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LOMVC Archive

The Archive Page is where you will find links to various LOMVC archives that have carefully saved and logged and interesting information about our concerts.

"You Raise Me Up" performed by Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir 10th November 2020

LOMVC wanted to make a virtual choir video, so they asked Ron Circus if he would make one for the choir, as he had successfully made three other videos for his other choir, with the help of their M.D. doing the sound mixing.

This time it was down to Ron to do both the video and the sound. Ron made an instruction video and made that available to  the choir members.  We chose “You Raise me Up” as the song, as this was a song that the choir new well and it captured the spirit of why we were making this video, to raise our spirits and help bond the choir together, during these extremely difficult times. Jan Walker, our LOMVC M.D. produced the backing track foe the choir to record their video. There was a great deal of comradeship amongst the choir members, offering hep to make the individual recordings. This was made difficult, the fact that we were in the middle of a pandemic and and we could not meet with each other, due to the social distancing etc.

Ron took a green screen and lighting and camera equipment to a hall near Jan’s house and they filmed Jan, conducting and imagery choir. Then with the help of video wizardry, Ron supperimposed Jan into the virtual video, which made Jan look like she was really with the choir, conducting them, as she does so well.

Kay Duell our accomipanst could not film herself playing the song so Ron grabbed the image form a concert that she played for us, singing the song. Lizsi Carter is our professional page turner and could not be filmed turning pages for Kay. But again, using video wizardry, Ron superimposed Kay and Lizsi into the video.

Dave Smith, one of our deputy M.D.s made three videos in the end, one of him singing his baritone part and the other two were him playing the lead and bass guitar.

Ron created the stage and curtains and virtual audience, we just need our choir! The videos started to flood into Ron and the edit began. Once all of the virtual choir members were created and everyone that could take part had submitted their video, it was then time to work on the sound.

Ron worked with Jan to see what type of sound that Jan wanted for the song. They spent many hours adjusting the dynamics of the song to get it right.

The sound track was then adding to the video and it looked and sounded good.The committee were pleased with it, which was a relief to Ron, as this had taken 500 hours to make!

The committee wanted to make more of this special video and help raise money for charity. We ended up presenting Havens Hospice with a virtual cheque for £2000, at our Day be the Seaside virtual concert. Havens hospice were delighted with what the choir had achieved.

Below are the words that are attached to the video, to let people know how they could help and show that LOMVC were not sitting still, during the pandemic.

“The pandemic might have stopped our members meeting and performing, but that wasn’t going to stop them recording solo tracks and creating a virtual performance from their individual home recordings. We’ve enjoyed performing the inspirational ‘You Raise Me Up’ and we hope you enjoy listening to it. If you do, please consider making a donation to the Leigh Orpheus, supporting us through the pandemic and allowing is to continue our commitment to local charities, in particular our local ‘Havens Hospices’. Simply go to our JustGiving page and click on the ‘Donate’ button: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/v… Thank you.”

March 2020 and Coronavirus hit the world with a devastating Pandemic Which stopped all face to face singing and we moved to Zoom!

Corona Virus hit the whole world, which in turn put a stop to anyone singing live together. At the time of adding this, the world had seen millions of people die. It is now April 2021 and COVID 19 remains with us ad we are still not able to meet in the flesh. We have worked hard throughout the pandemic, to keep the choir interested and help the mental with the health, which is one of the positive benefits of singing. We have been using Zoom, to hold rehearsals and two concerts to date. We also made our own virtual choir video, more about that later.

Statement from our Chairman Mick

Gentlemen, Corona Virus and LOMVC 17th March 2020

Who would have believed just a few days ago that I would be setting out to write this (for me) painful email.

Given the latest advice from Government, we have no choice but for our choir to go into a temporary hibernation (how long? – nobody knows!).
So to be clear there will be NO rehearsal on Friday nor for the foreseeable future.
The sing for the Thai Ambassador will NOT take place and the concert scheduled for April 12th as the guests of the Essex Concert Orchestra is postponed until some time in the Autumn.

As I said to the choir last Friday, we must recognise that the vast majority of our members fall into the most vulnerable group and we must take care to avoid risks as much as possible.
The choir that was at the rehearsal last Friday took the first decision along that path by overwhelmingly suggesting that we should cancel the “repertoire” day on Saturday.
I am afraid it has become necessary to move rapidly along the road to minimise risk.

It is my very clear intention with the fantastic support from your committee to keep these emails going on a weekly basis. So if you have any chatty news you are able to share with your choir colleagues please email me at mickjacks@blueyonder.co.uk with a brief note.

Committee Meeting
Your committee (and lets remind you who they are: Jim Ryan, Barry McGee, Ian Leonard, Neil Frost, Dave Smith, Pam Bearman and Jan Walker) work very hard on your behalf. We will be trying to plan through how best we can support the choir through this hibernation.
Watch this space – we promise we will do our best to keep you informed.

Joint Concert at Sweyne Park School with the Sweyne Park Singers, Performers and Glee Club 29th February 2020

Here are our heros. I could have used a picture of us all lined up with our uniforms on and wearing those smiles we never show Jan. But, I thought, lets show our Front of House Ladies - it's a much nicer picture! (Thanks to Ron Circus)

We pitched up mostly on time and found our Jan all ready to drag us into shape, wandering round the hall to test the acoustics and getting the sound just right.
Then we practiced our walk to the chairs at the back and that went surprisingly well, all things considered. We are beginning to look as good as we sound. Beginning.

A quick go at one or two of our challenges and that was it. Back to the changing room for the obligatory sandwich, crisps and coffee.
Which I forgot to bring so I had to dribble while everyone else consumed everything that could be baked, battered or boiled!

 Apprehension stalked the corridor of suited and booted boys as we lined up for the off, pretending not to be talking to each other, despite angry looks from you know who!

As we entered the hall, to our joy and amazement, we saw it was packed – there must have been at least a hundred or more – for the first time in ages, we were outnumbered!
This put a spring in our step – we always sound better when there’s a decent audience to annoy.

The youngsters who we expected to be a bit of a screech and shout jobbie turned out to be very talented indeed and their music was a real pleasure to hear.

The Sweyne Park Singers were about twenty young girls with angelic voices, singing modern and harmonious stuff. It’s all in the recordings down below here, the music department at the school have done an amazing job with them.
Then there was the rock band with four lads performing “This Love” by Maroon (5), an American group.
A young lady played Ludovic Einauldi’s Nuvole Bianche (White clouds) and she was excellent.
Another girl played the piano and sang “Let her go” by Michael Rosenburg, aka Passenger, and she sang like an angel – it was brilliant.
Another set of girls sang “Dynamite” by Tiao Cruz and then “Dream On” by Aerosmith.
They finished up with “Requiem” from the show “Dear Evan Hanson.”

And then there was us.

Just one moment in One Moment in Time when we didn’t come off the “s” when Janet so clearly indicated. I saw the angry flash in her eyes that said “GRRRRRR How many times do I have to tell you!”. Sorry Jan. It was him….not me…

However, I really continue to believe we’re getting better and better, my favourites, as ever, American Trilogy and Calm is the sea.

 Listen for yourself, the links are further down.
It was a lovely social occasion because, for a change, there were places we could sit and chat with friends and guests in the lobby area.

Another great concert and one where we certainly left our mark! :-))

Chelmsford Cathedral January 2020

This was the one I was really looking forward to and I wasn’t disappointed! Chelmsford Cathedral is such a glorious space to be in, and to sing in. A big thank you to Ron Circus for the  link at the bottom of the page.

We pitched up on time at 11:15 on Friday and milled around chattering, as only we can do with such style, before being gently grouped into our positions.
It always seems unfair that shorter people have to learn the words because they’re (we’re) at the front, while the taller ones can use crib sheets! Still, it does get the old brain going!
This was particularly true with our jinga-alinging spectacular – “Sleigh Bells” – a song that strikes fear into the most stalwart heart!
For some strange reason MOST of the choir had trouble remembering the third verse but none of us know why.

We expected to have a chance to practice and do our sound checks before the audience turned up but we soon discovered that the place fills up early and quickly on the Friday lunchtime concerts.
Before long the queue to buy sandwiches and hot drinks had snaked almost to the front door!

With most of the choir having eaten their lunch, it was time to get under way and the recordings of the songs are below. I think they sound brilliant – I don’t know how we do it!
My particular favourite has to be “Flying Free” with Evan Davies on the flute.

Half way through, his very accomplished Whirwind Ensemble performed a set of three numbers and, my goodness, they sounded wonderful. Their performance is also linked below for those that want to hear them again. I certainly have.

Ron Circus took the pictures, and they are really excellent, showing the beauty of the Cathedral and some of the choir members. (Well, some of us are!)

Patrons Evening 20th December 2019

It wasn’t a big audience. However, it was a very special one, because they are the ones who pay every year to be Patrons of our choir, and so it was a privilege to sing to them!

As a mark of their VIPness, we put THEM on the stage and WE sang from the audience, which confused Janet because she just didn’t know which way to turn!

Joint Concert with the Swift Singers 7th December 2019

With many thanks to Ron for sending me the recordings and videos, here they are. I wasn’t there and so I was delighted to hear the concert – it was brilliant, and I hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as I did.
The RedNote is the audio track only, the video is the YouTube video. We haven’t got the OK to show videos of the Swift Singers yet. If it turns up, I’ll show them.

Singing at the Royals and Victoria Circus December 2019

Another wonderful sing at the Royals on Saturday – for me, it always signals the actual start of my Christmas and there was plenty of that spirit there, as shoppers and their families stopped to listen to us singing our hearts out. A lot of people sang with us, and one kind chap even conducted a couple of our songs! I don’t need to put a pitcure of us singing here, you can see that on Facebook, so I’ve put a lovely Christmas Scene here. This is always a lovely event for us and nothing can possibly match the grim determined faces we wear under our cheerful Santa hats! Anyway, after having a great sing, some of the choir moved on up the High STreet to sing around the Christmas Tree. I didn’t but Ron Did, and here’s his story:

A few of us carried the keyboard, keyboard stand and stool etc, all the way to the other end of the high street. As we approached the venue, a lady was sitting on one of the benches, painting decorative stones and as we passed her she said “would you like a stone?” to which I politely declined. We turned up and it was blowing a freezing wind. There was no power supply at this time. As I sat with the kit, the lady with the stones approached me then withdrew, I thought, how odd! Then a few minutes later she came back. She had in her hand, a small decorated stone that she had painted in LOMVC colours. She apologised for her first approach, as she was only trying to see how to spell “Orpheus” and that’s when she presented me with a gift, a lovely little stone, with a Santa hat (as I was wearing) and “Leigh Orpheus “ on it.

The event itself was a little sad. Someone suggested that we should sing Christmas Carols, without word sheets…disaster! Dave Smith was doing his best to conduct but, not everyone was looking at him…not a good sound. Then came along our MD with music sheets…hurrah!! It was a lot better and we sung about ten songs in total and then we called it a day.

Well done to everyone the helped setting up the kit and carrying it around etc.

Quiz concert - Saturday 19th November 2019

Our Quizz Concert went down very well indeed – what a relaxing social evening that was! Baryington Wilson compered and asked the questions, Charlotte helped with the score board and we sang. The acoustics in the school are always good and it’s a real pleasure singing in that space.

We brought our own refreshments, which probably explains why we all got happier as the evening wore on! Dave Smith concocted, researched and prepared the questions, proving that he is as good a sadist as he is a conductor! I’m not going to say who won the evening because I can’t remember. For the same reason, I won’t say who came last.

It’s difficult to single out the best song, but my money’s on Calm is the Sea. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my music recorder but fortunately, Ron Circus did – so below this you will find out what we sounded like – they are videos, so you can see what we looked like too.

Thanks Ron, once again you’re a day-saver and we all appreciate the work you put into the recording and videoing of our goods and bads.

St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island, Saturday 28th September 2019

This concert was just a bit special in many ways. Janet refused to wear her sling, Jim Ryan stunned us all with his amazing voice! Who knew? The acoustics are always among the best we sing into and we rolled out some new songs.

This church is such a wonderful place to sing because of the wonderful way we are always treated, also, the way the church makes us sound, the facilities which are great and they gave us wine at the break.

On top of that, the lovely soprano Jill Curd from the Waltham Singers sang two beautiful songs as solos – “Nella Fantasia” and “I Believe”. Her husband preceded the first song with a translation from the Italian. She also announced a concert in Chelmsford Cathedral, performing Mozart’s Reqiuem on 23rd November 2019, with the St Paul’s Symphonia and an organ recital. I know how beautiful that will be because I sang this oratorio with the Basildon Choral Society in 2018.

The new songs we premiered were “Wade in the Water”, “One Moment in Time” and “Praise my soul the King of Heaven” (this last one wasn’t strictly premiered because the choir used to sing it years ago). They went really well, as you will hear, but my favourite is Calm is the Sea. I can hardly believe that we bunch of mainly 60+ men can produce a sound like that. It is truly beautiful – and with a one-armed conductor too! (well, strictly speaking one and a half armed)

Layer Marney Tower - Sunday, September 29th 2019

(Click the top picture for a link to their website)
Words and photos by Ron Circus and some more photos from Chris Jenkins
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An excellent time at Layer Marney Towers.

LOMVC were up first, starting with Gwahoddiad.
We had a short break where some of the choir sat with the audience and then we had some audience participation with “Swing Low High/When the Saints”. The audience loved it.

We then resumed normal service and completed our second half, with songs including “The Rhythm of Life”, where Kay played solo and made a flawless performance.

Janet was wise in using her sling but, she couldn’t resist waving BOTH her arms around!
She conducted our performance with the excellence to which we have become accustomed too!

We then finished off our performance with “An American Trilogy”

All of the songs were well received, including one or two with a “whoop whoop!” from the audience.

“The Colchester Military Wives” Choir followed us and they sounded wonderful.

The event culminated with “The Rock Choir” – they had everyone up on their feet clapping and clicking fingers to the songs.

 Wonderful place, beautiful grounds, steeped in history. Henry the Eighth stayed there. The whole event was brilliant.

Mayors Concert - Saturday 7th September 2019 - Priory Hall, Southend.

Words from Ron:-

A concert for the Mayor of Southend and his charity, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

I knew that is was going to be a good evening when I first saw our wonderful Musical Director wearing a lovely colourful dress, with a mixture of green, orange, blue and yellow.

Despite the fact the Janet has broken her arm recently, she guided us with her usual gusto and directorship.

The Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir started the evening proceedings by Singing the first few songs A Capella. The reason for this was that we had no accompanist, which would in fact have been Janet! We were very lucky when Janet called for a favour of the brilliant David Stanley, of Music Man Project” fame, who by chance was playing at Priory Park that afternoon/evening.

We sang “Gwahoddiad”, “Siyhamba”, “Calm is the Sea” and “My Lord What a Morning.”

Then Janet had fun with some audience participation with: “What do we do With a Drunken Sailor” & a combination of “Swing High Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” & “Oh When the Saints go Marching in”.

This was after a request for us to fill in, due to the soloist being taken ill and couldn’t make the event.

This was all accompanied by David Stanley, great fun, great job!

Then we had about five songs performed by the Little Theatre Company, all very lovely performances.

We then had the interval where we could partake in nibbles and drinks in the hospitality suite opposite.

Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir started the second half, commencing with “The Rhythm of Life”, which received a rousing applause.

Followed by “You Raise me up” and “American Trilogy”, which also received a wonderful applause.

We were then followed by some wonderful performances by The Southend Boys & Girls Choir.

We also had a beautiful solo sung by one of the girls.

The evening ended with both choirs standing together, singing all of the usual Last Night of The Proms songs, including the obligatory Union Jack  waving.

Words from Tony:-

I know it’s all been said before, but I still think it’s worth a mention or two. Our choir was helping to raise money for the Mayor’s Charity, as Ron said above, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

I still remember to this day the devastating tragedy at Penlee, Cornwall in 1981 when eight lifeboatmen lost their lives trying to rescue the sailors from a coaster in a terrible storm. Nobody survived that day. Here is the link to the story  

Leigh Folk Festival Saturday 29th June 2019

Oh what a beautiful day – all the forecasts said it was going to be a melter but we had a vote the night before to find out if the majority really did want to wear long sleeved black shirts when it looked like we might hit the hundred.

Unsurprisingly, the decision was made to wear short white shirts and long choir tie – the latter being a point that 99.9% of the choir heard him say. The other 0.1% assumed it was no tie, in spite of what was written on the pre-sing information sheet!
Well, my hearing is fine, thanks to Boots, but no electronics can boost the “paying attention” glitch in my brain.

The good folk of Leigh duly turned up, ready for the hot weather and wearing only what modesty demanded – some, not even that! Pam tells me that when asked who you were by a lovely, she said how cool and smart we all looked…Perceptive lady!

The whole setting under the trees was really exquisite – with stalls set out in the shade.

The sound system was excellent and the keyboard came across really well.
Dave is really getting into this “conducting” thing and remembers to wave sections in where needed, which is good. Some of us even took notice!

Janet banged away at the ivories (or “plasticies”) and we sang vigorously into the open space that is Leigh Library Gardens.

Many thanks to Pam for some pictures and to young Sam Negus, a budding photographer – apparently our grandchildren enjoyed the singing because for half an hour they stopped asking for things to eat or throw.

LFF A fine bunch
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The Concert by the Seaside June 2019

St Philip’s Church, Palm Bay – this is the one concert where there are no recordings or videos. Apparently the Thanet Male Voice Choir director preferred that we didn’t record the concert, so we didn’t.

I wasn’t at the there so there’s nothing I can add, no little angle I can elaborate on, no gossip or funny stories…. although I did think I might make some up, using the usual suspects! One thing though – whenever I asked anyone how Dana Dana went, I was met with a stony silence.

However, I have received some photos from Pam Bearman and I am pleased to include them here. The one of the church building is something I found on the web.

The Tony Grellier’s review on the main website is here

The Facebook review is here

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Christians Against Poverty Concert- 11th May 2019 - Leigh Road Baptist Church

Nobody can imagine the anxiety and stress that goes with crippling debt. The fear as the postman drop’s letters through the door that you daren’t open; hiding away when the doorbell goes; staring at the telephone when it rings, afraid to answer. Company debt recovery agents are relentless – they just don’t let people be, demanding repayment and ringing or knocking at all hours. Sometimes, it even leads to terrible thoughts about the only way out; such is the distress and dark place that people find themselves experiencing.

People get into debt for all sorts of reasons. It could be a failed marriage, a lost job, a betting addiction or just bad management.

How wonderful that an organisation like Christians against Poverty is there to help. To take the weight off, to negotiate with lenders and provide simple but urgent supplies. It is no wonder that when they go in for the first time to help someone, there are often tears of relief.

Thanks to our wonderful accompanist, Kay Duell and her husband David, we were able to do what we do best to help. We sang, and so did the two Elizabeths. We helped them raise money and God knows how many people will find relief and peace of mind because of the concert and the £2000 it raised.

Once again, our Choir steps up and makes a difference. AND we enjoyed it!!

Well done Kay, David, and everyone who did their bit. It makes me feel proud to belong to this choir.

The Bournemouth and Poole Competition Trip - April 26th-28th, 2019

Poole Arriving Ringwood - our drivers - Neil
Poole What lovely jackets - Chris
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Web log from Barry McGee

We duly boarded the coaches at Kirby’s yard and were introduced to our coach Marshall who in our case on coach 1 was Terry Beckett.
It was Terry’s first attempt at being Marshall.
As he is still serving his apprenticeship, he received plenty of advice from all those on board and considerable help from our concert manager.

Just as we were departing Robin White woke up and realised his uniform was still in his car so, a quick emergency stop and an even quicker dash by Robin to the car, and we were then away.

The journey was uneventful and we duly arrived at the Travelodge, Poole, around four o’clock.

A quick check in, well as quick as could be, as only one lift was working – the other one was out of order – according to the notice it was having a bad day or two due to a “few ups and downs”!

At six o’clock, half the choir took the opportunity of a coach trip to the Isle of Purbeck, the remainder visited the night life in Poole.

Later in the evening many of us reconvened in the bar of the Travelodge; a few hardy drinkers stayed there until the wee small hours and the remainder toddled off to bed. Some unfortunates listened to the road works until the wee small hours (we would have been better off staying in the bar!)

After breakfast we boarded the coaches to The Lighthouse Centre for the competition.

We managed to witness one or two choirs performing before we were ushered through to the rehearsal /Holding room and, to our astonishment one choir had folders!
Then it was our turn so, off we went, single file in silence through a maze of passages, then on to the stage led by yours truly having had full instructions from our Marshal, Alistair.

We performed all four pieces, including the dreaded Dana Dana.
Janet gave us the thumbs up, Kay gave us a big smile and that was it – all over.

After the results were announced at three o’clock, it was back to the hotel for a quick change and then back for the joint rehearsal .

The Bournemouth MVC Director was in charge and he was walking about in MULTI coloured socks! That was bad enough, but the KILLER was that the majority of the other choirs were ALL using FOLDERS even for the Turtle Dove – and to cap it all, the Welsh Lads sang Gwahoddiad in Welsh and ALSO had folders.
So we can be proud and hold our heads high because we had NO folders and had learnt all our words.

The concert as far as massed choirs were concerned was fantastic but there was a troop of dancers, some very young indeed, which was a bit too much, and the three placed choirs, plus Bournemouth MVC, all had to perform three pieces each.

It all made for a very tiring evening, especially as we only sang seven or eight joint numbers, but those joint numbers were amazing, they really sent tingles down the spine.

At the end of the concert the usual thanks were were given to all who had helped make the event a success and it had raised a considerable sum for Bournemouth Hospital.

After which, having stood for a considerable time while all the of this was taking place, the evening came to an end. Some of us creaked our way back to the coaches and the Travelodge to enjoy a well earned drink or two in the bar with our fellow choir members. A number of hardy souls stayed in the Lighthouse centre with some of the other choirs enjoying the camaraderie that only comes from like minded people.

On the Sunday we departed from Poole but not before keeping to our tradition of singing to the staff, as well as to some members of The Epsom MVC, who also were staying in the same hotel .

On route we stopped at Winchester for a pleasant couple of hours, finally returning to Kirby’s yard at about five-ish to find the cars covered with a coating sand and dust.

The entire weekend was successful and enjoyable, even if we were not in the top three .

As said previously we can hold our heads high we sang without folders throughout and in my humble opinion we did ourselves proud .

From Tony Warren: “And that’s why I am so proud of our wonderful choir. In the competition class called “THOSE CHOIRS WHO PERFORMED FAULTLESSLY WITHOUT NEEDING MUSIC SHEETS”, we clearly came first, so well done LOMVC!”


And finally – from Chairman John

“Huge thanks to everyone who sang, to our lovely supporters, to our choir and coach marshals and to our Music Team, Jan, Kay and Liszi.

Once again, the Leigh Orpheus family at its very best. It wasn’t just the day in Poole on Saturday competing, rehearsing and singing in the Gala Concert.

We can rely on the concert manager to arrange added experiences like the trip to the picturesque Isle of Purbeck, across the chain-operated ferry and seeing the simply stunning Corfe Castle. And I thoroughly enjoyed stopping off at Winchester on our return journey, with a walk round the Cathedral and then up the hill to see King Arthurs round table (not a McDonalds wrapper in sight) and the amazing bronze statue of Queen Victoria who was not amused or even pleased to see me . As you’d expect we’ve had some lovely feedback.

The staff at Travelodge were dead chuffed that we sang to them, and other guests who were having their breakfast, just before we left.
We understand that they are proudly sending a video round to all the other Travelodges in the UK.
And maybe what possibly sums up our weekend very well is a Facebook post from Con Parker’s daughter:

A big thank you to you all. We had a wonderful night listening to all your amazing voices.
I would have liked less dance and more of your combined singing but brilliant nevertheless.
The Welsh hymn you sang at the end is now my favourite! Just beautiful!!

A special thank you to the lovely gentlemen who look after my dad (Con Parker), his dresser and Minders. Thank you for making it possible for him to continue to do something he loves.
Hope to catch one of your concerts when I’m next in Essex.
I live near beautiful Christchurch/Bournemouth.
Hope you all got back safely and weren’t too tired. xxxxx

Isn’t that nice? (by the way, if you weren’t there, it wasn’t us doing the dancing she refers to!).”

 

Some pictures from Chris Jenkins

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So lets have a look at some videos - these are three that I received from good old Ron Circus

LOMVC sings for the Qatar Delegation that visited Southend March 2019 at the Mayors Parlor

It was an honour to have been invited to the Mayors Parlour to sing for the delegates from Qatar. It was a lovely morning and we sang in the gardens of Porters.

We sang three songs: Gwahoddiad, My Lord What a Morning and You Raise me up.

I think that we sounded quite good, especially as we were in the open air. We had had tea and biscuits before we began and then we went out into the garden so that we could have a quick sound check, and so that Janet could get a feel for the sound. This bottom image shows us rehearsing.

Our shoutmaster, Alistair, has been in a state of shock since our visit because everyone in the choir who attended Porters did exactly as he asked, stood where they should, were perfectly quiet and very orderly. He thinks he’s in a different dimension. Bless.

The visit, coordinated by our President Sir David Amess, presented an opportunity to build a close partnership between the town and the Quatar State. The Ambassador was accompanied by a large business delegation, including representatives from the national airline, Qatar Airways, and international retail giants.

Prominent Southend businesses and educational establishments were invited. The visit provided a golden opportunity to showcase the investment prospects in Southend. It is hoped that it will lead to a strengthening of educational, cultural and financial ties between the State of Qatar and Southend-on-Sea.

Joint Concert with Pontnewydd Male Choir-9th March 2019

I was in second heaven because I love Welsh Male Voice Choirs – they’re what inspired me in the first place – and how much better could it be – singing in a choir with the quality of LOMVC alongside one of the best Male Choirs in Wales.

I thought the selection of songs was just perfect and even Dana flipping Dana sounded good. Our “She” was exquisite, as was “Some enchanted evening”. “Rhythm of life” was dancey-Dave at his best and what a reception THAT got! But, I must say, my own magic moment for LOMVC was “Calm is the sea” – just have a listen and make up your own mind. It was enchanting.

The Pontewydd Male Choir didn’t disappoint either – most of their numbers were new to me and the one that stuck in my mind was “Shenendoah”.  It is so nice to hear Welsh male choirs, they just have that edge; that richness and depth of sound.

But heaven was yet to arrive and “Speed your journey” just went to prove that two choirs are certainly better than one. The Welsh voice is so natural, and the tenors so sharp, that having their choir singing with us gave a resplendent timbre that I haven’t heard before.

Finally, four songs with both choirs to finish off. If I had been asked to choose four songs to sing as joint numbers with a Welsh choir, I would have chosen Gwahoddiad, American Trilogy, Morte Christe and of course the Welsh National Anthem. Exactly the selection Janet had chosen! I think their singing was even better than it would have been because, in their green room, a telly had been installed so that they could watch Wales beat Scotland in the Six Nations. I wonder what they would have sounded like if it had gone the other way!!

I have listened to all of the songs and the joint Morte Christe was just out of this world. That was my hair-raising moment!

The organisation of the choir entry and exit was another bit of quality work – thanks Allistair, don’t know how you managed it, but my goodness, that was slick. We were like floating silent robots on and off.

That’s enough of my rantings, the recordings are in, and so are the videos. Ron Circus has performed some real honest magic by making sure the sound on the videos is much better quality than usual. I haven’t a clue how he did it, but the results are amazing.
What the videos don’t show is the sheer bliss on Janet’s face when we came to the “Amens” in the joint performance of Gwahoddiad.
The sound files below, are now in the choir historical archive for future generations to wonder how on earth we sounded so wonderful.

Freda Parry Scholarship Concert 2nd March 2019

We arrived at the church and there was quite a bit of sorting out to do, in respect of where we going to stand.
Sitting in the choir seats is where we started and Jan said, let’s see if that works by having us all standing in that area. Jan could see straight away that that defiantly (sic) was not going to work.

We then spread ourselves out, with the first two or three rows on the same level as Jan and the rest were on the next level up.
The Basses were on the left (from the choir perspective) and the 2nd tenors were huddled around the piano.

I had set the camera up in the corner to try and capture us in the seating area and the audio recorder was on a small low kneeling table just in front of the pews Jan was brought the box plinth to stand on but when see stood on it, it was beginning to collapse! I came to the rescue with some quick thinking, I took the recorder off the small table and placed it under the box plinth, and hey presto, our musical director was now safe!
I though I had to help, because we need her…a lot!

Alistair did some good work, getting us all in some sort of order and when we got out of our seated position and into our performance position, it all worked quire well.

I had to borrow a larger table and set the camera and recored up on that.
Sadly, in the interval, people gathered around the table and systematically deposited the glasses in and around the sound recorder! Which is what you hear in “Calm is the Sea” – that’s someone clearing the glassed away! Not too much of a disruption.

As to the video views, I tried to get all of the choir in but, not overly successful, as some were behind the stone pillar and some, including me! Were hidden behind Jan.

We started off the evening’s entertainment with our first set of songs.

Then it was the turn of the duet pianists. From where I was seated, I could see the pianists and it was a real sense of joy in their faces, as they performed for us.

The audience liked all of our performances but, we received a rapturous applause and cheering for our performance of “The Rhythm of Life”, they absolutely loved it!

The duel pianist came back on, playing many excellent renditions. This was followed be Rebecca Silverman Singing a variety of songs.

Red Cross Appeal Concert Friday 26th January 2018

Sailing into the Sally Ann on Saturday, the best male voice choir in the world displayed an uncanny ability to be silent, orderly and disciplined. Someone must have said something because I thought we looked brilliant as we sauntered in.

It all bodes well for the Bournemouth competition, and I suppose proves that we can behave ourselves when threatened. I particularly liked the red waistcoats under the grey suits – it added colour and sophistication to the parade of gentlemen who promised so much, AND, as it turned out, delivered it.

We knew Elvis was in the building, so the event was tinged with a strange excitement about how it was going to go.
As soon as we started to sing, it was obvious that this concert was going to be a “Good One”.

Janet’s favourite song rang out and rattled the rafters. Even “Four Strong Winds” sounded as if it was definitely probably maybe coming along.
Calm is the Sea sounded positively gorgeous, and “She” was the best I’ve heard it. A beautiful legacy from John Taylor, who we remember every time we sing it.

By the time we got to “Every time I feel the spirit” I was bobbing, as will clearly be seen on the videos.

Trevor Davey started the solos off with “Evermore”, a sung soliloquy from Beauty and the Best. It was lovely – he really has got a very nice voice. He’s been trained by Vanessa for years and it’s certainly paying off.

Then we had Patrick Byrne, aka, Elvis Presley who wowed everyone with his performance of “Bridge over troubled water.”
Unsurprisingly, with everyone screaming for more, he then gave us “Suspicious Minds”.
What a brilliant item to insert into our normally ordered and “Male Voice Choir” program.

We know Janet enjoyed it because she beamed with sheer joy as he sang. It was all such a refreshing change, and a successful one to boot.
My mind wandered to the thought of a Freddie Mercury tribute act to sing with us in Bohemian Rhapsody. I’m sure others have thought of it too.

Finally, our Tom Marshall made us laugh with his excellent rendition of Flanders and Swann’s “The Sloth”. I didnt have a copy of the program so had no idea what was coming. I wondered what on earth it was all about when Tom started off with the words “A Bradypus, or Sloth, am I” I’ve not heard it before and it was not only beautifully delivered, it was really funny too.
The lines that tickled me most were these:-

“For days and days among the trees
I sleep and dream and doze
Just gently swaying in the breeze
Suspended by my toes”
I could just imagine it! Mind you, it does make you wonder if they climb off to go to the loo. Just a thought, what with gravity and stuff.

“Rhythm of Life“ added Janet to Kay with the usual piano duet, and Dave Smith conducted it so well.
We all thought he was going to bounce off the box as he jumped around excitedly, like a man in a swarm of wasps. Wonderful stuff. It’s what makes us so watchable.

Finally, our American Trilogy was gloriously enhanced by Elvis in his cape.

It was a concert that people will remember for a long while.
For me, it was the best I’ve heard us sing, and the most entertaining concert all round. Don’t take my word for it though, listen to the music and watch us perform with all the links below.

And was it worth it? Yes. A fantastic £1060 plus for the Red Cross Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami appeal was handed over to Janice Gilroy at our rehearsal on Friday 8th February. Just to give her a bumper evening, we even sang American Trilogy for her, and she was clearly delighted! We were all pleased to have done something – and enjoyed doing it!

Christmas Concert on Saturday 8th December 2018

Our “Man from the Valley” Eric Smith, marked out the choir’s Welsh roots with his wonderful accent and rich timbre. Rolling out his scripts and slow-delivered humour, he provided a flow of jokes and information to seal together the songs and make the whole event a perfectly machined and finely honed experience of correct facts at the correct time.
Well, some of the facts and some of the times.
Ok, the big screen behind us didn’t always reflect the actual song the audience were singing – but it brought raucous laughter ……
….. and the order of events on the program wasn’t actually what happened – which also brought laughter …..
….. and maybe not all the expected members of Belfairs Academy Choir actually turned up when “Strictly” was on the telly at home – but the soloists made up for that in spades……
So. Did any of it spoil the occasion? Not on your life – it added a more informal, happy, friendly feel to the concert and the audience loved and laughed their way through it – as we did.

The recordings of the songs we sang, and those the Belfairs choir sang are all below this blog for you to hear and judge. I’ve listened and I think we did rather well. I particularly liked “When Christmas comes to town” from Polar Express. I thought they made it sound really nice.
Our “Angels watching over me” with it’s amazing (Janet-inspired) dynamics, and “Alleluia Madrigal” came across particularly well, I thought.

Dave Smith performed his usual magic, both visually (we ought to tie him down!) and musically, when he conducted us with ”Rhythm of Life” and Janet paired up with Kay to give us a feast of piano duet excellence.

When Scarlett Taylor from Belfairs Academy bravely stood on the pedestal, faced a packed house and performed “On My Own” from Les Miserables, she was absolutely enchanting. She put everything she had into it and there were many people with wet eyes and lumpy throats as the emotion of her singing reached our hearts and souls.
The massive standing ovation this plucky young lass justly received was well deserved and the tears of the lady sitting down the front behind Janet, said it all.

In the second half, the solo by Harrison Ilsley who sang “Stars”, also from Les Miserables, putting so much heart into it, was received with the same standing ovation – the youngsters certainly made the evening that bit more special; as did the young girl who sang the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City”, but I couldn’t find out her name for this blog.

As we tumbled through the evening, racking out the songs and giving the people the Christmas music we all love singing, it turned into a happy and Christmassy occasion, and one we will remember for a long while.
Ending on “O Holy Night” was for me one of the many high points of the evening because we do it so well and anyway, it’s my favourite carol.

I listened to comments from various friends and relatives in the audience and there were a lot of positive remarks I didn’t expect. For example, “Sleigh Bells”, or what I call “Jing-a-flipping-ling” came across really well and was widely enjoyed – even if no two singers sang the same “jings” and “lings”; and despite the fact we had our noses buried in the song sheets!

Also a firm success was the encirclement of the audience with our three songs. Apparently that sounded really impressive and people could hear the individual parts we were singing. Well done, Janet!

Two audience members said that the audience participation with “Holly and the Ivy” was a lot of fun, stirred up by our Janet and resulting in some surprisingly good harmonies. Janet always works well with audiences for that kind of thing and it adds so much to the occasion.

What didn’t go so well?
The Belfairs Academy backing tracks were a little too loud, according to several audience and choir members.
Also, it was apparent when some of us didn’t know our words. I suppose that’s always going to be the case with Christmas music because we don’t sing the songs so often, but it was noticed and it was “Noel/Pachelbel.”

We had some nice comments about the smart uniforms and especially the waistcoats. Some audience members mentioned to me how nicely it would complement the choir if our Janet wore something to match our lovely waistcoats and suits. Everyone loved the flattering jackets that our Front of House staff wore. ​

There were some uncharitable comments about one annoying choir member who jogged around in the lively songs – something I, and his wife, notice he tends to do quite regularly especially when he “feels the spirit”! It’s as if he’s on something chemical.
In my defence, I do find it impossible not to move to music! It is helpful though if people want to know where I’m standing.
They only need to cast their eyes along the line of stationary singers to one that isn’t.

All in all, then, an enjoyable concert full of happiness and laughter that people took away with them. Job jobbed! ​

Singing to the shoppers at the Royals. Saturday 15th December 2018

– It was cold. Brass monkey cold. Someone kept leaving the door open!
– The coffee just yards away was good. Very good  – plus, there were cakes and stuff.
– Two young men who had been partaking of falling-down water became emotionally attached to the choir, and during lunch, proved to be excellent, though swaying, pianist and singer duo.
– A person in a huge bear costume also became emotionally attached to the choir – specifically me! And Janet. It was both warm, tender and irritating, all in one.
– As usual, the effect of the singing on people passing by was lovely. So many stopped to watch and listen. It’s what Christmas is all about.

Our singing was appreciated by passers-by, some of whom wanted to give us money! So this year we are going to donate the proceeds to one of the charities that Barry Crawford’s widow, Marilyn, nominated for the donations from Barry’s funeral.

Leigh Orpheus at The Royal Albert Hall - 1980, 1982 and 1984

Have you ever been proud of something that you were no part of? That’s exactly how I felt when I first saw, and played, the long-playing records of the choir singing with many hundreds of other male voice choir singers at the Royal Albert Hall back in the early eighties.

The main picture here says it all. I asked Alistair where the LOMVC are in the picture and he says “The LOMVC continues after the steps on the right of the picture, to the edge of the photo, matching the other side! We might be in DJ’s but the uniform is blue velvet bows and matching frilly fronts (ruched velvet and white lace) always there to catch the spilt beer! It was a good turnout as almost the whole choir is in the picture, the missing men from inside your red ring are of course baritones and basses, how did we keep them out of the bar?

I wanted to add the LP’s to our Music Archive but had no way to convert reliably from a vinyl recording or from cassette tapes into digital files. Fortunately, Amazon and Barry McGee both came to the rescue and over a period of a week I converted the lot from the LP’s into digital format.. It meant I had to listen to every track, but that was a real pleasure.

I love Male Voice Choir music, unsurprisingly, and the more I listened, the more enchanted I became.

You can hear it all in the archive section of this website but to save you searching, and to find out how our members managed there, click the more button below. ​

 I am extremely grateful to three of our distinguished brethren who were there – Tom Marshall, Alistair Fiddes and Chris Roberts – for helping me with information about the concerts.

Tom tells me that if you look in the picture, there’s a gap in the basses – his gap – because he was at work when they took the photo. He says “Find the ‘EXIT’ sign on the right. Look left and you’ll see a gap.

One of the things that struck me was the amount of Welsh songs, in that language, featured throughout.
I know how tricky Welsh language is to learn because it took me weeks to memorise Gwahoddiad and the Welsh National Anthem. I wondered just how members of the choir in those days managed such a feat and fortunately, we have three members who I asked that very question.

The Questions –

Tony – How on earth did you learn the words to all the Welsh songs?
Tom – We had good Welsh speaker and took along time, usually with no other concerts. And a lot of hard work and being shouted at.

Tony – Did you have to wear anything in particular?
Alistair – We are wearing dj’s so that limits the choice, there are two rows of us, we continue with baritones and basses on the other side of the organ for balance. Third man in on the left back row is me and the short guy at no. 4 is Stan Towler who always sat next to me. I can even recognise my haircut, I had a lot of it then!.
1980 was the first one they’d done and the BBCTV was there. When the camera panned down from the back there was a sea of pint pots and crib sheets, they banned that in the 1992 concert.

Tony – Did you have special rehearsals up in London and if so, where and when?
Tom – We would go to LWMVC HQ, Grays Inn Road and join them. The MD would also visit some choirs.

Tony – Did they feed you?
Tom – Don’t think so.

Tony – MOST of the songs do not appear in our repertoire again. That puzzles me. For example DEEP HARMONY.
Tom – Some songs were written specially I believe (My Lord What a Morning). I think Deep Harmony has another name but don’t quote me.

Tony – Anything really memorable that you remember?
Tom – The worst thing was Gwyneth – our first accompanist – passing away unexpectedly. I’ve never seen a group of men so stunned and upset. She’s the reason we love to sing Gwahoddiad, it’s the last piece she did and was sung at all concerts thereafter. That’s why it means a lot to us.

The Autumn Tour up North 2018

One of the pictures they sent was of a crooked spire on St Mary and All Saints Church, Chesterfield (click the picture to see a full view).  There are lots of reasons for the twisted spire. Bad workmanship because so many craftsmen had died of the plague; poor cross sections; weather leakage; but the real reason is the 33 tons of lead cladding which gets hot with the sun on one side but not the other, and that’s distorted it over the centuries.

6th November
Day 5 of our LOMVC Autumn Tour – the last day! The first important task – thank the staff at the hotel; and, unprecedented until now, thank the staff of the brand new Greggs cafe at the hotel itself, where many of us had breakfasted.
Then on to our lunchtime Recital in the Chapter House at Lincoln Cathedral. An acoustic to die for! LOMVC sang, our three soloists a second bass, Jim Ryan and Dave Smith sang. The Chapter House echoed to the eclectic range of music. And a member of the audience from a Welsh Ladies’ choir told us that we were better than some Welsh Male Voice Choirs! A fine way to bring a successful tour to a close! Thanks to all. ​

4th November
The second day of our Autumn Tour. Fine weather and fine company. for our day at Sudbury. Lovely freshly-cooked food at The Vernon Arms, an interesting tour of the National Trust Museum of Childhood,
Afternoon Tea at the Cubley Village Hall and then an excellent concert at St Andrew’s Church, Cubley.
Thanks to the wonderful, appreciative, audience. And thanks to everyone for their warm welcome and hospitality
Well rather challenging very small old Saxon/Norman Church where we did have problems in hearing the piano but a very good audience.

Latest Update – came in on 22/11/18
We’ve just had a letter from David Leigh, one of the organisers at that little country church we performed at for our first concert. Full details of what he said on Friday, but it was good to have him refer to the concert as ‘a triumph’, that they cleared £1166 profit, are ‘banking’ £1000 for their two organisations and donating the balance of £166 to LOMVC. And, better still, The Hon David and his wife (who we met – lady priest) have added a donation of £84 of their own, meaning that we’ve received an overall donation of £250! Result!

‘Remember the 60s?’ Patrons Concert and Quiz

Our first go at a “Cafe/Quiz” Style concert turned out to be a raging success! To try and describe what some members were wearing tests my wordcrafting skills to the absolute limit. I have included pictures that I took of the occasion, but the real work wasn’t done by us singing gents, it was the amazing team of stars that set up and delivered the food, teas and coffees.

Another brilliant player was Barry Wilson and his wife Hilary, aka, Charlene, Veronica, Carol, Charmaine, Katerina (made the last one up, just like the name). In my opinion, Barrington, aka Barry, is a really funny man and I love his humour – a great compere for the evening that just made us laugh!Tom played a blinder on his electric bass, directed Rhythm of Life and even sang with us. After 41 years in the choir, he’s beginning to get the hang of it now.All in all, a brilliant evening and an enjoyable social evening as well. What’s not to love!

Proms in the Park 18th September 2018

The concert went well but the whole event was disappointingly under attended, as there were quite a few spare seats.
The outside event seemed a bit lacking in punters too!

The pianist played five or six tunes. The violinist played about three tunes and the two ladies sung about four songs, they were very impressive! Janet was the accompanist for both the violinist and the two singers, to which she played beautifully, as always. I believe I counted about forty four of us.
We did well, considering the lack of chaps.
The event was very nice and I enjoyed it and it was great to sing for the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayor’s.
Our president Sir David was there too!
I believe that our performance was very well received and enjoyed by all.

Westcliff High School for Boys - "Charities Concert" Saturday, 20th October

We had a good audience and the place looked packed. Ron Circus has provided videos on his private You Tube channel and I’ve put the links in with our stuff.

Eric Smith adds so much to concerts with his clarity and humour – he is “The Compere’s Compere” and the audiences always love him. As we do!

Our sponsored protégée, Harrison Dolphin and his Trio gave us some amazing jazz from three complete experts in their respective crafts – electric jazz guitar, bass and drums. This was foot tapping in it’s extreme and I’m delighted to include the recordings of their music along with our own singing.

50th Anniversary Dinner - 6th October 2018

Some great photos of the dinner, the diners, the speakers, the magician and the wonderful Wind-Octet organised by Janet.

This was a wonderful evening – everything went well and the food was really good – and plenty of it too! Not only that, but the drinks were reasonable and the service excellent. I hadn’t realised how lovely it was inside – I haven’t been there for years – it was the perfect place to celebrate our 50th Anniversary.

would have been great to include a picture that is appropriate for this anniversary dinner item, I was looking around for something suitable, then, fresh in from Dave Smith comes this fantastic picture below.  I’ve expanded it so that you might recognise someone there. There’s the man that started it! It shows Gerwyn Parry, our founder, with some of the choir, on the seafront at Porthcawl. We’re not sure exactly when this was taken but it is most likely October 1975 or October 1976, when we won first prize there at the Eistedffod. Thanks Dave – a wonderful contribution.

Our President Sir David Amess turned up and gave a hilarious speech, telling us we are the “Best Male Voice Choir in the world”… mind you, some of us already suspected that!

Chairman John proposed a toast or two in his speech and our Chaplain, Canon David Tudor, also had us in stitches before delivering grace

John announced the news we’ve all been waiting for – our new LOMVC Website is now up and running – you can get there here.

We were entertained by a group of first class young musicians for the main part of the meal, playing woodwind instruments and arranged of course by our Janet. That really set a lovely tone to the occasion.

We were also entertained by a magician who brought impossible tricks to the tables and finished up with a quite amazing illusion that none of us could imagine how it was possible.

Here’s the Wednesday Group attending to the surfeit of beer in the main bar afterwards.

The gentlemen received beautiful cufflinks to mark the occasion and the ladies a delicate rose. We were also presented with a sixty page book of the history of the choir. I’ve only flicked through it at the moment but it must have taken someone a long time to put all that together and I’m looking forward to delving in. The quality and content are just exceptional.

So we all left with great praise and full tummies, with everyone commenting on what a lovely evening it had been and how the atmosphere had been so happy.

Great big thanks to the people that put this together, Concert manager, of course, John, Graham and Jenny in particular – well done, you guys, well done. You pulled a blinder!

Special invite to perform at Parliament!

It isn’t much, but it does prove we were there! Well, you were there. Click this to see the page. I don’t have any pictures or words about the trip but if they turn up, I’ll pop them in here. Anyone who has any pics, feel free to send them along

LOMVC Music for a Summer's Evening. 7th July 2018

Well that was a bit wonderful!
You can listen to the music by clicking the “All of the Songs” button below  – it includes the Beauty and the Beast medley the ladies sang before we came back in, and which none of us will have heard. It was fantastic!

50th Anniversary Concert at the Plaza Centre "1968 and all That"

Work in progress

Example text: Well that was the first standing ovation I can remember during my time with the choir. I have uploaded all the music to our archive and you can listen to it by opening RECENT CONCERTS at the top of the page. Thanks to Ron Circus for the pics and videos.

Some of the former members of the choir were invited to join us, on the very special occasion!

More information to follow

Rotary Club Concert and the Holy Trinity - 6th April 2018

Work in progress

Example text: A joint concert alongside the Yardarm Folk Orchestra in aid of fund-raising for the Leigh Rotary Club, and with a special first solo performance from our very own LOMVC Rotarian – Chris Dandridge.

 

More information to follow

Essex and Suffolk Mini Tour 2017

Work in progress

Autumn tour 2017.

More information to follow

The Wales Trip in 2016

We soon left England to mount the Severn Bridge, and head for the valleeees. Eric Smith kindly took over the microphone to help us understand that we were entering God’s Own Country. As we reached the middle of the bridge, he got us all singing the Welsh National Anthem – thirty men with forty different versions, but we were

 

 

Lincoln- A Great day Out!!

A Long and lovely day, so it was.
Up with the crack of sparrows to join a sleepy choir, complete with wags, kit, sandwiches and coffee – up the M11 we trundled to the beautiful countryside round Lincoln, pitching up at Southwell Minster.

Dave Smith and his team of equipment-luggers brought all the gear in, including our posh podium for Janet, drum, piano, amplifiers, speakers, etc., set it up, and we were ready to go.

We walked in “Cornwall Style” – all quiet and orderly – a wonderful way to start! It was a delightful setting in which to sing, our audience included quite a few locals who had come along for the performance, together with our faithful wags and groupies, and tourists and visitors who arrived by happenchance.

With Janet, Jackie and Lizzie to oversee the music, it was a real treat all round. We were privileged to have with us Evan Davis, a flutist of renown, who really made Flying Free special as he accompanied us. His own solo performances were also a delight and Janet’s piano playing with him was amazing as it always is.

After a quick coffee in the Refectory, all the kit was loaded back into the coaches, and off we went to Lincoln Cathedral.
Arriving at this beautiful building, we were led to the Chapter House – a very large circular building with stone seats round the perimeter and acoustics to die for. Fortunately, Dave and gang only had to haul the podium out here because here was already a piano in place – bit of a breather for them!

There were seats laid out ready for the audience and of course, there were many tourists and visitors coming “in” and “out”. Once we started singing, it was mostly “in” and the seats filled up, along with all the stone seating round the edge.

The sound of the choir in that space was absolutely breathtaking and it was one of my own choir high points.
On completion, we wandered off to eat nearby, some went sight-seeing, some went to sit and meditate, some to sleep!

We left after lunch and arrived at All Saints Church, Collingham, ready to perform to a ticket-buying audience.
Dave Smith and team lugged everything once again, and we were set to sing.
It was again a wonderful concert in a lovely setting, greatly appreciated by the people of Collingham who had invited us.
We were joined in Gwahoddiad by John Speed, who had been a member (and Chairman) of the choir many years ago – and still had his blazer! And still remembered the words!

After the concert the Collingham people had baked cakes and scones, prepared tea, and laid out this spread in the village hall. A wonderful show of hospitality from a kind and welcoming community that we will remember for a long time.

And finally – all the gear and people back into the coaches, and we settled down to sleep for the journey back. It was a wonderful day and it was enjoyed by everyone involved – Dave and his team must have been really tired after all the hard work and we are all indebted to them for this. Similarly, to Janet, Jackie and Lizzie, for what was effectively three concerts in one day.

What a choir! And what a lot of fun!

For those that would like to hear more from Evan Davis, who played the flute with us so beautifully, here is a link to his website, or rather the website for his ensemble. The YouTube links on the page are excellent and for those who enjoy classical flute music, the performances are absolutely delightful.
click here ….   Evan Davis Link
…. and for those that think it is “flautist” – I did look it up!

50th Anniversary Concert. ‘1968 and All That’ - The Royals

From Tony – I couldn’t be there for the concert and I was really disappointed not to have a recording of the choir at this important event. Then I received an email from Ron Circus, with a link to a video of our concert, recorded by his wife Caroline – and an excellent video it is too! What a life-saver! It would have been terrible not to have had a record of the event for our history.