It's A Secret! A Visit from The Duke And Duchess of Cornwall

Monday 25th July, 2022 - 12:21pm

At choir practice a couple of weeks before, our Chairman, Jon Pender, asked who would be able to sing in Mousehole on Monday 18th July? Questions were then asked, “What is the Occasion?” Reply, “Can’t Tell You! But Anna will be singing with us.” Further questions by choir members were asked, but the reply came back “We can’t say anything, we’ve been sworn to secrecy!” About forty members of the choir were able to commit to this mysterious event and it wasn’t until the Friday before at the extra choir practice for the Summer Concert that the mystery about this event was at last solved.

On the hottest day ever, the singers in Mousehole Male Voice Choir dressed in their uniforms and made their way through road closures to form up by the harbour, all so that they could perform for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall during their visit to the village.

The choir formed up, traditionally where they assemble when the Harbour Lights are switched on at Christmas. But no coats and scarves were needed, when we sang without blazers or jumpers (but with a concession to those needing shady hats). Taking part in the choir was First Tenor, Derek Harvey who has nearly completed an astonishing 72 years of loyal service! 

Charles and Camilla walked through the crowd to greet us and listen to our singing, especially, Alwyn Humphreys arrangement of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in which the lead was taken by the Ukrainian opera singer Anna Zoshchuk - who had previously joined the choir earlier in the year for two separate concerts and we can’t hear enough of her exceptional musical talents. The Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, Edward Bolitho O.B.E. introduced H.R.H. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to Anna, and our musical director, Stephen Lawry, who also presented the Duchess of Cornwall with a book of the choir’s history, "A Century of Song”. The Prince asked the choir to sing another song and Dan Forrest’s adaptation of "And Can It Be” was chosen.

It was warm work but worth it to help show the village off at its very best - the sun shining on the cottages, the boats and swimmers in the harbour, the various village organisations as well as ourselves, even Cornish ice-cream. Seeing it through Royal eyes brings home to us in MMVC how special it is to live in Cornwall and continue its traditions. 

Photographs courtesy of Greg Martin (1), Viv Jones (3), Penzance Town Council (1).

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