Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir are pleased to announce the release of their latest recording ‘Spirit of the Edge’. The choir’s fourth recording, the album is a mixture of popular and traditional music and includes ‘Hallelujah’ a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen and one of his most loved songs. Musical Director Paul Kelly commented “This album is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the choir in the last few years, which has seen it grow in numbers and develop an individual musical voice. Credit must go to our excellent accompanist, David Fisher, and the brilliant recording and engineering skills of Richard Yeoman-Clark”
Paul Kelly is former Director of Music at William Brookes School and was appointed to lead Much Wenlock Choir in 2010, Paul is also Musical Director of Shifnal Chorale, Church Stretton Choral Society, Shropshire Chamber Orchestra and ‘Random Brass’, a flexible brass ensemble. Accompanist on the new album is David Fisher, a graduate of Trinity College of Music in London and a highly accomplished pianist.
The choirs previous recordings include ‘Singing for Pleasure’, recorded in 1975, ‘Were You There’ recorded in 1980 and ‘On Wenlock Edge’ recorded in 1996, under the leadership of the choir’s former Musical Director Mrs Ceridwen Constantine.
‘Spirit of the Edge’ costs £8.00 and is available to order on compact disc; if you would like a copy mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01952770033 for information. The choir would like to thank Golding Products Ltd from Hortonwood for their production work on the album.
The choir travel to the village of Shipton on Tuesday 11th October at 7.30pm for an open rehearsal at the village hall. If you enjoy singing why not pop along and give it a try – just turn up on the night or give Dick Langford or Harry King a call for more information (01952728758 / 07852991910):
- No need to be able to read music
- Wide repertoire of songs – popular,classical,traditional from musicals etc
- Meet a sociable friendly group of fellow singers
Oyster concert – one of the choirs loyal supporters joining in the fun!
A rain soaked day did not dampen the choirs enthusiasm at the Summer Music Spectacular in Broseley held one Friday afternoon in late August. The concert put on by Oyster Communications who are based in the town featured a number of acts and raised a total of £500 which was donated to the ‘wooden spoon’ childrens charity. Oyster would like to thank all the guests and all those who purchased raffle tickets, donated or supported the event in any way.
The choir are due to travel to South Wales over the weekend of Saturday – Sunday 9th October for a joint concert with Abertillery Ladies Choir. Abertillery are Wales’ oldest established ladies choir. The choir was founded in 1911 and competed in many Eisteddfodau, including Llangollen on five occasions. From the 1970’s the choir became more involved in community and charitable events and like Much Wenlock has toured a number of places at home and abroad, in recent years performing at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff and the National Botanical Gardens of Wales as well as touring Ireland and Germany.
Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir have returned from a successful trip to Enfield, Middlesex, where they met up with Three Valleys Male Voice Choir at St Andrews Church on Saturday 16th July for a joint concert which raised £700 for the St Andrews restoration fund.
The trip included visits to St Albans, Waltham Abbey and Oxford and choir patrons Rita Cresswell, Audrey and Tom Colebatch said “thanks to the choir for the wonderful concert and for arranging a marvellous weekend away”.
In October the choir travel to South Wales for a joint concert with Abertillery Ladies Choir and are also planning a trip to Ireland next year.
Choir Chairman Tom Thompson and wife Margaret at Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, Three Valleys Tour.
On Thursday 16th June the choir will be appearing at the Wenlock Festival, sharing the stage with Mezzo Soprano Bethan Langford. This promises to be a very special event.
Bethan, who comes from Much Wenlock, is currently studying on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she has been awarded the Susan Longfield prize and the Paul Hamburger lieder prize. She is a Samling Artist, a Concordia Artist, a Les Azuriales Young Artist, and as the winner of the Concordia Founders’ Prize gave her debut Wigmore Hall recital in April 2015.
Recent operatic performances include cover Proserpina Orfeo (Royal Opera at the Roundhouse), Noble Orphan Der Rosenkavalier (Glyndebourne Festival Opera and BBC Proms), Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus (Clonter Opera), Nancy Albert Herring (Mid Wales Opera Young Artists) and Hansel Hansel und Gretel (Guernsey Symphony Orchestra). In spring this year Bethan performed the role of Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Guildhall Opera to great critical acclaim. She is excited to be returning to Glyndebourne for the Summer as an Apprentice in Wagner’s die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Recent and future concert work includes recitals for the Oxford Lieder Festival (broadcast on BBC Radio 3) and Aldeburgh Festival, Deruflé Requiem with Cambridge Philharmonic and Galas at St George’s Hanover Square and Clonter Opera. Bethan’s studies are supported by an EMI Music Sound Foundation bursary, a Tutton Award from Help Musicians UK and the Worshipful Company of Skinners.
Bethan began her musical training at the Holy Trinity Church Choir in Much Wenlock, and is very excited to be returning to her home town to perform with the Male Voice Choir, and to be sharing the stage with her Dad for the first time! Tickets for the event which starts at 7.30pm cost £10.00 and can be bought from Penny Farthing Gifts & Crafts in The Square, Much Wenlock, online at www.wegottickets.com/event/346698 or pay at the door.
On a busy Saturday morning at the end of May the choir formed up at Pride Hill Shopping centre in Shrewsbury and began singing as shoppers were walking by….many stopped to listen as the choir performed a number of songs including the Louis Armstrong classic ‘Wonderful World’. Shrewsbury Police MVC similarly gathered at the Charles Darwin Centre to create a memorable shopping experience for tourists and townspeople alike.
The whole musical event was staged on behalf of the Air Ambulance who celebrate 25 years of service to the public, and their collectors were on hand to gratefully receive any donations. By the end of the morning more than £300 had been raised and one of the volunteer organisers Gina Constable said “thank you all so much for your time, effort and wonderful voices, you were a joy to listen to….thank you all on behalf of myself and my fellow volunteers and all of us at Midlands Air Ambulance”
Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir are proud to have represented the historic town of Much Wenlock in towns and cities at home and abroad over many decades. The choir are pleased to announce that a small selection of gifts received from the civic authorities of some of those places have been put on display in the Guildhall, with the kind permission of the Mayor . It seems a fitting place for the display and indeed it could be said some of the gifts are a recognition of the town and its townspeople.
One of the items is a salt boat, a gift from Torrevieja in Spain – All made from natural parts – esparto grass canes, cotton thread and the salt crystals of the ‘Salinas’ salt pools that exist in that area of Spain. This is an unusual item and well worth viewing.
The Guildhall itself is a gem not be missed. It is open to the public between April and October on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Various exhibitions take place in the Court Room throughout the year and admission is free of charge.
The choir performed at Cosy Hall in Newport in a St Georges day special with Newport Male Voice Choir on Friday 22nd April, joining with the Newport Choir to sing several pieces including ‘When the Saints’ and the Louis Armstrong classic ‘Wonderful World’.
Cosy Hall is Newport’s Community Building and was fully renovated, restored and enlarged in 1998 at a cost of £355,000, with full facilities for the disabled. The concert was well attended and the audience gave both choirs a warm reception. The choirs are closely linked as Newport Choirs MD Vivian Redfern is also Wenlock Choirs accompanist.
The choir visited the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury on Tuesday 1st March for a St Davids day concert performed in the main reception area in front of visitors, staff and patients. The choir was well received judging by the comments from the appreciative audience: “A lovely afternoon of music. Thank you very much”,“A lovely recital. Great singing”, “Wonderful choir. Brought back memories.” “Captivating brilliance. Wonderful!” This was the second visit made by the choir to the centre and may not be the last.
Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir raised almost £5500 for a variety of charities in 2015 after performing at 14 venues during the year. The money helped to support four Shropshire churches, and charities including The Shoebox Appeal, Prostate Cancer, Helping Hand and the Air Ambulance. Choir Chairman Gary Jones said “our choir motto is ‘singing for pleasure’, which is enhanced greatly when our efforts help to raise so much money for worthwhile causes”