The annual Wenlock Xmas Fayre is fast approaching and is due to be held on Saturday 2nd December. It’s an event which has grown in popularity year on year and is a great way to kick off the festive season, with an eclectic mix of over 100 festive stalls each selling their own unique merchandise in addition to all the usual shops in the town.
Festivities start at 10am and throughout the day there will be a variety of performances and entertainment for children and the young at heart, the choir will be performing under the Corn Exchange from 11am till midday. The whole event ends with an atmospheric candle lit procession down the High Street and traditional Christmas Carol singing in the Square.
If you plan to go there is parking at Wenlock Motors in Smithfield Road, at the William Brookes School and at Grange Fencing on Stretton Road. The parking charge is £5.00 (please note you will need exact change for the payment). For full information about the event see the website www.wenlockchristmasfayre.org.uk
The choir has appointed a new accompanist Sally Oak, after David Fisher stepped down from the role recently. Sallys first official outing with the choir will be in Bridgnorth later this month at a joint concert with Bridgnorth Male Voice Choir on Saturday 22nd April. The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available from choir members, alternatively phone 01952728758 to reserve yours now!
While welcoming Sally the committee and choir wish to thank David for his years of service and it’s good to know that his considerable talent and experience as a pianist can be called on when needed.
Have you ever considered supporting the choir in a ‘non singing’ role…by becoming a patron you will receive a monthly newsletter telling you what events are coming up in the future, how to get tickets, opportunities for discounts on our home concerts and invitations to social events. Furthermore you could become a business sponsor, with the opportunity to place adverts in our programmes or gain publicity as a concert main sponsor. For more information please phone the number shown above.
A Christmas tree kindly donated by Ed Clarke now adorns one of the aisles in a display of trees at the Holy Trinity Church Much Wenlock. Thanks to the work of Mags Langford and Hilary Gray the tree is resplendant with decorations and complemented by framed pictures and a selection of leaflets that are there for visitors who would like to learn more about the choir. Why not visit the town and combine some festive shopping with a chance to see the displays at the church in the run up to Christmas.
The choir’s autumn season is in full swing. Following our appearance in Ironbridge at their Festival of the Imagination alongside Jackfield Brass Band, we enjoyed our extended concert, singing to a full house at Bridgnorth Methodist Church at the beginning of October where our soloists, Paul Cotton, Robin Padgett and Bob Jones were very well received. We were also joined by soprano Jess Fox for the first time, who sang some lovely musical theatre pieces.
A weekend trip to sing with Barnstaple Ladies Choir in late October included a choir led cabaret evening at the hotel followed by a joint concert at Barnstaple Methodist Church on Saturday that raised funds for the RNLI. The trip also included a sightseeing tour to Ilfracombe and a stop at Bristol City on the return journey. The Barnstaple choir are truly an excellent choir and it is hoped that they will be coming to Shropshire in the near future.
Into December, and our Christmas arrangements. We will once more be singing under the Corn Exchange in Wenlock as part of the Christmas Fayre entertainment on the morning of December 3rd, and beyond that will be holding a FREE Christmas Concert at William Brookes School on the evening of Saturday 10th December, with limited tickets being available from mid-November via choir members, Penny Farthing in the Square, or by ringing the number below. Please consider coming along for what will be a lovely way for us all to get in the mood for Christmas.
The choirs first concert of the season is about to take place at the Festival of Imagination in Ironbridge Gorge. The event is a celebration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which plays host to a wide programme of events including the choir who will be appearing alongside the award winning Jackfield Brass Band. The venue is the Speigel Tent in Dale End Park (Regatta Field) on Saturday 17th September at 7.30pm; parking is available on the Regatta Field and there is a pre-concert bar available from 6.45pm. Proceeds from the concert will go to Hope House and the Alzheimers Society. For more information on the Festival including tickets head to www.ironbridgefestival.co.uk
This year signalled the return of the festival with a host of events including a performance by the choir in the Marquee on Monday 6th June. It’s three years since the event last took place and wonderful to be back again to entertain on home ground.
It was also great to share the stage with mezzo soprano Bethan Langford, who grew up in Much Wenlock and Piran Legg a Bass-Baritone who orginally hailed from Kent. Both artists performed solo and duet numbers ranging from classical opera aria’s, musicals and some fun comedy pieces. They also combined with the choir to produce what was a very memorable evening of song. Rising stars on the music scene Bethan and Piran have performed in opera’s at home and abroad; if you get a chance to hear either of them at future events don’t miss it….
A big thank you to the organisers of the Festival and to those of you who came along to listen. We hope you enjoyed the evening which ended, appropriately for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with a rousing Rule Britannia, enhanced by an enthusiastic audience!
The choir held its first ‘live’ AGM since 2019 at the William Brookes School, Much Wenlock on Tuesday 12th April, an event that heralded well deserved recognition for some of its members for their long standing contribution and committment to the choir over many years.
Chairman Dick Langford presented Len Kelly and Mel Bardsley with life membership certificates while Les Pinder was presented with a tankard in recognition of more than 25 years service.
In the votes for committee members Dick Langford continued as the choirs chairman while Robin Padgett was elected as Secretary; the choir and committee wishes to express its thanks for the hard work and dedication of the outgoing Secretary Harry King who has stepped down after 10 years in the post.
The choir’s first concert of the year will be a celebration of the patron saint of Wales, St David. Bridgnorth Rugby Club are hosting a special St David’s day lunch at their Edgar Davies ground in Severn Park on Saturday March 5th (a few days late!) prior to their match against Oundle and the choir has been invited to entertain guests in the impressive marquee. In recognition of the occasion the choir will be singing some Wesh ‘classics’ including Cwm Rhondda (Bread of Heaven), Myfanwy and of course Gwahoddiad together with some regular choir favourites and one or two new pieces.
If you would like to hear the choir ‘at home’ this spring a joing concert with Ludlow Male Voice Choir is due to take place at the William Brookes School, Much Wenlock on Saturday April 2nd at 7.30pm. Tickets for this event are £8.00 and can be obtained from choir members or at ‘Penny Farthing’ in The Square.
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.
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.