The choir has been celebrating Christmas in many ways this year and here are summaries of all in which we have been involved.
Christmas Concert, St. Philip Neri Church, Mansfield, 2nd December
A lovely event celebrating Christmas in the spacious and beautiful St. Philip Neri Church. The choir is always pleased to perform in this location as undoubtedly it has the best acoustic of all the venues in Mansfield. The singing must be precise and well projected to ensure that the words in songs can be clearly heard as on occasions the sound echoes back for up to a second.
St. Philip Neri church choir is well established under the guidance of Maureen Tunney and always present a beautiful contrast of voices only possible with a mixed choir. Soaring soprano notes and deep and resonant bass notes were heard and combined to make their performance spell binding. Mansfield and District Male Voice choir were pleased to join the church choir to sing You Came Into this World which was written by Maureen and arranged by our very own Margaret Ball. It is a lovely tune, and the words revere and thank the coming of Jesus to give us meaning and guidance in our lives.
Certainly, Christmas felt nearer when the male voice choir, under the expert and unfailing guidance of our MD Ian Grice, opened the first half with Deck the Hall and the St. Philip Neri church choir started their first half set with Ding Dong Merrily On High.
A beautiful and haunting rendition of Mary Did You Know was performed by an ensemble of eight of the male voice choir choristers who call themselves The GentleMen. This was appreciated by the audience and both choirs alike.
A very clever arrangement of Joy to the World by Lowell Mason based on F.G. Handel and arranged by John Rutter was performed by the church choir and enjoyed by everyone. The stirring carol Hark the Herald Angels Sing closed the evening’s performance and the applause and involvement of the audience was a pleasure to experience. Refreshments in the church hall followed and the spirit of Christmas was undoubtedly abroad in the air.
Christmas Meal at The Carnarvon Arms, Teversal, 5th December 2022
With 63 guests numbers were reduced this year due to a virus circulating in the population, nevertheless a jolly time was had by all as we partook of the lovely festive fayre at The Carnarvon and sang numerous Christmas songs involving everyone, choristers and family members alike. Maureen Tunney (the lady in the white cardigan) kindly helped with conducting, as Ian Grice was ill, although she had not seen the music scripts. The choir carried it off and all felt involved and entertained. Margaret Ball is at the piano and Carlene Ashmore is sitting on the right of the photograph.
Carols and free sing at The Tavern, Skegby, 6th December
After choir practices on Tuesday evenings some of the choristers retire to the Tavern in Skegby. After discussions with John Wakeland, Ian Grice and Lynden Lowe we agreed to bring carols and music to the pub by way of thanks for their hosting free meals on previous occasions in the year. Ian Grice was still ill with the dreaded virus so his daughter Heidi Balajadia (nee Grice) kindly took up the conductorship. Phil Robinson our Assistant Musical Director was asked if this was acceptable to him and he gladly and thankfully took up his place as one of three basses on the evening. A raucous and enjoyable evening followed.
Christmas Memorial Service, Thoresby Chapel, Mansfield Crematorium, 10th December .
Residents attended a Mansfield memorial service, remembering lost loved ones in a touching celebration of life by a civil celebrant – delivering a strong message of hope this Christmas for mourners . Mansfield Crematorium hosted a Christmas Memorial Service with many residents in attendance. The service was a non-religious memorial, welcoming all beliefs and faiths – as civil funeral celebrant Katie Page led the touching service. Residents were invited to add tributes to the Derby Road crematorium memorial tree as part of the service. During the event, families shared images of their loved ones as readings, carols, and music from Newstead Brass Band, Mansfield Male Voice Choir, and vocalist Lauren Polimos filled the chapel.
Katie Page, the Mansfield celebrant leading the service, said: “The theme is memory, hope, and love.
“We know it is a very sad time for many but there is a celebration to be had about the lives lived by our loved ones, and I wanted to tap into that with the service. It was for everybody.
With a focus on offering families hope and comfort this Christmas. “It was a non-religious, community-focused, and family-orientated event.”
Katie thanked the community for their support at the service and said it was heartfelt to write and deliver a remembrance memorial to residents.
And she said although it is a sad time for many, she wanted the service to offer hope and celebrate life and love, which were key themes of the memorial.
The choir (reduced in number for this event) were invited to contribute to the annual memorial service held at Mansfield Crematorium.
The Thoresby Chapel was completely full of those who have lost a loved one during 2022 with more folks standing listening in the foyer.
We were honoured to participate in this well-planned service to help comfort and hope to everyone at Christmas. Inevitably, a few tears were shed.
Left to right
Ian Grice (MD), Kevan Jones, Geoff Hursthouse, Mick Tunney, Keith Turner, Peter Baugh (back row partially hidden), Howard Lawrence, Tony O’Connor, Margaret Ball (Accompanist), Ron Rack, Ian Bartle, Wesley Pierrepoint, Trevor Dyson, Geoff Mansfield, John Wakeland, Lynden Lowe, Phil Robinson.
Christmas Concert, Forest Town Arena, 15th December
Once again, the performance of both choir and band, together with the enthusiastic engagement of the audience really celebrated the beginning of Christmas. This concert is always a sell out and we entertained over 200 folks and ran out of tickets to sell so that we did not exceed the capacity of the building.
The band performed magnificently with lovely tonal variations and dynamics and the soloists made accomplished contributions in the band’s wide ranging and beautiful repertoire. The choir dressed in sparkling white shirts and Christmas ties gave a fulsome performance and the audience especially enjoyed the Medley of Christmas carols containing its surprises and pauses which bring humour and increase involvement.
The Choir Supporter’s Group put on a fabulous raffle with some expensive prizes and as ever the arrangements made by Forest Town Arena and Lynden Lowe our Concert Manager and not forgetting the two MD’s Ian and David worked so well together in providing another night to remember.
Civic Carol Service, St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Mansfield and with Radio Mansfield 103.2FM, 20th December
A truly wonderful event with contributions from the diverse representatives of Mansfield listed below.
Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir. Conductor Mr. Ian Grice, Accompanist Mr. John Marriott
The Dukeries Singers, Conductor Vicki Melling, Accompanist Mr. John Sellars
Forest Singers, Conductor Vicki Melling, Accompanist Mr, John Sellars
Edwinstowe Handbell Ringers
Mansfield Community Choir
St. Peter’s Academy Choir
Mr. Wes Dolan, Busker in Mansfield with Laura Wilcockson, Violinist
Mr. Tony Delahunty, Owner and MD of Radio Mansfield, Compere
Reverend Caroline Phillips, Vicar at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Mansfield
Reverend Pippa Scott, St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Mansfield
Mr. John Marriott, St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church Organist
Mr. Andy Abrahams, Executive Mayor of Mansfield
Mr. David Ainsworth, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Sherwood Forest Hospitals
Mr. Andrew Cropley, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Vision West Notts College
Mr. Paul Frost, Chairperson Mansfield Old Meeting House
Mrs. Kate Miller, Sherwood Forest Foodbank based in St. Edmund’s Church, Mansfield Woodhouse
Thank you so much for your part in the Civic Carol Service – you were fantastic and so uplifting!
As you can see a full agenda. The choir wishes everyone a truly Happy Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2023.