Two choirs in perfect harmony
Biddulph Male Voice Choir has just returned from their recent concert tour to Cardiff where they were guests of Cardiff Arms Park Male Voice Choir performing at the beautiful St.John’s Church in the centre of Cardiff. Biddulph MVC has a close relationship with the Cardiff choir having been their guests at the last two Anglo Welsh concerts. The choir was conducted by it’s Musical Director Anthony Marks and the principal accompanist Wendy Brown.
The concert included a varied programme with both choirs taking the stage separately but coming together as one in both halves of the concert programme.
It was Biddulph MVC who opened the concert with African Prayer, The Lords Prayer, With a Voice of Singing and The Water is Wide.
Cardiff MVC then took to the stage performing Llanfair, Deus Salutis and Gwahoddiad.
The combined choir then peformed The Rose and Morte Christe
After the interval and suitably refreshed it was the turn of Cardiff Arms Park MVC who first took to the stage performing Sloop John B, Let it be Me, I Dreamed a Dream and American Trilogy.
With almost military precision the choirs exchanged places and Biddulph continued with Roman War Song, Mansions of the Lord and What Would I Do Without My Music
Finally both choirs performed Tydi A Roddaist and Saints bringing the concert to a close.
The evening was quite simply exceptional and the harmony was second to none.
After the concert both choirs enjoyed the “Afterglow” and after being suitably refreshed performed once again in a spontaneous concert.
The Biddulph Male Voice choir continue their summer season with their next performance at Biddulph Town Hall on the 7th July just prior to their grand appearance at Shrewsbury Flower Show in August.
Endon Methodist Church – 26 November 2017
Biddulph Male Voice Choir performed at a sell-out Christmas concert last Saturday at Endon Methodist Church. This charity concert which is always very popular sold out months ago and already people are asking about tickets for next years event. The choir was led by their Music Director Anthony Marks and accompanied by Wendy Brown. The choir were in fine voice and thrilled the audience with a programme of a wide selection of festive songs together with a just a sprinkling of songs from their current concert repertoire which was interspersed with the audience joining in with carols. The choir opened with African Prayer, Do you hear what I hear and When a child is born and then it was time for the first of two sets by their special guest Lesley Davies who delighted the audience with her beautiful choice of songs and of course her humorous delivery of the Joyce Grenfell nativity play.
The choir now returned to the stage and to a hushed audience performed Let there be peace on earth, Silent Night and Joy to the World. After being suitably refreshed the choir continued in the festive vein but now decked out accordingly in their Christmas best! They opened the second half with everyones favourite welsh hymn Tydi A Roddaist followed by My Lord what a morning and Christ Child Lying in a Manger. Lesley now returned to the stage and entertained the audience with her second set before soloing with the choir in O Holy Night. But now it was the audience’s turn to join with the choir again as they sang together – 12 days of Christmas complete with memory boards!
In summary a great evening which was very well attended and to cap it all raised over £1400 in aid of the Romanian Orphan charity. Suddenly on a wintry evening as they say in the song “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”
The choir’s busy winter schedule continues this week when they perform at Prestbury Care Home, Macclesfield and then a week later at Kidsgrove on the 9 December when they join with Rode Hall Silver Band for a special Christmas celebration concert.
Tickets for this concert are available at Congleton TIC 01260 271095.
13th May 2017 Bethesda Chapel
Biddulph Male Voice Choir returned to the spectacular Bethesda Methodist Chapel in Hanley last Saturday afternoon to perform in a free concert to help raise funds for the chapel which is undergoing an extensive restoration programme which initially began in 2002.Neglected for over twenty years the chapel deteriorated badly until the BBC TV programme Restoration. The programme's attention brought a much needed focus on attempts to save the building.
Once one of the largest Nonconformist chapels outside London, the building has been known as the "Cathedral of the Potteries", being "one of the largest and most ornate Methodist town chapels surviving in the UK".
The choir under the direction of their new Musical Director Anthony Marks and accompanied by Wendy Brown opened with everyones favourite male voice choir piece Morte Christe. This was followed by The Lords Prayer amply demonstrating the wonderful acoustics in the chapel. Other pieces included Let it be me, When the saints, Roll Jordon Roll, My Lord what a morning, African Prayer, The Rose, Nothing like a Dame, What would I do without my music and the wonderful welsh hymn Tydi A Roddaist.
Biddulph Male Voice Choir continue its busy summer season now with a number of private functions before making their next public appearance in Congleton Park on Sunday the 18th June as part of the Brass and Song event which is hosted by Friends of the Park.
7th April 2017 CHOIR SING FOR LIFEBOATS
On Friday 7th April, Biddulph Male Voice Choir took part in the second concert of their 2017 season at Wesley Place, Alsager, in support of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution‘s Mayday Appeal.
The choir was conducted by their Musical Director Daniel Keen, and their accompanist was Ms Wendy Brown.
The choir opened the concert with the male voice favourite “Morte Christe”, and followed this by two songs “Roll Jordan Roll” and “My Lord what a morning”, sang acapella. The choir then invited audience participation as they sang a “WW1 Medley”. The first set finished with the haunting “Mansions of the Lord”.
The first soloist of the evening was choir member Clive Reynolds, who entertained the audience with some fine harmonica renditions of a selection of sea shanties from the last night of the proms, followed by the beautiful “Eternal Father and Sunset”. Clive was then followed by Guitar playing choir member Wes Carr who was joined from the audience by his wife Helen for a duet en titled “The Plan” by the Kruger Brothers.
The second set began by the choir and audience singing together “Will your anchor hold” followed by “There is nothing like a Dame” from South Pacific, with a spirited solo by the choir president Horace Sproston. This was followed by “The water is wide” and the foot tapping “O when the saints go marching in “which led to the interval.
The second half began with two lovely pieces - “Gwahoddiad” and “The Lord’s Prayer”, before the raucous “What shall we do with the drunken sailor “and the romantic “Let it be me”, followed by a new number “Calm is the Sea” again sang acapella.
Choir member Paul Cheadle then sang the lovely “Imagine” by John Lennon, and was followed by Geoff Hill who sang the haunting “Guardian Angel” with words by Hywel Gwynfryn and music by Robat Arwyn. All royalties from this song going to “The Air Ambulance Appeal”
This was followed by the choirs last set which started with “African Prayer” sung in the African language of Xhosa, followed by “Tydi a Roddaist”, sung in Welsh. The rousing piece “Roman War Song” by Richard Wagner finished the concert.
Due to the amount of applause and cries of “More!!” the choir returned and sang as an encore another new, and fitting piece “What would I do without my music?” to end a wonderful concert. The choir now has a break until their next concert at Bethesda Chapel, Hanley at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday 13th May.
18th March 2017 First of the Spring concerts
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir took to the stage last Saturday when they joined in concert with Alsager Community Choir and performed to a packed audience in the first concert of 2017 in Congleton Town Hall. Biddulph MVC are no strangers to performing in Congleton appearing at a number of venues but it had been a number of years since they last performed in the town hall with it’s excellent accoustics.
The Alsager choir conducted by Matthew Thomason and Kate Cubley was formed in 2012 and opened the concert with “Wade in the Water” followed by the James Bay song “Hold back the river”, “Wishing you were somehow here again” and “Can’t help falling in love”.
It was now the turn of Biddulph MVC conducted by their music director Daniel Keen and accompanist Kornelia Danek to take to the stage and they opened their first set with that male voice favourite “Morte Christe”. The choir then sang “Roll Jordon Roll” cleverly coupled with “My Lord what a morning” in acapella. The choir completed their first set with two audience participation pieces namely the “WW1 medley” and the foot tapping, hand clapping “When the saints”.
After the interval the Alsager Community choir returned to the stage and performed “Scarborough Fair”, “Do you hear the people sing” from Les Miserable, “Titanium” and “Rhythm of Life”.
The audience were then treated to a solo performance of a composition by Edvard Grieg played beautifully by Kornelia Danek.
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir completed the concert with “African Prayer”, “Drunken Sailor”, “The Lords Prayer” and the delightful song “What would I do without my music”. But the appreciative audience demanded more and completely unrehearsed both choirs combined to sing “Rhythm of Life” to close a wonderful concert evening.
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir now have a short break until their next spring concert for the RNLI at Wesley Place, Alsager on Friday the 7th April.
5th December 2016
The choir’s final public performance of 2016 took place on Sunday 4th December, when they took part in the Tunstall Salvation Army’s 57th Annual Civic Carol Service. The service was held in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Anthony Munday, and the hon. Ruth Smeeth MP. The choir were conducted by their musical director Mr. Daniel Keen and Ms Wendy Brown was the accompanist.
The Salvation Army Band started the service with a rousing march of Christmas music before the choir and congregation sang together “Once in Royal David’s City”. The choir then sang four pieces “When a child is born”, “Star Carol”, “Joy to the World”, and “O Holy Night”, before the band played “Good King Wenceslas” The Christmas message was then delivered by Major Linda Govier.
The children’s choir then sang “Away in a Manger” before short speeches by the Lord Mayor, and Mr Dennis Vickers representing the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. The choir then sang Wendy Brown’s arrangement of “Silent Night”, followed by “My Lord what a Morning”, and “Do you hear what I hear?” The choir’s last number was their version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in which the congregation took part following prompts from the choir. Ruth Smeeth MP then gave a Bible reading before the choir and congregation sang “Calypso Carol” and “In the bleak mid winter”.
The Lord Mayor then presented a cheque for £600 to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, before all sang the final carol “O come all ye faithful” to round off a delightful night of Christmas music.
The Choir will sing at a private function on Thursday 8th December which will mark the end of a very busy year for them. The Choir’s engagement diary for 2017 is almost full already, and anyone hoping to book the choir next year should contact them as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org The choir rehearses on Wednesday night between 7.00 and 9.00 pm, at The Bateman Centre adjacent to Knypersley Parish Church, and is always pleased to receive new members. Come along and give it a try.
27th November 2016
BIDDULPH MALE VOICE CHOIR IN FESTIVE MOOD
On Saturday 26th November the choir performed the Roger Wright Memorial Concert to a “sell-out” audience at Endon Methodist Church. Also appearing with the choir was the very talented local soprano Ms. Lesley Davies. The choir were as usual conducted by their Musical Director Mr. Daniel Keen and accompanied by their regular accompanist Ms. Wendy Brown.
All the songs performed by the choir had a Christmas connection, and the concert started with “When a child is born”, followed by “The Star Carol” and “Joy to the World”. Then followed two songs by Lesley Davies who sang “Nobody loves a fairy when she’s 40” and “Old Tyme Dancing” (made famous by the late Joyce Grenfell), to loud applause. The choir then continued with the Christmas words to “Kwmbayah” and an arrangement of “Silent Night” by Wendy Brown. The audience then joined the choir to sing “Once in Royal David’s City”. This was followed by a short interval.
The second half of the concert began with the choir decked out in a large variety of Christmas headwear, to the great amusement of the audience. The choir and audience then sang together “”O come all ye faithful”, before the choir sang “My Lord what a morning” and “O holy night”, and then all singing again “Hark the Herald Angels.” Lesley Davies then treated the audience to two beautiful pieces of operetta, “One Kiss” from the show “Blue Moon”, and “I give my heart” written by Karl Mullachor. The choir and Leslie then sang “White Christmas”, before beautiful renditions of “Do you hear what I hear?” and “O little town of Bethlehem” by the choir.
For the finale the choir and audience joined for an hilarious version of “The twelve days of Christmas” with audience prompts provided by choir members holding up the appropriate day number on boards – sometimes even in the right order!!
This was a great end to a wonderful concert to raise funds for disabled orphan children, and the choir are happy to continue to support this cause.
14th November 2016
Biddulph Male Voice Choir returned to the concert stage last Saturday, 12th November, with a performance at St. Thomas’s Church, Mow Cop. The choir, conducted by their Musical Director Daniel Keen, and beautifully accompanied by Ms. Wendy Brown, deserve praise for an impressive performance, singing a varied programme of well known songs.
The first half commenced with the beautiful “Gwahoddiad”, and continued with the soft harmonies of “The Lord’s Prayer”. These were then followed by “What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor” and “African Prayer” The choir then took a short break and the audience were treated to a cornet solo of “Grandfather’s Clock” by Daniel Keen, and two Lennon and McCartney numbers by choir member Paul Cheadle. The choir then retook the stage with fine renditions of “The Rose”, “Tydi a Roddaist” sung in Welsh, and “American Trilogy” made famous by Elvis Presley, before the interval break
Following the interval the choir started by singing four firm favourites, “Morte Christe”, “Let it be me”, “She”, and “Mansions of the Lord”, this number being especially appropriate for Remembrance weekend. There then followed two more solos by choir members. Firstly Dave McCaddon sung the folk song “Whitby Harbour” to his own guitar accompaniment, and this was followed by two songs from Steve Condliffe who sang “Alleluia” by the late Leonard Cohen, and “If I was a rich Man” from Fiddler on the roof. All the solo performances were greeted with warm applause from the audience.
The choir returned with its final slot and sang “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables, “A Roman War song”, and finished with an upbeat version of “Rhythm of Life”.
This was an impressive return to the concert programme for the choir following their recent competition work, and resulted in an open invitation for the choir to return to St Thomas’s Church in the future. The Choir’s next engagement is a “Sold Out” concert on 26th November at Endon Methodist Church.
The choir rehearses on Wednesday nights between 7pm and 9pm at the Bateman Centre next to Knypersley Church, and welcomes new members. Come along and give it a try!!
7th November 2016Last weekend saw the choir compete in the prestigious North Wales Choral Festival at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.
Competing against several international choirs, the choir gained a very creditable fifth place. Given the fact that only five marks separated the first five places, this was an excellent result for the choir who improved on both their marks total and overall position, against their performance in 2015.
The choir sang a varied programme consisting of "African Prayer" (the South African national anthem),"Mansions of the Lord", and "Rhythm of Life". All the pieces were warmly applauded by an appreciative and knowledgeable audience. Following the performance a member of another competing choir commented that he had never heard "African Prayer" sung so well. Praise indeed !!
In the evening the choir performed two pieces at the Festival Celebration Concert, where they sang the very soulful "Prayer of the Children", and the romantic ballad "Let it be me" to rapturous applause.
This was an excellent and enjoyable weekend for the choir who now return to their concert programme with their next performance taking place at St. Thomas's Church, Mow Cop on Saturday 12th November at 7.30 p.m. There are still a few tickets available for sale at the door
14th May 2016
Biddulph Male Voice Choir have already made a promising start to their 2016 Summer season of concerts with performances at Congleton and Biddulph. Their latest sell out concert was at Key Green Chapel last Saturday when they performed on a warm summers evening to a packed audience.
The choir conducted by their Music Director Daniel Keen and beautifully accompanied by Wendy Brown deserves praise for an impressive performance singing a varied programme of well known songs. The program’s first half commenced with Gwahoddiad, followed by The Water is Wide, Prayer of the Children and the rousing WW1 medley featuring tenor Dave Walley.
A short break for the choir now as tenor Clive Reynolds (often compared with Larry Adler) treated the audience to a nautically flavoured “Last night of the proms”. This was followed by tenor Paul Cheadle who performed John Lennon’s Imagine accompanied by Wendy.
The choir returned to the platform and took the concert into the refreshment interval with the welsh hymn Tydi a Roddaist, She, I Dreamed a Dream and Roman War Song.
The choir's first item after the interval was the traditional piece Morte Christe, an essential item on any male voice choir programme. This was followed by the foot tapping, tongue twisting What shall we do with the drunken sailor and by complete contrast the challenging By Babylon’s Wave.
The choir were now due for a rest and it was tenor soloist Dave McCaddon who performed Whitby Harbour and then accompanied baritone Steve Sheard with the well known Lindisfarne song Meet me on the corner.
Bringing the concert to a close the choir took to the stage for the final time and performed Mansions of the Lord, African Prayer and American Trilogy followed by a demand for more.
The choir duly obliged and performed Rhythm of Life to a delighted and satisfied audience before retiring for a well earned afterglow.
This was a memorable evening for choir and audience alike, the Male Voice Choir was in fine voice, performing impressively and confidently throughout. For me the three pieces of the evening which stood out were their new piece not performed in concert before Prayer of the Children sung A capella and Tydi a Roddaist with it’s superb Amen finish and the harmony of American Trilogy. A great evening.
This year will be another busy year for the choir which has a full diary for this year with concert bookings already into September next year when they celebrate their 95th anniversary. But back to this year and on Saturday 11th June you can hear the choir by dropping in at Bethesda Chapel, Hanley at 1pm. In July the choir will be performing once again at Biddulph Town Hall on the 16th July, this time with their guests the Kingsfield singers. The choir a week later then perform as guests at a wedding the details of which will be a complete surprise, so no more to be said!
Then after a short break the choir have been invited to perform at this year’s Shrewsbury Flower Show, in the bandstand in the day on Friday 12th August and in the evening in the arena with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The choir last sang there in 2010 in front of huge crowds which was estimated to be in the thousands.
The choir which now has some 60 choristers always welcomes new members and rehearsals take place at the Bateman Centre, St.John’s Church Knypersley on Wednesdays at 7 pm.
RNLI concert 18th March 2016
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir on the 18th March 2016 performed to a packed audience at the United Reformed Church, Congleton celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Congleton RNLI Branch.
The choir was led by Musical Director Daniel Keen and accompanied this week by Kornelia Danek. The carefully arranged programme had something for everyone including welsh hymns, musicals and naturally followed where possible a nautical theme with songs including The water is wide and the high tempo What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor.
The soloists in the concert came from the choir itself and included Kornelia playing a delightful Richard Clayderman piece not heard for some time Ballade Pour Adeline followed bytenors Clive Reynolds and Dave McCaddon, Clive on harmonica with a nautical Proms selection and Dave on guitar singing Across the Sea and Whitby Harbour written by Stan Graham.
After the concert the choir had their afterglow as guests of Congleton Rugby Club where suitably refreshed they treated club members to an impromptu concert.
The choir now have a short break before they return to the stage at the Biddulph Methodist Church, Victoria Centre on Saturday 9th April.
First of the spring concerts
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir last week performed in it’s first concert of 2016 when they performed for the Mayor’s charity concert at Biddulph Town Hall raising funds for both Cancer Research and Biddulph in Bloom. The concert, to borrow a football saying was “A concert of two halves” with Musical Director Daniel Keen taking the first half and then handing the baton to Deputy MD Anthony Marks. Principal accompanist Wendy Brown supported beautifully throughout. A number of choristers were unfortunately missing through illness but the choir were in fine voice and the chosen repertoire included a number of traditional male voice pieces, musicals and welsh hymns.
Soloists in the concert came from the choir itself and were Dave Walley, Clive Reynolds, Paul Cheadle and Daniel Keen.
Once again the BMVC Ladies group did a fine job supporting the choir and audience with refreshments, raffle and tickets, as ever it is always appreciated.
The choir now have a full concert diary for 2016 and continue to entertain audiences throughout Staffordshire and Cheshire whilst raising funds for many local and national charities.
The full concert list can be found here on the choir’s website and this year includes an invite back to perform at the Shrewsbury Flower Show in August and a return to the North Wales Choral Festival in November.
Recruitment into the choir has also gone well following the opening evening in January with a number of new choristers joining the ranks. Rehearsals take place at the Bateman Centre, St.John’s Church, Knypersley on Wednesday evenings starting at 7-00.
The choir now have a short break before returning to the stage at the United Reformed Church at Congleton on Friday 18th March for the RNLI Congleton Branch 50th anniversary concert.
Festive concerts bring a busy 2015 to a close
Biddulph Male Voice Choir now entering its 94th year have once again had another busy year performing in some 12 concerts, 2 weddings, a tour and a choral competition. The highlights of 2015 are too many to mention but the tour to Scotland performing in two concerts there will have lasting memories for the choristers, Music Director Daniel Keen, accompanist Wendy Brown, wives and partners.
With concerts spread across Staffordshire and Cheshire the choir were much in demand and raised vital funds for local and national charities
They finally brought their busy 2015 concert diary to a close when they performed in three most memorable Christmas Concerts, the first the Roger Wright Memorial concert at Endon Methodist Church which is always a very popular event. This annual concert raised over £1200 this year for the Romanian Orphanage & the Endon High School Nepal Project and is always a sell out event, in fact tickets are already being sold for next years concert in November 2016. A week later the choir re-grouped at Prestbury House Care Home, Macclesfield and performed at their switching on of their Christmas Lights. The final performance of the year on December 20th was at the Italian Gardens in Trentham when they performed at a candlelit concert to raise funds for the Donna Louise Trust. Again the Christmas concerts had everything from traditional male voice pieces, carols, hymns and songs from the shows, in short something for everyone.
And 2016 already looks to be another busy one and if your New Years resolution is to stay healthy, did you know singing is clinically proven to be good for your health?, so if you have thought about joining a male voice choir then please come along to the choirs ‘Open Recruitment’ evening on the 20th January when you can discover for yourself the pleasure and the sound of being part of this.
The choir rehearse every Wednesday at 7pm at their new rehearsal venue the Bateman Centre, St.John’s Church, Knypersley.
14th September 2015 - Biddulph Male Voice Prepare for Annual Concert
After a short summer break the choir are now preparing for another busy autumn.
In October the choir perform at St.Mary’s Church Bosley in a special fund raising concert. The concert on the 10th October promises to be a sell out affair with all proceeds being raised for the Bosley Wood Treatment Disaster Appeal.
And then it’s straight back to final preparations for the Willmott Dixon North Wales Choral Festival in Llandudno, this is where the choir compete against other male voice choirs from home and overseas and it will be the first time for a number of the Biddulph choristers singing in a competition. The choir has more recently focussed on concert performances but several years ago they came third at the Llangollen Eisteddfod. The competition takes place on Saturday the 7th November at Venue Cymru.
A week later the choir have their annual concert and this year it is taking place at the Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley, this promises to be a wonderful evening and tickets are already on sale for the event. The guest soloist will be the winner of the prestigious Rose Bowl from the 2015 Biddulph Music Festival which takes place on the 3rd October.
5th September 2015 Horton Village Hall
Biddulph Male Voice Choir performed in concert at Horton Village Hall last Saturday raising funds for North Staffordshire Carers and Parkinsons. The balanced programme opened strongly and the choir delighted the audience with a huge repertoire of songs from Musicals, Folk Songs, Traditional Male Voice pieces and welsh Hymns. The highlights were many and included the disciplined What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor and the Les Miserable numbers Bring him Home featuring baritone soloist Glenn Bailey, Do you hear the people sing and I Dreamed a Dream which clearly touched the audience.
As usual their dedicated Musical Director Daniel Keen was in fine form and the choir was ably accompanied this week for the first time in concert by assistant accompanist Kornelia Danek.
The concert featured guest soloist Lesley Davies who delightfully performed a Joyce Grenfell monologue and Shall we Dance and Hello Young Lovers from The King and I.
The choirs next concert will be at St.Mary’s Church, Bosley on Saturday 10th October to raise funds for the Bosley Disaster Appeal. Tickets will shortly be available from Congleton, Macclesfield and Leek Tourist Information centres.
18th July 2015 - Biddulph Town Hall
Biddulph Male Voice Choir continued their busy season of summer concerts with the latest concert from Biddulph Town Hall in front of a capacity audience on a warm summers evening. The concerts designated charity this year was Biddulph in Bloom.
The choir conducted by their Music Director Daniel Keen and accompanied by Wendy Brown and Kornelia Danek delighted the audience with a wide variety of songs, hymns and classics.
The concert featured the choir singing an eclectic mix from their current repertoire and included a number of new pieces which have not been heard for some time namely My Love is like a Red, Red Rose and Do you hear the People sing from Les Miserables but for me the Acappella performance of the challenging piece Drunken Sailor illustrated the discipline and harmony within the choir. There were a number of memorable performances including their delightful own arrangement of the Proclaimers I’m Gonna be (500 miles) arranged by their principal accompanist Wendy Brown.
The choir soloists for the concert were Dave McCaddon, Clive Reynolds, Dave Tildesley and Steve Condliffe together with a rare duo performance from their MD Daniel Keen and accompanist Kornelia Danek.
The choirs next performance will be on the 5th September at Horton Village Hall when they perform in concert to raise funds for North Staffs Carers and Parkinsons UK Charity.
20th June 2015 A Grand Summer Concert
Last Saturday (20th June) at St.Leonard’s Church Warmingham two renowned local choirs, namely Biddulph Male Voice Choir and Sandbach Ladies Choir, thrilled a packed audience with a beautifully arranged evening of music.
The last time they performed in concert together was back in November 2012 on a stormy night in Sandbach however the conditions couldn’t have been more different on this warm summers evening. The Male Voice Choir opened the summer concert with a global selection from their repertoire with Gwahoddiad, African Prayer in Xhosa and the welsh hymn tune Rachie under the direction of Daniel Keen and accompanied by Wendy Brown. It was now the Sandbach Ladies choir under the direction of Valetta Cranmer and accompanied by John Axon. Their first set consisting of a number of favourites The Lord is my Shepherd, So Deep is the Night, Castle on a Cloud, Cuckoo Waltz and Everything I Do. The Biddulph MVC then brought the first half to a close with Deus Salutis (Llef), American Trilogy and Mansions of the Lord. After the interval the male voice choir returned to the platform with A Roman War Song, I Dreamed a Dream and a WW1 Medley with audience support.
The Sandbach Ladies Choir then performed their final set with Ascot Gavotte, Bali Ha'I from South Pacific, Coulter's Candy, Hand me down my Silver Trumpet and God's Choir.
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir closed their final set of the concert with I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), Bring Him Home and Rhythm of Life.
In summary this was a great charity concert with a varied programme of music which ended with both choirs and audience singing a rousing Cwm Rhondda. The concert which was in aid of funds for the Village Hall project was a huge success on the eve of the visit to the church by the new Bishop of Stockport Libby Lane.
This weekend the Ladies Circle group of Biddulph MVC host a coffee morning on Saturday morning in Congleton Library between 9am and 12.00. I am sure you will also hear a few songs sung live by some of the choristers who will be in attendance. The Male Voice choir now have a short break before their next concert at St.Bartholomews Church, Norton on the 11th July.
10th June 2015
Biddulph Male Voice Choir in Scotland
Biddulph Male Voice Choir has recently returned from
its very successful concert tour to Scotland where the choir performed at
concerts in Newton Stewart and Dumfries.
The first concert in aid of funds for the League of Friends
for the Newton Stewart Hospice drew in a packed audience at the lovely
Penninghame St.Johns Church in Newton Stewart.
The second concert on the Sunday evening took place
at the beautiful Crichton Church in Dumfries which again was in front of a
Both concerts included a varied programme commencing with
Gwahoddiad, The Lords prayer, African Prayer and the classic welsh piece Rachie.
The choir’s special
guest for the tour was soloist Robyn Stapleton who is the BBC Scotland’s young
traditional musician of the year. Robyn was accompanied on acoustic guitar by the
guitarist Hajime Takahashi and together they delighted the audiences with a
number of Scottish and Irish songs.
The choir returning to the platform surprised the
audience somewhat with a couple of pieces they hadn’t quite expected namely the
Beachboys hit God only Knows arranged
by their MD Daniel Keen and the Proclaimers I’m
Gonna be (500 miles) arranged by principal accompanist Wendy Brown. This
was followed by a wealth of more traditional pieces including Deus Salutis (Llef), American Trilogy, Mansions of the Lord, Morte Christe, Roman
War Song and a WW1 Medley.
Both evening concerts were quite simply exceptional
and the harmony was second to none.
After the concerts the choir enjoyed the “Afterglow”
as guests of the local golf club and after being suitably refreshed continued in
a further concert, this time spontaneous.
The choir now have a short break before their next
concert at St.Leonard’s Church Warmingham on Saturday 20th June when
they perform in concert with the Sandbach Ladies Choir.
25th April 2015
It has been a busy time for Biddulph
Male Voice Choir this spring, they have just completed their trio of April concerts
consisting of consecutive weekly performances starting first at Bethesda Methodist
Chapel, Hanley, then a week later at St.Thomas’s Church, Mow Cop and finally at
the RNLI concert at Wesley Place Methodist Church in Alsager.
The Bethesda Methodist Chapel afternoon
performance was open to all as part of the restoration fund appeal for Phase 3 and
once again demonstrated what a wonderful acoustic venue it is to sing in.
A week later the choir took to the
stage again and performed at St.Thomas’s Church, Mow Cop to a packed audience.
All three performances opened
strongly with a balanced programme and the choir delighted the audience with a varied
repertoire of songs from Musicals, Traditional, Folk Songs, Classics and Hymns.
The programme and packed venues clearly demonstrated the attraction and the following
of this much in demand local Male Voice Choir.
The highlights from each concert were
many with a number of new pieces that they will be performing on their
forthcoming Scottish Tour.
The new pieces not heard before from
the choir included the Beachboys “God
only knows” and the Proclaimers “500
miles” but there were plenty of classics and old favourites such as the Les
Miserable numbers “Bring him Home”, “I Dreamed a Dream”.
The variety and individual talent of
the choirs soloists was also again much in evidence at the Mow Cop concert with
Clive Reynolds, Dave McCaddon and Dave Tildesley all delivering credible solo performances.
The Alsager concert which was
organised by the RNLI Ladies Guild raised funds for the RNLI Mayday appeal. As
usual their dedicated Musical Director Daniel Keen was in fine form and the choir
was delightfully accompanied by their principal accompanist Wendy Brown.
8th April 2015
Biddulph Male Voice Choir get their 2015 Spring/Summer season of concerts underway in April and what a busy year it promises to be for them with 3 performances in April alone. The choir which is much in demand has an almost full diary for the year. On Saturday afternoon on the 11th April you can hear them at Bethesda Chapel, Hanley at 1pm, a week later on Saturday the 18th April they are in concert at St.Thomas’s Church, Mow Cop and on the following Friday 24th April they perform at the Wesley Place, Alsager in aid of the RNLI.
The choir throughout the winter has been deep in rehearsals with a new varied programme consisting of a wonderful mix of musical offerings.
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir under the musical direction of Daniel Keen see themselves first and foremost as a concert choir, with an ever increasing repertoire of classical, folk pieces, traditional Welsh hymns, spirituals and popular songs from the musicals.
In May the choir which has previously toured Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, the Irish Republic and much of the UK travel to Scotland to perform concerts at Dumfries and Newton Stewart with their special guest soloist Robyn Stapleton who won the BBC Scotland Young Traditonal Musician of the Year in 2014.
The choir which now has some 60 choristers always welcomes new members so if we have re-ignited your New Years resolution to sing in a male voice choir why not come along and join the experience.
Rehearsals take place at Biddulph High School on most Wednesdays at 7 pm.
15th December 2014
Biddulph Male Voice Choir brought their 2014 concert diary to a close when they performed in two most beautiful Christmas Concerts, the first the Roger Wright Memorial concert at Endon Methodist Church and a week later followed by a candlelit concert at St.Johns Church in Smallwood. The Endon Christmas fund raising concert raised over £1400 for the Romanian Orphanage & the Endon High School Nepal Project. The Smallwood concert raised funds for the church itself. Both concerts were a sell out and provided a feast of entertainment.
The Endon concert which is now an annual event for the choir was led by their Music Director Daniel Keen and accompanied by Wendy Brown . The concert provided a well balanced programme of Christmas music sprinkled with a real mix of songs from musicals, hymns and even a world war one commemoration medley. But this evening was not confined to the choir alone and joining them as a soloist was Lesley Davies who thoroughly entertained the audience with her Joyce Grenfell items including Stateley as a Galleon, No one loves a fairy at forty & I took my harp to a party and joined with the choir in White Christmas and O Holy Night. Already people are asking to buy tickets for the 2015 concert at the end of November.
A week later the choir thoroughly entertained the audience at Smallwood in what was a delightful candlelit setting, this concert under the music direction of it’s deputy Music Director Anthony Marks and accompanied by Wendy.
Again the concert had everything from traditional male voice pieces, carols, hymns and songs from the shows, something for everyone.
This year has been a very busy year for the choir performing some 15 concerts throughout the year raising funds for both local and national charities and next year already promises to be another busy one and includes their forthcoming tour of Scotland in May.
5th July 2014
Biddulph Male Voice Choir continued their summer season of concerts last Saturday performing at Biddulph Town Hall in front of a large audience on a warm summers evening. The choir conducted by their Music Director Daniel Keen and accompanied by Wendy Brown delighted the audience with a wide variety of songs, hymns and classics.
The concert featured songs from their current repertoire and included a number of pieces from their latest forthcoming CD Album which will be available in the Autumn. There were a number of memorable performances including their delightful own arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Jersey Boys Medley and the much requested Counting the Goats but for me the choirs performance of the welsh song Rachie composed by Caradog Roberts and the Amens from Tydi A Roddaist showed the choir off at it’s best. This charity concert quite simply had everything featuring soloists from the choir Dave Tildesley, Ray Hassall, Colin Heath, Dave McCaddon, Clive Reynolds and Colin Bell.
All proceeds from the concert went to support Biddulph Moor Scouts.
The choir now has a short rest before their next performance when they appear at the Southport Flower Show on August 16th.
17th May 2014
SPRING GALA CONCERT
The Victoria Hall on Saturday, 17th May proved to be a veritable tour de force for the Biddulph Male Voice Choir, displaying their skill, control and technical diversity across a wide range of genres.
It was also a triumph for Director of Music Daniel Keen and since taking over the reins of the choir some 11 months ago, he has slowly built on and steadily expanded it's horizons, without discarding the well-loved and traditional pieces. It is also fair to say that Daniel has learned from the choir!
To this end, he has not only written and arranged music especially for the concert (A Bohemian Rhapsody arrangement was premiered during the evening), but also music for our support musicians: the Quartet Cabaret, percussionist Eric Culbert, organist Paul Morley and trumpeter Richard Sutton.
He was greatly helped in this by principal accompanist Wendy Brown and the programme included her own arrangement of The Water Is Wide.
The spotlight also fell on another member of the Music team, when Daniel gave way to his assistant Director of Music and choir bass, Anthony Marks, who led the choir through the epic and highly technical By Babylon's Wave.
Since Wales is considered by many to be the spiritual home of the male voice choir and with the choir's recent involvement in the Anglo Welsh Festival three songs in the programme were appropriately sung in the language they were written in Rachie, Tydi a Rhoddaist and Cyfri’r Geifr
And what can I say that has not already been said about their special guest, international tenor Jonathan Ansell. It is not the first time that the choristers have been joined by an international star and this was a special evening indeed with the choir backing Jonathan in several numbers, including Foreigner’s I want to know what love is, Queen’s We Are The Champions and Nessun Dorma.
The programme closed with a deeply atmospheric rendition of Mansions of the Lord.
A special mention also for the choir’s Ladies Circle for their front-of-house work with programme and CD Sales.
It was a memorable evening that brought plaudits from all quarters, and left some of the newer choristers walking on air.
It is an experience that many more could share however and if you have thought about joining a male voice choir then you will be most welcome at the choirs special recruitment informal rehearsal evening at Biddulph High School on Wednesday 28th May, starting at 7pm. (further details available on www.biddulphmvc.co.uk)
This weekend Biddulph Male Voice Choir join with Audley, Macclesfield and Lon Dhoo MVC (Isle of Man) in the massed male voice choir concert at the Bollington Festival on Saturday 24th May.
29th March 2014
Biddulph Male Voice Choir performed recently at Biddulph Town Hall at a concert specifically arranged by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to support funds for Prostate Cancer. The concert which was a sell out had something for everyone from welsh hymns, psalms, musicals, folk and traditional male voice songs and there were hints of the music to come in their annual gala concert next month.Solo performances from Dave and Helen Tildesley, Phil Bailey and Dave McCaddon completed a perfect performance.
The choir with their Musical Director Daniel Keen are now making final preparations for their forthcoming Grand Concert at the Victoria Hall, Hanley on May 17th.The concert which will be recorded for their next CD album hosts a special guest – the tenor Jonathan Ansell, "formerly with G4" who is presently touring Britain in concert and this is clearly a major coup for the choir.
Supporting the choir will be their principal accompanist Wendy Brown and they will also be backed this year by a string quartet. The concert will also feature guest organist Paul Morley.
Tickets are now available from a number of sources including Derek Cartlidge on 01782 821603, any other choir member, Congleton Tourist Information Centre (01260-271095), or Brammer's Shoe shop, Biddulph (01782-513347).
Concert Tickets are also available from the Victoria Hall by phone (0844-871-7649 0844-871-7649), or on-line (www.atgtickets.com/stoke),(booking and handling fees apply).
Getting there is also easier this year with coach travel/tickets from Hollinsheads of Biddulph or Bostocks of Congleton.
Following a very busy 2013 with concerts across the country the choir is delighted to return this year to Victoria Hall and the evening promises to be a very special event indeed.
16th January 2014
It was standing room only when Biddulph Male Voice Choir continued their winter schedule with a wonderful concert at a packed St.Marys Church, Bucknall last Saturday. Under their musical director Daniel Keen and their principal accompanist Wendy Brown, the choir once again excelled with a thoroughly enjoyable programme of songs old and new.
There was a good sprinkling of sacred music - one of this choir's great strengths and starting with every choirs favourite Morte Christe, this was followed by the wonderful welsh hymn Tydi A Roddaist (Thou Gavest), Roll Jordan Roll in Acapella and Amen(This little light of mine).
The choir now handed over to guest soloist Stephanie Campion who sang Hiding my Heart, Angel and Nature Boy.
The choir then continued with My Heart will go on from Titanic, I Dreamed a Dream, Bring him Home from Les Miserable and their version of Robbie Williams’s Angels
After the Interval the choir opened with Gwahoddiad, The Lords Prayer, Cyfri’r Geifr (Counting the Goats) and Daniel Keens arrangement of The Lords my Shepherd.
It was now the return of Stephanie to the platform as she sang Adele’s Someone like you, Imagine and a duet with the choirs MD Daniel Keen - Come what May from Moulin Rouge.
The choir now completed their final set with The Water is Wide, The Rose and When the Saints.
The stirring and most appropriate piece What would I do without my Music brought the concert to a close but an encore was demanded and a very pacey breathtaking Rhythm of Life delivered their final piece of the evening..
This promises to be again a very busy year for the choir with concert bookings now also being taken into 2015 and the year ahead includes some exceptional events. These include the choirs Annual concert at Victoria Hall, Hanley on the 17th May with special guest Jonathan Ansell (formerly tenor G4) which will be recorded for their next CD album. The choir also make their appearance on the 17th and 18th October in an event they have not experienced before – performing in the drama/music evening “A Soldiers Goodbye”.
“A Soldiers Goodbye “ is a play which has been specifically written to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first world war which will be performed at Daneside Theatre. It is based on the outbreak of WW1 and set in Congleton in August 1914. The choir now have a brief rest before their next event at Alsager Golf Club, Linley Lane on Saturday the 22nd February.
24th December 2013
Biddulph Male Voice Choir rounded off their busy 2013 in grand style last Saturday when they performed at Astbury Golf Club in front of an appreciative audience. Fresh from their previous concert at Bunbury, Nr Tarporley they were directed by their MD Daniel Keene and accompanied by Wendy Brown.
It is one of the pleasures of the Christmas season that choral music rings all around us and the choir delighted the audience with a varied programme which quite simply had something for everyone from Hymns to West End Musicals and sprinkled with Christmas Carols amply demonstrating their extensive repertoire and capabilities.
The concert commenced with Gwahoddiad, You’ll never walk alone, When a Child is born and the Star Carol.
It was now the turn of soloists and guitarists Bass Dave Tyldesley and Tenor Dave McCaddon who performed Brian Bedfords Whats the use of Wings.
The choir then continued with Joy to the World, When the Saints, My Heart will go on, a Cornish version of While Shepherds watched and completed the first half of the concert with Robbie Williams Angels specifically arranged for Male Voice Choir.
After the interval the choir opened with Morte Christe, I Dreamed a Dream and Bring him Home from Les Miserable. They followed this with their tribute to Nelson Mandela with African Prayer and completed the set with Do you hear what I hear.
It was now tenor soloist Phil Bailey who took to the stage and sang Trees accompanied by Wendy Brown.
Into the final set and the choir sang Amen, Kwmbayah followed by The Rose. But it was now the audiences turn and the choir led with a humorous sign assisted 12 days of Christmas.
The choir as a finale brought the evening to a close with What would I do without my music and broke their 3 minute record of Rhythm of Life.
This has been a busy year for the choir performing in many concerts and supporting many charities and not forgetting of course their participation with 8 other male voice choirs in the Anglo Welsh Male Voice Festival concerts at Birmingham and Cardiff.
And 2014 looks to be no exception with an almost full diary already the choir return to rehearsals on the 8th January. You can next hear the choir at their concert at St.Mary’s Church, Bucknall on the 25th January.
30th November 2013
Biddulph Male Voice Choir performed at a sell-out Christmas concert last weekend at Endon Methodist Church. The choir were led by their Music Director Daniel Keen and accompanied by Wendy Brown. They were in fine voice and thrilled the audience with a wide selection of festive songs together with a sprinkling of songs from their normal concert repertoire.
The choir opened with Joy to the world followed by The Star Carol and then to the audiences surprise the Robbie Williams song Angels.
A feature of the annual Endon concert is the humorous monologue and this year was no exception and it was Joan Whilock who had the audience in stitches with her tales of Noahs Ark, Benny Hill etc.
The choir now returned to the stage and to a hushed audience performed The Lord’s Prayer followed by a complete change of tempo with The Jersey Boys medley. The Cornish version of While Shepherds Watched and then O Holy Night took the concert into the interval.
After being suitably refreshed the choir continued in the festive vein now decked out accordingly and with the now familiar Scottish gentleman who entertained the audience with his kilt and walking stick.
The choir opened the second half with When a child is born and My Lord, what a morning.
The choir then returned to their film/musical section of their repertoire following a request for My Heart will go on from Titanic.
The carols continued with The Star of Bethlehem, Kwmbayah and Do you hear what I hear?
But now it was the audience turn to join with the choir as they sang – 12 days of Christmas and White Christmas.
In summary a wonderful evening and suddenly as they say in the song “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”
The choirs busy winter schedule continues when they travel to perform at the church of St.Boniface at Bunbury, Near Tarporley.
16th November 2013
St Thomas Church, Mow Cop, was packed on 16th November for the Biddulph Male Voice choir's latest concert.
Without announcement, Music director Daniel Keen launched the choir into a great favourite of all choirs, "Gwahoddiad". This was followed by the unaccompanied "Roll Jordan Roll", "You'll Never Walk Alone", and Daniel's arrangement of "The Lord's My Shepherd"; the latter insisted upon by the choir WAGs.
The second set opened with principle accompanist, Wendy Brown's arrangement of "The Water Is Wide". For a moment, we thought that the audience were not going to fall for the false ending of "When The Saints", but they did. A change of volume and tempo brought about "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic" and the Robbie Williams hit, "Angels".
Another all-choir favourite, "Morte Christe", opened the second half. This was followed by the popular "Les Mis" songs, "I Dreamed A Dream", and "Bring Him Home". A brief dip into the "Jersey Boys" medley and "You Raise Me Up" completed the third set.
The final set opened with "Amen (This Little Light Of Mine)". Then the choir exploited the church's wonderful acoustics to the full with the great Amens at the end of "Tydi A Rhoddaist", which brought the audience to it's feet. Another change of mood and volume for "The Rose", and the programme finished with a song that expresses the choir's philosophy, "What Would I Do Without My Music".
Another standing ovation prompted an encore, "The Rhythm Of Life".
Then many of the choir accepted the generous invitation of a buffet supper from Steve and Diane Gallimore of The Royal Oak, Harriseahead and they responded by treating them and the other customers to some of their songs.
This weekend 30th November the choir continue their busy winter season by performing at the sell-out Christmas concert at Endon Methodist Church.
20th September 2013
Biddulph Male Voice Choir performed their latest charity concert in aid of the RNLI last weekend at Daneside Theatre performing in front of an appreciative audience. The choir was ably captained by their MD Daniel Keen and accompanied by first mate Wendy Brown on keyboard.
The concert set sail as the choir opened with everyones favourite Morte Christe followed by You’ll never Walk Alone from Carousel. The next piece on the programme Eternal Father Strong to Save was very apt and introduced a suite of nautical related music including You Raise me up, The Water is Wide, Calm is the Sea, Will your Anchor hold and My Heart will go on from the Titanic movie. A solo spot from Rosie and Sarka on piano and violin completed the first half of the voyage. After the interval the choir (minus 2 or 3 shipmates) continued into the second part of their journey and stormed in with Gwahoddiad, followed by I Dreamed a Dream and Bring him Home from Les Miserable. The musical sails were now billowing as the choir sang When the Saints which always catches the audience out with its unexpected ending. The choir then brought this set to a close with a song not heard before from them but one I’m sure we will hear again Angels by Robbie Williams.
Rosie and Sarka then took over the helm with violin and harp and the choir then returned to the bridge and delivered their final set with Llanfair, Counting the Goats, The Rose and finally What would I do without my music.
Before the appreciative audience disembarked there was just time for a quick encore and it was the tongue twisting, foot tapping , Rhythm of Life which they cruised through bringing the journey to a close. The concert was in recognition of the invaluable work of the RNLI and raised funds specifically for Porthdinllaen Lifeboat Station. Special mention must be given to Audrey Farr and John Lawson of the RNLI for organising a great and worthwhile concert .
This weekend Biddulph Male Voice Choir perform again in concert at Alton Towers and raise funds for Merlins Magic Wand – the charity for seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children.
7th September 2013
Biddulph Male Voice continued their season of charity concerts last Saturday at Horton Village Hall. In short it was an evening performance of perfection. This was essentially an evening of variety from welsh hymns, spirituals through to musicals delivered with more than enough power and harmony to fill the packed hall. The choir opened the evening with that well requested piece Morte Christe followed by Roll Jordan Roll, Amen and the Lords Prayer.
It was now the turn of soloists Rosie and Barney who thrilled the audience with a variety of music including Greensleeves and Danny Boy on Harp and Violin.
The choir now returned to the stage with Tydi Y Roddaist, I Dreamed a Dream and Bring him Home from Les Miserable, followed by The Rose.
The choir then brought the first half to a close at a distinctly sprightly pace as they romped through Rhythm of Life, (remind me next time to pack the stopwatch!).
After the interval the choir performed Gwahoddiad. You’ll never walk alone and When the Saints. The choir completed their set with “You Raise me up” featuring a new ensemble of first tenors “Clive Reynolds, Dave McCaddon, Colin Heath and Derek Cartlidge.
It was now a return of the solo spot with soloists Rosie and Barney and this time joined on stage with Stan Winterton and his much appreciated monologues.
The choir completed the evening with Llanfair, a most accurate Counting the Goats, My Heart will go on and their finale What would I do without my music.
In summary a lovely concert in front of an appreciative audience with a choir which captured the drama of the lyrics and the music quite brilliantly. The evening raised vital funds for Parkinsons (UK) and North Staffordshire Carers.
And next Friday 20th September at Daneside Theatre, Congleton they do it all again, this time with a nautical theme when they perform at a special RNLI concert at 7.30pm.
Tickets at £8 and £6 for concessions are available at Congleton Tourist Information Centre or on the night at the theatre, it promises to be another wonderful evening.
17th August 2013
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir proved once again to be a very popular attraction at this years Southport Flower Show. The weather could have been kinder but the appreciative audience sat it out and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The choir presented two separate concerts from the bandstand at the centre of the showground. The choir conducted this week by their deputy musical director Anthony Marks and accompanied by Wendy Brown performed a programme which included many favourites including Roman War Song African Prayer, Bring him Home, I Dreamed a Dream, Llanfair and certainly impressed the audience with two of their welsh pieces Tydi A Roddaist (Thou Gavest) and Cyfri’r Geifr (Counting the Goats ).
The choir now have a short rest from rehearsals and concerts before they return in September for a busy month of charity concerts firstly at Horton Village Hall on the 7th September, followed by their RNLI concert on the 20th September at Daneside Theatre, Congleton and finally on the 28th September at Alton Towers when they raise funds for the Merlins Magic Wand charity in aid of seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children .
20th July 2013
Biddulph Male Voice Choir continued their busy summer season of concerts last Saturday.
The latest concert from Biddulph Town Hall in front of a large audience on a warm summers evening raised funds for Cancer Support.
Under the energetic control of their MD Daniel Keen and accompanied by Wendy Brown they immediately displayed their richness of sound, dynamic range, lively diction and rhythmic ensemble singing. The choir opened the concert with Morte Christe, Roll Jordan Roll, Amen and the Lords Prayer.
And then it was tenor Dave McCaddon who performed the first of the soloist spots with Martyn Browne’s Ghosts and his rendition of Working Man. It was now the turn of Bass Ray Hassall who performed his humorous poem “My little list”.
The choir now returned to the platform singing the Welsh song Tydi a Roddaist arranged by Arwel Hughes, followed by I Dreamed a Dream and Bring him Home from Les Miserable.
They completed this section with Bridge over Troubled Water and the foot-tapping and somewhat tongue twisting Rhythm of Life.
After the interval the choir opened with Gwahoddiad followed by You’ll never Walk Alone, When the Saints and You Raise me up. It was now the turn of the soloists again with Clive Reynolds being first up singing the minstrel song Swannee River and setting the stage ready for bass Steve Condliffe who perfomed in his own inimitable way in and out of the audience and on the stage with If I were a rich man.
Phil Bailey then completed the solo set with his powerful performance of Nessun Dorma.
The choir now returned with their final set Llanfair, The Impossible Dream and My Heart will go on. The final and very apt song from the choir which should be their signature tune was 'What would I do without my Music'. Everyone enjoyed it so much that an encore was immediately requested followed by two standing ovations.
A personal "round of applause" and a very big special thank you must go to the Ladies associated with the choir who worked tirelessly like clockwork in preparing and providing the refreshments during the interval.
In summary another lovely evening showing great variety from a talented choir which was enjoyed by all. The choirs next performance will be when they travel to perform at the Southport Flower Show on Saturday the 17th August.
22nd June 2013
Choirs New Music Director takes his first concert
Biddulph Male Voice Choir were delighted to have performed at a packed St..Leonards Church, Warmingham last weekend. The choir somewhat lighter in their 1st Tenor section but nevertheless well supported took to the stage and under it’s new musical director Daniel Keen accompanied by Wendy Brown they delighted the audience with a selection from their extensive repertoire starting with Gwahoddiad, Tydi a Roddaist, Roll Jordan Roll and The Lords Prayer.
It was now the turn of the talented duo Rosie (piano) and Sarka (violin) who performed Telemann - Sonatina in G followed by Bach - Air.
The choir then returned to perform African Prayer, You’ll never walk alone, Speed your Journey and the foot-tapping Rhythm of Life.
After the interval the choir opened with everyones male voice choir favourite Morte Christe followed by Bridge over Troubled Water, the Everly brothers Let it be me and Amen.
Rosie and Sarka returned with their solo playing Schuberts - Sonata in D.
The choir then performed their final set Bring him Home, Mansions of the Lord, When the Saints and finally May each Day.
This concert quite simply had everything, an eclectic mix of old favourites, fine solos, welsh hymns from the choirs recent Anglo Welsh concerts, music from other countries and songs from the shows.
A most wonderful concert evening performed in beautiful surroundings. Daniel Keen with only 3 days with the choir did an exceptional job and the choir now have a short rest between concerts until the 20th July when they return to perform at Biddulph Town Hall.
10th June 2013
The Biddulph Male Voice Choir were highly honoured to be asked once again, this time to be one of 3 English Male Voice Choirs in the Biennial Anglo Welsh Festival of Male Voice Choirs which took place in Birmingham and Cardiff. Last weekend the massed choir completed their performances in grand style at St.Davids Hall Cardiff. Joining with 7 other male voice choirs and supported by the Anglo Welsh Orchestra the 380 voices delivered a most powerful and moving performance to an appreciative audience. Supporting the choir were also organist Clive Phillips and Pianist Jo Scullin.
The Anglo-Welsh massed choir consisting of Biddulph, Bridgend, Canoldir, Cardiff Arms Park, Dowlais, Mynnyddislwyn, Oxford Welsh, Penybontfawr and Pontarddulais Male Voice Choirs was directed by David Last and James Llewelyn Jones.
The Cardiff concert also included performances by the well rehearsed Llanishen Fach primary School schoir and the talented welsh violinist Jamie Hutchinson.
Both Birmingham and Cardiff concerts included a varied programme which the choirs had been rehearsing and perfecting over the past 12 months and they opened with the roll off the tongue Bandits Chorus from Ernani in Italian, followed by Roll Jordan Roll and the beautiful welsh song Yfory.
Then it was the massed choirs turn again with Ave Maria followed by the delightful anthem African Prayer in Xhosa, Zulu and English.
The choir then performed Ride the Chariot and completed the first half of the concert with the welsh hymn Tydi a Roddaist.
After the interval the choir opened with Cyfri’r Geifr (Counting the Goats) and the choral version of The Lords Prayer arranged by Carl Deis.
Then it was Mansions of the Lord which will surely become a regular song that Biddulph add to their extensive repertoire and Where Shall I Be which is already a popular song from their catalogue
The choir brought their spectacular performance to a close with Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, Amen This little light of mine and Amazing Grace in their finale.
The evening was quite simply exceptional and the harmony was second to none.
A recorded CD of the Cardiff concert will be available very shortly.
After the concert the choir enjoyed the “Afterglow” as guests of Cardiff Arms Park Rugby Club and continued singing after being suitably refreshed! in a further concert, only this time spontaneous.
The choir now continue their summer season with their newly appointed Music Director Daniel Keen and Assistant MD Anthony Marks at their next performance at St.Leonards Church, Warmingham on the 22nd June.
3rd June 2013
First of the 2013 Anglo Welsh Choir concerts
Biddulph Male Voice Choir joined with 8 other male voices and performed in the first of two spectacular concerts in the 2013 Anglo Welsh Choir festival last Saturday. The concert at a packed Birmingham Town Hall included the massed choir for the evening and was made up of 9 illustrious male voice choirs from Wales and England performing a selection of popular solos and choral works. Over 380 male voices were brought together under the direction of Canoldir’s James Llewelyn Jones and David Last from Cardiff for this festival of male vocal music.
The concert which celebrated its 47th anniversary provided a memorable evening of much-loved vocal music in a varied programme of English, Welsh and Italian pieces.
This concert, which had the hairs on the back of your neck well and truly bristled by the power and control of a massed Male Choir was a culmination of a programme which the choirs have been rehearsing for over the past 9 months. It included both old favourites and some challenging new pieces, and is an experience unlike any other and is not to be missed.
The male voice choirs were also joined for the evening by Dodderhill Girls School Choir and also featuring an extremely talented young pianist from the Birmingham Conservatoire Lauren Zhang.
And this weekend the massed choir does it all again when they travel to Cardiff to perform this time at the prestigious St.Davids Hall, Cardiff.
A full report on Part 2 of the concert festival from Cardiff will follow next week.
13th April 2013
Biddulph Male Voice Choir performed for an Open-Day last Saturday afternoon at the Bethesda Methodist Chapel in Hanley to celebrate the extensive restoration programme which began in 2002. Neglected for over twenty years the chapel deteriorated badly until the BBC TV programme Restoration. The programme's attention brought a much needed focus on attempts to save the building and restoration is now well underway following the completion of Phase 2.
The choir performed a delightful programme of three sets firstly opening with a most moving rendition of “Gwahoddiad” followed by “Still as the Night”, “The Lord’s Prayer”, “Roll Jordon Roll”, “Pokarakare Ana” and “Rhythm of Life”.
After a short break the choir performed “Morte Christe”, “Let it be me”,”Bring him Home”,”Speed your journey”, “Ave Maria” and “Amen” .
The final set included some old favourites and further pieces from the choirs forthcoming Anglo Welsh concerts “Mansions of the Lord” and “ Cyfri’r Geifr “ (Counting the Goats).
Musical Direction from the pulpit came from Anthony Marks with accompaniment from the choirs principal accompanist Wendy Brown.
Biddulph Male Voice Choir continue its busy spring season with the next concert which will be at Christ Church in Tunstall on Friday 19th April at 7.30pm.
28th March 2013
It came right out of the blue for most choristers. We had just
finished a very good concert at St. Lawrence, Biddulph, and the usual
acknowledgements were being made, when, almost casually, it was
mentioned that this had been our Music Director Gwenda Jones' last concert.
"Shocked and stunned" would not be an understatement. The lady who had
led the choir for over forty years, taken it from it's deepest
despairs to it's finest triumphs, had suddenly stood down.
No words can convey the debt the choir owes to Mrs. Jones. She
subsequently cited increasing frailty, and a desire to finish at the
top, as contributory reasons for her resignation.
Indeed it is the end of an era, but rest assured that moves are afoot
for a celebration of her career.
Fortunately for the choir, into the breech stepped principal accompanist Wendy
Brown, and chorister Anthony Marks. They have guided the choir through
the successful concerts at Milton Parish Church, and St James' at
Barton-under-Needwood and the quest for the new Musical Director has now begun.
The concert at Christ Church Tunstall fell victim to the weather last Friday. Already being aired are some of the numbers that we will be performing at the Anglo Welsh festivals at Birmingham and Cardiff in June; these now being the major targets on our horizon.
The choir with in excess of 50 choristers will be different from now on, but we intend to maintain the high standards set by Mrs. Jones. If you would like to be part of this adventure you will get a warm welcome, rehearsals usually take place at Biddulph High School on Wednesdays, starting sharply at 7 pm. Hope to see you there.
26th January 2013
The previous nights severe snow falls did not prevent a slightly depleted Biddulph Male Voice choir from taking to the stage once again at Milton Parish Church last Saturday evening.
The choir received a warm welcome and although somewhat lighter in Tenor and Bass sections the choir put on an excellent and balanced performance. The choir was led by Anthony Marks and delightfully accompanied by Wendy Brown.
The high-lights of the evening were many with a good selection of choir favourites including Morte Christe, Gwahoddiad, Rhythm of Life, Llanfair and Bring him Home together with You Raise Me Up featuring first tenor Clive Reynolds.
At the end of the concert the Rev. Brian Statham thanked the choir for a wonderful evening and the choir closed with the most apt ‘May Each Day’ as a finale to their quality performance.
The choirs next performance is at the Barton Music & Art Festival at St.James Parish Church Barton-under-Needwood on the 23rd February at 7.30pm.
31st December 2012
Is it your resolution to join the choir?
I trust that all readers have had a Merry Xmas, and are looking
forward to the new year with, at least, some degree of optimism.
The choir has had a busy Xmas period with concerts from Sandbach to
Stafford, and venues ranging from banqueting halls to school halls,
churches and church halls of all sorts. But, perhaps, the most
satisfying was a small afternoon concert in a nursing home. To see the
residents' eyes light up, and join in the singing was truely
A few members of the choir augmented an ad hoc choir at Biddulph
Methodist Church. They performed the "Hallelujah Chorus" in a one-off
performance, which was the climax of the carol concert. It was a novel
experience, for some, to be singing in a mixed choir.
So it was with a contented feeling of a job well done that the choir
went to it's Xmas dinner at Kidsgrove Masonic Hall. Of course, the
evening finished with an eclectic sing-song, led by the two Daves,
Tildesley and McCaddon and accompanied by Anthony Marks.
It is with great regret that we have received the resignation of
accompanist Lynne Bradburn, for personal reasons. Lynne had a
professional attitude and played with great accuracy, sensitivity and
sympathy. She will be sorely missed, but we wish her well.
We have two concerts in January; at St Lawrence, Biddulph, and Milton
Parish Church. But rehearsals will now be dominated by the songs that
we will be singing at the Anglo-Welsh Festival of Male Voice Choirs,
at both Birmingham City Hall and St. David's Hall, Cardiff. Rehearsals
usually take place at Biddulph High School on Wednesdays at 7 pm. I
hope that your new year resolution is to come along and join in the
24th November 2012
It might have been a wet and windy night outside last Saturday but it hadn’t stopped the audience from filling the concert hall in Sandbach High School. They were there to hear two renowned local choirs, namely Biddulph Male Voice Choir and Sandbach Ladies Choir who thrilled with a beautifully arranged evening of music.
Valetta Cranmer introduced the concert which was in aid of St.Lukes Hospice and the North West Air Ambulance. It was the Biddulph Male Voice Choir under the direction of Gwenda Jones and accompanied by Lynne Bradburn who took to the stage first opening with the appropriate “With a voice of Singing”. Then with a hint of their forthcoming Christmas repertoire they sang “When a child is born”. It was now soloist Cyril Martlew who stepped forward to feature on “Another Day” supported by the choir and they ended their first set with every choirs favourite “Morte Christe”.
It was now the Sandbach Ladies choir under the direction of Valetta Cranmer and accompanied by John Axon. Their set consisting of “Where the Gentle Avon Flows”, “The Dashing White Sergeant”, “Love Changes Everything” and their own foot tapping arrangement of “Rock my Soul”.
The Biddulph Male Voice then returned to perform “Portrait of my Love”, “Bring him Home” and everyones favourite “American Trilogy”
The second half of the concert had everything with Sandbach Ladies performing “All around the world”, “Yellow Bird” and Leonard Cohens “Hallelujah” and with Biddulph Male Voice Choir performing a number of pieces from their extensive repertoire which included “Llanfair”, the most touching “Still as the Night”, “Rhythm of Life” and “Nessun Dorma”, “Take me Home”, “My Way” and the one that always catches the audience out “When the Saints”.
A great charity concert ended with both choirs and audience singing a rousing “Jerusalem”.
The Biddulph Male Voice Choirs busy autumn/winter schedule continues this Saturday 1st December when they perform at Endon Methodist church with all proceeds going to the Romanian Orphanage & Crisis Centre Appeal.27th October 2012
25th January 2014