Sunday, 25 September 2016

Tenby Male Choir – 150 years and Always.....

That is the current slogan of the Barnardos childrens charity. This year marks 150 years of helping children, young people and families and as the slogan implies they will go on doing so. The charity handles almost a quarter of a million cases per year so this was another worthy cause for the choir to be involved with.
We were honoured with the attendance of Mayor of Tenby, Councillor Laurence Blackhall and it was a packed evening of music with three sessions from the choir and in between each session no less than four songs from oratoria and concert soprano Jessica Robinson. Jessica sang a very varied collection with:-
O Mio Babbino Caro (Puccini), On my Lips every Kiss is like wine (Lehar), We'll Gather Lilacs (Novello), Eli Jenkins Prayer (Dylan Thomas), Anfonnaf Angel (Robat Arwyn, Cymru Fach (David Richards), Can't help lovin dat man (Showboat), Girl in 14g (Tesori)
Jessica who has a Masters Degree in Opera has won many prestigious awards including the Aneurin Davies Memorial award, the Mansel Thomas prize, the Margaret Tann award and the Elias Soprano award and was recently chosen as part of an octet to perform for HRH, Prince of Wales. She has appeared at many major venues including the Millennium Stadium and is soon to appear at the Albert Hall.  It would take up an entire page in fact to list the places she has been to and performed in and the people she has performed with. Of course Tenby Male choir could now be top of that list!!
Jessica contacted me afterwards to say that she had had a great night and that is certainly true for the audience and choir as well. Mayor Blackhall also joined us later in the county club for a post concert chat
The choir’s programme for the evening included once again a solo by Tom Pearce with his always popular Home on the Hill and “not only but also” we had our Peter Cook and Dudley Moore look-alikes John Butland and Kevin Morgan singing the third verse of Working Man. You have to imagine them both with a little more hair for the full effect!! John who often performs for the choir with his guitar told me that in his younger days he often appeared with Cream but it took me a while to realise that he used to have a milk round.
The choir finished with the always popular American Trilogy where once again Dr. John Harrison, Director of Music at St. Mary’s church, accompanied us with the magnificent church organ. The audience that evening was a very international one. I’m not sure that I can recall all of the countries represented but I know that we had Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Austrians and French. I think we can safely say that we enhanced the special relationship with the singing of the American Trilogy as the people from the USA stood to their feet and applauded furiously at the end.
Tonight (Friday) we have a light hearted evening planned which has been arranged by the Friends of Tenby Male choir. The evening is called Poems and Puddings. It will, as the title implies, be an evening when poems are read by choir members and friends and there will be a selection of free puddings afterwards, or perhaps during, the readings. It takes place at the County club starting at 7:30. You can come along just to listen and eat or you can volunteer to read a poem either one of your own or someone else’s. All contributions are welcome. The entrance fee to include puddings is just £5. If you are thinking of joining us please give our secretary David Stewart-Walvin a ring so that we can make sure there are enough puddings to go round.
The Friends of Tenby Male Choir are people who support us in various ways and enjoy joining in the social side without necessarily being singers. It is small at the moment but we want to encourage it to grow. Details of this can be found on our website (details below).
Next week we have two concerts with a hotel concert at the Giltar Hotel, Tenby on Tuesday 27th. If anyone would like to come to this there is no entrance fee. Just turn up at the bar in time for singing to begin around 9pm.
We then have one of our most important regular annual concerts when we perform as part of the Arts Festival week. This is on Thursday 29th September at St. Mary’s church, Tenby starting at 8pm. You are advised to be early if you want to get a good seat as this is always well attended having been publicised as a major event in the festival. It will also be the last chance to see the choir in concert this year as this is the final one in our 2016 programme.
It’s been another year of raising a lot of money for worthy local organisations and once again its been a lot of fun.
We have a bit more enjoyment though as even though our planned programme has officially finished we have been asked to sing as “The Specsavers choir” for a promotion by this leading opticians group. We were asked to do this last year in support of Welsh Deaf Rugby charity and it was so successful that we have been asked again. Details of when and where we will be singing will be published nearer the time.
The choir has a really interesting and information packed website. If you haven’t visited it at then it’s really worth a visit. Amongst other things there are videos of the choir including some really good ones from this latest concert produced by choir Friend Di Mumford.  Webmaster David Stewart-Walvin keeps the website bang up to date with news, photos, the choir blog and absolutely anything you need to know about the choir. If you’ve enjoyed a concert there is also a guestbook where you can put your comments and read what others think. David also maintains a choir Facebook page.
He can be contacted on anything to do with the choir on 01834 844926.

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