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Let All Men Sing – Choir Undaunted by Covid.

Northampton Male Voice Choir’s last performance before the Covid 19 lockdown was given on Friday 13 March when NMVC Lite competed in the Milton Keynes Festival of the Arts. The following week all NMVC rehearsals were suspended and all concerts cancelled indefinitely. To maintain the choir’s momentum, Musical Director, Stephen Bell immediately began exploring “virtual rehearsal” options and, a month later, the choir held its first lockdown rehearsal via Zoom. On line tutorials were held for choristers who needed help with the technology and a full programme of weekly, on-line “sectional” rehearsals began on 19 May with separate fortnightly rehearsals for the full choir and NMVC Lite. The on-line rehearsals have continued regularly every week, often with 60 plus choristers taking part and, during this time, the choir has kept busy learning 13 new songs including a 12-minute medley of songs from Guys & Dolls and 3 songs from West Side Story that have been specially arranged for the choir by its talented Principal Accompanist, Andy Poole. Amazingly, during lockdown, the choir has had more rehearsals than ever thanks to the hard work of its MD and Music Team and the desire and determination of the choristers to maintain momentum. Since lockdown began, MD Stephen has carried out interviews with over 30 choristers and members of the NMVC Music Team via Zoom which have been broadcast live on the NMVC YouTube channel. This channel also contains videos of “virtual” performances by the Choir during lockdown including NMVC Lite performing “Autumn Leaves”, “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose” and “The Sound of Silence”. And finally, some six months after lockdown, NMVC has held its first live, socially distanced and covid-compliant rehearsals at Kislingbury Cricket Club, giving the men a long awaited opportunity to meet up with each other safely and enjoy the great feeling of being able to sing together. An exciting opportunity has also arisen for the Choir to be represented by NMVC Lite at a socially distanced live concert to be held at the Deco Theatre, Northampton on Saturday 21 November to raise money for the Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund. NMVC is actively pursuing opportunities to give other covid-compliant performances to real live audiences and planning is underway for the recording of a new CD and an enormous Party in the Park before the end of 2020. For more information about NMVC please visit https://www.nmvc.co.uk/ NMVC YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWCKnjss8p1LrO1NonSf0KQ/videos For tickets and information about the Deco Theatre concert https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/one-...

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NMVC “Lite” Goes Live

Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) has recently diversified by forming a small, predominately a cappella, chorus to perform repertoire which the main choir would not normally sing. With no more than 20 members – selected by NMVC Musical Director, Stephen Bell – NMVC Lite is ideal for performing at smaller venues in which the 80 strong main Northampton Male Voice choir could not be accommodated. Currently The Lite is excitedly gearing up for its very first competitive event, having entered the Milton Keynes Festival of the Arts on 13 March. And the first two concert bookings for The Lite” have already been taken: Saturday 18 April: The Lite will perform at a Rotary Club Charity Concert in the Bede House, Higham Ferrers. Saturday 18 July: The Lite will perform as the special guests of Kettering’s “Decibelles” ladies choir at their “Showtime” concert in the United Reform Church, London Road, Kettering. For further information about NMVC Lite and all Lite booking enquiries please contact Stephen Bell on 07749...

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Another Sell-Out Annual Concert for Male Voice Choir

On 28 September, Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) under its Musical Director, Stephen Bell, together with special guests, Soprano, Emily Haig and the GUS Brass band, presented its 2019 Annual Concert to a capacity audience of 525 at Northampton High School, Hardingstone. The choir’s 2018 Annual Concert was also a sell-out, which is testament to its popularity and ability to entertain audiences. After a scintillating first half, which included a brand new selection of songs from the 75 men in the choir, the excited audience was treated to a rousing “Last Night at the Proms” style second half led by Emily Haig, complete with Union Jack flags and hats, red white and blue balloons and enthusiastic audience participation climaxing with a rousing rendition of “Land of Hope and Glory” followed by a lengthy standing ovation from the highly appreciative audience. The Annual Concert ended a busy summer for the choir which included a brief tour to Kent with concerts in Rochester Cathedral, Faversham, Sandwich and an open air concert on Whitstable Harbour where, in the space of an hour, the choir raised nearly £300 for RNLI Whitstable Lifeboat Station. For further details about Northampton Male Voice Choir see www.nmvc.co.uk For Emily Haig see www.emilyhaigsoprano.co.uk For Virtuosi Gus Band see...

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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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