giving up their time and efforts to decorate the hall so wonderfully for us. The deluge of balloons at midnight ensured the New Year was brought in with several bangs! Last but not least, most of all our applause and thanks must go to Mark for organising a truly fabulous night, well worth all the stress suffered, time and hard work that he put in.
More to follow as the information and feedback come in. Keep posted. I’m sorry if you didn’t get your photo taken, but if you weren’t there, I couldn’t take it.
Making a special trip from playing Vegas to come home to Wales, Caldicot was really excited and thrilled that organiser Mark Stocker had arranged for Tom Jones to perform for us on Saturday 22nd September. Leather clad Tom Jones (alias John Prescott – no not two jags, this one’s from Colwyn Bay) opened up with the appeal to Keep Your Hat On while everyone there hoped everything else would stay on as well – fortunately it did. No split trousers either, and definitely no knickers thrown on stage! Tom announced that he’d gone back to his original colour and had stoppped dying his hair grey. Believe that, believe anything!
Tom reminisced about his love life in the old days in Ponty by singing – I’ll never fall in love again – not after the trouble you got into, boyo and then the audience of about 120 really warmed up to Tom belting out old favourites Green, Green Grass of Home, Delilah (not quite the way the choir sings it), She’s a Lady, Kiss (remember the Listerine advert?), Man from La Mancha, All those Funny, Familiar, Forgotten Feelings (more reminiscent of a past love life), Old Black Betty (bam-a-lam), What’s New Pussycat?, Mama told me not to come (good advice son,) Sex Bomb and unforgettably singing a duet (triplet) with the girls from the Coach and Horses, Chepstow (who invited them?) who replaced Cerys Matthews in Baby it’s Cold Outside! Hold, back, Sheila! This is family entertainment!
John (or Tom) showed his versatility firstly by impersonating his Prescott namesake and following up by emulating his neighbour in Vegas, Robbie Williams (name dropper – or what!) by belting out ‘Angels’ which got everyone (almost) onto the floor to dance what looked like the Hokey, Cokey in slow motion. Brilliant!
Richie Llewellyn found the New Year hats and threatened to fine anyone not wearing one, so we had to keep our hats on throughout the second half and also in his own faultless, inimitable style (yeah, yeah!) conducted the raffle where most of the prizes seemed to be bottles of wine – but that’s what we came for, wasn’t it? Lucky all the winning tickets were green or Richie would have been well confused. Mark helped with the difficult numbers.
The evening came to a close with some smoochy numbers and at coming on for midnight everyone left having had a fabulous, fun night proving once again that our Choir Hall Social Nights are highly successful, entertaining evenings. A final comment from Sheila of the Coach and Horses “I didn’t know this place existed – it was fantastic and we’ll come again”. Look out for our next evening which will be on New Year’s Eve when we welcome back the fabulous Barry Hammett Swingshift Band. Book Early! Bound to be a sellout! Keep looking at our web-site.
Photos by Lyn and Coll
The next major Social Event at the Choir Hall will be a TOM JONES TRIBUTE NIGHT organised by chorister Mark Stocker. This promises to be a fabulous night with arguably one of the best Tom Jones tribute artists on show. All those who remember the choir’s rendition of ‘Delilah’ should come along to hear an alternative version. Sales of tickets are going extremely well, so if you want to see this fabulous show, you’ll have to hurry!
Everyone who’s been agrees that our tribute nights so far have all been really enjoyable occasions to remember and this one promises to be no exception, so please contact Mark on 01291 421812 or any chorister for tickets.
On Sunday 20th of April, 15 Choristers and 5 Vice President/Friends took the M5 south to Okehampton for our annual trip to the Ashbury Golf Hotel. The Ashbury along with its sister Hotel ‘The Manor House’ form a huge craft and sporting complex. There are 7 golf courses within its 600acres and many other facilities including 15 snooker tables, swimming pools with Jacuzzi’s and sauna’s, outdoor and indoor bowls, tennis courts, archery and laser shooting, gymnasiums, arts and crafts and much more.
Our trip was mainly to play golf and to that end we had games booked for every day, Sunday to Thursday, each on a different course. We arrived at 12.30pm just in time for lunch and then on to the front 9 holes on the Oakwood course. This is a lovely ,mainly flat course but with many strategically placed hazards such as ponds and bunkers to catch one out. Although we had a nasty shower halfway through, everyone enjoyed the two and a half hours we were out. Winner for the day was Richie Llewellyn closely followed by Jason Dawe and Ron Powell.
On Monday it poured down all morning. We were all looking forward to playing the long, difficult and spectacular Kigbear Course. Our starting tee time was just after midday and although it was still raining everyone drove off, cocooned in layers of ‘wet gear’. Unfortunately after two hours we had to abandon the game due to waterlogged greens and also very waterlogged golfers; no winners nor losers. Fortunately lunch is served until 4pm so we all had a good feed instead. After dinner in the evening we had one of those ‘magic moment’ sing songs which included a lot of friendly banter with a group down from Liverpool.
Tuesday was the Pairs day. The previous night we drew names out, trying always to match a high handicapper with a low handicapper, thus giving everyone a chance of getting in the frame. This game took place on the Pines Course. The winning pair was Tom Hole / Terry Thorne, second Tony Shepherd / Dave Gould and joint third Steve Davies / Keith Swaine and Ron Powell / Stuart Savage. The evening saw us have another singing session in the bar and a group photograph courtesy of the Ashbury.
The next day, Wednesday, on the Forest Course, we played in teams of four, each team again being drawn out the night before using the same format. It rained, oh boy did it rain. Once again we were unable to complete the match although because every team managed to get as far as, and complete, the seventh hole we were able to have a winning team who were Steve Davies/Mark Stocker/Alyn Dawe/Tom Hole. In the evening after dinner we had the presentations. The overall winner with the highest combined total points for the week was Keith Swaine who received a Trophy and The John Wyson Cup which was donated by John. Second was Karl Gregory, third was Terry Thorne and fourth Richie Llewellyn. The Nearest the Pin Trophy, played on the seventh hole of the Forest, was won by Karl Gregory. There was also a ‘Buiri trophy for the golfer who achieved the lowest score. The evening concluded with the traditional Reading of the Fines Book. This is a compendium of misdemeanors and sayings gleaned throughout the week and compiled by Alyn Dawe and his ‘sneaks and deckers’. Examples:- Phil to Dave “What course are we playing tomorrow” – Dave ” The Forest” – Phil ” Is that the one with all the trees” \… and at dinner Dave to Alyn” You can buy those reading glasses in the Pound Shop” Alyn – ” How much are they?” Dave -“A pound”! How easy it is to fall into the trap!
Thursday we had breakfast early and played the back nine holes of the Oakwood, finishing just as the rain was starting again. Winner was Terry Thorne, followed by Karl Gregory and Tom Hole. We all left about 11.30am.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves despite having rain almost every day. The Ashbury looked after us in their usual way. We had a superb deal which included breakfast, lunch and dinner. Free wine with dinner on Sunday and Tuesday, free golf with free buggies every day along with free use of all the sports facilities. I must thank everyone who came, there was lots and lots of fun and laughter but nobody forgot we were representing the Choir. Oh dear – I’ve had orders to organize another trip next year again – Oh deary, deary me