Given that it was September when the town is a bit quieter following the school holidays we were very pleasantly surprised to have a large enthusiastic audience last week. The choir sang a varied programme including Bring Him Home, Let It be Me, Working Man and My Grandfather’s Clock as well as popular Welsh songs such as Hiraeth and Y Tangnefeddwyr. The final item in our programme for the evening was supposed to be The American Trilogy. It is always a surprise for new visitors when the church organ accompanies the choir during the third song in the trilogy – the Battle Hymn of the republic. It is a wonderful sound which delights the audience every time. However our intended finish was cancelled with calls for an encore and we then sang the beautiful traditional hymn Morte Christi with this once again being accompanied to great effect by Dr. John Harrison on the church organ. This was a real treat for the audience.
Master of ceremonies Dave Blackmore was on good form with a mixture of dubious facts and undoubtedly an element of fiction in introducing each song. I think the choir members learn something knew about each song they sing with Dave’s entertaining introductions although I’m not sure how reliable that learning would be in a quiz.
There were also a number of solo performances on the night by lead vocalist Paul Varallo who sang a number of songs, Tom Pearce with a moving rendition of Home on the Hill, John Butland in Working Man and 90 year old Duncan Hilling in The Fields of Athenry.
We have a bit of a break from concerts next week so we can get in some quality rehearsal time but we will also have the opportunity to socialise as the Friends of Tenby Male choir have organised a Poems and Puddings evening on Friday 23rd September at the County club starting at 7:30. You can come along just to listen and eat or you can volunteer to read a poem either one of your own or someone else’s. All contributions are welcome. The entrance fee to include puddings is just £5.
The Friends of Tenby Male Choir are people who support us in various ways and enjoy joining in the social side without necessarily being singers. It is small at the moment but we want to encourage it to grow. Details of this can be found on our website (details below). We are very grateful for their help at our successful coffee morning held on Saturday 10th September where local people and holidaymakers were treated to a cup of tea and a biscuit for just £1 and also had the opportunity to purchase tasty homemade cakes.
There will be little rest in the following week as we have two concerts in this final week of our 2016 programme. We start with a hotel concert at the Giltar Hotel, Tenby on Tuesday 27th. If anyone would like to come to this there is no entrance fee. Just turn up at the bar in time for singing to begin around 9pm.
We then have one of our most important regular annual concerts when we perform as part of the Arts Festival week. This is on Thursday 29th September at St. Mary’s church, Tenby which starts at 8pm. You are advised to be early if you want to get a good seat as this is always well attended having been publicised as a major event in the festival.
After that although our season has officially finished we have been asked to sing as “The Specsavers choir” for a promotion by this leading opticians group. We were asked to do this last year in support of Welsh Deaf Rugby charity and it was so successful that we have been asked again. Details of when and where we will be singing will be published nearer the time.
The choir has a really interesting and information packed website. If you haven’t visited it at www.tenbymalechoir.org then it’s really worth a visit. Amongst other things there are videos of the choir including some really good ones from this latest concert produced by choir Friend Di Mumford. Webmaster David Stewart-Walvin keeps the website bang up to date with news, photos, the choir blog and absolutely anything you need to know about the choir. If you’ve enjoyed a concert there is also a guestbook where you can put your comments and read what others think. David also maintains a choir Facebook page.
He can be contacted on anything to do with the choir on 01834 844926.