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 JuneHartsholme House Concert
Saturday, 5 JulyEnd-of-Season Concert
Saturday, 19 JulyBracebridge Heath Gala
Saturday, 27 SeptemberReepham Church Concert
Saturday, 25 OctoberWashingborough Church Concert
Saturday, 8 NovemberPoppy Appeal Concert
Saturday, 13 DecemberCarols in the Bail
2015
Friday, 13 FebruaryWaddington Church Concert
Saturday, 7 MarchRAFA Concert
Friday, 19 JuneHartsholme House Concert
Saturday, 4 JulyEnd-of-Season Concert
Friday, 25 SeptemberNavenby Methodist Church Concert
Saturday, 7 NovemberPoppy 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
Thursday, 27 OctoberMiller Road Social Club Concert
Saturday, 12 NovemberPoppy Appeal Concert
Saturday, 26 NovemberNorth Scarle Concert
Saturday, 10 DecemberCarols in the Bail Concert
Saturday, 10 DecemberHartsholme House Carol Concert
Saturday, 17 DecemberTennyson Wharf Care Home Carol Concert
2017
Saturday, 4 MarchRAFA Wings Appeal Concert
Sunday, 30 AprilSt Johns Bracebridge Heath Concert
Wednesday, 2 MayNorth Hykeham Blind Club Concert
Saturday, 27 MayTennyson Wharf Care Home Concert
Saturday, 10 JuneHartsholme House Concert
Saturday, 1 JulyEnd-of-Season Concert
Friday, 22 SeptemberSt Mary's Horncastle Concert
Friday, 6 OctoberBunkers Hill Care Home Concert
Saturday, 11 NovemberPoppy Appeal 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.



Millers Road Social Club Concert, 27 October 2016

This concert was arranged by Bill Leaper, one of our basses, who is a member of the Social Club.

Millers Road Social Club

The room we were in was a little challenging in terms of space available, but we all had a nice cumfy seat and were soon ready for the off.

A Tight Squeeze

Starting at the slightly later time of 8pm, we sang about half of a normal concert programme without any solo voice items. The programme we sang was:

Oh How Lovely Is The Evening
A Roving
Sailing
Rhythm of Life
Cwm Rhondda
What a Wonderful World
Blue Moon
The Lincolnshire Poacher
Somebody's Calling My Name
I Dreamed A Dream
Gwahoddiad
Highland Cathedral

This might not have been the largest audience that we have entertained, but it was certainly one of the most appreciative.

Our Audience

While we may take part in far larger fund raising programmes such as the Poppy Concert (coming next on 12 November) this was nevertheless a most rewarding experience bringing music and entertainment to smaller groups such as this.



Poppy Appeal Concert, 12 November 2016

For the seventh 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 (RBL) Poppy Appeal.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

We were once again blessed with a sell-out audience that filled the church and once again the audience was both appreciative of and enthusiastic for our music. We were delighted to welcome back special guests Nick Fairfax, the RBL Community Fundraiser for the Lincolnshire County and Mrs Sheila Woods, possibly nationally the most highly decorated RBL volunteer now proudly completing 68 years of continual service for the charity. The badges she proudly wears are unique in their number and record of achievement.

Nick Fairfax

Mrs Sheila Woods

Both had kindly agreed to play a central role in events towards the end of the concert.

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 RBL community. For example, Henry produced beautiful flyers, tickets and concert programmes all with the Poppy Appeal logo. Several choir members provided either raffle prizes and/or plates of foods for the buffet. Julian provided the solo to end the first half, while Heather not only accompanied us with her usual skills, but also played the cornet during the Act of Remembrance.

The choir sang slightly fewer pieces in this concert to allow time towards the end for the Act of Remembrance and the community singing. That said, 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:

Oh, How Lovely Is The Evening
Somebody's Calling My Name
What A Wonderful World
Lincolnshire Poacher
Blue Moon
Oliver Medley
Memory
Sailing
Time To Say Goodbye (Con te partiṛ)(Julian's solo)


In Full Swing

Julian's solo was a real tour de force. In the past the choir collectively and individually have sung in Latin, French and even Hebrew, but this was the first time someone had sung in the original Italian. Julian sang with real emotion, skillfully reaching the higher notes and ending with the wonderfully climactic top finale sung to perfection. He deservedly earned the longest and most enthusiastic applause of the whole evening.

Julian's Solo

The second half included:

I Dreamed A Dream
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Nessun Dorma
Speed Your Journey
Non Nobis Domine

We were once again expertly supported by Heather with her very accurate and sympathic accompaniment.

Heather in her element

At the end of the concert proper, Steve led the gathering in a traditional Act of Remembrance for the Fallen. After Heather had played the Last Post, Mrs Sheila Wood to give 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

Before we all went through to the hall for a light buffet supper, there was one last event. The RBL has a system of recognising long and dedicated service to the charity by volunteers. Four volunteers from the local area had completed ten years of such service. Nick Fairfax's final duty of the evening was to make the presentations on behalf of the RBL. This public event was the ideal setting to give these volunteers the public recognition and accolade that they deserved.

Richard and Joyce Dimbleby

Ruth and Natan Abraham

All in all this had been a hugely successful concert with full house, great singing, solemn commemoration, community spirit, an awards ceremony, a high class raffle and a plentiful buffet. The event raised £572 for the Poppy Appeal and we are booked to repeat the concert next year on 11 November.



All Saints Church North Scarle Concert, 26 November 2016

The choir had not sung in this beautiful church before. This concert came about because a member of the church contacted us through the website and asked if we were available to do a concert in late November. Happily, we were.

All Saints Church, North Scarle

Having only recently sung at the very successful Poppy Appeal concert, Crauford sensibly chose much of that programme of music with one or two additions to make up for the space taken in the Poppy concert by the Act of Remembrance and community singing. On this occasion Brian Oldfield did the voice solo in the first half.

The full programme was:

Somebody's Calling My Name
What a Wonderful World
Blue Moon
Oliver
Memory
Some Enchanted Evening (Brian's solo)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Nessun Dorma
Non Nobis Domine

Interval

Oh How Lovely Is The Evening
A Roving
The Lincolnshire Poacher
Sailing
Rhythm of Life
Cwm Rhondda
I Dreamed A Dream
Speed your Journey
Gwahoddiad
Highland Cathedral

The church was filled to capacity and the audience gave the choir a really warm and enthusiastic reception throughout the concert.



Carols in the Bail, 10 December 2016

We returned for a third visit to the Bailgate Methodist Church for another 'Carols 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 2015. We wanted to offer well-known carols sung in harmony by the choir, plus those that allowed the audience to join in. This year Crauford called for just one voice from each of the four voice groups to sing a couple of verses within 'Once in Royal David's City' and the third verse of 'Silent Night'. Steve was the 1st tenor soloist, Julian represented the 2nd tenors, Henry the Baritones and Mick the Basses.This proved to be a very effective alternative to the whole choir and enabled the beautiful harmonies to be heard with great clarity. Crauford gave final reminders before the off.

Final Briefing

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 Noël (with the audience)

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 2017. One final amusing note: Keith had asked to have a special 'Carols in the Bail' banner made using the dimensions 4 inches by 12 feet. The banner makers mis-heard the instructions with the result that we are now the proud owners of a banner 4 feet by 12 feet!!!

Our Huge Banner



Hartsholme House Carols, 10 December 2016

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 with one enthusiastic resident joining Crauford to help with the conducting!

We were delighted once again to bring so much pleasure and social interaction to folks who benefitted so much from our singing.

Carol Concert
Tennyson Wharf Care Home
Burton Waters
17 December 2016

The choir had sung in April 2015 at the official opening of the Tennyson Wharf Care Home. We were delighted, therefore, to be asked to return to the Burton Waters facility to end our concert programme for 2016 bringing yet more pleasure and social stimulation to folks in need.

Tennyson Wharf Care Home

We sang the same programme of carols as we had at the two concerts on 10 December, the only change being that Will sang the solo 1st tenor parts. At the final rehearsal of the year to prepare for this concert, we found that none of the lights in our rehearsal venue was working. Rather than give up, we called on modern technology and managed to complete a meaningful practice by the light of mobile phones! This was an amusing precedent we set, but we hope it will not be repeated too often.

Carols by Phone Light!

From all the choir, we wish those reading our website a very enjoyable festive season and success and health in 2017.



RAFA Wings Appeal Concert, 4 March 2017

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

North Hykeham Methodist Church

Conscious that we were here only last November for the Poppy Appeal concert, the choir had been working on a lot of new/revised material that we had not sung in ages. The programme therefore had a very different look and sound to it with more focus on swing numbers. Heather, as usual, provided her excellent support and enabled the choir to give of their best

Heather ready for the off

There was also a new look to the choir. In rehearsals we had found that we sounded better and could hear each other better when we were in three rows with two abreast per voice group. We therefore had less width, greater depth and could hear each other with greater clarity. So we took this seating arrangement for the first time to a concert and it was a resounding success with many from the audience afterwards saying how marvellous a sound we made with each voice group clearly audible and in harmony with the others.

New Choir Formation

The new-look programme included one or two old favourites, but we also gave 'Lullaby of Birdland' its first public outing and we re-introduced songs and medleys not sung for several years. Steve was the voice soloist on this occasion

Steve's Solo

The full programme was:

The Real Undoing
Venus
A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
I Dreamed A Dream
Memory
Halleluja by Leonard Cohen (Steve's solo)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon

Interval

Lullaby of Birdland
The Way We Were
Softly As I Leave You
When The Saints Go Marching In
Somebody's Calling My Name
What a Wonderful World
Just Jolson Medley
Rhythm of Life
Kings of Swing Medley

Immediately after the programme proper, Steve then called all on the audience to stand and join the choir in the singing of the Airman's Hymn. Mick Armiger, the Chairman of the Lincoln Branch of the RAF Association, then announced the raffle draw and finally declared that the evening had raised just short of £400. Much pleased with all our efforts everyone then retired to the hall for a well-earned supper

A Worthy Feast!

The whole evening had proved once again to be a huge success, both in terms of our support for this wonderful charity and also in terms of the successful development of the choir with its new seating plan and fresh selection of music. We are booked to return here again next year on 3 March.



St John's Church Bracebridge Heath Concert, 30 April 2017

The choir had not sung in this beautiful church for several years. We enjoyed the unusual experience of starting the concert mid-afternoon on a Sunday.

St John's Church, Bracebridge Heath

There were one or two differences in the choir's personnel for this concert. First, Heather was recovering from problems with her arms, so Ann Osborne deputised for her in her usual excellent and very supportive way.

Ann in Full Swing

Next, Crauford was otherwise engaged for this concert, so Heather deputised for him.

Heather Ready for the Off

Finally, this concert saw two firsts in that this was the first time we sang 'Lullaby of Broadway' in concert and this was the first time that recently-arrived 1st tenor Eric Farthing sang in a concert with the choir.

The concert programme continued our move to a mix of more traditional songs interspersed with 'Swing' numbers. Brian Cropley sang the voice solo in the first half.

The full programme was:

The Real Undoing
Venus
A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
I Dreamed A Dream
Lullaby of Broadway
Bless This House(Brian's solo)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon

Interval

Kings of Swing Medley
The Way We Were
Softly As I Leave You
Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In
Somebody's Calling My Name
Rhythm of Life
Just Jolson Medley
What a Wonderful World
Lullaby of Birdland

Unusually, the concert organisers had arranged the raffle draw and light refresments during the interval causing the latter to be rather longer than normal. But we were all in fine voice for the second half, ably led and supported by Heather and Ann.



North Hykeham Blind Club Concert Concert, 2 May 2017

We returned once again to the delightful North Hykeham Methodist Church to give the Blind Club a 3rd concert.

North Hykeham Methodist Church

Although we visit here twice a year for the Poppy Appeal and RAF Association Wings Appeal concerts, on this occasion the audience was very different. There were some 30 sight-impaired club members plus about 9 helpers all enjoying the stimulating effect of music.

Club Members

At our recent concert in Bracebridge Heath, we marked the first involvement of 1st Tenor Eric Farthing. Today marked the first involvement of recently-arrived Bass Steve Vaughan. Crauford was back with us, but Ann once again provided the wonderful accompaniment.

Ann at the Ready

In these 'Half Concerts' lasting about 45 minutes we do not have a solo voice number. Drawing on our new material alongside the more traditional items we sang:

Lullaby of Broadway
Blue Moon
A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
I Dreamed A Dream
Just Jolson Medley
Softly As I Leave You
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In
Lullaby of Birdland

There is very little space in the room, so we usually have a 'reduced' choir of about 13, but one or two extra members turned up making it all a bit of a squash.

Quarts in Pint Pots

This did mean, though, that we had a very full and balanced choir that made wonderful music for the Club members. Afterwards, we had terrific feedback from the Club and will almost certainly be asked to return again next year.



Choir Concert
Tennison Wharf Care Home
Burton Waters
27 May 2017

Following the choir's very successful carol concert here last December, we returned to this beautiful care home in Burton Waters to bring yet more pleasure and social stimulation to folks in need.

Tennison Wharf Care Home

As usual when we sing at care homes, the concert was about a half of what we would normally do, a 'half set' as Crauford likes to call these concerts, or 'gigs' in his parlance.

In these reduced concerts that last about 45 minutes we do not have a solo voice number. Drawing on our new material alongside the more traditional items we sang:

A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
Somebody's Calling My Name
Rhythm of Life
Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In
I Dreamed A Dream
Lullaby of Broadway
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon
Lullaby of Birdland

With Heather still hors de combat, we were very grateful to Kathleen Burg for being our accompanist at this concert.

Each time we come here the audience is larger than before and this was no exception. Everyone really enjoyed the music we sang to them and they look forward to our carol concert next December.



Hartsholme House Concert, 10 June 2017

Following the success of our carol concert here last December, the choir returned to the Hartsholme House Care Home to offer the residents more musical entertainment and stimulation.

Hartsholme House Care Home

Having very recently completed a similar concert at the Tennyson Wharf Care Home in Burton Waters, it made sense for us to sing the same programme at this concert. Namely:

A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
Somebody's Calling My Name
Rhythm of Life
Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In
I Dreamed A Dream
Lullaby of Broadway
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon
Lullaby of Birdland

With Heather still hors de combat, we were very grateful on this occasion to Anne Osborne for being our accompanist.

As we have become used to at this venue, there was a lot of audience participation including whistling, helping with the conducting and joining in the choruses. It was all good fun and we look forward to returning here in December for the carol concert.



End-of-Season Concert
1 July 2017
All Saints Church, Monks Road, Lincoln

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, recently appointed as the Mayor of Lincoln, having attended the concert two years previously when he was Deputy Mayor. He was accompanied by the Mayor's Consort, Councillor Sue Burke, and by the City Sheriff, Ms Jo Rimmer.

All saints Church, Monks Road, Lincoln

Having entered the church and paid at the door, the visitor is next greeted by Lorna (of whom more later) who invariably succeeds in selling at least £1-worth of raffle tickets.

Raffle Tickets??

We began the concert this year in a very different way. Having made sure we all knew where we would be sitting, we then proceeded to the rear of the church and re-assembled hopefully, but not necessarily successfully, in a mirror image of how we would be seated once back on the stage. We were now ready to make our grand entrance.

Ready For The Off

With a couple of starting notes from a distant piano, we launched into 'A Roving' without the comfort blanket of folders of sheet music. At a signal from Crauford, we then processed, more or less in pairs and more or less in the right order, all the while singing back down the church to return to our places on the stage.

Entry of the Gladiators!

Having arrived back on stage, we not only completed 'A Roving' without comfort blankets, but we then went on to sing 'My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose' also from memory.

Note the absence of folders!

For this concert we were delighted to have Heather back with us after having recovered from recent poor health. In her inimitable style, she provided wonderful accompaniment throughout the concert.

Welcome Back, Heather!

For the rest of the concert we reverted to using our music folders, which is just as well because there is only one other item we know by heart.

Comfort Blankets at Last!

During the first have, Julian sang a most beautiful solo piece, 'Con te partiṛ (Time To Say Goodbye) in Italian. It deservedly received a huge round of applause

Julian's Solo

The concert programme continued our theme this year of a mix of more traditional songs interspersed with 'Swing' numbers. In the first half we sang:

A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
Somebody's Calling My Name
Lullaby of Broadway
I Dreamed A Dream
'Con te partiṛ (Time To Say Goodbye)(Julian's Solo)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon
Lullaby of Birdland

After the interval and before we began the second half, Steve announced that today was the 92nd birthday of Lorna (his mother-in-law), who had run the raffle. The Mayor of Lincoln had kindly agreed to present Lorna with a bouquet of flowers, much to Lorna's total surprise.

92 Years Young

After giving Lorna a few very kind words of congratulation and appreciation for her support to the choir, Councillor Burke then led everyone in singing Happy Birthday to Lorna.

Happy Birthday to Lorna

We then launched into a rather long, but very enjoyable second half of the concert. We performed the first song, 'Love Is All Around' in a new manner with a single voice from each section singing the verses with the whole choir joining in for the choruses. In all in the second half we sang:

Love Is All Around
Memory
The Way We Were
Softly As I Leave You
Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In
What a Wonderful World
Just Jolson Medley
Rhythm of Life
Kings of Swing Medley

Happily, this was once again a hugely successful concert before a sizeable and very appreciative audience. We had the added privilege of the presence of the Civic Party, a birthday celebration, a delightful buffet supper afterwards and extra pennies in the bank, much to our Treasurer's delight.

We have the Annual Dinner at the Carpenters, Fiskerton, on 4 July, and a very enjoyable special short concert on 6 July to celebrate a 100th birthday. After that, we take a much earned rest from singing over the Summer returning at the end of August.



St Mary's Church, Horncastle Concert
22 September 2017

Arriving in the modest town of Horncastle for our first concert of the 2017/2018 season, we were surprised and delighted to see the huge, imposing and beautifully designed St Mary's Church. It proved acoustically as well to be a delightful concert venue.

The Imposing St Mary's Church

What was also welcome to see was the large and very appreciative audience who enjoyed our programme of music. Also delighted was Heather, who for once had a beautiful grand piano to play.

Heather in Her Element

With the new season came new music. Crauford's plan is to introduce more folk music. We resurrected from our library such old favourites as 'Sally Gardens' and gave the choir's first ever outing to a haunting setting of the famous WW1 poem 'In Flanders Fields Where Poppies Grow' written by John Mcrae. The musical setting was written by local Lincolnshire composer Robert Steadman. This is sure to be hugely appreciated at the Poppy Appeal concert in November.

The voice solo in the first half came from Steve, who sang two German Lieder, Brahms's Wiegenlied (Lullaby), which he sang in German and Schubert's Heidenroeslein, which he sang in English.

Steve's Solo

The first half of the concert was:

A Roving
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
Lullaby of Broadway
I Dreamed A Dream
Wiegenlied and Heidenroeslein (Steve's solo)
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon
Lullaby of Birdland
Highland Cathedral

In between the music Crauford kept the audience entertained with his witty anecdotes and background information on what we were about to sing. Even the choir, who had heard most of his shtick before, continued to be amused.

Crauford in Full Flow

After a half-time interval that included the option to have a glass of wine, the choir began the second-half programme with a short piece of music we usually use for a voice warm up at the start of a rehearsal, but, sung as a three-part round, it was a very suitable way to get the concert underway again. The second half programme was:

O how Lovely is the Evening (Round)
Down By The Sally Gardens
The Way We Were
Softly As I Leave You
Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In
What a Wonderful World
In Flanders Fields [First Outing]
Nessun Dorma
Speed Your Journey
Gwahoddiad

Contrary to Crauford's contention that we never look up to respond to his directions, we now have proof that, if only for a few moments, he had our undivided attention, even if Tony was seeking inspiration from a higher power.

All Eyes (Almost) on Crauford

All in all, this was a very enjoyable and successful way to get the new concert season underway. Hopefully, we will have the pleasure of returning to this beautiful venue next year.



Bunkers Hill Care Home Concert
6 October 2017

This was the first time the choir had sung in the Bunkers Hill Care Home. On arrival, we were delighted to see a very modern, neat and well-maintained building whose interior was equally pleasing to the eye.

Bunkers Hill Care Home

The room we sang in was large, airy and offered plenty of space for us and for Heather, who was well in her comfort zone using her own keyboard.

Heather in her Comfort Zone

Many in the large audience, as might be expected, were in one way or another infirm, but space was found for everyone and they certainly showed plenty of enthusiasm once the singing began.

Some of our Appreciative Audience

This was also the concert debut for our new baritone, Howard (rear row just behind Keith). At the last concert in Horncastle he had been in the audience, but must have realised we were enjoying ourselves too much, so joined the ranks.

Howard's Debut

We drew on the programme that we had sung in Horncastle, but, as we normally do in care homes, the concert lasted only 45 minutes and so included no solo voice. The full programme was:

A Roving
Somebody's Calling My Name
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
Lullaby of Broadway
I Dreamed A Dream
Down By The Sally Gardens
When The Saints
Can't Help Falling In Love With You
Blue Moon
Lullaby of Birdland
Highland Cathedral

The whole concert was a great success and we could clearly see how much the residents of this care home responded positively to and were stimulated by hearing songs they knew from of old. This is another venue we would be very happy to visit again.



Poppy Appeal Concert 11 November 2017

2017 marked the eighth year that we have 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 to welcome the Civic Party from Lincoln - Mayor and Mayor's Consort, Councillor Chris Burke and Councillor Sue Burke, together with Sheriff and Sheriff's Consort, Ms Jo Rimmer and Mr Kraig Needs. They were joined by the Mayor of North Hykeham, Councillor Ross Little. Knowing how very full their diaries must be at this time of year, we were especially privileged and honoured that they all chose to be with us this evening.

Our Distinguished Guests

Another exceptionally busy person who chose to be with us was Nick fairfax, the Community Fundraiser for the whole county of Lincolnshire. Throughout the 4 weeks of Remembrancetide, Nick has the huge task of co-ordinating the activities, the demands, the cries for help and the need for support of well over 100 Poppy Appeal Organisers. We felt really encouraged by his presence.

Nick Fairfax

Steve, who is the Poppy Appeal Organiser for the local 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. Julian 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.

Poised for the Off

The choir enjoy singing at this venue because there is plenty of lateral space that allows us to be seated in three rows with sufficient elbow room to avoid any sense of being crowded together. Compared to some venues we use where we are all on top of each other, this church is a joy to be in.


Enjoying the Space

Julian chose for his solo the Edith Piaf song, Ne me quitte pas (If You Go away). At last year's concert he sang in Italian so this year he added French to his linguistic repertoire.

Julian's Solo

Crauford had chosen a programme of music that contained very little that we had sung at this venue last November. This time he included some new swing numbers and some more traditional folk songs. Another innovation was to sing the first three numbers unaccompanied by the keyboard. The first half of the concert was:

A Roving
Somebody's Calling My Name
My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
O How Lovely Is The Evening
Ne Me Quitte Pas (Julian's solo)
Down By The Sally Gardens/Miller of Dee
Halleluyah
When The Saints

After a short interval, we headed into a second half that was deliberately shorter than the first half to allow time for the Act of Remembrance. The second half programme was:

Highland Cathedral
The Way We Were
Softly As I Leave You
Blue Moon
Lullaby of Birdland
Lullaby of Broadway

Steve then introduced the Act of Remembrance. To enable everyone to transition from the generally light-hearted elements of the main concert to the more sombre tone needed for the Act of Remembrance, Crauford had obtained an emotionally powerful and heart-rending setting of the famous poem by John McRae: 'In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow'. The music had been arranged by local Lincolnshire composer Robert Steadman.

We were very privileged again 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 69 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

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.

Ready for 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. Before everyone retired to the main hall for a delicious buffet supper, Steve announced that the evening had once again raised over £500 for the Poppy ASppeal. He also announced that the choir was booked to give the concert again next year on 10 November.

This had proved to be one of the most successful and well-received concerts we had ever given for the Poppy Appeal. Comments afterwards included praise for the balance and variety of the chosen songs, the quality of the singing, the emotional impact of the Act of Remembrance and its opening song and the sheer enjoyment of the community singing at the end.



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