The Choir's first engagement of the year was a
Sankey Evening with Stithians Ladies Choir at Stithians Methodist
Church on Sunday 28th January. The Revd Aubin De Gruchy compèred
the concert and Colin Anthony was the organist. Proceeds went
to the NSPCC and more than £600 was raised. Two days later
the Choir's AGM was held when Frank Hugo took over as Choir Chairman.
Our 60th Anniversary Year celebrations started in earnest with
a Dinner at the Green Lawns Hotel, Falmouth on Saturday 24th February.
Choir members, families and guests made a gathering of 144 people.
Special guests were Angela Thomas and Alison Harvey, who frequently
sing as soloists with us, and David and Gill Peters. David was
the guest speaker and entertained the diners with stories drawn
from his long and varied experience of choral singing in Cornwall.
Awards for 40 years service were presented to Desmond Barrett,
Adrian Rowe and Ken Downing and a presentation was made to Ken
to mark his 20 years as Musical Director. Roy Pascoe, our President,
has achieved a remarkable 60 years association with the Choir
- so we had to mint a special certificate (the first!) mark this
event. Our Chairman, accompanied by three seasoned choir members,
visited Roy in early March and presented him with this award.
Our season proper started with a Sunday afternoon appearance at
the Eden Project on 1st April. Two weeks later on 15th April,
we travelled to Bude. Here, Terry Bale, had invited us to perform
in Bude Central Methodist Church, sharing the concert with local
band, Bude Metric. The concert was in aid of Cancer Research.
The folks of North Cornwall always seem to appreciate our appearance
- evidenced by the provision of a lovely tea and a large appreciative
audience at the concert. After a concert at St. Elwyn's Church,
Hayle, we were booked for two events on Monday Bank Holiday, May
7th. Both were part of the Third Cornwall International Male Voice
Choral Festival. The first was one of the many informal afternoon
concerts. The venue for this one was the Tate St. Ives, featuring
Peterborough and St. Stythians Male Voice Choirs. The evening
performance was part of the Final Gala Concert of the Festival,
sharing the programme with 9 other choirs from Sweden, Canada,
South Africa, Iceland, England and Cornwall. Some weeks earlier
we had been asked to sing the winning entry for the Male Voice
Music Composers' Competition. We had some 8 weeks warning of this
and spent March and April at practices learning the new piece,
Whenever There's a Life to Save, by Tony Cliff of Falmouth. Tony
was presented with his prize by Festival Director, Dr. Roy Wales,
before we sang the song.
The Choir's next concerts were over the Tamar. Choir members,
wives and supporters left the County early on Friday 25th May.
We arrived at the Holiday Inn, North Stoke in good time for a
relaxed evening meal. Our first concert of the tour was held the
following evening with our hosts, the Audley Male Voice Choir,
at Wolstanton High School. We had an enthusiastic and responsive
audience of about 250. Our new CD Congratulations - 60 Years of
Song was released at this concert. John Musgrave made full use
of the occasion and had a total sales of about 50 CDs, noting
that our Sankey recordings also sold well in Staffordshire. We
visited the Wedgwood Visitor Centre in the village of Barleston,
Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday. Josiah Wedgwood moved his factory to
this green field site in the mid-1800s to avoid the pollution
of the urban potteries areas. In the evening we participated in
a Pentecost Sunday service at Audley Methodist Church.
Our 60th Anniversary celebrations continued with the visit of
the Pontarddulais Male Choir for a concert at Redruth Methodist
Church on Saturday 16th June. The Pontarddulais choir of 85 filled
the church with sound and our soprano soloist, the lovely Caroline
Brooke Lester from London, complemented the choirs with her outstanding
performance. The next day the choir returned to 'normal' with
a local concert at St. Day, helping to celebrate the Feast Day
there. Local celebrities, Ivy Curnow and Bernard Trembath, were
our guests at our first Patio Concert of the year at the Princess
Pavilion, Falmouth on Monday 2nd July. This was the second appearance
of Ivy (Heather Thomas) and Bernard (Ivor Bray) with the Choir
and their interchanges in Cornish dialect went down very well.
Our summer programme continued with a concert at St. Agnes Parish
Church on Sunday 8th July. Amy Richards of Truro School was our
We participated in a Proms in the Park concert with the St. Stythians
and Hayle Bands at the Princess Pavilion on Sunday 22nd July.
We returned to the Princess Pavilion on 3rd September for our
second Patio Concert of the year. Angela Thomas was our soloist
and she gave her usual powerful contralto performance. There followed
a concert organised by the Friends of St. Michael's Church, Newquay.
Alison Harvey was our guest soloist accompanied sensitively by
our own Kathryn Baldry. Alison's lovely soprano voice matched
the beautiful setting and acoustics of St. Michael's Church.
The summer ended with our last concert on the Patio at the Princess
Pavilion on Monday the 17th September. We used a "Request
Night" format which proved very popular with the audience.
Our soloists were Joanna Tisdale and Amy Richards who sang separately
and together as a duo - two youngsters carrying on the live music
tradition in Cornwall. The following week the Choir gave a concert
at the Carbis Bay Wesley Methodist Church Harvest celebration.
Soprano Susan Lancaster (of the Duchy Opera and the Goonvrea Singers)
was our soloist. She delighted the audience and choir alike. Two
weeks later, Susan was again our soloist at St. Michael's Church,
Helston at a concert organised by the Royal Air Force Association
to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of it's formation in Helston.
The last major event of our anniversary year was our Gala Concert
at Stithians Methodist Church on Saturday 27th October. The event
was a three-choir concert shared with Mevagissey and Mousehole
Male Voice Choirs and guest soprano, Sarah-Jane Dale, an opera
singer from London. The talented Philip Davey of Truro Methodist
Church accompanied Sarah-Jane Dale on the piano. Rebecca Wills
of BBC Spotlight Southwest compèred the concert. A capacity
audience of more than 300 people were entertained. Sarah-Jane
Dale delighted the audience with her mixture of operatic and lighter
The last two months of the year was taken up with engagements
at Trewoon Village Hall, the traditional Carol Service at Stithians
Methodist Church which we shared with the Stithians Ladies Choir,
a visit to the Culdrose Community Centre in Helston and to Townshend
near Leedstown. Finally, carols at the Stithians Village Hall
with the Ladies Choir and the Band went with its usual swing.
of our 2007 Programme:
(Sankey Evening), Eden Prpject, Bude, Tate St. Ives, Hall for Cornwall,
Audley (2 concerts), Redruth (with Pontarddulais), St. Day, St.
Agnes, Princess Pavilion (3 patio concerts and Proms in the Park),
Newquay (St. Michaels), Carbis Bay, Helston (St. Michaels), Stithians
(2 concerts), Culdrose CC and Trewoon, Townshend and Stithians Village