Cavalier Centre Success

The choir turned out to give a Christmas Carol Concert at the Cavalier Centre near Much Wenlock on Sunday 19th December. Songs included the classic ‘White Christmas’ and ‘O Holy Night’ and were well received by the audience who enjoyed the whole event. Manager Rachel Lambert-Jones praised the choir for an “exceptional performance” and it is hoped the choir will be able to return to the venue sometime in the New Year.

The Cavalier Centre is the home of the Perry Riding for the Disabled Group a not for profit organisation founded in 1995 with the aim of improving facilities for disabled young people to enjoy riding ponies and horses. Building the £1.4 million centre commenced in 2015 and it was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2019.

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Choir Xmas Social cancelled

The choir regret to announce that the Christmas Social due to be held at the William Brookes School on Saturday 18th December at 7.30pm has now been cancelled owing to the ongoing health risks posed by the transmission of the new covid variant. The decision has been reluctantly taken at short notice following a meeting at the School on Tuesday evening to discuss the event. The choir wish to apologise to the many patrons and guests who had tickets for this event which was sold out.

The short carol concert at the Cavalier Centre, Farley on Sunday 19th December will however still be taking place as planned at the present time.

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Much Wenlock Xmas Fayre

The choir are set to make their first public performance since March 2020 at Much Wenlock Xmas Fayre this coming Saturday 4th December. Always a popular event the Fayre also makes it’s first comeback since 2019 with plenty of entertainment and a wide variety of stalls on hand to offer something for everyone. Check out the Fayre’s website for full details and be sure to come early to catch all the action. The choir will be singing at the Corn Exchange from 1100 – 1200 with a varied programme including some festive favourites!

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Wonderful World

What a Wonderful World

The choir’s second online production has been released and is ready for you to listen to – in the event that the link doesn’t play the video can also be found on the choirs facebook site. The positive message of this classic song seems a fitting way to look forward as life gathers pace once again and the choir anticipates resumption of it’s rehearsal schedule at the William Brookes School on 7th September. If you enjoy singing why not consider coming to a practice, start time is 7.30pm. Many thanks to our Musical Director Richard Fox for the work on this piece which I think sounds good despite the technical difficulties of ‘distance singing’!

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Choir song

The choir committee and MD have continued working behind the scenes and since our last online offering a plan is afoot to have a stab at recording one of the choirs repertoire songs for your enjoyment. Choristers are practicising the piece and if all goes to plan the individually recorded tracks will be uploaded and merged to form the complete song…more on this as it progresses over the coming weeks.

There is at present no news about when the choir will be able to meet and resume full rehearsals but with the end of many of the restrictions by the middle of next month the prospect of a return to some normality is at last on the horizon….a tentative date of 27th July has been proposed for a get together of choristers and our new MD….

 

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Wassail Song for Christmas…

Thanks to much dedicated work from our new MD, Richard Fox,  the choir has met virtually to produce a version of the Gloucester Wassail Song for Christmas, which is available to listen to here, or via the choir’s facebook page or on You Tube.

The Tetbury wassail tradition dates back more than 150 years “In early December for 3 weeks, finishing at Christmas, a band of about 8 farmworkers went wassailing.  They toured round the outlying villages and then finished up with the town, going in pubs and private houses.  The men wore fancy clothes, flowing robes, Arab hats, crowns, and masks, anything to make them look fancy… Their music was an old accordion, mouth organ, bones and triangle and they took with them the wassailing bowl and the Bull’s Head.  The bowl was a large round china washstand bowl with wires round and trimmed with evergreen held by the wires around the edge of the bowl.  This was filled with fruit and sweets – apples, oranges and bananas – to give to the children.

Much Wenlock Wassail

 

 

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Choir Appoints New Musical Director

The choir is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Fox as their new Musical Director. Richard has a wealth of experience and was latterly the Head of Music at Bridgnorth Endowed School as well as being a member of a local jazz ensemble ‘Band on the Edge’, a group which coincidentally included the choirs previous MD Paul Kelly.

Richards musical career began in Sussex where he attended University to study 20th Century Music and conducted the university orchestra. In his final year he was appointed as Musical Director of Sussex Musical Theatre Company in Brighton. A part time job with the local BBC radio station resulted in a three year spell hosting his own classical music show.

A career in teaching saw Richard teach in schools in five different countries, including comprehensives, grammar schools and also in the independant sector. As a musician he has composed a number of choral works, some of which have reached audiences as far away as Spain and Australia. Over the years he has been Musical Director and conductor of several choirs, theatre companies and operatic societies and has sung with the BBC Symphony Chorus and with the Telford based Gallery Singers, a chamber choir that has won both the North Wales Choral Competition and was awarded first prize at the Bath International Choral Competition.

Now retired from teaching and living locally at Ditton Priors Richard is looking forward to pursuing a range of musical activities and his enthusiasm and interest is clear … “I love teaching music – it’s a lot of fun and very rewarding. Music can have a profound effect on a person’s attitude, confidence and enthusiasm…I’m passionate about music…” The choir looks forward to a long, productive and happy working relationship.

 

 

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Musical Director Steps Down

The choir regrets to announce that Paul Kelly, their Musical Director, has decided to step down from the post after 10 years loyal service. Paul was appointed in 2010 and brought a wealth of experience to the post, having previously directed a variety of orchestras, choirs and bands. Paul was formerly employed as Director of Music at the William Brookes School until his retirement in 2005.

Pauls vision for the choir was to develop and improve acoustic tone and under his leadership the choir has moved forwards in its sound and range of music, building on what was an already extensive repertoire. The current programme of song reflects a more modern twist and always attracts very positive responses from audiences.

Some of the highlights of Pauls tenure as MD includes tours of Ireland, Gateshead, the Lake District, Tyne & Wear, South Wales and Cornwall. The choir took part in the Olympics ‘Welcome Songs’ in 2012 when it was filmed by Central TV and a new milestone was achieved in December 2016 when the choir announced the release of its latest recording ‘Spirit of the Edge’. Last year the choir was pleased to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Paul and his family plan to relocate to the Orkney Islands, but in the meantime Paul will continue to support the choir while a successor is sought, for which the choir is grateful and  expresses its heartfelt thanks for his work, while wishing him every success for the future.

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David Strefford

It is with sadness that the Choir regret to announce the death of David Strefford last week, which was due to health issues unrelated to the current ‘Coronavirus’ pandemic. ‘Streff’ as he was known to his friends had been a chorister for many years and had served on the choirs committee as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Welfare Officer. In the latter role, which he had carried out for some 16 years, his dedication gave comfort to many choristers and patrons, who were grateful for his support and advice, carried out with a true Christian spirit.

Streff was Church Warden for Eaton Constantine, a role he had fulfilled for many decades,  stepping in to help with services and generally supporting the work of the Church. In his working life he was an Agricultural Contractor and could often be seen about the countryside, maintaining hedgerows and working in the fields.  He was a larger than life figure and will be sorely missed by his fellow choristers and the wider community. The funeral service attended by close family takes place on Monday 6TH April; it is anticipated that in due course there will be a memorial service which the choir hopes to attend.

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Come and Try It!

If you are looking for something new to kick start 2020 the choir is having a ‘come and try it’ event at the William Brookes School so why not come and have a go. You don’t need to be able to read music and the evening will be designed to make it easy to sing along.

Its good to be part of a singing group and its no surprise that singing is good for your health. Turn over a new leaf and give your singing voice a chance!

See you at 7pm  on Tuesday 7th January.

 

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