1926 Rainworth Male Voice Choir formed,
Musical Director:- Mr. William Priest
Pianist Mrs Hogg and Mr George Wright
1931 Mansfield Orpheus formed
Conductor Mr Sidney Clayton
Practiced on Tuesday evenings (still the same today) at Eakring Road Methodist Church until 1937 then Leeming Street Methodist Chapel
Subscriptions were 2d
First Song was Comrades in Arms
Entered many local music festivals
1944 Amalgamation of Rainworth Male Voice Choir, Stanton Hill MVC and Mansfield Orpheus under MD Mr Arthur Henshaw.
1948 to 1969
An illustrious period under MD Harry Smith who served for 21 years
Many festivals wins at national level
Annual Celebrity concerts include Max Jaffa Trio, Jacqeuline Dellman and Dame Joan Hammond.
Mr Smith awarded OBE for his efforts.
In 1956 one chorister, Mr Joe Commons met and sang with Pavarotti.
In 1966 following a famous win at the Cheltenham Festival the choir won the right to bear the Mansfield Coat of arms on their uniforms.
Mr Cecil Girling was choir chairman throughout this period.
1970 to 2000
Harry Smith’s brother Arthur took over in 1969 until 1976.
More wins at music festivals.
During this period the choir had 10 MD’s including Terry Holt, Terry Moore, Meryl Chambers, Roger Holland and Jean Ward.
The choirs had a range of over 140 different choristers in this period.
Strong relationships built with Heiligenhaus out sister town in Germany with a number of exchange visits and concerts.
2001 to 2008
Reduced choir members and many changes of officials. Changes in local economy meant fewer of our population being interested in choral music. The persistence of the choir committee in 2002 resulted in the return of Meryl Chambers as MD in 2003 and Accompanist Margaret Ball in 2002. Since then the choir has enjoyed stability and growth in numbers from a low of 14 to a high of over 50 today A Deputy Musical Director (Ian Grice) was appointed from the choir in 2007. Key achievements were:
2003 Musical Director :- Meryl Chambers and Accompanist Margaret Ball
2004 National Lottery’ 10th Anniversary celebrations at the Tate Modern
2007 Deputy Musical Director:- Ian Grice
2009 to Present
Returned to full strength.
Achievements include singing at No. 10 Downing Street, concerts with choirs in Pembroke, Bury St Edmunds and two major concerts with The Welsh National choir Association in the Royal Albert Hall in London (2009) and the Manchester Evening News arena in 2012.In both concerts there were over 900 male voices on stage.
Eight day visit to Wales in 2012 singing with four choirs in various locations and raised over £2,200 for various charities.
Mansfield & District MVC have contributed to the raising of a total of £17,600 for charitable work since 2013 ( including joint events with other choirs).
Meryl Chambers stepped down as Musical Director at Christmas 2017
Following an interim period as Acting MD, Ian Grice was confirmed as Musical Director in March 2018.
In May 2018 the Choir performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London in the Festival of Massed Choirs. This Event is organised by the Welsh Association of Male Choirs and this was the 3rd occasion on which the Choir had been involved in the Festival.
The Choir is now celebrating its 75th anniversary year.
In March 2019 the Choir received the Freedom of the District of Mansfield from Executive Mayor Kate Allsop at a special ceremony at the Council Chamber at Mansfield District Council.
The Choir has been going in this format since 1944
There have been:
21 Musical Directors
We have a current repertoire of over 40 songs, excluding Christmas repertoire
We learn about six new songs each year..
The choir has a great track record of winning competitions ( but rarely perform in competitions these days)
87 competitions entered
1st place achieved on 50 or 57% occasions
1st, 2nd or 3rd place achieved on 77 or 88% of occasions
£1,100 prize money over 20 years
£600 biggest prize worth over £10,000 in today’s value
Fund raising in 2015 was a record year with £11,000 being raised for charities.
Our social activities are managed through our Supporters’ Group who raised over £14,000 for choir funds since 2012.
Fund raising effort in the last 15 years tops over £30,000