Derek Harvey

Wednesday 3rd April, 2024 - 8:04pm

When Derek Harvey joined Mousehole Male Voice Choir as a teenager in 1950 he started on a lifetime of commitment to singing and to the life of the choir.  In more than seventy years, and under five different Musical Directors, Derek had spent longer in the Choir than any other singer. He started singing when there was still a founder member from the first choir in 1909 singing, and was still singing in to the 2020s. Choir tours to Germany, Brittany, and California, as well as to Wales and England, TV and Radio broadcasts and countless recordings, and numerous competitions were all undertaken with enthusiasm. He was also a stalwart of the Methodist Chapel Choir in the village, and active in so many parts of community life.


Derek had received presentations from both Mousehole Male Voice Choir and the Cornish Federation of Male Choirs to celebrate the remarkable achievement of 70 years as an active singer.


The choir were well represented at a packed funeral service in the beautiful Parish Church at Paul, with more than 60 members, under the direction of Stephen Lawry and accompanied on the piano by Annette Turton, playing a significant part as we opened the service with “As Long As I Have Music”, a salute to the power of music in a life well lived. After a moving, and at times amusing, eulogy by Derek’s son Simon, we were called on again and shared with a rapt congregation “We Rise Again”, reflecting on the echoes we leave behind in music and in family. 


The Church was filled with sound as all present gave full voice to “Love Divine, all loves excelling” to the well-known tune Blaenwern. 


At the end of the service Derek’s coffin was borne from the Church as the Choir sang “Sing Your Way Home”, before we filed out and gave a guard of honour as our farewell to a gentleman, a friend and a comrade in song.


As we made our way home from a rehearsal on the evening after the funeral service, some of the choir members noted the beautiful Celtic cross on St Clement’s Isle, facing the village of Mousehole, illuminated in Derek’s honour.

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