Go North Young Man
Wednesday 24th October, 2012 - 11:03am
Go north, young man!
The Choir recently returned from a very successful visit to Yorkshire. All hands met early on Thursday morning for a trip which went smoothly from beginning to end. The choir members and their nearest and dearest who were able to travel not only enjoyed fine music, but also enjoyed very fine food and great company along the way.
The choir was responding to an invitation to sing with the Steeton Male Voice Choir, who visited Cornwall in 2010 and sang with Mousehole at the old Richmond Chapel, so decided to make a long weekend of it!
Friday morning saw the largest choir which Mousehole has ever taken on tour singing in the magnificent setting of York Minster. It was wonderful to have 65 men gathered, from 17 to 88 years old! After a very quiet warm up in the Chapter House the men were set for the splendour of the Minster, where a large audience had gathered to listen. They did not disappoint them, as they sang with verve and attention to detail, led by Musical Director, Stephen Lawry, and his assistant, David Williams. Annette Turton was at the piano, playing beautifully, as always.
After the six pieces which the men sang in their brief but poignant presentation the audience were visibly moved by the singing, and many stayed to talk to members and pour out their feelings after such a wonderful sense of occasion had left them overwhelmed.
The men had a chance to get the feel of the vibrant city of York during the afternoon in their down time, before setting off to sing in the Micklegate area of the city in the evening, at Holy Trinity Church. Here the men gave a full programme of their current repertoire, and were commended by the Archdeacon of York for the variety, quality and passion of their performance. To give the choir a break in each half of the concert Buccas Four performed. Three of the members, Charles Parke, Graham Warren and David Williams, along with the MD, who make up the Buccas, were very well received with their singing.
The audience was certainly grabbed by some of the choir’s unusual songs, including the wonderful setting of Ave Maria, and the amazing Irish song, ‘Star Of County Down’, featuring the solo voice of Colin Trevorrow. With Annette Turton at the piano ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was always going to be a favourite, and after a startlingly good concert the choir sang ‘From Cornish Cliffs’ as a very popular encore.
Another feature of the evening, which raised a good amount for the York branch of the Royal British Legion and the Holy Trinity Church, in the middle of the concert, was a fine performance on the wonderful church organ by Nigel Holdsworth of the Hornpipe from Handel’s ‘Water Music’.
The concert was followed by an eventful afterglow at the Railway Institute Club.
Saturday saw the choir members going all over York in their free time, before hopping onto the two Mount’s Bay Coaches for a trip around the Dales, ending up at Skipton in time to see the grand market, held on Saturdays there.
After a buffet tea provided by their hosts, they joined with the Steeton Male Voice Choir to give a concert in Holy Trinity Church, Skipton. The event was a sell out, and choir members even had to give up seats to accommodate the large audience who had gathered to hear some fine singing. They were not disappointed. Both choirs were on great form, and the special guests also performed to the highest level. Buccas Four sang a piece in each half, and a young accordion soloist, Thom Hardaker, proved to be very accomplished, and delighted the audience with his superb playing. The concert concluded with the choirs combining in a piece arranged by each conductor, with a fine performance under Alan Clark ( Steeton) of his arrangement of ‘Anthem’, from the musical ‘Chess’, before Stephen Lawry (Mousehole) drew things to a conclusion with a wonderfully sympathetic performance of his arrangement of ‘The Fields Of Athenry’, by Pete St. John.
The singers responded superbly to the directions given, and provided a fitting climax to the evening, followed by a lively social gathering back at the pub!
Sunday got off to a gentle start, with most of the choir men and their avid supporters heading back to Cornwall, after what has become a tradition, to sing a song in the hotel foyer for the staff, at the end of a wonderfully varied time. Thanks were expressed to both John Hobbs and Tim James, Mousehole’s organisers, for a fantastic weekend. Steve also got on to both coaches to thank the men for their wonderful singing, and for being so attentive over the whole weekend. Their efforts were greatly appreciated.