Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tenby Male Choir – The Generation Game

Our two youngest members Joe Varallo and Wesley Davies will remember this year’s Arts Festival concert as the first concert when they appeared together. Joe is the son of Paul Varallo the choir’s principal soloist and Wesley the grandson of baritone and occasional soloist Duncan Hilling. Duncan did in fact perform a solo spot on the night as part of the lovely song The Fields of Athenry.
Following a Bruce Forsyth theme it is something of a “Brucie bonus” for the choir this week to have these two new members lowering the average age of the choir. He also used to say "You get nothing for a pair, not in this game" but we are hoping we’ll get a lot from this pair. These days Male Voice choirs, like so many other organisations, face an ageing issue with their main membership growing older and not attracting new and younger members. So it is good to see the new “boys” on stage after months of rehearsal. We would welcome many more. However when they found themselves having to move a heavy piano they might have wondered why we really want younger members.

Paul Varallo’s songs in his solo spot were the Welsh lullaby Suo Gan, the Welsh song Y Darlun or “The Picture” based on a drawing of praying hands by Albrecht Durer, the Neapolitan song Return to Sorrento and a Victorian ballad called The Holy City behind which lies a tale. It is said that it was once sung by an opera singer awaiting trial for fraud in his cell while a group of men arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct were before the judge. The men were said to have dropped to their knees as the song began 'Last night I lay a-sleeping, There came a dream so fair.', the lyrics contrasting with their previous night's drunkenness. The song's conclusion resulted in the judge dismissing the men without punishment, each having learned a lesson from the song.

Another potential benefit from singing upon which we hope none of the choir members needs to rely during our coming tour of Malta.

On the following Saturday the choir were commissioned to sing at the wedding of Ben Leslie and Kelly Jones so Manorbier Castle became Ben and Kelly’s little kingdom for the day. In beautiful autumn sunshine the choir sang on the central lawn as guests assembled and then inside the castle, sang the lovely song “She” from Notting Hill as the bride was escorted to the ceremony room by her stepfather Terry Morris. We enjoyed the day and we are grateful for the kind comments received and which are now on the choir’s website guest book.

As the voices of a not wholly Welsh choir reverberated off the walls of a Norman Castle thoughts also turned to an imminent battle later that day in an English fortress some 200 miles away.

The choir website is at  www.tenbymalechoir.org

Coming events
After a long concert season ext week sees our final concert which is at St. Mary’s church, Tenby on Thursday 8th October at 8pm. Tickets available on the door. This is the last chance to see and hear the choir for this year. Following that we have a few rehearsals for our tour of Malta from 24th to 31st October where we shall be carrying the banner of Tenby once again to foreign fields. We have three planned concerts at the Stella Maris Parish Church in Sliema, St Georges Bassilica, Gozo and St.Paul’s Protestant Cathedral

Choir membership

We are always looking for new members. It’s fun to sing so if you enjoy doing it, in the bath or at any recent rugby matches, karaoke evening or in the car why not think about joining?  The best way is to talk to a member of the choir or come to a rehearsal just to watch.  (our next one should be on 6th October). We meet at the County Club in Tenby

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