CITY OF LINCOLN
MALE VOICE CHOIR

Concerts in Previous Years




For further information on any event please contact us at info@cityoflincolnmvc.org.uk

Archived Events

Click on the event below for the whole story

2014
Saturday, 28 June 2014Hartsholme House Concert
Saturday, 5 July 2014End-of-Season Concert
Saturday, 19 July 2014Bracebridge Heath Gala
Saturday, 27 September 2014Reepham Church Concert
Saturday, 25 October 2014Washingborough Church Concert
Saturday, 8 November 2014Poppy Appeal Concert
Saturday, 13 December 2014Carols in the Bail
2015
Friday, 13 February 2015Waddington Church Concert
Saturday, 7 March 2015RAFA Concert
Friday, 19 June 2015Hartsholme House Concert
Saturday, 4 July 2015End-of-Season Concert
Friday, 25 September 2015Navenby Methodist Church Concert
Saturday, 7 November 2015Poppy Appeal Concert
Saturday, 12 DecemberCarols in the Bail
Saturday, 12 DecemberHartsholme House Carols
2016
Saturday, 5 MarchRAFA Concert
Wednesday, 20 AprilNorth Hykeham Blind Club Concert
Saturday, 30 AprilWashingborough Church Concert
Saturday, 21 MaySt Peter's Eastgate Church Concert
Saturday, 25 JuneHartsholme House Concert
Saturday, 2 JulyEnd-of-Season Concert
Saturday, 9 JulyTattershall Holy Trinity Church Concert





Hartsholme House Concert 28 June 2014

For the third year in a row we gave a short concert to the residents of the care home at Hartholme House. To be fair to our audience, we started at 7pm rather than the usual 7.30pm and we sang just one 'set' for about an hour.

It was a real joy to see how the residents responded to the sound of music. No-one could doubt the impact we were having on their lives. Indeed, we knew from past experience that, as soon as some of them recognised the song we were singing, they would join in, too!! It did not matter if we were on verse 2 when they accompanied us with words to verse 1.

This was one of those concerts where we knew it would be a success before we had sung a single note. Hopefully, we will be invited back again next year



End-of-Season Concert 5 July 2014

In early July we made our annual pilgrimage to the All Saints Church in Monks Road for our End-of-Season Concert. As we have come to expect, the members of the church made us most welcome and the audience was as large and appreciative as in previous years.

We sang our usual mix of choir piece and solos, taking much of the repertoire from recent concerts with just the odd addition and deletion to keep the material fresh.

This meeting has always been classed as one of our own fund-raisers to help the choir buy new music and to meet other expenses. The actual 'profit' on the day has not yet been made known, but we do know our Treasurer went home a very happy bunny.



Bracebridge Heath Gala 19 July 2014

We all met at the Bracebridge Heath sports ground on a very warm, muggy day that threatened at any minute to bring thunderstorms. We were located on a very temporary-looking stage that was all cables, microphones and boxes of sound wizardry. This must have been what it was like at the Glastonbury Festival, except that the crowds were a little smaller.

We were booked to do just one set of about 30 minutes. We were the opening act to get the gala underway. Our programme was:

Highland Cathedral
Sally Gardens/Miller of Dee
All in the April Evening
Kwmbaya
What a Wonderful World
You Raise Me Up
Speed Your Journey
Cwm Rhondda
Nessun Dorma
Non Nobis Domine

Because of the threatening weather not too many people had yet arrived by the time we began our performance. Heather Benson, our accompanist on this occasion, was located to our left. She needed a bunch of clothes pegs to keep the music in place because the stage seemed to attract the most perverse gusts of wind that threatened disaster at every puff. We managed the opening number nicely and were just girding loins for the second when the heavens opened. Our audience of three scouts, a babe in arms and a passing cat soon disappeared under cover somewhere.

Before the Storm

Rain now started to encroach where Heather sat. To protect the keyboard and sound gubbins all around her, she needed to move. While the stage technicians helped her unplug, move, and then reassemble the keyboard, we troupers gamely carried on singing Sally Gardens a capella. This was not our usual practice, but it went off really well and was appreciated by the stage hands who by now were our only audience.

After the Storm

Happily, the storm lasted but a few minutes. We continued our programme with Heather often playing one-handed as she grimly held on to the sheet music being wafted hither and yon. By the end we had regained a nice, sizeable audience who much appreciated our efforts to entertain them despite the weather.



Reepham Church Concert 27 September 2014

The choir returned once again to the beautiful, quiet church in the heart of Reepham village just to the east of Lincoln.

St Peter and St Pauls Church

On entering the church, the first pleasant surprise was the complete refurbishment of the interior since our last visit. The pews had been replaced by very comfortable chairs and the floor had been resurfaced with laminate. This meant we all had more space and no longer had to manage in a very cramped space.

Ready for the off

The concert included three new songs that we had learned for the Labyrinth Festival in August. The composers, Rosemary Broadbent and Peter Blumson, had given the choir permission to perform them. Indeed, Rosemary was currently working on an arrangement of 'The Real Undoing' especially for TTBB male voice choir, which we hope to perform at a future concert.

The programme in full was:

I Am Not Born (Labyrinth Festival)
The Real Undoing (Labyrinth Festival)
Speed Your Journey
Vilia
What a Wonderful World
Oliver Medley
Liebestraum by Debussy (Joyce's piano solo)
Linden Lea
Rhythm of Life
You Raise Me Up
Nessun Dorma

Interval

Highland Cathedral
All in the April Evening
Kwmbayah
Kings of Swing Medley
The Windmills of Your Mind/If I Ruled the World (Julian's solos)
Plaisir d'Amour
Venus (Labyrinth Festival)
Cwm Rhondda
Non Nobis Domine

Crauford had encouraged us during rehearsals to maintain much higher energy levels, especially during the longer pieces such as Oliver and the Kings of Swing. This we did to great effect especially as the new church interior had created an even better acoustic sound.

In full voice

In the first half, Joyce played the ever-loved Liebestraum by Debussy and she played with wonderful sensitivity and gentleness establishing the evocative mood of the piece.

Joyce's solo

In the second half, Julien sang two popular pieces - If I Ruled the World from Pickwick, and Windmills of your Mind from the Thomas Crown Affair - with great verve and spirit.

Julian's Solo

All in all this was a very successful concert and was followed by a delicious buffet supper afterwards. The new seating for the choir and the improved acoustics both enabled us to give of our best. We hope we can return to this lovely church again soon.



Washingborough Church Concert 25 October 2014

The choir's visit to this lovely church in the heart of Washingborough village just to the east of Lincoln was organised by Mick, whose local church it is.

St Johns Church

The interior was very spacious, pleasantly warm and, much to the choir's delight, afforded very comfortable seating if just a little tight for room in places. At the rear we passed a very appetising buffet supper to be enjoyed later and a table laden with raffle prizes. Just to the right of our places stood the organ. This was no wheezy old wind-driven affair, but a very modern digital instrument much in keeping with the feel of a church that on the inside had embraced modernity all the while retaining an historic ancient outer structure.

The programme for this concert was very much the same as the one we had performed recently at Reepham church. Crauford had taken out Linden Lea and our soloists on this occasion were Mick and Brian C.

In full voice

The programme in full was:

I Am Not Born by Rosemary Broadbent
The Real Undoing by Rosemary Broadbent
Speed Your Journey
Vilia
What a Wonderful World
Oliver Medley
Knightsbridge March by Eric Coates (Mick's organ solo)
Rhythm of Life
You Raise Me Up
Nessun Dorma

Interval

Highland Cathedral
All in the April Evening
Kwmbayah
Kings of Swing Medley
Where Ere You Walk/Irish Blessing (Brian C's solos)
Plaisir d'Amour
Venus by Peter Blumson
Cwm Rhondda
Non Nobis Domine

For his solo, Mick had set the organ to sound like the old theatre organs of yesteryear reminiscent of Reginald Dixon. Mick played a couple of excerpts from Eric Coates' music such as the Sleepy Lagoon beloved of Desert Island disc afficionados before giving us all a fine rendition of Coates' Knightsbridge March.

Mick's Solo

In the second half of the programme, Brian C offered two delightful tenor solo pieces. Of note, we have a rota of our members who offer to sing solo. This is partly to give the choir a short break, but mainly to showcase the talent within our members and to add variety and interest to our concerts. We are blessed with having 6 willing voice soloists plus, of course, Joyce with her piano solos.

Brian's Solo

The concert was over all too soon, but it had been very successful. The lady acting as host for the venue commented on how clear our diction had been and how disciplined we all were to watch Crauford so carefully and bring such 'colour' and variation to the dynamics of our performance. What a very kind thing to say and what a lovely buffet supper afterwards. The only embarrassment we had was winning so many of the raffle prizes!

The Final Bow

Our next concert will be at the Methodist Church in North Hykeham on Saturday, 8 November, when we seek to raise money in support of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Every year this has been a sell-out concert and this year's is no exception.



Poppy Appeal Concert 8 November 2014

For the fifth year in a row we returned to the intimate and homely Methodist Church in North Hykeham for our annual concert in support of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

Every year this concert has been a sell-out and this year was no exception providing us with perhaps our largest and most appreciative audience of the whole concert year. Steve, who is the Poppy Appeal Organiser for the whole area, had organised the concert with the help of many others in the choir. For example, Henry produced beautiful flyers, tickets and concert programmes all with the Poppy Appeal logo. Several members provided either raffle prizes and/or plates of foods for the buffet. Julien and Joyce once again offered very skillful solos. And we were delighted to welcome back Heather in our midst to play the cornet during the Act of Remembrance.

Our programme of music drew from recent concerts, but was a little shorter than normal because time had to be set aside for both the Act of Remembrance and the community singing with which we always end this concert.

Opening Number

The programme in full was:

I Am Not Born by Rosemary Broadbent
The Real Undoing by Rosemary Broadbent
Speed Your Journey
Venus by Peter Blumson
Through the Barricade by Spandau Ballet (Julien's solo)
What a Wonderful World
Oliver Medley
You Raise Me Up

Interval

Nessun Dorma
Charmaine Semprini Arrangement (Joyce's solo)
Highland Cathedral
Kwmbayah
Cwm Rhondda
Non Nobis Domine

Julien's solo in the first half was a very poignant elegy to the power of love despite the hardships of the troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. This song also highlighted Joyce's wonderful skills not just as a classical pianist, but also as one who could accomplish a continuous and often complex rhythmic backing to this more contemporary music.

Julien's Solo

In the second half, Joyce delighted the audience with a trip down memory lane by playing an arrangement of Charmaine by Semprini. This evoked memories (for those old enough) of his famous catch phrase - old ones, new ones, loved ones, neglected ones. Joyce played the piece beautifully.

Joyce's Solo

Throughout the concert, Crauford also entertained the audience between each song with some well-researched and amusing anecdotes and background information to introduce each item in the programme. Most of the time he remembered to invite the choir to sit down, but if he forgot, we soon reminded him.

Crauford's Anecdotes

While the aim of this concert was to raise money for the Poppy Appeal, we also acknowledged the fact that this was the time for remembering those who had died in both World Wars and in conflicts since. After the concert proper, we therefore led the audience in a formal Act of Remembrance. Steve took over the role of compere explaining what was to happen. We began with the whole choir singing 'Remember' a piece that Crauford had written especially for this Act of Remembrance when we introduced it for the first time last year. Based on Laurence Binyon's famous words from his poem 'For the Fallen', Steve sang solo the opening stanzas with the choir offering a harmonised backing before the rest of the choir then sang collectively the remainder of the piece.

The Start of 'Remember'

Part way through, Heather began playing the cornet with very powerful strains of the Last Post that harmonised beautifully with the singing. 'Remember' was then followed with the traditional content of the Act of Remembrance. Micky, Steve's wife and joint Poppy Appeal Organiser for the area, gave the Exhortation. Heather then played the Last Post and, following the 2-Minute Silence, the Reveille. Steve ended the ceremony by delivering the Dedication.

The Last Post

The concert ended with what has become a fine tradition at this time. We invited the whole audience to join in community singing of such wartime favorites as 'Pack Up Your Troubles', Bless 'Em All', 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' and 'We'll Meet Again'. Steve was able to announce at the end that this concert had raised 577 for the Poppy Appeal. It had been a rousing performance with the choir pulling out all the stops to produce some of their best singing. Happily, we are booked to return here next year on 7 November for a repeat performance.



Carols in the Bail 13 December 2014

The year has ended for the choir much as it began with something new, experimental, a step into the unknown. We wanted to do a carol concert but without any religious or spiritual content; just the choir singing in harmony for the sheer enjoyment of it, plus a few carols that allowed the audience to join in. The title 'Carols in the Bail' rolled neatly off the tongue, so we organised an hours-worth of carols in the impressive Bailgate Methodist Church in the heart of the uphill, historic Bailgate district of the city.

Bailgate Methodist Church

To mark the occasion and enter into the festive spirit, the choir opted to wear our distinctive red bow ties rather than the more staid blue tie with city crest. We had also presented the concert as free entrance, but with a retiring collection. This gave our stalwart Treasurer some palpitations, but the audience was gratifyingly large. We had placed flyers in all the Bailgate shops and had the concert advertised on local radio.

The entertainment for the audience began even before the concert began. Crauford asked us all to warm up while seated in our concert places. This included some rather yogic neck stretches all the while singing sotto voce the five vowels at a pitch somewhere in the region of middle 'D'

Warming Up

The programme in full was:

Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head
Angels from the Realms of Glory
O Little Town of Bethlehem (with the audience)
Good king Wenceslas (With the Quartet; see below)
Once in Royal David's City
O Come All Ye Faithful (with the audience)
Away in a Manger
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night (with the audience)
Kwmbaya (Christmas Words)
The First Noel (with the audience)
Ding Dong Merrily on High (with the audience)

Another innovation we tried with minimal practice was to create a Quartet by inviting one from each of the voice sections to sing the part of the page in Good King Wenceslas. Thus, Steve from the 1st Tenors, Julien from the 2nd Tenors, Henry from the Baritones and Mick from the Basses stood to one side and and sang with gusto the dialogue lines of the page. The many favourable comments afterwards served to justify this innovation. Crauford will no doubt be looking for further opportunities to bring variation to how we present our concerts.

The Quartet

The audience joined in all of the community singing carols despite Crauford's somewhat confusing numbering system that used the carol numbers quoted in our song books which were different from the carol numbers quoted on the printed words issued to the audience, which were different again to the numbers Joyce had in her accompanist's copy. It was all good fun and served to get the festive season off to a fine start.



Waddington Church Concert, 13 February 2015

We began the 2015 concert year with a visit to the delightful and very modern St Michaels Church in Waddington village located some 5 miles south of Lincoln and a stone's throw from the roar of military jet engines in nearby RAF Waddington. The church owes its modernity to the fact that the original 12th century building was completely destroyed in WW2 by a parachute mine in May 1941 and was subsequently rebuilt and re-consecrated in 1954.

St Michaels Church, Waddington

We were very pleased to be singing once again before a very full audience that just about filled the church. Our programme contained several numbers that we had used in recent concerts, but also one new item - 'Going Home' - based on the second movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony and much beloved of Hovis adverts.

The programme in full was:

The Real Undoing by Rosemary Broadbent
Speed Your Journey
Oliver Medley
What a Wonderful World
The Hippopotamus Song (Brian Oldfield's solo)
Linden Lea
You Raise Me Up
Highland Cathedral

Interval

Non Nobis Domine
All in the April Evening
Venus by Peter Blumson
Plaisir D'Amour
Vilia
Debussy's Claire de Lune (Joyce's solo)
Nessun Dorma
Going Home
Cwm Rhondda

The choir quickly settled into its rhythm helped by the wonderful acoustics in the church whose interior included a very high ceiling. The opening numbers were very well received.

In Full Swing

This being Brian Oldfield's church and this being his birthday, he was the natural choice to sing the voice solo. He delighted us all with his rendering of the Flanders and Swann ditty The Hippopotamus Song, not least because we and the audience were invited to join in the choruses.

Brian's Solo

In the second half, Joyce played a really exquisite Claire de Lune as her solo. She obviously relished having access to a digital upright piano rather than the usual keyboard.

Joyce in her Element

All too soon this concert came to and end. Everyone in the choir thoroughly enjoyed singing in this beautiful setting. The audience was very appreciative, the acoustics allowed us to give of our best and we all felt a sense of deserved satisfaction as we took the final bow. How lovely it would be if we could do another concert here next year.

The Final Bow



RAFA Concert 7 March 2015

For the 3rd year in a row we returned to the intimate and homely Methodist Church in North Hykeham for our annual concert in support of the Royal Air Force Association Wings Appeal.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

We sing here so frequently each year that it was a delight to welcome many regular friends in the audience who attend our concerts. We were especially pleased to welcome the Civic Parties from both Lincoln and North Hykeham who had been formally invited by the RAFA Lincoln Branch to attend this important fund-raising event to give it their support

The Lincoln and North Hykeham
Civic Parties

We were very pleased to be singing once again before a full audience that just about filled the church. We quickly settled into our familiar, but very varied repertoire. The programme in full was:

The Real Undoing by Rosemary Broadbent
Speed Your Journey
Oliver Medley
What a Wonderful World
Ani Chavatselet/Band of Brothers (Steve's solos)
Linden Lea
All in the April Evening
You Raise Me Up
Highland Cathedral

Interval

Non Nobis Domine
Venus by Peter Blumson
Plaisir D'Amour
Vilia
Sinding's Rustle of Spring (Joyce's solo)
Nessun Dorma
Going Home
Cwm Rhondda

Airman's Hymn (Community Singing)

At each concert, our soloist singers take turns to offer a solo piece. On this occasion it was Steve's turn. In the first half he sang two short pieces: the first was in Hebrew being three brief verses from Song of Songs. The second was Band of Brothers in recognition of the need to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice made by so many aircrew in war.

Steve's Solo

Also at each concert, Joyce offers a piano solo. This evening she chose Sinding's Rustle of Spring in the expectation that Spring was just round the corner. She played this very complex piece with grace and accomplishment much to the delight of a very knowledgeable and appreciative audience.

All too soon this concert came to and end, but not before we invited all the audience to join us in singing The Airman's Hymn. Sung to the tune of 'Eternal Father Strong to Save...' the words we used were a digest taken from many different versions of the Airman's Hymnn to be found around the world depending on which nation and which air force it had been written for. Everyone in the choir really enjoys singing in this beautiful setting. As we took the final bow the RAFA organiser was pleased to announce that the concert had raised just short of 300 after expenses had been deducted. Thus we left with a great sense of a worthwhile job well done and renewed enthusiasm to return here next November for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Concert.

The Final Bow



Hartsholme House Concert 19 June 2015

For the fourth year in a row we gave a short concert to the residents of the care home at Hartholme House, set in the leafy suburbs of Lincoln just off the Skellingthorpe Road.

Hartsholme House

There was not a great deal of room to squeeze us all in to the end of their lounge. We had to arrange ourselves in a slightly different way such that we all experienced some rather unusual acoustics for each individual. It was also good to see Brian Thacker in the audience. Brian had been a choir member until a couple of years ago.

Our Audience

To be fair to our audience, we started at 7pm rather than the usual 7.30pm and we sang just one 'set' for about 45 minutes. The programme in full was:

Sailing
Going Home
Nessun Dorma
What a Wonderful World
Love Is All Around
You Raise Me Up
What Would I Do Without My Music
Highland Cathedral
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Non Nobis Domine
Cwm Rhondda

In Full Flow

As in previous visits, it was a real joy to see how the residents responded to the sound of music. No-one could doubt the impact we were having on their lives. Indeed, we knew from past experience that, as soon as some of them recognised the song we were singing, they would join in, too!! This was one of those concerts where we knew it would be a success before we had sung a single note. Hopefully, we will be invited back again next year



End-of-Season Concert 4 July 2015

We made our annual pilgrimage to the beautiful and huge All Saints Church in Monks Road for our End-of-Season Concert. This is one of our main fund-raisers for choir funds and we were especially delighted to welcome Councillor Chris Burke MBA, Deputy Mayor of Lincoln, who attended in his official capacity

All saints Church, Monks Road, Lincoln

Just before the concert began, we paid special honour to Mrs Lorna Wilson, who regularly runs the raffle for us and who was celebrating her 90th birthday that week. After joining the large audience in a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday' the choir settled into the programme proper.

The First Half

The programme in the first half was:

Sailing
What a Wonderful World
You Raise Me Up
Love Is All Around
Only a Rose from The Vagabond Prince (Solo by Tony Scott)
What Would I Do Without My Music
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Somebody's Calling My Name (With Tony Daborn singing the solo part)
Rhythm of Life

Tony's Solo

Immediately the first half ended we presented Joyce Hainstock, our erstwhile accompanist, with a lovely bouquet of flowers to say thank you and to recognise the tremendous contribution she had made to the development and success of the choir. Sadly, Joyce very reluctantly had to give up being our accompanist through ill health, but we know she is very keen to stay connected with the choir and will hopefully feature in a future concert.

Honouring Joyce

The day had seen very high temperatures that did not relent during the evening. To help us survive a very full and busy second half, Crauford allowed us to remove our jackets, much to the amusement of the audience judging by the catcalls and the moulin rouge melodies they sang.

Jackets Off!

In the second half we sang:

The Real Undoing by Rosemary Broadbent
Speed Your Journey
All in the April Evening
Nessun Dorma
Non Nobis Domine
The Gasman Cometh by Flanders and Swann (Brian Oldfield's solo)
Plaisir D'Amour
Venus by Peter Blumson
Going Home
Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda

Brian's Solo

The concert ended on a real high and, as the audience retired to the back of the church for a much anticipated buffet supper, we were delighted to welcome Councillor Burke MBA, Deputy Mayor of Lincoln, for a photo call.

With Councillor Burke MBA, Deputy Mayor of Lincoln

And not to miss the golden opportunity, we also took advantage of Joyce's presence to invite her to sit in for another photo.

With Joyce

All in all, this was a hugely successful concert and a fitting end to an equally successful season. We have the annual dinner on the following Tuesday and then a well earned break until mid-August. This also marks the end of the first year of the choir's website. We know for certain that it has been instrumental in two new members joining us, but of greater importance, we trust that it has been a fitting showcase for the choir and an enjoyable experience for the website visitor.



Navenby Methodist Church Concert 25 September 2015

The choir always enjoy coming to this spacious and well-appointed church with its excellent acoustics and enthuiastic audience. We were able to set up our own advertising banner about a week beforehand, which certainly helped to fill the church.

Navenby Methodist Church

A few of us had arrived early to help set up the keyboard only to find that the church had set up their own instrument, which was even bigger and better than ours much to Heather's delight.

Heather's New Toy

The programme in the first half was a selection of more modern popular songs from the charts and musicals:

Sailing
What a Wonderful World
All In the April Evening
Love Is All Around
All of Me by John Legend (Solo by Julien Cozens)
What Would I Do Without My Music
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Yesterday
Rhythm of Life

Julien's Solo

In the second half we sang a more traditional Male Voice Choir repertoire:

Gwahoddiad
Speed Your Journey
You Raise Me Up
Nessun Dorma
Non Nobis Domine
Plaisir D'Amour
Venus by Peter Blumson
Going Home
Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda

In Full Voice

This proved to be a very successful concert before a large audience that filled the church. We were especially pleased to see Mick Bowbanks in the audience following his recent spate of poor health. Afterwards we all enjoyed a sumptuous buffet thanks to the generosity of the church. This is a lovely venue and one we hope we can visit again.



Poppy Appeal Concert 7 November 2015

For the sixth year in a row we returned to the intimate and homely Methodist Church in North Hykeham for our annual concert in support of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

Every year this concert has been a sell-out and this year was no exception providing us with perhaps our largest and most appreciative audience of the whole concert year. We were delighted that the Mayor of North Hykeham, Councillor John Bishop, was able to attend as well as the Royal British Legion Community Fundraiser for the Lincolnshire County, Nick Fairfax.

Crauford with our Guest of Honour

Nick Fairfax

Steve, who is the Poppy Appeal Organiser for the whole area, had organised the concert with the help of many others both in the choir and in the local Royal British Legion community. For example, Henry produced beautiful flyers, tickets and concert programmes all with the Poppy Appeal logo. Several members provided either raffle prizes and/or plates of foods for the buffet. Brian C provided the solo in the first half and Heather not only accompanied us with her usual skills, but also played the cornet during the Act of Remembrance.

We were also well supported by helpers at the door and running what proved to be the largest raffle we had ever had.

Raffle Ladies

We also had wonderful support from friends of the choir who set up and served an excellent buffet after the concert.

Help in the Kitchen

The programme for the concert contained only four pieces that we had sung here last November. It was a well balanced selection of music with more popular songs in the first half and traditional choir songs in the second half. The first half was:

Kumbaya
Speed Your Journey
Non Nobis Domine
Sailing
What Would I Do Without My Music
Bring Him Home (Brian Cropley's solo)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Yesterday

Most Watch Crauford!!

The second half included:

Cwm Rhondda
You Raise Me Up
Venus by Peter Blumson
Highland Cathedral
Going Home
Gwahoddiad

We were once again expertly supported by Heather who has now become well-established as our principal accompanist.

Heather in her element

At the end of the concert proper, Steve led the gathering in a traditional Act of Remembrance for the Fallen. We were very privileged this year to have Mrs Sheila Wood to give the Exhortation. Sheila has now become the longest serving Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal supporter in the whole country having given 67 years of dedicated service in a wide variety of roles. The badges she proudly wears are unique in their number and record of achievement.

Mrs Sheila Wood

During the ceremony Steve explained what would be happening. After Heather had played the Last Post, Sheila gave the Exhortation which was followed by a 2-minute silence. Heather then played Reveille and Nick Fairfax gave the Dedication at the end of the ceremony.

The Last Post

The evening finished in traditional style with the whole audience joining the choir in community singing of favourite songs from WW1 and WW2.

Community Singing

All in all this had been a hugely successful concert with full house, great singing, solemn commemoration, community spirit, a high class raffle and a plentiful buffet. The event raised 570 for the Poppy Appeal and we are booked to repeat the concert next year on 12 November.



Carols in the Bail, 12 December 2015

We ended the 2015 concert year with a return visit to the Bailgate Methodist Church for another Carol in the Bail Concert. The timing like last year was just after the huge Christmas Market, but well ahead of Christmas to attract plenty of folk out there doing their Christmas shopping.

Bailgate Methodist Church

The programme was perforce very similar to that of 2014. We wanted to offer well-known carols plus those that allowed the audience to join in. We were not, therefore, offering any of the more arcane or obscure carols favoured by some choirs.

The programme in full was:

Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head
Angels from the Realms of Glory
O Little Town of Bethlehem (with the audience)
Away in a Manger
Once in Royal David's City
O Come All Ye Faithful (with the audience)
Silent Night
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Good king Wenceslas (with the audience)
Kwmbaya (Christmas Words)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
The Holly and the Ivy
The First Noel (with the audience)

In Full Voice

Last year Crauford had created a Quartet of voices taking one person from each section to sing the dialogue parts of Good King Wenceslas. This year for a change he created a MVC-lite by taking two voices from each section to sing the harmonies of some of the verses in three of the carols. This proved to be a very effective alternative to the whole choir and enabled the beautiful harmonies to be heard with great clarity.

After the concert, Tony offered to be a page turner for Heather, who was quite amused by the idea, but declined on the grounds that we never sang fast enough for it to be a problem!

Tony's Offer

This had once again proved to be a very successful concert with over 40 people attending. So much so, that we are already booked in for the equivalent Saturday in 2016.



Hartsholme House Carols, 12 February 2015

Having given them a fuller concert back in June, the choir returned to the Hartsholme House Care Home to offer the residents a taste of Christmas.

Hartsholme House Care Home

We sang the same medley of Carols as we had sung earlier in the day at Bailgate Methodist Church. The big difference here was that at least one, but often several of the audience joined in either singing, humming or whistling with every carol we sang. The size and shape of the room meant that we were all rather squashed into the end with some having to look round a pillar in order to see Crauford.

A Tight Squeeze

This was a lovely way to sign off the concert year bringing so much pleasure and social interaction to folks who benefitted so much from our singing.



RAFA Concert, 5 March 2016

The choir were delighted to return once again to the lovely Methodist Church in North Hykeham to give their third concert in as many years in support of the RAF Association (Lincoln Branch) Wings Appeal.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

We were very pleased to welcome Councillor John Bishop, Mayor of North Hykeham, once again. He had supported the Poppy Appeal concert last November and, despite a very busy diary, found time to support us and the Wings Appeal.

Mayor of North Hykeham

The problem Crauford had was in selecting a programme that was a change from last year's RAFA concert, but also somewhat different from the Poppy Concert last November since many in the audience would have attended the November concert. In the first half we sang:

Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda
A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
Floral Dance (Solo by Brian Oldfield)
Venus by Peter Blumson
Plaisir D'Amour
Speed Your Journey
You Raise Me Up

Brian had chosen the Floral Dance as a special tribute to Terry Wogan who had passed away recently.

Brian's Solo

In the second half we sang:

What a Wonderful World
Rhythm of Life
Someone is Calling My Name
What Would I Do Without My Music
Sailing
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Non Nobis Domine
Going Home
Gwahoddiad

Heather, as always, gave us sterling support and even joined in the community singing at the end when we sang the 'Airman's Hymn', something that has become a tradition at the end of these concerts..

Our Heather Poised for the Off

This proved to be yet another very successful concert before a large audience. With the raffle and ticket sales RAFA raised just short of 400 for the Wings Appeal. We then all retired to the community hall for a very well earned supper, which was a wonderful spread of sandwiches, cakes and sundry other goodies.



North Hykeham Blind Society Concert, 20 April 2016

The choir had sung in the RAFA Concert at the lovely Methodist Church in North Hykeham barely 6 weeks previously and here we were back again for this concert for the North Hykeham Blind Club. We had given this concert last year as part of the proving of our planned programme of bringing music to care homes and similar needy organisations. We were back this year simply by popular demand. The club members had enjoyed the concert so much that they wanted more.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

This being a mid-afternoon performance, Heather could not be with us, but we were able to enjoy the excellent support from Ann Osborne, who had accompanied us last year at the Burton Waters concert.

Ann Poised Like a Coiled Spring

The main difference for this concert was that we were in the community room where we normally held the post-concert refreshments rather than in the main church sanctuary. With some 30 club members and 8 helpers, room was at a premium. We were perforce a reduced choir of 15, with poor old Henry being the only baritone, but what a sterling performance he gave in the repeated mini solos in 'A Roving'!

A Bit Of A Squash

We sang the same programme as we had used the previous Sunday at Bill Leaper's 80th birthday bash, namely:

Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda
A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
What A Wonderful World
Blue Moon
Rhythm Of Life
I Dreamed A Dream
Sailing
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Gwahoddiad

For us, singing to a sight-impaired audience had the added joy of knowing just how much pleasure we brought to the listeners. Their enthusiastic applause and spontanious expressions of delight after each song spoke volumes for the joy we were bringing to their lives. Hopefully, we can come back again next year because this is one concert that leaves everyone with a real feel-good factor.

Part of Our Audience



Washingborough Church Concert, 30 April 2016

The choir returned to this impressive Church in Washingborough some 18 months after the last visit. As with the last time, Mick had a large hand in organising the concert as this was his church. And as always, Mick's wife, Sheila, acted as cub reporter taking the photos.

Washingborough Church

The church quickly filled almost to capacity, raffle tickets went like hot cakes and the buffet grew with each new arrival through the door.

The choir had a really full, long and taxing concert programme. In the first half we sang:

Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
A Roving
The Lincolnshire Poacher
Julian's Solo - Skyfall (James Bond Film theme tune)
Venus
Plaisir D'Amour
Speed Your Journey
You Raise Me Up

The interval came as a welcome relief. During it, the raffle was drawn with 5 members of the choir winning prizes.Our programme after the interval was:

What A Wonderful World
Blue Moon
Rhythm Of Life
Somebody's Calling My Name
Mick's Organ Solo (three Hoagie Carmichael songs - Lazy Bones, Stardust and Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair)
Sailing
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
I Dreamed A Dream
Goin' Home
Gwahoddiad

In Full Flow

In the first half, Julian gave a very stirring rendition of the theme tune from the James Bond Film 'Skyfall'.

Julian's Solo

Half way through the second half, Mick gave his Reginald Dixon impression with three nostagic Hoagie Carmichael evergreen songs played on the church organ.

Mick at the Keyboard

Talking of keyboards, Heather found herself tucked away well off to the side behind a massive pillar. She supported the choir with her usual good humour and excellent musicianship.

Heather in the Wings

This proved to be a very long, but very enjoyable concert that was very well received by the audience. Hopefully, it will not be another 18 months before we return to this beautiful venue.



St Peter's Church Eastgate Concert, 21 May 2016

The choir had not sung in this beautiful church for over 10 years. Terry Rimen, a member of the 1st Tenor section, had organised the concert to support a local charity of which more below.

St Peter's Church, Eastgate

The charity being supporterd was Home Matchmaker (HMM), full details of which can be found at www.HomeMatchMaker.co.uk. In short, HMM provides support to those who have suffered greatly through misfortune in life.

The Home Matchmaker Charity

The interior of the church was much larger than appeared to be the case seen from outside. The acoustics were excellent and the extra space allowed us to sit in three comfortable rows rather than two cramped rows which has often been the case at other venues.

Waiting for the Off

In the first half Crauford had introduced a song we had not sung for many years. 'Be Still My Soul' sung to the haunting melody of Sibelius's 'Finlandia' was a great success. The first-half programme in full was:

Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda
Be Still My Soul
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
A Roving
Tony's Solo - I'll Walk beside You
Nessun Dorma
Plaisir D'Amour
Speed Your Journey
You Raise Me Up

Throughout the concert, Crauford entertained the audience with his usual amusing anecdotes and stories about what we were going to sing next.

Crauford Entertains

Tony's choice of solo item was very much in keeping with that part of the programme and was very warmly received.

Tony's Solo

The interval included the rather welcome option of drinking wine for a small donation. There is no record of who in the choir took advantage of this, but the second half appeared to be completed with far more smiling faces and harmonious voices.

Just before we started the second half, a member of the HMM charity described a harrowing case study of someone they had helped return to a more normal life after a history of abuse, violence, drugs, crime and rejection.

Our programme after the interval was:

What A Wonderful World
Blue Moon
Rhythm Of Life
What Would I Do Without My Music
Sailing
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
I Dreamed A Dream
Goin' Home
Gwahoddiad

In Full Flow

As usual, Heather gave the whole choir her wonderful support at the keyboard despite being parked rather off to one side in order to reach a power socket!

Heather

At the end, as we took a final bow, we could look back on a really excellent concert with the added satisfaction of knowing that we had supported a really worthy charity. Hopefully, we will not have to wait another 10 years before we return to sing in this beautiful venue.

The Final Bow



Hartsholme House Concert, 25 June 2016

We are now firmly in the Hartsholme House Care Home diary as regular visitors. Having given them a carol concert last December, we were back 6 months later with another 45-minute concert of their favourite songs.

Hartsholme House Care Home

Following a request from the residents, we began this time at 6.30pm to allow those who prefer to retire early in the evening to enjoy the concert. This they all did judging by the enthusiasm with which they joined in most of the music.

This concert also gave us the chance to air for the first time in public the haunting 'Memories' from the musical Cats The full programme included

Highland Cathedral
Cwm Rhondda
A Roving
Memories (from Cats )
What a Wonderful World
Blue Moon
I Dreamed A Dream
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Rhythm of Life
Oliver
Sailing
Gwahoddiad

If all goes well we will be back in Hartsholme House in December for another carol concert.



End-of-Season Concert, 2 July 2016

We made our annual pilgrimage to the beautiful and huge All Saints Church in Monks Road for our End-of-Season Concert. This is one of our main fund-raisers for choir funds and we were especially delighted to welcome Councillor Yvonne Bodger, Mayor of Lincoln, and the rest of the Civic Party who attended in their official capacity.

All Saints Church, Monks Road, Lincoln

This venue is blessed with a full-size grand piano, which had been very recently re-tuned, much to Heather's delight and a welcome change from playing ther digital keyboard.

Heather at the Real Keyboard

The programme was very long with 10 items in each half. As the solo item in the first half, Steve sang 'Any Dream Will Do' from Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Coat.

Steve's Solo

The full programme was:

Non Nobis Domine
Cwm Rhondda
Oliver
Memories (from Cats )
Nessun Dorma
Any Dream Will Do (Steve's solo)
Love Is All Around
Be Still My Soul
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
A Roving

Interval

The Lincolnshire Poacher
What a Wonderful World
Blue Moon
Rhythm of Life
What Would I Do Without My Music
I Dreamed A Dream
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Going Home
Gwahoddiad
Highland Cathedral

Despite the length of the concert, it all went very well, especially the second half. The audience gave warm applause after each piece and an especially hearting appreciation at the end of the concert. Following the raffle draw, we all enjoyed a very appetising buffet that members of the choir had contributed to. As a fund-raiser for the choir the concert was equally successful. With a concert at Tattershall next week and then the annual dinner, we are all looking forward to a welcome break over the summer.

Final Bow



Tattershall Holy Trinity Church Concert, 9 July 2016

Few in the choir can remember the last time we visited this amazingly huge church in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside.

Holy Trinity Church, Tattershall

One challenge we do not normally have to contend with is bats. This church has a bunch of the creatures living inside the building and apparently the authorities are not allowed by some ancient law to dispose of them.

The programme was similar to the very long one we had sung at the Monks Road concert the previous week. With a couple of changes the full programme was:

Non Nobis Domine
Cwm Rhondda
Oliver
Venus
Nessun Dorma
Bless this House Brian C's solo)
Love Is All Around
Be Still My Soul
My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose
A Roving

Interval

The Lincolnshire Poacher
What a Wonderful World
Blue Moon
Rhythm of Life
What Would I Do Without My Music
I Dreamed A Dream
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Going Home
Gwahoddiad
Highland Cathedral

This was avery good way to end the concert season for the first half of the year. After a welcome summer break we will be back rehearsing again at the end of August.



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