Rhos to celebrate Choir’s 50th!

The Rhos Male Voice Choir 1938legendary Rhos Male Voice Choir are coming to Much Wenlock next month as Much Wenlock Choir celebrates its 50th anniversary. It was a visit of the Rhos to the town in 1968 that prompted a group of local singers to get together and form a singing group which became Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir, so its fitting that the Rhos should return to help set the seal on its landmark year.

Rhos Male Voice Choir is from the village of Rhosllannerchrugog (Rhos), some five miles south-west of Wrexham, North Wales. Formed in 1891 the choir has, since then, been in the forefront of male voice singing. It is widely recognised as being one of Wales’ foremost choirs and its record in the competitive field is second to none. Ever since Richard Mills formed Rhos Male Voice Choir in 1891 it has given pleasure to countless thousands  who have heard the unique sound of the choir. Its recordings have reached a wide audience the world over and, coupled with many overseas tours, the choir’s name has become synonymous with male voice choir singing of standing.

“It was once said that if blood could sing, it would have to be out of someone from Rhos.”

The concert is on Saturday 20th October at The Edge Arts Centre at 7.30pm and tickets, which cost £10, are available from the Edge Box Office or Penny Farthing, Much Wenlock.

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Come and Try it!

The choir were pleased to give a concert at Oakengates United Reform Church on Saturday 14th July to raise funds in support of the Shoe Box Appeal, a charity that sends thousands of gifts to children overseas in the run up to Christmas, many of whom would not otherwise receive a present of any sort. It was a fitting way to end the choir’s summer season and the concert was followed by a garden party at Harley on 21st July; thanks to all those who supported either event in any way.

Its also pleasing to see the choir attracting new members in recent months – a ‘come and try it’ event is planned at the William Brookes School on the evening of Tuesday 11th September at 7pm….if you enjoy singing why not make a note of it in your diary and pop along.

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Canto at Cartway

The choir travel to Bridgnorth on Saturday 19th May to take part in a joint concert with Bel Canto at Cartway Methodist Church. Bel Canto are a local group of four songsters who met some years ago for the pure enjoyment of making music. Their deep friendship is reflected in a unique blend of close harmony singing, with a repertoire that is a diverse mixture of folk, barbershop, classical, jazz and madrigal. Audiences at home and abroad have derived great pleasure from the melodious magic of their performances.

The choir looks forward to what promises to be a unique and special evening of musical entertainment. The performance starts at 7pm and tickets cost £12.00….contact Jenny on 01746711422 to reserve yours now, or just turn up and pay at the door!

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Choirs in Trinity

Much Wenlock Choir are joining forces with Newport Male Voice Choir for a joint concert at the Holy Trinity Church, Much Wenlock on Saturday 10th March. The choirs met up previously when Much Wenlock travelled to Newport for a joint concert at Cosy Hall and the two have close ties as Newport Choir’s Musical Director Vivian Redfern is also  accompanist for Much Wenlock!

The concert promises to be something special as a number of joint pieces are being worked on and the combined choirs look forward to singing together. Tickets for the event cost £10.00 and are available from Penny Farthing, The Square, Much Wenlock or by contacting Lionel Gosden 01952 929760, alternatively just turn up and pay on the door.

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Christmas Spirit

A packed December programme started with an appearance at Wenlock Xmas Fayre on Saturday 2nd December when the choir joined with many other artists and performers to entertain the shoppers in Wenlock High Street, (for full details of the  event see the Fayre’s website at www.muchwenlockchristmasfayre.org.uk). The choir travelled to Bayton Church near Cleobury Mortimer for a concert on Sunday 3rd December and to Shrewsbury Abbey on Friday 15th to take part in an evening of musical performances including carols and festive readings.

The choir returned to home territory on Saturday 16th for a Xmas concert at The Edge where mince pies and mulled wine were on offer. The concert started at 7.30pm and tickets were free…..yes that’s right!…the audience were treated to a programme of well known Christmas songs and an appearance by ‘Eight in a Bar’, Shropshire’s own Barbershop Group.

The choir are pleased to anounce that the concert with Keith Nichols at The Edge in November raised £1000 for The Alzheimer’s Society, the cheque was presented to the charity in front of a packed audience at Shrewsbury Abbey.

 

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All that Jazz

The choir are pleased to announce the return of Keith Nichols to The Edge, Much Wenlock in a joint concert on Friday 17th November. Keith is well known as a jazz pianist and is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on classic jazz and ragtime; his piano playing reflects his deep involvement with pioneer stylists such as James P Johnson, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. He is one of the very few British Musicians to have played at Carnegie Hall  and his recording credits include three solo albums for EMI, plus a host of others for Decca, including one with Bing Crosby.

Keith previously appeared at The Edge in 2014 in a truly memorable concert and the choir looks forward to his return with eager anticipation. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Doris Wain and funds raised from it will go to support the work of The Alzheimer’s Society. The concert starts at 7.30pm,  tickets cost £10 and are available from The Edge Box Office 01952 728911; Penny Farthing, The Square, Much Wenlock; BridnorthJazz.co.uk or Harry King on 07852 991910

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Roll out for Barrow

Much Wenlock were pleased to welcome Barrow Male Voice Choir from Cumbria to the town on Saturday 30th September in a joint concert at the William Brookes School. Barrow choir were invited to pay us a visit after our choir visited the lake district in 2015 and met up with Barrow for a joint concert in Grange-Over-Sands.

Barrow is the last remaining traditional male voice choir in the area surrounding Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, an industrial town of of over sixty thousand inhabitants with a proud history of shipbuilding and the town is still home to Vickers, a major company involved in building submarines. The choir was founded in 1931 from members of Barrow Working Men’s Club & Institute and currently performs around fifteen concerts a year. In recent years the choir was represented at the Festival of Sound and Brass, held in London’s Royal Albert Hall and in 2010 hosted the Wagga City Rugby Male Choir from Australia whose singers included the former Barrow and Great Britain Rugby League star Phil Jackson.

The choirs Musical Director Deborah Milledge took over the role following the death of the choir’s previous conductor, her husband Anthony, in February this year and has since led the choir to victory in South Cumbria Musical Festival in April. She also conducts another prize-winning choir – the Ghyll Singers women’s choir, based in Ulverston – and plays first trombone in Dalton Town Band, Dalton-in-Furness.

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Up, Up and Away!

The choir travelled to Weston Park on 24th June to take part in ‘Fest300’, a celebration of 300 years of Freemasonry and took to the stage to sing some of their best loved songs including ‘The Rose’ and ‘Workin Man’ in front of a large scale audience some of whom could be seen singing along…a number of the festival goers approached the choir following the concert and were very complimentary and the visit has already resulted in a booking for another concert in Shropshire later this year.

The 2-day festival featured a number of acts and events including a full scale re-enactment of the Battle of the Alamo! As the event drew to a close hot air balloons rose majestically and were lit in time to music……                                                                          followed by a spectacular firework display to the sounds of the 1812 overture.

 

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Dudgeley Farm Wedding

The choir at Dudgeley Farm May 2017

On 27th May the choir travelled to Dudgeley Farm, nestled in the countryside close to the Long Mynd outside the village of All Stretton in an area of outstanding natural beauty, to perform at the wedding reception of Bethan Langford and her partner Piran Legg. For those of you who were lucky to have been present at last years Wenlock Festival, Bethan, who is a Mezzo Soprano, appeared in a joint concert with the choir and treated the audience to some wonderful singing. Piran who has a fine Baritone voice also appeared on stage to perform a duet. Bethan began her musical training at Much Wenlock’s Holy Trinity Church and her father is a singer in Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir.

The choir performed a number of well known pieces including Gwahoddiad sung in Welsh, when they were joined on stage by one of the wedding guests for a solo performance of the  second verse with the choir acting as backing. There was a great audience reaction to the songs and many compliments were paid by the guests, some of whom were drawn from the professional music scene.

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Wedding Bliss

The choir travelled to Oswestry on Saturday 13th May at the invitation of Debbie and Colin and gathered in the large parish church of St Oswalds to sing at their wedding as the  guests arrived. The wedding party were treated to a mixture of love songs and the registers were signed to the sounds of ‘When I’m 64’! The ceremony went off without a hitch and the sun shone as the choir and congregation posed on the lawns outside for photographs before adjourning to the Wynnstay Hotel where the reception was being held. Many of the guests expressed how much they had enjoyed the choir’s songs including the bride who messaged the choir to say  ” We are just happy, happy and still in bliss from our wedding, we had a super day and wanted to send this email to say what a major part you all had in making our day so special, and to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

This weekend the choir travel to Dudgeley Farm near All Stretton to perform at the evening wedding reception of Bethan Langford and Piran Legg. If you have a special occasion coming up why not book the choir? Contact our secretary Harry King on 07852991910 or mail mwmvc1969@gmail.com, alternatively message us on this site.

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