Posts by northamptonmvc

Northampton Male Voice Choir Honours Long Serving Member

At its AGM on 25 June NMVC’s elder statesman, 85 year old Mike Davis, retired from his post on the Executive Committee and was presented with a large, framed photo of the Choir signed by the members in recognition of the magnificent service he has given to the choir. Mike, a Vice President of the Choir, began singing at the tender age of 7 as a chorister in his local church. He joined the former Northampton Men’s Own Choir in 1953, aged 19, and when, like many a teenager, his thoughts began to turn to other pursuits the Choir’s then Musical Director, George Goode, recognised Mike’s great singing talent and persuaded him to remain with the choir. Some 66 years later and Mike is still singing with the choir, which was renamed Northampton Male Voice Choir in 1980. A dedicated member of the First Tenor section, Mike has been a member of the Choir’s Executive Committee for 55 years. He was Choir Secretary from 1961 to 1993 and, before the age of computers and word processing, would conscientiously write out all the committee minutes by hand. Through his contacts at Northampton Borough Council, Mike was personally involved when, in 1980, the Choir was granted the privilege of incorporating the Northampton Coat of Arms into its uniform badge. Speaking at the AGM, NMVC Chairman, John Waller, said “Mike Davis is the perfect male voice chorister. He has a great voice and an infectious love of singing. His commitment is one hundred per cent and he is a great role model for all choristers. He enjoys the camaraderie; likes a pint and is a leader in “afterglows” – usually with a broad smile on his face. His contribution to the choir over 66 years as a member and by serving 55 years as a committee member has been immense and will probably never be repeated.” NMVC Musical Director, Stephen Bell, added “Mike Davis is solely responsible for asking me to become MD for the choir. It’s all his fault! Mike’s constant encouragement and support has been invaluable to me during my tenure as Musical Director of NMVC. I would go so far as to say that, without Mike Davis, the catalyst for recruitment campaigns and growth would simply not have happened.” Mike, whose favourite song is “What Would I Do Without My Music”, said “I’m thrilled and honoured that my involvement with the choir has been acknowledged in this way. It’s always been my wish for Northampton to be the home of a great male voice choir. Being a member of this wonderful choir has become a huge part of my life and I will strive to remain a member for as long as I...

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NMVC retains Challenge Cup at 2019 Northampton Eisteddfod

We are proud to announce that NMVC, under its Musical Director Stephen Bell, has once again retained the Challenge Cup with a 1st place in the Competitive Open Choirs section at the Northampton Eisteddfod on Sunday 19 May where we were up against some very stiff competition indeed from Kettering’s Melody Choir and the Junction 14 Ladies A Cappella Chorus from Milton Keynes.   For many of the large intake of new NMVC members since last year’s Eisteddfod this was their first taste of competitive singing and they rose superbly to the occasion enabling NMVC to continue its run of success at this event.   In his summing up of NMVC’s performance the Adjudicator made commented:   “This is a fine choir which sings with great discipline”   (MJB May...

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NMVC Welcomes German Visitors

Two years after its highly successful tour to the Marburg* area of Germany at the invitation of the Liederkranz-Germania Choir from Ober-Erlenbach, NMVC will be playing host to a party of seventy German men and women singers from Ober-Erlenbach and Marburg during their visit to Northampton in June.   The great friendship between NMVC and the German choirs began in 2015 during NMVC’s tour to Exeter when they stayed in the same hotel as the Liederkranz-Germania Choir and shared some impromptu, late night “concerts” in the hotel bar. In 2017 the Liederkranz-Germania choir celebrated its 175th anniversary and invited NMVC to visit them in Germany and join them in their anniversary celebrations.   After arriving in the UK the previous day, the German tourists will meet the Mayor of Northampton on Friday 21 June before going on to visit several sites in the area. That evening the German choir(s) will join forces with NMVC to perform at a joint concert in St Giles Church, Northampton starting at 7pm.   Tickets for the joint concert on 21 June are £8 and will be available from NMVC Concert Secretary, David Walsh  Tel: 01604 831455  –  email: concertsecretary@nmvc.co.uk.   On Saturday the tourists will spend the day in Oxford and in the evening they are scheduled to attend a performance of the Berlioz Requiem performed by Northampton Bach Choir and Orchestra da Camera in St Matthews Church, Kingsley, Northampton.   On Sunday NMVC will be hosting a private function to bid farewell to its German friends who will be returning home the next day.   *The Town of Marburg is twinned with...

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Male Voice Choir Sings for Hope

On Saturday 16 March Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) under its Musical Director, Stephen Bell, teamed up with Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Soprano Faryl Smith to perform at All Saints Church, Northampton before a large and highly appreciative audience, including the Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Tony Ansell and the Mayors of several other Northamptonshire towns. The Concert was held in aid of the Northampton Hope Centre which helps the homeless, poor and vulnerable in our community. The Hope Centre is Councillor Ansell’s nominated charity and he was delighted that the concert raised over £2000 for such a deserving cause. Faryl Smith, who is currently studying at The Guildhall School of Music, performed a spellbinding programme of songs and joined forces with NMVC in singing “The Rose”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and “An American Trilogy”. This was NMVC’s first concert in what looks like being another very busy year for the choir in which it will be continuing to expand its already extensive repertoire and further improve its very high standards. The programme showcased three newly learned songs “Danny Boy”, “My Heart Will Go On” and “Music of the Night”. Three more new songs are soon to be added, with more in the pipeline. NMVC “Lite”, a smaller, mainly A Capella chorus of NMVC choristers, performed “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King and two barbershop songs, “We Were Gathering up the Roses” and “My Evaline”. NMVC’s next concert will be at The Holy Cross Church, Pattishall, Northants, on Saturday 27 April starting at 7:30pm. For further details about Northampton Male Voice Choir and its full concert programme please check out the NMVC website on https://www.nmvc.co.uk/concerts/ Information about Faryl Smith may be found at...

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New Recruits have an Amazing Musical Year with Northampton Male Voice Choir

Choristers recruited during 2018 reflect on their journey with the choir so far.   Little did we know that, as the bells rang in New Year 2018, Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) was primed and ready to launch a major recruitment campaign that would challenge Northamptonshire’s men to learn to sing and, by doing so, raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.   In February over 70 men turned out to an open event held over two evenings at Franklins Gardens – home of Northampton Saints RFC (where the offer of a free pint was certainly an incentive to attend.) NMVC’s charismatic Musical Director, Stephen Bell fired up our interest and then threw down a challenge for us to learn to sing two songs and then perform them at a concert in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.   Over sixty of us took up that challenge and the charity Concert held at the Spinney Hill Theatre on 14 April, in front of a sell-out audience of 600, was a tremendous success – raising a magnificent £15,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. Immediately after the performance, while we were still backstage and positively buzzing from the experience, Stephen asked us if we would like to take part in further training with a view to joining NMVC. For many of us the answer was a resounding “Yes, please”!   In September thirty-five of us finally completed our further training and were extremely proud to be formally welcomed as members of NMVC. Our joining made NMVC one of the biggest male choirs in the country.   Thanks to NMVC and its Musical Director, Stephen Bell, 2018 was a truly amazing year for us all and one in which we found (and in some cases rekindled) a real love of choral singing. Beyond our wildest dreams it saw us singing in a wide variety of concerts and venues, including sell-out events at Northampton’s Cripps, Spinney Hill and Derngate Theatres and, to round the whole year off, at Franklin’s Gardens on 28 December in front of 15000 Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs fans. As new recruits we have now firmly established ourselves in the Choir bringing the total of Chorister’s to 90 and helping the NMVC raise £25,000 in 2018 for charities and good causes.   Some of the personal feedback received from recruits:   “Early in 2018 I started a journey of learning to sing having never sung publicly before. Over the past months I have sung in front of 600 people, a full house, at the Derngate and at Franklins Garden in front of 15,000. What a fantastic journey and experience! I can’t wait to perform in the Concerts planned in 2019.”   “I decided to attend NMVC’s Charity Challenge as I had never sung before and I was curious to find out if I was actually able to sing, as well as challenging myself to do something completely out of my comfort zone. On a more personal note, the opportunity to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK resonated with me, having lost my father to cancer in 2017. Although initially daunting, the whole experience was fantastic and the thrill of the singing at the Charity Concert in April at the Spinney Hill Theatre is something that will stay with me.”   “I was unsure but decided to go along to the evening at the Saints ground. I was struck by the friendliness of the members and the charisma of Stephen Bell along with the free pint – it was like taking the King’s shilling – I wanted to join!!! I was and still...

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