Photograph taken by Colleen Gauntlett
Photograph taken by Colleen Gauntlett
Photos by Colleen Gauntlett. Left Click to Enlarge
On a glorious Summer Saturday 4th August, over 50 members of Caldicot Male Voice Choir made the short journey to St Mary Virgin Church in Caldicot to take part in the celebration and service of the wedding of Caroline Nash to Andrew Bundock. Caroline is a teacher at Castle Park Primary School in Caldicot and has heard the choir sing before at its recent Christmas Concert at the choir hall when it shared the stage with the wonderful school choir. Andrew works locally as a civil servant and the couple have been together for nineteen years before tying the knot.
Prior to the marriage service, conducted by Rev Richard Terrado-Reardon, the choir entertained the waiting congregation with favourites Anfonaf Angel, On the Street Where You Live from ‘My Fair Lady, Wise Men Say (Only Fools Rush In), made famous by Elvis Presley and Let it be me, recorded by the Everley Brothers. The Choir was conducted by Musical Director Siân Hatton and accompanied on keyboard by John Nicholson.
Hymns sung and joined in enthusiastically by the Caldicot choir included ‘Lord of All Hopefulness,’ ‘Give Me Joy in My Heart’ and not forgetting a must at weddings ‘Love Divine, all loves excelling’. The church organist for the wedding was the choirs other accompanist Stephen Berry. The hymns and service were interspersed with a Bible reading from Corinthians delighfullyr read by Catherine Stephens and a beautiful, poignant poem, written by the Bride, Caroline and read by Anna Melling as a tribute to the life she had already spent with her new husband Andrew .
During the signing of the register, the choir further entertained the wedding guests with renderings of modern Welsh song ‘Yfory’, expressing the promise of ‘tomorrow’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’ made famous by Westlife, Josh Groban and many others.
Finally the newlyweds walked down the aisle to the refrains of the much loved Welsh Hymn ‘Calon Lân’ sung by the choir and accompanied by Stephen Berry on the church organ and then, in what is becoming a wedding tradition with the choir, to have their photograph taken outside the church with the choristers in the background while singing Calon Lân.
Photograph by Colleen Gauntlett
On Saturday 28th April, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was privileged to sing at the wedding of Michael John Griffiths to Rachel Elizabeth Davies at St Tewdric’s Church, Mathern near Chepstow. Michael is the son of baritone chorister Anthony Griffiths and his wife Carolyn Griffiths and Rachel is the daughter of Steven Davies and Elizabeth Ridler-Davies.
The choir, conducted by John Nicholson and accompanied by Stephen Berry welcomed the incoming congregation with Yfory (Tomorrow) and You Raise Me up before joining in enthusiastically during the service with selected hymns ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ and ‘Love Divine accompanied by church organist Dorothy Harris. The service was conducted by Rev. Julian White who put the nervous bride and groom at their ease with a number of anecdotes and friendly chat.
Following the vows and exchange of rings as an essential part of the ceremony, the couple together with the wedding party retired to the rear of the church for the signing of the Register while the Choir continued to entertain the well wishers and congregation with ‘Somewhere Out There’ from the Spielberg animated film American Tail and the romantic ‘Let it be Me’ made famous by the Everley Brothers.
The couple left to the strains of Mendelsohn’s traditional ‘Wedding March’ before assembling outside for photographs with the Choir, who for once were all smiling.
The Choir would like to wish Michael and Rachel every happiness in their future lives together.
Photos by Colleen Gauntlett. Left click on images to view
Last year almost to the day, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was proud to have sang at St Mary’s in Magor for the wedding of Joanne Hunt to John Sabin on a glorious August day at St Mary’s church in Magor so were were thrilled and delighted to be invited to sing at the wedding of Sarah Jayne Hunt, Joanne’s sister to Luke Clarke on another glorious sunny day, Saturday 13th August at the same church
Once again, the large choir squeezed itself sideways into the pews at the side of the knave and conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry on both organ and piano the choir entertained the congregation by opening with a series of romantic melodies including the Everley Brothers ‘Let it be me’, ‘Can’t help falling in love’ made famous by Elvis Presley and ‘Somewhere out There’ from the Stephen Spielberg cartoon ‘An American Tail’. Traditionally late, the bride entered the church to the sounds of Wagner’s Bridal march.
During the service, conducted by the Reverend Jeremy Harris, the choir augmented the congregational singing of three hymns, including the all -time favourite ‘Love Divine’ as well as the lighter, joyful ‘Give me Joy in my Heart’ and finally ‘Shine, Jesus, Shine’. While the register was being signed the choir further entertained the congregation with their versions of ‘On the Street Where You Live’ from the Broadway musical ‘My Fair Lady’ and finally rounding off with ‘You Raise Me Up’ before the bride and groom, Mr and Mrs Clarke walked down the aisle to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March to begin their new lives together.
Caldicot Male Voice Choir would like to congratulate the Bride and Groom, Sarah Jayne and Luke on their marriage and wish them a long, happy and prosperous life together.
On a beautiful, sunny, autumnal day, Saturday 10th October, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted to sing at the wedding of chorister Gareth Thomas and his wife Davina’s son, Owain Rhodri Thomas to Alison Reeder, a charming American lady from Charleston, South Carolina in the USA, at the Baptist Church in the picturesque square in Magor.
Members of Alison’s family, including her parents Ruth Ellen and Franklin Reeder and brother Justin travelled to Magor to witness their daughter Alison marry Owain. Prior to the ceremony, the congregation and families were treated to the Choir singing from the church balcony, ‘American Trilogy’ and ‘Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love’ made famous by Elvis Presley and the popular Welsh song ‘Yfory’ which means ‘Tomorrow’. The Choir was conducted by Musical Director Siân Hatton and accompanied by Stephen Berry.
The wedding ceremony, presided over by church minister, Rev. Linda Crebin was preceded by Justin’s reading of ‘I like you’, a humorous, but apt and poignant poem by Sandol Stoddard Warburg
I like you because
When I tell you something special,
You know it’s special,
And you remember it
A long, long time.
If you want to read more of this poem click on the link: ‘I Like You’.
During the ceremony, the choir delightfully sang ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ to the arrangement of American composer, Malotte and afterwards during the signing of the Register it sang ‘Somewhere Out There’ from the Stephen Spielberg cartoon ‘An American Tail’ and finally the Everley Brother’s ‘Let it be me’. Including the singing of the hymn ‘Bread of Heaven’ sung to the tune ‘Cwm Rhondda’, the mix of music was certainly an American-Welsh eclectic blend which the congregation thoroughly enjoyed.
The choir’s final contribution was given by accompanist Stephen Berry’s presentation on the Church organ of the music from ‘The Legend of Zelda’ as the Bride and Groom left the Church. Stephen commented afterwards that in fifty years of playing at weddings, this was the first time he had ever been asked to play the wedding processional music from a Nintendo video game. ‘It’s dangerous to go alone’, according to the game.
The choir would like to congratulate and wish Owain and Alison every good fortune, health and happiness in their lives together.
Glorious sunny Saturday 15th August saw 58 choristers, Musical Director Siân Hatton and accompanist John Nicholson make the journey to sing at the wedding of Joanne Hunt to John Sabin at midday at St Mary’s Church, Magor. We probably outnumbered the wedding guests but what a fabulous turn out.
The choir packed themselves into the pews, side on to the knave to entertain incoming guests with renditions of traditional wedding songs such as You Raise Me up, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Somewhere Out There and She made famous by Charles Aznavour. While the register was being signed, the choir also sang ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from the Lion King in which Siân sang the solo part.
It was also a special day for top tenor John Searle who made his debut in the choir at the wedding although he will have to wait for the Gala on September 5th to make his official concert debut performance. It was also the debut wedding performance for Harry Giblin, Rob Baldwin, Liam Evans and Sam Atkins. Well done all and thanks to all the choristers and musical team who came to make it an extra special occasion for the bride, groom and guests.
Photos by Colleen Gauntlett. Left click to enlarge.
Almost fifty members of the choir made their way across the border by car and coach to the beautiful setting of Clearwell Castle, nestled in a picturesque valley of the Forest of Dean. The romantically set venue, on appropriately St Valentine’s Day, played host to the wedding reception of Ross and Emma Millar who’d earlier married in the village of St. Maughans , 3 miles east of Monmouth.
Clearwell Castle was built in 1727 and in the 1970’s it was used regularly as a rehearsal and recording studio by rock music bands including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Badfinger, Sweet, Mott the Hoople and Bad Company. Remember them?
Following in their footsteps but of a different genre, the choir were invited by Rob Millar, the groom’s father and a long-standing Vice President of the Choir to sing at the castle as the bride and groom entered, with their guests and we duly obliged with a medley of songs, earlier chosen by Emma and Ross.
From a quarter past four, as the guests entered from a damp, brumal afternoon into the splendid, chandelier lit reception hall and to a welcome champagne and canapé reception, the Choir conducted by Shirley Ann James and accompanied by John Nicholson and Stephen Berry opened up with the rousing Welsh Hymn, Rachie and followed by Bride and Groom selected Let it be Me, made famous in 1960 by the Everly Brothers, May You Always Have a Song, You Raise Me Up, Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love, On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady, Charles Aznavour’s She and One Moment in Time, originally written for Elvis Presley. It was famously sung by Whitney Houston at the 1988 Olympics in South Korea and is now regularly sung by our Choir.
Many of the songs were repeated as more and more guests arrived. The audience appreciated performance finalised with the Welsh National Anthem, Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau. As the choir departed for home, just as the rain started, the bride, groom, bridesmaids and wedding guests made their way to the long awaited wedding breakfast.
Many of the choristers will remember the picturesque, 16th century Cwrt Bleddyn Manor House set in the verdant, rolling hills of mid Monmouthshire near Llangibby, in its halcyon days as a popular night club where some forty or more years ago they may well have gone there to dance the night away in any of its three disco bars with visiting girls from Newport, Caerleon, Usk and further afield. I know of at least one chorister who met his future bride to be at one of these venues. While waiting for the ceremony to begin, choristers wandered the tree lined lawns alongside a babbling trout stream and ponds to reminisce on what might have been.
Since those heady days of the sixties and seventies, the manor house has become a luxury hotel and spa resort, once owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin empire, listing among its frequent guests, Sir Cliff Richard, but on Friday 21st September it played host to Caldicot Male Voice Choir who were delighted to sing at the wedding of bass chorister John MacCarthur’s son James to Emma Whitely.
As the bride proceeded down the Crystal Suite aisle, lined with purple gladioli bedecked pedestals towards a nervous James, the facing choir on stage above them both, sang the romantic Nessun Dorma aria from Puccini’s opera Turandot conducted by John Nicholson and accompanied by Steve Berry. The choir watched on closely, with due reverence as James and Emma emotionally made their marriage vows to each other before turning to one side to sign the register. The choir entertained the waiting witnesses, friends and family to a romatic medley of Somewhere Out There, Let it be Me, May You Always Have a Song and finally the favourite Can’t Help Falling in Love made famous by Elvis Presley. We were so good we sang it twice but hard to judge the audience reaction since they were leaving at the time.
Photographs were duly taken outside in the Cwrt Bleddyn courtyard, complete with dry fountain, of remaining members of the choir with Emma, James and bridesmaid Molly before the choristers retreated to the Oak Room for welcome refreshments.
On a day when umbrellas were turned inside out and coats were saturated by wet and blustery June conditions (would you believe it) the choir were nevertheless pleased and privileged to entertain the guests at the wedding of Ceri Powell to Matthew Lewis at Caldicot’s St Mary’s Church.
The Choir was one more bass short as Ron attended to his duties as the bride’s father in his smart tailored grey frock coat, normal attire being builder’s overalls. The choir, expertly conducted by Shirley Ann James and accompanied by talented guest accompanist Gwyn Morgans with the wind howling around the stained glass windows, enthusiastically entertained the congregation with choruses of Llanfair, You Raise Me Up, O Gymru, Somewhere Out There, May You Always Have a Song, Wise Men Say (Only Fools Rush In) among others while the bride exercised her prerogative by being twenty five minutes late (usual problems with hair, apparently). Encouraged to smile by the minister, the congregation finally welcomed Ceri as she entered the church to the sounds of Canon in D by Pachelbel. ‘Who giveth this woman to this man’ was met by Ron’s resounding ‘I do!’. Did you really mean to be that enthusiastic, Ron?
Following the faultless reading of Corinthians 13 1-7, the giving and receiving of vows, prayers and signing of the register, the assembly stood while Ceri and Matt made their way down the nave to receive their guests before they braved outside conditions more reminiscent of November, while many of the choir retreated to the welcoming warmth of the Castle Inn opposite. Which is why there are no pictures of the choir. Sorry lads , you were too quick for me, but let’s congratulate Bass Ron Griffiths for completing his first performance with the choir. May you have many, many more.
Photos by Lyn
From ‘The Libretto’ – July 2011
What a day! it started off with the bus driver having road rage on the M5 when a car cut him up.
We then arrived at Broadwindsor in glorious sunshine. Judging by all the top hats and tails and elegant dresses and hats you would think we were at Royal Ascot.
The church was packed and we sang 2 songs which were well received by the guests. The sound in the church was brilliant and we should go back and do a concert there.
We then left the church and headed for the reception at the bride’s parents farm.
We got off the bus and John Jones directed the bus driver to park at the top of the field. We were then escorted past the tennis courts that were housed in a huge marquee and onto the lawn at the back of the house. We were offered Pimms and wines a few choristers asked for beer and were given them. The guests arrived and we gathered around the pool and sang about 8 songs. David Broome and his wife led the applause and were overjoyed with our performance.
Then back to the bus only to find the driver had it wedged on someone’s driveway. After 45 minutes we got the bus free only after he had demolished a Cotswold stone wall post, dug up the driveway and ripped up a couple of tree posts.
He managed to get us to the pub where we had free drinks courtesy of Mr & Mrs Broome and some food paid for by the choir.
Then we set off for home, but the driver forgot about the Bristol boys and was heading for the new bridge. We had to go and rejoin the M4 and then the M5 and head back the way we came. This added another 40 minutes to our journey.
Apart from the bus journey a good day was had by all and I am sure we will be asked to sing at Broadwindsor again.