Berwick Male Voice Choir-Concert review ST Boswells Church 27th October 2018.

Even on a very cold October night there was a good audience at the first concert of the year by Berwick Male Voice Choir at St Boswells Church.

This was also Chris Enticknap’s first outing as Conductor although you wouldn’t know it as this was a high powered entertaining concert and the level of professionalism and standards have been maintained. An overall eclectic selection of old favourites was mixed with three soloist performances.

A brief introduction from Len Williamson the current Chairman opened the proceedings and Chris and the choir took over.

The opener ”Stout Hearted Men” had the right amount of regular tone and uplift which led to a more light tone on “Skye Boat Song”.

Bob Higham accompanied by Mike Baglee sang a stirring version of ”The Border Ballad”.

”An Eriskay Love Lilt” brought a Scottish flavour before the choir really got into full voice with”Do You Hear The People Sing” from Les Miserables.

Ken Linton soloed on the haunting tune “Calling Doon The line”.

The slow tempo was maintained on “ What A Wonderful World” But “Rhythm Of Life” was a real highlight enjoyed by the audience before the interval.

Second half started with the gospel favourite ”My Lord what A Morning”, before a faithful rendition of the hymn “The Day Thou Gavest”.  “Cwm Rhondda” was sung with gusto and “By The Riverside”was sung well also.

Ken Linton sang the Eric Bogle war tune “No Man’s Land”, it being close to Remembrance day you could probably note the theme through the performance and the choir wore their poppies.

Another Gospel air was”Angels Watching Over Me” with lovely harmonies. “Dashenka” is a relatively new song and was sung beautifully, at a very steady pace.

Last solo was “Keep The Home Fires Burning” , Ken Budge accompanied by Mike Baglee on piano sang the verses before the choir all joined in on the final chorus, very moving and caught the right effect.

“How Great Thou Art” was a contrast to the final rousing anthem “American Trilogy” which was very well appreciated by the audience. Altogether a fine nights’ entertainment had by all. Next concert is Christmas Concert at St Andrews Wallace Green, Berwick Upon Tweed on the 19th of December 2018. For further information on how to join the choir, where we rehearse or any other business see website: www.berwickmvc.co.uk or Facebook Berwick Male Voice Choir.

Colin Campbell

NEW SEASON GETS UNDERWAY

 Our new season gets underway on Wednesday 5th September, with our first practice session under our new Conductor Chris Enticknap. The evening starts at 6.30 with our AGM, and our rehearsal should start by 7.00.

As always at our first meeting we welcome potential new members to come along and enjoy the evening and see if joining the choir would be something that would interest them.

 

Rehearsals  take place in The Atrium at Longridge Towers, normally starting at 6.45 until 9.00.

 

What a Way to Bow Out-A Memorable Concert

 

Berwick Male Voice Choir concerts are always good events, but this year's Gala Concert at St Andrews's Wallace Green Church on 21st April 2018 has to go down as one of the best they have done. Fitting, as this was the swansong for Choirmaster Robin Cheer and Musical Accompanist Mrs Isabel Cheer, who leave the choir after giving ten years of excellent service and have helped the choir to improve. It will be sad to see them go, but we wish them well in their future pursuits. The concert was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all involved. A mixed repertoire saw "The Boys" sing their hearts out to such classics such as The Skye Boat Song from Scotland, Calon Lan a Welsh tune and a gospel take to, Oh, Won't You Sit Down?  Soloist Bryan Johnson gave his renditions of The Long And Winding Road and Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me. There were songs from the shows, Do You Hear The People Sing and Music Of The Night being highlights sung by the choir. Also there were outstanding duets by Isabel Cheer and Jacqui Budge on arrangements of, I Know Him So Well and Rossini's Duet For Two Cats which was well appreciated by the audience. Robin Cheer did two instrumentals on clarinet, Midnight In Moscow and the haunting Stranger On The Shore. Robin joined his wife to play Summertime from Porgy and Bess which was always very good. Onto the last four songs, which included a rousing version of Rhythm Of Life and an adaption of Thomas Hardy's Sunset Poem. The choir raised the roof with the anthemic American Trilogy with full Church organ tones, a signature tune and big favourite. This received a standing ovation and an encore, just sublime!  Robin and Isabel were given a presentation and all the best wishes from the choir. Mayor of Berwick gave a thank you speech and that brought the concert to a finish a really special night. Thank you all who attended and continue to support us throughout the year, we are always looking for new members.

The Choir will start a new programme of events in September and details will be posted on this website.

Latest News April 2018

 

This month not only brings to an end our current season (Gala Concert on 21 April) but it brings to a close a  memorable chapter in the choir's history.Robin and  Isobel Cheer, who have held the positions of Musical Director and Accompanist respectively for the last 10 years are hoping to spend a little more time in the camper van, along with the Cheer dogs.

The couple say!  " a tremendous amount of pleasure has been derived from being part of the entity that is Berwick Male Voice Choir. Friendships have developed, much laughter and companionship has been shared along with the pleasure brought by the music itself and yes, tears shed for those who have passed on. The Choir has been a great source of pleasure to all involved , but as with all good things, there comes a time when it is right to move on, and allow someone else to take over the baton, in both a metaphorical and real sense,"

During their time with the choir the Cheers have taken us to a totally different level of performance, to a standard no one ever thought possible.

Robin has taken great enjoyment in seeing every singer in the Choir develop and achieve, beyond anything previously imagined. This he has done through a mixture of repertoire choice, encouragement, always demanding the best and some less than subtle hints regarding the use of pencils!

Isabel has subtly contributed to this progress, at the piano doing what an accompanist should do- supporting the Musical Director and the Choir. She has though, occasionally been known to remind the boys to behave themselves, even been heard to comment " Honestly, you spend all day dealing with mischievous adolescents, then come out on a Wednesday evening and do more or less exactly the same thing."  

 

This success did not happen without an incredible amount of background work, not just in writing innumerable special musical arrangements, but organising concerts, designing and printing publicity material and generally living and breathing our choir every day. We owe Robin and Isobel a huge debt of gratitude and we wish them all the very best for the future.

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Latest News March 2018

 

This our first news item and this is just a sample of what we will be doing in the future

 

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