Caldicot Male Voice Choir enjoyed a fabulous evening of choral singing on 17th May at Llandaff Cathedral with the North Dakota State University Choir and Madrigal Singers. This was the American choir’s opening concert of their UK tour and Caldicot’s first away concert since March 2020.
The North Dakota Choir, conducted by Jo Ann Miller and Michael J Weber opened and closed the evening with a wide range of choral music including classical church choral music to madrigal singing including a wonderful version of Roll, Jordan, Roll before finalising with music relating to their homeland of North Dakota.
Caldicot Male Voice Choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry interspersed with renderings of favourites Rachie, Cwm Rhondda, the Prayer, Y Tangnefeddwyr, 16 Tons as well as new pieces including Y Darlun, the Rose and finalising with World in Union.
The concert was held, free of charge but with an exit donation in aid of Cardiff Food Bank.
The Choir is pleased to announced it will be singing in Llandaff Cathedral on May 17th in aid of Cardiff Food Bank. This is a prestigious venue and a rare opportunity for the choir to sing there. Entry is free (also rare) but there will be an exit collection in aid of the Foodbank. The Choir will be following this with a concert in St Stephen’s Church in the centre of Bristol on June 19th at 7-30pm, this time sharing the stage with The Roseville, Minnesota Festival Singers.
Following the Annual concert performance for invited guest and vice presidents on April 22nd, Caldicot Male Voice Choir once again opened its doors to the general public for a repeat performance on 23rd April.
Having learned that a family from Ukraine has recently arrived in Caldicot, hosted by Lucy Mason, the Choir was pleased that the family of Sergey Lukianenko, his wife Inna and their 8 year old daughter Vitalina accepted the Choir’s invitation to the concert. Welcome to Caldicot and Wales all of you.
The Choir also welcomed Tracy Stafford and Catherine Duke as representatives of the charity Ready, Steady, Go, based in Magor. This charity supports local children with autism and their families. The choir is proud to be supporting this charity this year with a wide range of events.
The National Anthem of Ukraine was played before the concert started. The Choristers, all wearing blue and yellow lapel ribbons were conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson through a varied repertoire of songs from around the world, finalising with World in Union to show its support for those struggling in Ukraine.
The concert was supported by guest artistes Eleri Owen Edwards and husband Aled Edwards in a performance which included a range of items from the world of opera and musicals. The concert was once again expertly and smoothly compered by choir favourite Dean Powell
A highlight of the evening was the choir being conducted by Vitalina when it sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Asst. Musical Director Shirley-Anne James Thanks to Colleen Gauntlett photographer and gopher.
It has been 3 years since Caldicot Male Voice Choir has been able to perform an Annual Concert so it was delighted that it performed two on one weekend 22nd and 23rd April. The first, played to a full house was to show its appreciation for the Vice Presidents, invited guests and the choristers for their continued support through the pandemic.
Among the Choir’s invited guests were Jessica Morden MP a long standing supporter of the Choir and along with Caldicot’s Monmouthshire County Councillors, Mat Feakins the chairman of Monmouthshire County Council. Guest artistes were the talented, award winning husband and wife duo from Llandovery ; Eleri Owen Edwards and husband Aled who performed numerous pieces from the world of opera and musicals.
The Choir was delighted that humorous and knowledgeable Dean Powell once again accepted the invitation to compere one of the concerts for about the 6th time. Great to have you back again Dean. Conducted by Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson, the Choir performed a varied International programme of 18 songs in total ranging from South Africa’s ‘African Prayer’, Benedictus, Shenandoah, 76 Trombones, Rachie and World in Union and more to demonstrate its versatility.
The concert finalised with presentations of Lifetime Achievement Awards and conferment of Honorary Vice President status to Choristers Leon Jones and David Kirton for their outstanding contribution to the Choir over many years.
It was a fabulous concert and the Choristers left looking forward to the Saturday night’s performance, open to the Public.
It’s been about 3 years (April 2019) since Caldicot Male Voice Choir last performed its popular Annual concert in Caldicot due to Covid restrictions but it is now pleased to announce that it will be going ahead on Saturday 23rd April. The format is changed for this year in that it will be held at the Choir Hall in Mill Lane, Caldicot starting at 7-pm with the doors opening at 6-30pm. The concert will be in a cabaret format with the audience seated at round tables.
Guest artistes are award winning husband and wife, mezzo soprano Eleri Owen-Edwards and baritone Aled Edwards. Both have performed with the Choir in the past; Eleri singing with the choir on the P&O cruise ship Azura and Aled joined the choir on its tour to Canada.
The compere will be the popular, humorous, entertaining and knowledgeable Dean Powell who has compered several of the choir’s concerts.
The poster says it all but please get your tickets early since places are limited. What better way to celebrate St George’s day than going to a concert by a Welsh Male Voice Choir?
Earlier this year, following his 99th birthday on January 9th, Bill Nash arguably the country’s oldest practicing chorister announced his retirement from performing in concerts.
However, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was delighted that, accompanied by his son Andrew, he was able to return to practice on March 25th and will continue to do so for as long as he is able. Bill has been a member of the choir for over 50 years.
Following a rousing welcome from all the choristers, Bill said he was delighted to be back, had been practicing at home all through the pandemic and was able to join in with many of the songs. ‘The experience was wonderful’ said Bill.
If you would like to hear us live, please come along to any practice on a Monday or Thursday evening at the Choir Hall, Mill Lane, Caldicot from 7-00pm. You will be made very welcome.
Following on from the St David’s Day concert on Monday 5th March, Caldicot Male Voice Choir was, on 10th March delighted to present a cheque for £1429 as a result of money raised at the concert to Tania Ansell and Jaz Cuggy, representatives of the St David’s Hospice Care. Tania expressed her appreciation of the effort and support given by the Choir to raise this magnificent amount as a result of the concert.
The photograph shows vice chairman Spikey Runner (Graham Hughes) presenting the cheque to Tania and Jaz.
The charity supports over 2500 patients and needs to raise about £8 million a year to provide its valuable and much needed service to its patients and their families at the most vulnerable time of their lives. For further details please visit its website https://stdavidshospicecare.org/
The concert was held at the request of long standing bass chorister Wyn Goodwin who was cared for by the Hospice, like so many other past members of the Choir, before sadly passing away last September.
On Saturday 5th March Caldicot Male Voice Choir performed its first concert at the Choir Hall in Mill Lane two years to the day from its last at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Northern Ireland. The concert was arranged to raise funds for the St David’s Hospice which cares for so many people in the area in their last remaining days.
The Choir also included two bass choristers Nigel Keen and Mark Campbell who were making their first appearance in a concert. Nigel has had a long wait for this since he passed his second voice test just before the pandemic restrictions were imposed.
To a seated limited audience of about 100 the Choir, conducted by musical director Sian Hatton and Shirley-Anne James and accompanied by Stephen Berry and John Nicholson performed several pieces including Cwm Rhondda, Y Darlun for the first time, Shenandoah, A Miner’s Song, Rock-a my soul, again a premiere,16 tons, Yfory and of course Deus Salutis (O Iesu Mawr) to the tune ‘Llef’.
The Choir was delighted to welcome back it’s guest artiste, mezzo soprano Glenna Parry accompanied by her husband Gavin. As well as her solo pieces she joined with her sister Sian, in Rossini’s ‘Cat’s Duet’ and later was included in a trio of herself, Sian and Shirley Anne in ‘Three Little Maids from School’ from the Mikado.
During the interval Jaz Cuggy, representing the St. David’s Hospice Care gave a short talk on the work and needs of the charity, explaining that from its humble beginnings of just a few patients, it now cares for over 2500 and needs to raise eight million pounds a year to provide care for these. The Choir finalised its performance by continuing with Anfonaf Angel, Benedictus and Ride the Chariot which included soloists David Gould and Sian Hatton.
Following its first ever performance of ’76 Trombones’ from the musical The Music Man, the Choir in tribute to the brave, suffering people of the Ukraine appropriately sang ‘World in Union’ to show its support . On display throughout was a candlelit photograph of the Ukrainian Flag mounted on a draped Flag of Wales. All choristers displayed a blue and yellow ribbon as well as a daffodil to show solidarity with Ukraine.
The Choir’s diary for the rest of the year is slowly filling up and if you would like to join please come along to practice on any Monday or Thursday evening from 7pm. You will be very welcome.
Last September it was reported that Caldicot Male Voice Choir could return to full practice due to a relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. Sadly, this was short lived because of the emergence of the Omicron Covid variant.
However after a period of 3 months, the Choir returned to full practice at the Choir Hall on Monday 7th February, although maintaining appropriate precautions to minimise any further spread of the variant. About 50 choristers and music team came along to the practice, when for the first time in 3 months or more it could join together to sing new pieces such as Y Darlun and to revisit older pieces including Cwm Rhonnda, Y Tangnefeddwyr, Rachie and On the Street Where You Live.
Prior to the practice the Choir was delighted that new bass chorister Mark Campbell passed his second voice test by bravely singing ‘Kwmbayah’ in front of Musical Director SIan and supported by bass chorister John Evans.
A celebratory cake to mark the occasion was once again baked, decorated and provided by chorister’s wife Colleen Gauntlett. As always this was devoured by the Choristers at the end of the practice (along with well deserved liquid refreshment at the bar) and there was sufficient for eagerly anticipated seconds and thirds and for many to take home to their wives and partners.
Once again the choir is grateful for the continuing support of the Grassroots section of the South Wales Argus for including this report by PRO Lyn Gauntlett, of the 99th birthday of Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s oldest member, Bill Nash.
The photo shows Bill proudly holding the certificate, presented by Jessica Morden MP and Musical Director SIan Hatton to commemorate his 50 years of continuous service to the Choir at a special outdoor ceremony last year.
On the same day, fellow chorister Peter Heslop also received the same award. Previous recipients of this award have been the late Colin Jones, choristers John Evans and Dave Gould.