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How We Started
The origins of the City of Lincoln Male Voice Choir go back to October 1994 and the demise of the Orpheous & Railway Choir.
Alan Sardeson, Ron Frost, Albert Colley and Neil Wilkinson met with the aim of forming a new choir drawn from members of the
former choir. Over the following weeks they established the name of the choir, what uniform it should wear, fees to be charged,
rehearsal venues and so on. As the City of Lincoln Male Voice Choir, they established a connection with the Mayor of Lincoln's office
that still exists today. Essentially, the choir became the 'Mayor's Choir' ready to perform at official functions when needed.
They chose the name, logo and uniform based on the existing badges of the city and the fact that using these well-known symbols
of Lincoln and Lincolnshire would help them to gain recognition within the local music circles.
The first Music Director, as well as Choir Chairman, was Alan Sardeson. The first Accompanist was Helen Garbett.
In these very early days the choir had no ready money so Ron Frost and Albert Colley each loaned the choir £300 to get established
with sheet music, payment for a reheasal venue, honoraria for the Conductor and Accompanist. The fee to be a member back then was a
mere £10 per annum!
By 1995, the choir had applied for and been given a grant of £3000 from the Sports and Arts Foundation. This
gave them the boost needed to advertise more widely for members, buy uniforms and increase the library of sheet music. By the 2000 AGM,
the choir boasted 24 members divided evenly between the four voice groups. At this time, Jane Foster was the Accompanist.
Ill health forced Alan Sardeson to relinquish his dual role as Chairman and Music Director. In 2004, Brian Cropley
became the choir's Chairman, a role he still performs today. Eric Hewes became the Music Director and Joyce Hainstock was the Accompanist.
Eric decided to move away from Lincolnshire in 2012. He was succeeded by the present Music Director Crauford Thomson. At the
same time Heather Benson began to stand in as both conductor and accompanist when occasion demanded it. In 2014 Joyce had to relinquish her role
as accompanist and Heather became her full-time successor.
For the last 15 years the choir has performed about 10 concerts each year, regularly raising funds for such charities
as the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, St Barnabas Hospice, the Notts/Lincs Air Ambulance, the City of Lincoln Mayor's chosen charity
and the Royal Air Force Association Wings Appeal. The choir has sung in concerts at venues throughout the county, in churches, village halls,
schools, gardening clubs, at flower festivals, weddings and official mayorial events. In more recent years the choir has sung twice at the
International Bomber Command Centre at their official openings.
From January 2019, the choir will discontinue singing monthly concerts, but instead will sing two or three major themed concerts
in major concert venues in and around the city.