Last night we enjoyed another shared concert, this time with with Warley Male Voice choir in the Cornbow Hall in Halesowen.Despite our numbers being down to the low twenties I felt we performed extremely well, and once again I thought the selection of music we performed was spot on. We are extremely grateful to Warley, and their MD Steve, for the warmth of their welcome, and the enthusiasm of their audience. The three young men which they had performing with us were a real breath of fresh air-it was really good to see young people enjoying music as much as we do!!
That means that with one concert to go, on December 12th at Wombridge, we have “got through”the busy Autumn schedule-St.Andrew’s, Bridgnorth, Kemberton,and finally Warley-with the enforced postponement of the Market Drayton concert on November 14th., being the only casualty.
As things stand at the moment we are getting 28 people at rehearsals which is really encouraging-we need to get the new people into concerts asap-perhaps the Christmas jollity at Wombridge will give us that opportunity-come along and see!
This evening offered a different sort of challenge,not only were we to sing in front of a large audience, we were to sing to our local “rivals” in the world of male voice singing. By the luck of the draw we had to listen to the other choirs first, and then, after the interval, we had to perform our four chosen pieces.
Starting with the unaccompanied beginning to”What would I do without my music”,which is always a challenge,we did really well, and followed that with the really moving “To where you are”,, “Halleluja” and “Those magnificent men in their flying machines”.
In fact the choice of music was as impressive as the performance, because it showed a different side of male voice singing,less traditional, perhaps lighter, certainly more fun to sing!!
Congratulations to all concerned, and to the other choirs involved, because it really was a”Shropshire Union”, as befits the title we chose for the concert.
Next concert-Kemberton,Saturday, 31st October.
After 6 weeks hard learning, we “kicked off”our season with a joint concert at St. Andrew’s church in Shifnal, sharing the stage with “Of One Accord”, and the children of St. Andrew’s School. The audience was packed and very enthusiastic. We sang first, and tried to make sure it was entertaining for the children(having seen them faced with more traditional Male Voice fare from “The Fron” in Bridgnorth a couple of weeks ago).
It was also our first public airing of “To Where You Are”-which is all about the sense of loss when a loved one passes on.It seemed to go well-sobs were heard!!
“Up Town Girl” got a hearty welcome, and all in all it was good to get the show on the road again.One only hopes that the experience was a good one for the new recruits.
Next stop, Bridgnorth Leisure Centre,this Saturday, October 10th, 7.30pm, in a shared concert with Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock MVChoirs-where the emphasis throughout has been on co-operation, rather than competition-to show the audience different approaches to Male Voice singing.
Tickets are £7 available from G. Heyes on 01952 586968.
Well, we have spent six arduous weeks working on the repertoire,primarily to bring new members up to speed,but in doing so it has revealed to existing members how their “knowledge” of the repertoire has been in some cases shown to be faulty. However, well played to the faithful band who have shown up unfailingly to work hard on the music,and hopefully gain more confidence in what we are doing.Many thanks to Anne and Jade , as normal, but more so in this case for the work Anne has done in putting together the rehearsal tracks on tape so people can work on them individually at home. Thanks also due to Mike for his work on putting together the library of music and getting sufficient copies of music together so all members, new and old, can get their hands on the copies they need.
So now we look forward to a busy Autumn . It seems like a long time since our last outing on May 1st for the celebration of Arthur Roberts’ work in the town.
Dates are as follows:
Saturday October 3rd-St. Andrew’s Church, Shifnal, with the children of the school, and Possibly “Of One Accord”(to be confirmed)
Sat.,10th Oct shared concert with Bridgnorth and Wenlock MVC’s in Bridgnorth Leisure Centre.7.30 pm.
Sat 31st Oct.7.30 pm our own concert at Kemberton Church.
Sat. Nov 14th Our own concert at St Mary’s Market Drayton
Sat 21st Nov. shared concert with Warley MVC in Halesowen.
Sat 12 th Dec, our Christmas concert at Wombridge church-7.30pm.
We have also enjoyed welcoming Adam Green from Radio Shropshire to a recent rehearsal in the wake of news on national television about the challenges facing male voice choirs across the country. Hopefully Adam’s item, to be aired in the next week or so, will give people a chance to listen to the choir in action, and witness the enthusiasm the choir members feel for the “cause”.
Here’s hoping for a busy and successful Autumn!!
Today (June 27th) marks the start of our summer fund raising effort.As we are missing our annual concert this year as the choir rebuilds itself, we are trying to raise funds over the next couple of weeks by members scaling The Wrekin,having gained sponsors from friends and family. “Singing Up The Wrekin” may not involve much singing, but it is quite an effort for some of our older members!!
Tim Wasdell and Ged Heyes started the campaign bright and early this morning, on an absolutely beautiful summers morning .Hopefully they will be followed over the next few days by more members as we try to raise money to help the choir’s costs.
Meanwhile the integration of new members into the choir continues as Anne is trying to establish a core of musical items with which all members are confident. In fact the process is more difficult than it sounds because older members now realise that they have to relearn items which they have been singing wrongly possibly for some time.
Anyway we are practising hard and making good progress.We are desperately short of new basses especially so if there is anybody out there who is interested, please get in touch.
The concert was shared with Shifnal Chorale, St. Andrew’s Church Choir, and Shinal MVC to celebrate the contribution Arthur Roberts made to music in the area..The most important thing for us was the opportunity it gave for new members to get a taste of what a concert feels like. In addition it gave us a chance to show a big Shifnal audience the different types of music we do. I think you could tell from the audience response that they enjoyed our contributions. We made a few mistakes, and we were missing some people on the night,but these things will happen.
As with recent rehearsals, there is a really positive feel to the choir since the new year started. We are smaller, but determined to learn new materials quickly
We still need new members, and new concerts, so anybody out there with an interest in singing or an idea about new venues, please get in touch!
Our next concert is on May 1st (Friday) at 7.30pm in St. Andrew’s Church. It is a celebration of the life of Arthur Roberts who was hugely influential in the early musical history of the town (although he died two days before he was due to take up his duties with the Male Voice Choir!)
There are a number of local choirs taking part, and we are hoping to perform some welsh pieces.in honour of his welsh origins.
Please come along and enjoy a varied programme of choral pieces.Tickets are priced at £8 and are available form choir members.
The recent concert at Rodington,near Shrewsbury, was well received by an enthusiastic audience, although we did experience some problems with the acoustics. However, the choir is struggling with a new line up in some areas, and it takes time to settle in with different people in different places.
“Up Town Girl” is a lively piece which we enjoy, and that gets across to the audience.
At the moment we are rehearsing “To Where you are”, which is a haunting piece dedicated to one of our followers who died last year-it will be a very emotional moment when we perform it for Lawrence, who bought the music for the choir, in memory of his wife, Jacqui.
Hopefully the seven new members who are enthusiastically joining in those rehearsals will be able to perform some parts in the next concert.We are performing with other Shifnal Choirs at St. Andrew’s Church in Shifnal on Friday, May 1st,and later in the year,on October 3rd with the pupils from St. Andrew’s school.We are hoping to arrange some concerts in the early summer when the choir is at full strength.
The AGM held this week(March 26 th.) was characterised by the genuine feeling that the choir was moving forward after a difficult few months. Anne gave a very constructive report on how she wants the choir to progress and the atmosphere was very positive. Hopefully Mike’s ideas on sending out new pieces via CD’s or memory sticks will enable us to learn more quickly.
We need more new members, we need new ideas on fund raising, we need to try to harness the support of the town in general. Anyone with any ideas contact me ASAP-anyone with a voice, come along on Thursdays!!
We have had two excellent rehearsals at the start of the new year. Work is continuing on new material, and Anne is pleased with the progress. We are.looking to consolidate,and get new members upto speed on the repertoire.This may mean less concerts this year as we move forward . It also means that we have to check carefully to ensure that we are properly balanced as a group before accepting new concerts. Hopefully, as the year progresses we can ensure that we can produce our best,rather than be concerned that a certain section may be weaker on a particular day. Two years ago in February, we were 43 strong going off down to a competition in Torquay, confident that we could do well..
Well, as it happens, we thought that we had done well, but the judges disagreed!!
However, it shows that things can change very quickly in choirs ,and we have to believe we can get more people in over the next twelve months and move forwards together.The new recruits we have welcomed have proven to be excellent additions,and perhaps it is not an accident that they heard us at Viv’s daughter’s wedding, and were attracted by what they heard.We are available to do weddings-perhaps that is a step forwards in the right direction!!
We enjoyed a really successful evening at Wombridge Church yesterday, with a varied programme of songs, solo’s and carols It was particularly good to get the audience involved,and there were lots of smiling faces at the end.
It was a special first concert for two new singers, John and Mike, who were able to realise for the first time what it feels like to be part of the choir for real.Well done to both. It has been a great pleasure to welcome you, and we all hope that there will be many more to come.
Sadly, Ray Smith, a member for 24 years, has decided to leave the choir,and he leaves with our best wishes.
At Blists Hill today we were blessed with good weather, and large crowds. As a smaller group than last year we had to work hard,but were well received,and enjoyed the welcome refreshments at “The Shakespeare Inn” afterwards.We are looking forward to singing at Idsall School’s Christmas concert on Thursday, and singing some carols at “The Wheatsheaf” afterwards..Hopefully singing carols at the Farmers’ market at the village hall on Saturday, will give us a chance to hand out some recruitment posters, and then we look forward to the new year, and new challenges.
Happy Christmas to all.!
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