2016 has been a momentous year. We’ve had a referendum and a presidential election which have been totally and completely unpredictable ( don’t let anybody tell you anything different), we’ve lost numerous well-known names in the world of entertainment and the arts and we’ve had, more than ever, the image of a very distressed world presented to us on a daily basis. I know that this is a recurring theme of my blog posts but I do think that we, as a choir, do offer something of a “shelter from the storm” in our own small way.
The focus of the choir during the dark, cold months of the year was in preparation for one of the most ambitious, if not the most ambitious, project in its history and the darkness was gloriously dispelled on March 13 2016 by a “Spring Sensation” at the Albert Hall, Nottingham. Accolades which the choir received for that event were unsurpassed and will love long in the memory of performers and audience alike ( performing also at that event were The Singers and the Notts Police Band). Anyone wanting to re-live that event may browse through the photograph album ( just follow the button at the bottom of the home page of the website) or watch the slideshow ( with audio) on YouTube
Spring also marked the passing of the Chairman’s baton from Geoff Mansfield, who had given such sterling work for the last 3 years, to Gordon Blanc. If you consult your thesaurus you will find words like “admirable”, “excellent”, “first-rate” and ”magnificent” as alternatives to the word “sterling” and you will have a better idea of Geoff’s contribution. Much appreciation should also be be recognised for the support and commitment of Marilyn Mansfield.
Gordon is an old campaigner himself with vast reserves of experience to draw on and is providing the leadership necessary for any choir.
Andy Rowland received his choir tie- a big step on the journey to becoming a full and active member of the Choir.
The Choir performed at the Sherwood Forest Community Church, Blidworth in May 2016 just as news was announced of the Choir receiving an invitation to take part in the Welsh Federation Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2018.
Work began on a project to create a new Choir website as a new and contemporary image, as well as a more effective way to communicate with our audience and members was thought necessary to take the Choir forward. The Committee worked with a local firm Dijitul who were able to help us achieve our goals. Special thanks to Charlotte Marshall and Dave Hartshorne of Dijitul for their work on the project. 2017 will see progress being made to add more content, including historic images to the “Timeline” section of the website. It is extremely important to celebrate the Choir’s heritage and to make archive material accessible to all.
Forward planning for future events continued including a trip by several committee members to Hull and to Beverley. We are looking forward to singing in 2017 with Hull Male Voice Choir and Beverley Male Voice Choir on the same weekend in June 2017. Behind the scenes work continued in preparation for other joint concerts, also eagerly anticipated, with Radcliffe on Trent Ladies Choir and Amersfoort Male Voice Choir ( Holland). Full details of all these future concerts are, of course, on our events page.
Choir resumed after the summer recess in September and travelled for the short trip to St George the Martyr and to that wonderful old church at North and South Clifton, Notts. On 15 October 2016 Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir teamed up, once again, with The Singers for the Sister Cities Concert at the Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Mansfield.
Jonathan Lee receives his Choir tie and makes his debut at the Sister Cities event.
Work began in earnest in preparation for the Royal Albert Hall event. Learning the programme for this event ( which includes several items in Welsh) is a significant challenge for the Choir. One of these items is the old Male Voice Choir standard, Comrades in Arms which has, already become a firm favourite with the choristers.
Christmas is a busy time for all choristers. The Mansfield & District MVC celebrated the season with seasonal music included in three separate joint concerts with three different guests. The first concert was at St Mark’s Church with Bestwood Male Voice Choir followed by the St Philips Church event with The Singers ( both on our own doorstep in Mansfield). The final event of the trilogy was the annual Christmas Concert at Forest Town Arena also in our hometown. The Forest Town is always such a popular event which is enjoyed by many who appreciate the male voice choir, brass band ( in this case the Shirebrook Miner’s Welfare Unison Band) and audience participation mix. Once again there is a photo album recording the evening on Flickr. Credits for all photography work this year is to Anne Shelley.
Anthony Bramley and Ray Jones who are both probationers with the Choir were able to sing with us at the Forest Town event.
One important milestone to record is that the Supporter’s Group have now raised over £10,000 for Choir funds by organising various events during the past three years . Our ladies, including Supporter’s Group Chair Sue Bartle, continue to do a fantastic job to support the Choir in such a wonderful way.
Looking back over the last year we have said farewell to Roy Crabtree, Denis Hales, Ray Smith, Paddy Crabtree, Kev Barden, Derek Beastall and Peter Hucklebridge. We recognize all of their contributions over many years and wish them all the best.
Thank you to all who made a contribution, to the Committee including secretary Eileen Lawrence to our fantastic music team of Meryl, Margaret and Ian. It’s been a wonderful year and we will start 2017 with eager anticipation. Happy New Year everyone!