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American Choir Honours Bill Nash

Bill with his family at his birthday. Plaque superimposed

Last January saw the celebration of the 97th birthday at the Choir Hall of probably the oldest and longest serving male chorister in the Country; Bill Nash who has been singing in choirs for over 80 years, even during his wartime service in the Royal Air Force.


Instigated by the Welsh Association of Male Choirs after seeing the report on Facebook, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted soon after to receive a parcel from Wilbur McCormick of the D L Davis Male Voice Choir in Jackson, Ohio, USA. The parcel contained a Choir polo shirt, a commemorative plaque and a letter endorsing BIll as an Honorary Life Member of this prestigious Choir.


The beautifully made plaque mounted on oak reads:
‘In Recognition of his 80 Years of Service to the World of Music
BILL NASH is Awarded a Lifetime Honorary Membership by the D.M. DAVIS MALE VOICE CHOIR of Jackson Ohio, USA January 9, 2020′.


This is a rare honour, richly deserved by Bill. This accolade was due to be presented to Bill at the Annual Concert this year, but unfortunately the event was cancelled, Since we do not know when the Choir can meet again it was decided that now is the right time to make this award public.
Bill is at home in Bristol, is well and still learning his music. He has been aware of the award for some time and he and his family are thrilled and delighted that his long continuous service to male voice singing has been honoured in this way.


Many thanks to Wilbur McCormick and all at the D.M. Davis Male Voice Choir for this wonderful tribute. Hopefully we will be able to make the presentation to Bill personally soon.

Choristers consume Colleen’s celebratory Christmas Cake

Colleen prepares to cut the cake for eager choristers

It’s become a tradition at Christmas time at Caldicot Male Voice Choir that Colleen Gauntlett presents the choir with a special Christmas cake as a gift in appreciation of all the friendship, hard work and entertainment the Choristers and Musical Team have provided over the past year.

At practice on 12th December, the Choir enjoyed a fabulous, hand crafted, 10 inch square, three layered, red iced cake featuring six ‘Naughty Elves’ as the theme with a traditional chocolate and orange flavour. Eagerly devoured by the Choir within minutes during the interval, the choristers, led by Assistant Musical Director, Shirley-Anne James showed their appreciation with rapturous applause and cheers much to Colleen’s embarrassment because she had a mouthful of cake at the time!

Colleen would also like to make it known that any resemblance of an elf to any chorister is purely coincidental.The choristers also appreciated that there was enough left for a piece to be taken home to their wives as well.

There’s a lot more than singing in Caldicot Male Voice Choir so if you are interested in joining please come along to a concert or a practice night at the hall in Mill Lane (near the Leisure Centre) on any Monday or Thursday evening (except Bank Holidays and Christmas period).

Fabulous Choir Christmas Party

Photo by Lyn Gauntlett

CALDICOT CHOIR CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS IN PUGWASH PANTO STYLE

Caldicot Male Voice Choir held a fabulous, really enjoyable Christmas Party and Pantomime on December 6th when the Choristers not only settled down to enjoy a really festive evening but also provided all the guests to an amazing evening of entertainment,

With master of ceremonies, Stephen Dance, this included Christmas Songs by members of the Choir, community Carol singing led by Shirley Anne James, an amusing solo Russian drinking song called ‘The Kretchma’ acted out by chorister Andy Friedman and frantic and enjoyable rounds of ‘Pass the Parcel’ well remembered from childhood days.

Written and directed by Ron Powell, practiced over many weeks, in total secrecy, the Choir’s entertainment contribution culminated in a highly humorous Pantomime version of ‘Captain Pugwash’ and his crew’s battle with ‘Cut-throat Jake’ to see who goes to the Christmas Party. The characters are: top row, left to right: Garry Keeble, Dave Gould, Bob Brown, Stuart Parry, Darren Lloyd, Paul Thomas, Grahame Morton, Ron Powell, Russ Woodward, Anthony Griffiths. From row, left to right: Roger Matthews, Shirley Anne James (the crew insisted Shirl be in the photo), Karl Gregory, Chris Nolan and Rob Stallard as Madam Lafayette.

A raffle held to raise more funds for The UK Sepsis Trust raised about £270 bringing the total so far, announced by Anthony Griffiths, to over £6000 this year.

Following the Choir’s entertainment the evening culminated in disco dancing until the close.

This shows that not only is there concert male voice singing while being part of a choir but there is a fantastic active social life with loads of fun as well.

Many thanks to all who made the evening a great success including bar manager David Kirton and staff, entertainments manager Ron Powell and organiser Anthony Griffiths. The evening would also not have been possible without the sterling work of the ’10 o’clock team for setting up the hall and clearing up afterwards. Thanks also to Leon Jones, who with others put up the Christmas decorations.

A special mention must go to Emma from ‘A Touch of Welsh Elegance’ for an incredible job of dressing the tables and chairs for the Choir which no doubt added a rare touch of elegance to one of our parties.

Shirley Anne Presents a Celebratory Cake to the Choir

Normally Caldicot Male Voice Choir gives out presentations and accolades to well deserving choristers, supporters and guest artistes but on April 29th something different and special occurred.

Assistant Musical Director for the past 17 years, Shirley Anne James decided that to mark her 60th birthday she would present the choir with a specially commissioned cake as a thank you for all the years of the choir being, to quote – ‘A real tonic to me, the choir is like my family’.

Colleen Gauntlett often volunteers to make celebratory cakes for the choir and on this occasion she was asked by Shirley Anne to make a special lemon flavoured one with a Welsh theme and as the pictures show, she was thrilled to bits with the daffodils, Welsh dragon plaque, yellow roses and all the other musical themes.

Needless to say, as always the choristers lined up to wish Shirley Anne a very happy birthday before enthusiastically devouring the cake in minutes. Once again, a very happy birthday Shirl, and thanks for the cake. Fabulous.

Great afternoons of Rugby 6 Nations Championships at the Choir Hall

The lights are out, the flags are down, the TV and projector are turned off, the screen wound up and the doors finally shut, but what a great series of events at the Caldicot Male Voice Choir Hall with the showing of the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship over the past two months. A great result for Wales in winning the Grand Slam, the Championship and the Triple Crown and overall a fabulous five weeks of Rugby from all six Nations.

The atmosphere at the matches was further enhanced by a few items of singing by members of the choir conducted by Sian Hatton, David Gould and accompanied by John Nicholson. A really great sound which we hope will encourage some of the men in the audience to join us.

This was not only financially rewarding to help the Choir with its charity and concert work but also showed the people of Caldicot that we have a wonderful Male Voice Choir and a Choir Hall of which it can be rightly proud.

These events would not have been possible if not for the hard work put in by Leon Jones who had the original idea and who worked non stop to ensure a great success. Also it would not have been possible either if it wasn’t for the bar staff including not least David Kirton, John Nicholson, Sian Hatton, Wyn Goodwin, Darren Lloyd, Chris Nolan, Dave Gould, Chris Richards, Dave’s daughter Alison Kirton and her partner David Gill and more who turned up at every match to ensure everyone was well watered and fed. Forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone.

Thanks must go to all those who donated the bread rolls and to Leon Jones for the non-stop supply of hot dogs throughout the whole tournament to keep us fed.

Also tremendous work was put in by the Hall team to ensure the hall was set up with tables and chairs in place ready for each match. Included were Garry Keeble, Peter Hanks, Grahame Morton, Gareth Thomas, Mike Thurman, Leon Jones,and John Nicholson and many more. Please let me know who these are. The same team were also responsible for ensuring the hall was set up for other events, parties and choir practice. A fabulous job by everyone.

Many thanks to Lyndon Gauntlett for designing and printing the posters and putting them on several Community pages Facebook every week as well as video clips and photos taken by his wife Colleen.

The whole project shows how much can be achieved by a willing team of volunteers who have the best interests of the choir at heart.

We would also like to thank all of you who came along to watch the games. We hope you had a great time and that you will lend your support to the Choir in future events.

This event will be repeated next year and we hope to be able to show many of the World Cup matches as well. Keep looking out for us on our web site and on Facebook.

THE RACE NIGHT IS BACK ON FEBRUARY 22nd

Caldicot Male Voice Choir has a proud history of raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities and good causes through its concerts and other activities over many years.  In order to carry out this valuable community work it does of course need to raise funds for itself and to maintain its own magnificent, purpose built Choir hall in Mill Lane which serves the Caldicot Community.

For over twenty years the Choir hall has been host, not only to many concerts and social occasions but also to a fun filled Race Night and this year it is being held on 22nd February starting at  7 -00pm.  Entry is strictly by ticket only at £8 from Ron Powell and includes a buffet.  Ten races are being shown on a state of the art projection system with a 4 metre screen and a superb  sound system to make it all the more realistic.  Races are randomised so no-one has any idea of the winners. A lot of fun is promised as in the past by sponsoring horses and placing small bets in the hope of winning.  There is no chance of losing your shirt.

The evening is backed up by a raffle with fabulous prizes so please come along for a really great night if you like a day at the races! Tickets are going faster than the horses so get your quickly.

Choristers share their birthday with a celebratory cake

Photograph and post by Lyn Gauntlett

76 years ago on January 16th 1943 the country echoed not only to the boom of Hitler’s bombs but also to the sounds of baritone David Kirton and top tenor Peter Hanks entering the world. This has carried on for many years as they continue to be long standing choristers in Caldicot Male Voice Choir. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, Dave asked Chorister’s wife and Caldicot Male Voice Choir photographer Colleen Gauntlett to make a special cake for both as she has done on several special occasions.
 
Happy to oblige, Colleen presented her creation of a chocolate orange sponge cake complete with fondant covering and orange cream filling to the choristers on 17th January. The decorative theme showed David Kirton in his role as bar manager at the hall (as well as his many other functions) and Peter Hanks in his role as a solo tenor performer at many of the choir’s concerts. Both were thrilled to take home the hand made sugar crafted models of each.

 
The photographs show the 14 inch cake in all its glory before being, as is so often the case, eagerly devoured at a break in practice by the choir and musical team of Shirley Shirley-Anne James, Stephen Berry and John Nicholson until only crumbs remain.

Jayne’s Quiz Night Poses Questions

A great Quiz night at Caldicot Choir Hall on 16th November organised by Jayne and Robert Stallard. Lots of questions to stump the 80 odd participants with music and general knowledge questions from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Not to mention the Baby Quiz to identify choristers from their baby photos set up by Darren Lloyd and Tony Griffiths.

£230 was raised for the choir including the raffle and Paul Carlson’s team won the £30 prize. We’re also grateful to an unknown lady all the way from Cornwall who bought the quiz questions for £15. Many thanks. This is now turning into an Annual event to raise funds for Caldicot Male Voice Choir to help it continue to carry out its concert performances and charity appeals. Many thanks to all who turned up to support it as well as the bar staff of David Kirton, Chris Nolan and Paul Thomas and to the choristers who helped set up the hall and clean up afterwards.

Photographs were taken by Colleen Gauntlett.

Cycling Oxford Choir Meet us in Chepstow

Photos by Colleen Gauntlett  Left click on the images to enlarge.

We all know that singing in a choir has major health benefits but to add to this several choirs. including Caldicot Male Voice Choir have formed cycling clubs to improve their fitness levels. Caldicot was therefore delighted to accept Oxford Welsh Male Choir’s cyclists and choristers invitation to join them as they took a break from their charity ride from Oxford to South Wales as they rested up on Friday 28th September at the Beaufort Hotel in Chepstow.   As part of their 90 year anniversary celebrations, the Oxford cycle ride and concert tour was in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Oxford and Caldicot Male Voice Choirs were also joined by members of Chepstow Male Choir for the get together.

Conducted by Musical Directors Helen Swift of Oxford and Siân Hatton of Caldicot and baritone chorister of Caldicot, David Gould the group of about 50 choristers and supporters were treated to an enthusiastic mixture of songs including ‘Rachie’, ‘Let it be me’ to ‘My Grandfather’s clock’ and ‘Stout Hearted Men’ as a medley of ‘afterglow’ singing thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Following on, Oxford travelled to Penarth on Saturday 29th September to meet up for a joint concert with Risca Male Choir. The city of Oxford has a long standing association with Risca in that the city supported a march by 1000 miners from Newport to Oxford in 1928 as part of fund raising efforts in the city to aid the stricken South Wales coalfield population. Later in 1929 the city adopted Risca as its main recipient of its relief efforts. The city also found work for several hundred men and boys of the South Wales coalfield during this turbulent time.

Choir Sings for Severn View Garden

 

A selection of photographs taken by Colleen Gauntlett
Caldicot Male Voice Choir is proud of its long history of raising funds for good causes and on Saturday 21st July it saw the culmination of its main 2017 Fund Raising project, suggested by chorister Alyn Dawe to help build a Sensory Garden at the Severn View Residential Home in Mounton Road, Chepstow.
 
To quote Project Leader Maureen Jenkins.
 
“At Severn View Residential Home in Chepstow we care for, and support 32 people; most of whom are living with dementia. Whilst dementia can be a cruel disease, we do know that it is possible to live well with this disease. An important part of this is having free, safe and open access to outside spaces to be busy gardening, spend time alone or with friends and feel the sun and wind on your face. In a world of confusion, sometimes fear and often sadness a garden specially designed for those suffering with dementia can be a healing place that promotes well-being. We would like to be able to “open the doors” and see our residents faces when they go out to a safe, secure and beautiful garden.”
 
“Among the many contributors to help create the garden were Chepstow Lions, Chepstow Masons, Tesco (Chepstow),Tesco Bags of Help, Caldicot Male Voice Choir, Gwent Constabulary, Community Sponsorship, Chepstow Town council, Chepstow Townswomen’s Guild, Steve Bushell and Quest Construction, The families of the residents past and present who have helped and those who continue to do so. Tribute must be paid in particular to Rachael Davies for her tireless, devoted work to create the garden supported by Rob Campbell, Anne Masters and recently Andy Herbert.”
 
Through various events throughout 2017, Caldicot Male Voice Choir and its associated cycle club, golf society and supporters raised over £4500 to enable a magnificent Summer House and other structures around the garden to be built. Events included a St. David’s Day concert, a Quiz Night, a Table top sale, the now annual Redwick Cycle Challenge and a sponsored long distance cycle ride from Hay on Wye to Caldicot in pouring rain. The Choir’s Golf Society raised about £1000 with a golf tournament at the St Pierre Golf Club.
 
At the Garden party to celebrate the opening of the Garden, the Choir together with entertainers, the extremely talented and humorous ‘The Pashy Pops’ duo singing popular songs from the Forties and Fifties, and the amazing Severn Tunnel Band. The Choir, conducted by Siân Hatton and accompanied by John Nicholson assembled in front of the Summer House to entertain the residents and guests to a range of songs including Rachie, Llef, Somewhere out there and rousing Stout Hearted Men much to the delight of everyone involved.
 
To see the beautiful garden in all its Summer glory and to see the smiles of delight on the residents guaranteed that all the Choir’s and other supporters to create the wonderful garden was time and effort well spent.