Churchdown Male Voice Choir
50 years of Singing
Welcome to the website of Churchdown Male Voice Choir, a choir that was formed in 1965 in Churchdown, Gloucestershire and which is still going from strength to strength.
The aims of the choir are to enjoy singing, to perform for charitable causes and to experience the comradeship and pure excitement that comes from perfoming in a male voice choir.
We rehearse every Monday night in Churchdown Community Centre from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. Either just turn up and meet us, or contact us through the Contact page You can be certain of a warm welcome and all the help you will need to enable you to settle in to a large and friendly choir.
In celebration of the choir’s 50th anniversary a book has been compiled by three members of the choir, Derrick O’Brien, Andrew Chalmers and Pete Wilson. The fully illustrated book contains anecdotes from members detailing events, both humorous and sad, during the choir’s history. Also given are details of dates and venues of all of the concerts performed since the choir’s foundation. The book, 50 Years of Churchdown Male Voice Choir is priced £7.50 and is available from Colin Acton on 01452 714360
The destination for this year's choir was Swansea and the welcome we received there was as warm as on any of our tours. And the fact that we were able to sing with two great Welsh choirs was a thrill for us all.
Two coach loads of choir, partners and supporters left Churchdown on Thursday October 13 for the 3 night trip to South Wales to stay in the Village Hotel, Swansea.
On Friday October 14 we sang with the Dunvant Male Choir in All Saints, Oystermouth. The church has a renowned acoustic which was used to great effect by both choirs. Under the direction of our MD Ralph Barnes and with James Quinn at the piano we began the concert with Where shall I be, followed by Bui Doi, which tells of the plight of Vietnamese children fathered by American Gis and who have been abandoned after the war. Our soloist was the choir's favourite soloist Sue Black, who has sung with the choir for over 30 years and who has been on almost all of our tours. She chose to sing Nella Fantasia from Gabriel’s Oboe and the Gypsy Song from Carmen. Their own soloist Ellie Coates provided a lovely contrast to Sue. Amongst her choices was the wistful song On my own, from Les Miserables. Here her ability to put over a song was wonderfully demonstrated and you could hear the pathos in her voice as she delivered the lines.
The host choir then sang four Welsh pieces ending with the stirring hymn, Tydi a Roddaist which our choir also performs, but in English.
The first half concluded with both choirs coming together to sing An American Trilogy
Dunvant began the second half with A Roman War Song and then the stirring song from War Horse, Only Remembered.
Our second half took in The Mansions of the Lord and ended with Amen, an up-tempo version of This little light of mine.
Both choirs then joined together with Morte Criste with Sue’s glorious voice adding to the whole wonderful sound.
Finally, choirs and audience sang the Welsh National anthem to end the first of our two concerts in Wales. To conclude the evening the host choir had laid on a delicious cold buffet at Bristol Chanel Yacht club. And that, together with yet more singing ended in a late night for all of us. Although it must be said that many of the more hardy of our choir serenaded anyone who would listen late in to the night in the hotel bar.
The second of our concerts was in the Waterfront Community Church, a stone’s throw from our hotel. Our hosts were the Morriston Orpheus Choir, a choir referred to as the ‘Ambassadors of Song’ and probably the most travelled of the Welsh male choirs.
We were given a most thrilling evening of choir music at its best, from Welsh hymns to popular classics and from the traditional male repertoire to show tunes. Opening with the Welsh hymn Llanfair, the choir gave us some Welsh pieces and then a lovely unaccompanied arrangement of Mansions of the Lord and a medley of Matt Monro songs. There was no soloist; we had been invited to fill that role. We opened with The Rose, Sailing and then Sing for your life, finishing with Amen.
Other memorable pieces from the host choir included Speed your journey, Can’t help falling in love, I’m going to walk and Razzle, dazzle.
In our second appearance we sang a medley of songs from the 60s, ending up with Da do ron ron, in which the audience clapped and sang along with the nonsense words.
The final piece was Morte Criste from both choirs before audience and choirs sang Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
This was by no means the end of the evening as our hosts had laid on a meal of chips and sausages at the Swansea Rugby Club House. More impromptu singing from both choirs ended another wonderful day in Wales.
In addition to the two brilliant concerts the party managed to see quite a bit of the area. Many wandered down to the marina and the Waterfront Museum or took in the sights of the city and Swansea Market. Coach trips had been arranged to Mumbles on the Friday afternoon and to Carmarthen or to the Botanic Garden of Wales on Saturday.
Our thanks go to all the members of those two great choirs for their hospitality, their welcome and their beautiful singing. It would be a pleasure to welcome any of them to Gloucestershire in the future to once again enjoy an evening of song
Visit to Wales - October 13 to 17, 2016