Spring Concert At Coggeshall, 2016

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Jazz Up Spring. St Peter And Vincula Church, Coggeshall with The Joy Ellis Trio. Saturday May 7

Church concert was a truly joyful experience

The jazz trio’s name echoed the mood of this concert, for it was truly joyful experience.

The Wild Mountain Thyme was an example of the new venue’s different acoustics. The church gave a delightfully softer sound to all parts of the choir and clarity to their words.

Stand-in accompanist, Philip Prior, was anything but temporary, in terms of his musicality. His Verdi trills were exquisite and he threw himself into the populist numbers with admirable verve. Continue reading

Vince’s Marathon

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Vince Horsman, one of our baritones, completed the London Marathon on Sunday 24th April 2016. Not having done any sort of running before, Vince decided that it was a challenge he wanted to take on, and in particular to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK after his mother-in-law died from the disease several years before he met his wife in 1993. He had been to the capital many times to watch the race but now felt it was time to take part himself.

Vice stuck rigidly to the training regime suggested by the London Marathon organisation and this took up a large part of his day. A bit different from his normal hobbies which are poetry, singing in the choir, photography and being a grandfather of 3. He found the training uncomfortable but managed to reach all his objectives. He was apprehensive about how his knees would stand up to the pounding but when running, the pain disappeared. His training took in runs to Dunmow and back, a distance of 18 miles. He also had a good training manager, his wife Sue, who spurred him on when times got tough. They also both joined the local gym to help build up his fitness. Continue reading

Filed under News | Words: Mel Hodsdon

Singing Of Note At Male Voice Choir Workshop

Men young and old attended a singing workshop organised by Braintree Male Voice Choir.  The award-winning men’s choir was bolstered by 28 first-timers to rehearse five songs, including the Beatles’ favourite “Yesterday”.

Conductor David Wood also led them through “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “The Wild Mountain Thyme”, “Ah Robin ” and “Boats And Planes”.
Continue reading

Men Sing Aloud Workshop – Saturday 13th February 2016

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This was planned as a workshop held in Braintree town centre which would hopefully attract new singers to join in with the choir and raise the profile of the choir locally. The workshop was well advertised in the local paper, the town centre and around the parishes. Many thanks go to Ian Whiteside, Bob Challis and Ernie Davis who braved the early morning chill from 6am to 8am to hand out leaflets at Braintree railway station on a bleak Monday morning. Continue reading

Filed under News | Words: Mel Hodsdon

Singing for Life Concert At The Cliffs Pavilion, Southend On Sea. Sunday 31st January 2016

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The only rehearsal of all the singers two weeks before the concert at the Tabor Academy in Braintree heralded the main event at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliffe on Sea. Assembling and organising 200 singers was no mean feat. Well done to all those in Leigh Orpheus and Braintree Male Voice Choir who made all the arrangements.

“Singing For Life” was a major charity concert where the Leigh Orpheus was joined by the Braintree, St Edmundsbury and Thurrock Male Voice Choirs and the Elliott Weight Trio, with TV weatherman Francis Wilson as compère. What a treat on a winter’s afternoon! A major concert, aimed at making as much money as possible for Prostate Cancer UK, with an audience of about 1000. Continue reading

Filed under News | Words: Mel Hodsdon

Christmas Concert Full Of Festive Delights Is A Sell Out

Christmas Concert, Braintree Male Voice Choir and the Essex Police Band. Braintree Arts Theatre. December 5

I was thrilled to see, at the start of this successful, sold-out show, that Musical Director, David Wood is encouraging his choir to abandon scores where possible and focus their attention on his precise conducting, Exemplified in My Lord What A Morning and well on the way in Softly As I Leave You, it paid dividends. Continue reading

Golden Oldies (Goldies In Essex) Afternoon ‘Big Sing’ – Saturday 17th October 2015

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Wow – this was an afternoon to remember. The Goldies charity representative in Braintree, Rob Cadman, had approached the choir to join in with their ‘Big Sing’. I don’t think any of us realised how such an upbeat event this would be.

The Charity was started in the West of England by Grenville Jones, who is also MD of the City of Bath Male Choir and other choirs in Bath, and has now spread across England and Wales. What an energetic pair Rob and Grenville Jones turned out to be. As well as organising ‘Big Sings’, regular singing, smile and activity sessions are held locally. They are aimed at older, lonely and isolated people. In Braintree Goldies works in partnership with Greenfields Community Housing and this event was also supported by local Lions and Rotary Clubs. The wider charity is supported by the Lottery and the Fowler and Smith Trust. Continue reading

Filed under News | Words: Mel Hodsdon

Colchester Military Wives Choir And Braintree Male Voice Choir Raising Money For Charity – October 2015

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From left to right The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Theresa Higgins, Sally Leung, MD of  Colchester Military Wives Choir, David Wood, MD of Braintree Male Voice Choir, Graham Thornton, President of Rotary Club of Colchester Trinity, Ian Dewis of Braintree Male Voice Choir and Liz Mullen, Compere and radio and TV broadcaster

Musical cooperation hit a high note at an inter-choir event in Colchester on the evening of Saturday 24th October. The ladies of the Military Wives Choir (CMWC) joined with Braintree Male Voice Choir (BMVC) in providing a memorable evening of musical harmony, titled ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’.

Presented by Colchester Rotary Club (Trinity) whose District Governor and Assistant Governor, Mr and Mrs Terry Dean attended, the concert took place in St Botolph’s Church. Held to support the Colchester Cancer Centre the campaign chairman, Sir John Ashworth attended as did the mayor of Colchester Theresa Higgins and her husband Professor Peter Higgins. Continue reading

Filed under News | Words: Mel Hodsdon

Choirs Have A Grand Night Out In Aid Of Cancer Centre

Review written by Neil D’Arcy-Jones in Colchester Gazette 29 October 2015

It was grand night out for singing and fundraising at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

The ladies of the Colchester Military Wives Choir joined with Braintree Male Voice Choir to provide a memorable evening of music for their joint ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’ concert. Held to support the Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign, which is backed by the Gazette, the past chairman Sir John Ashworth attended as did the Mayor of Colchester, Theresa Higgins, and her husband Professor Peter Higgins. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Mel Hodsdon

Great Notley Singing Songs From The West End – 10th October

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Ron Fosker

Great Notley Community Centre – 10th October 2015

The choir had been asked via Ranleigh Attwood, one of our basses, to put on a concert to raise funds for Marie Curie. His daughter was one of the members of the Braintree Fund Raising Group for the charity.

With Sue Edwards at the piano and David Wood in charge, the choir assembled in the modern community centre at the heart of Great Notley. The choir opened the concert with a Rodgers and Hammerstein number “It’s  Grand Night for Singing” and the first set ended with everyone’s favourite, “Nessun Dorma”. The choir had a short rest whilst Ron Fosker stepped up as the first surprise solo item and sang one of Nat King Cole’s songs “Let There Be Love” which was very well received by the audience. Continue reading

Filed under News | Words: Mel Hodsdon