On Friday 21 December, the Choir was delighted to take part in BBC Radio Kent’s live Breakfast Show. With less than 24 hours notice, enough singers agreed to drop everything (including their sleep) to be at the Tunbridge Wells studio by 7.15am in full uniform. Under Kent Lee’s excellent direction, we sang carols in between the main news items to provide Christmas cheer to listeners, and were congratulated by the BBC for the quality of our singing. Good show, lads!
The Choir was again extremely privileged to take part in the Service of Remembrance in Tunbridge Wells on 11 November. The special commemorative Service and Parade marked the Centenary of the end the 1st World War, and was attended by hundreds of the town’s uniformed youth groups and thousands of local people. A sharp shower caught the choir while carrying out sound checks before the service, but fortunately conditions were dry during the Service.
Led by our new Musical Director Kent Lee, the choir sang the hymns Abide With Me and Eternal Father with the congregation, and 2 solo pieces–Steal Away and Rock of Ages–while wreaths were being laid. It was a very memorable experience. After the Service, the Choir moved down to the War Memorial where Glen Goodall laid our wreath.
The Choir with guests Cantores and soloist Arrianna Rebecca Firth, gave a concert at St Peter and St Paul Church in Tonbridge on Saturday 13th October in aid of the Hospice in the Weald. Final proceeds have yet to be detemined but the final figure will be in excess of £2100.
A surprise member of the audience was the choir’s new Music Director Kent Lee who takes over the role of MD from November.
At our last rehearsal we said goodbye to our Aussie mate Ian Dove and gave congratulations to Tim Kiddell who has run over 1300 miles this year!
Below are other members of the choir with our accompanist Adam
As part of our 80th Year Anniversary Programme the choir spent 3 days in Belgium which included taking part in the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate, a visit to Hill 60 battle site and Sanctuary Wood Cemetery and culminating in our own concert at St Georges Church in Ypres.
WW1 Belgium Aug 2018
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A DAY OUT IN BRIGHTON
How could we resist a day out in Brighton with like-minded people ? Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? So we hired a coach and went to take part in the new Brighton Male Choir Festival, consisting of a daytime competition and an evening Gala concert. All inspired by Brighton MVC’s 90th year and a visit to the UK by the German-Canadian MVC of Calgary.
The journey was quick and got us to St George’s Church, Kemp Town early. We joined the growing throng of 250+ singers milling around looking for coffee, sorted ourselves out, and before we knew it we were on stage/altar singing our 3 pieces—My Heart Will Go On, Linden Lea, and The Gypsy– all from memory.
We’d all done a fair bit of work helped by Richard & Adam but a number of accidents and injuries left us with fewer singers than we had planned. But spirits were good and we had nice messages of support from Ray Hoff and Peter Parfitt. We enjoyed listening to the other choirs.
Some enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Marina, others explored the Kemp Town area, and just wandered around in the sea-side setting.
Then back for the competition results, and the judges announced the winner : Bournemouth MVC, who had impressed us all with the quality of their performance and choice of songs. We took heart by being closely judged with 3 other choirs ; and we reminded ourselves that we are an inclusive choir that does not audition for entry. We felt rather more relaxed when we sang in the Gala concert. We all gave the Canadians a big send-off.
Overall, an interesting day of new experiences, a chance to hear and talk to other mvcs, and of course, to shoot the breeze amongst ourselves.