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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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Heroes for Peace

Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) is proud and honoured to have been invited to take part in Heroes for Peace, a concert taking place at the Derngate Theatre, Northampton on Sunday 11 November 2018 in commemoration and celebration of the heroes of Northamptonshire during the First World War on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. NMVC, under its MD Stephen Bell, will be accompanying stories of Northamptonshire heroes Edgar Mobbs, Walter Tull, The Anglian Regiment and local people. This will be followed by a performance of The Armed Man sung by the Northampton Bach Choir and the Daventry Choral Society. The concert will feature: Graham McKechnie (BBC Radio Northampton), John Griff (BBC Radio Northampton), Dr Helen Stringer (Northampton High School For Girls) and  David Laing...

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Sell Out Annual Concert

  On 20 October, Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) under its Musical Director, Stephen Bell, performed to a capacity audience of 400 at The Cripps Theatre, Northampton School for Boys. The men were superbly supported by their special guests, the award winning ladies a cappella chorus “Junction 14” from Milton Keynes, who performed a brilliantly contrasting selection of songs from their repertoire. The concert ended with an impromptu finale with both choirs taking to the stage to give a rousing performance of “When the Saints Go Marching In” with enthusiastic audience participation. Having significantly increased its numbers by 35 men following a major recruitment initiative earlier in the year, this concert represents something of a musical watershed for NMVC which, at over 80 strong, is now one of the largest male voice choirs in the country and is entering a significant period of development in which it will expand its repertoire and further improve its very high...

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Fabulous Tour to Lincoln – September 2018

40 men from the Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC) with Musical Director, Stephen Bell and Piano Accompanist, Andrew Poole plus wives, partners and friends have just returned from a brief tour in which the choir performed in St Mary’s Church, Horncastle; the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral; St Nicholas Church, Lincoln (with members of the Lincoln Orpheus Male Voice Choir) and Southwell Minster. Musical Director, Stephen Bell, was delighted with the choir’s performances, which reached new heights of musicality receiving standing ovations from the audiences in the Lincoln Cathedral Chapter House (see photo) and the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Newport, Lincoln. The 40 men travelling on tour comprised just under half of the current full complement of NMVC singers and represented the choir superbly. NMVC is now looking forward to a busy schedule of autumn engagements including a joint concert with the touring Australian Welsh Male Choir on 9 October in the United Reform Church, Abington Road, Northampton and its Annual Concert on 20 October in The Cripps Theatre, Northampton School for Boys with guests, Junction14 Ladies A Capella Chorus from Milton Keynes. NMVC is, literally, going from strength to strength and, by its Annual Concert on 20 October, will have fully integrated 35 newly recruited members and will be boasting a complement of over 80...

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NMVC retain The Challenge Cup at Northampton Eisteddfod

We are proud to announce that NMVC have once again retained the challenge cup in the competitive Open Choirs section at the Northampton Eisteddfod. There was stiff competition from The Melody Choir, Junction 14 Ladies A Cappella and NMPAT Community Choir all of which gave fabulous performances. NMVC was rated outstanding and the adjudicator made the following comment: ‘This was a most moving and exceptional performance. A choir full of wonderful team work, great singers and real discipline’

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Northamptonshire Men Raise £15000 For Prostate Cancer UK

Northampton Men Raise £15,000 For Prostate Cancer UK  Saturday 14 April 2018 saw an amazing, sell-out concert at the Spinney Hill Theatre, Northampton  to raise money for PROSTATE CANCER UK attended by a delighted and enthusiastic, capacity audience of well over 600.  The concert, organised by Northampton Male Voice Choir (NMVC), included a “volunteer” choir of 62 men who had been recruited to form a scratch choir to help NMVC raise money for the Prostate Cancer charity. The combined total of 114 male voices were joined on stage by the superbly talented local soprano, Emily Haig and the evening was brilliantly compared by the Reverend Richard Coles, Vicar of Finedon.  Overall, and far exceeding the expectations of NMVC, the event raised a sensational total of £15,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.  Many of the men who joined up for the one-off, volunteer choir, being new to choral singing, were so inspired by the experience that they are now aiming to continue singing with the main Northampton Male Voice Choir.  The event was a fantastic achievement for Northampton Male Voice Choir who would like to thank everyone involved – from those taking part on stage, to those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, both on the day and during many months of preparation and everyone who so generously contributed to the marvellous £15,000 raised for Prostate Cancer UK....

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