Memories of 2018
As you may know, the highlight of the year was our performance at the Royal Albert Hall; (click to see the story) on what you may not know is the amount of work that goes in to this event. Learning the pieces is one thing ( some of them being arduous), taking practice time on a weekly basis and 3 trips to Huddersfield for collective rehearsal adds to the commitment. We did, however, manage to perform our usual concert at the Community Hall, Alfreton (with proceeds on behalf of St Martins Church) on 11th of May; as usual we were wonderfully supported and entertained by Samantha Nighton and Hannah Ball.
On 30th of June, we attended St Peter’s Church, Stonebroom and joined the junior choir for an evenings entertainment. July the 1st was our visit to Belper River Gardens where we were blessed with some beautiful weather and a very happy and enthusiastic audience.
For 23rd August, Secretary Stamp organised an afternoon out comprising a trip down the Cromford Canal on the Birdswood Barge followed by afternoon tea at Willersley Castle, a thoroughly enjoyable social gathering.
On the 6th of October, our concert at the David Nieper Academy was on behalf of the charity When You Wish Upon a Star and was a most enjoyable evening; we were joined by mezzo soprano Sara Louisa Parry singing songs from the shows; what a wonderful voice she has. We were pleased to be able to present the charity with a cheque for £800.00.
Monday 3rd of December found us entertaining residents, friends and family at the Florence Shipley Residential Care Home in Heanor, a lovely facility for dementia, old age and physical disability cases. A great time was had by all, the residents getting into the swing by dressing up as pirates for a trip on The Jolly Roger and acting out the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was heartening to see the pleasure given to some residents who, whilst not being very aware on a day to day basis, were able to join in and enjoy the well known songs; further proof that singing is a great incentive.
12th December was our visit to South Wingfield Social Club where another great time was had by all, mince pies and mulled wine being supplied in abundance. Again, the Twelve Days of Christmas encouraged a great deal of audience participation and laughter.
On 13th December, Secretary Stamp excelled again by arranging a Christmas dinner at Alfreton Golf Club. A great meal was followed by a quiz which involved some vocal answers; novel and much fun.
On 21st of December, we attended Swanwick Baptist Church and entertained with a few of our songs, interspersed with a selection of carols picked by the audience; children were particularly encouraged to join in and did so with great relish; apparently parents took a long time to regain control after the excitement.
22nd December was our visit to Ripley Co-op where we entertained shoppers for a couple of hours; representatives of the British Heart Foundation made a collection and it was certainly 2 hours well spent; enjoyed by all, the collection raised a fantastic £354.27.
Our Christmas presentation to Palmer Morewood Social Club, thanking them for putting up with us each Thursday all year, was due to take place in December but, due to unforeseen circumstances, it was postponed. It is now scheduled for Tuesday 15th January, Christmas decorations and carols to be retained. We look forward to the Christmas extension. Roll on 2019.
Our concert venue.
That’s us going in the Artists’ Entrance.
Being part of this, raising money for the most worthwhile causes and enjoying the spirit of singing and comradeship each week makes me wonder why you have not joined us yet.
Mick Mullarkey, ever ready to entertain, helps us unwind after the concert.
Happy choristers and supporters on the way home after a tiring but exhilarating weekend.
See ‘News’ for a report of the weekends adventures.
What a busy few days: choir practice on Thursday, sound checks in preparation for the concert on Friday, concert performance on Saturday and trip to Huddersfield on Sunday for a rehearsal for our Royal Albert Hall Concert .
Saturday, 6th October, saw the choir come together, with our guest Sara Louisa Parry, at the David Nieper Academy where we entertained an appreciative audience and raised money in aid of ‘When You Wish upon a Star’. It was a great evening with a variety of songs from the choir: a medley from the musical Oliver, a song of the Drunken Sailor, a trip aboard the Jolly Roger (accompanied by the parrot ‘Squalk’) night manoeuvres with Mulligan’s Musketeers and a trip to the barricade and beyond with ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’ a meeting with some ‘Stout Hearted Men’ and we went Marching In with some Saints; Calon Lan, Goin’ Home, How Great Thou Art, a trip to the Holy City and the traditional song ‘Amen’ completed the programme.
What a treat it was, though, to hear Sara Louisa Parry’s Mezzo Soprano voice singing ‘Memory’ from Cats, a Judy Garland Medley, a Barbra Streisand Medley and ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Misérables; a truly thrilling performance.
We are always fortunate to be supported by Lisa Smith on piano (who always seems able to keep us in order) but who proved her particular talent in supporting Sara with such feeling and virtuosity.
There was a resounding finish when Sara joined the choir in ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to round off a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
This years charity was ‘When You Wish Upon a Star‘. Alexa Wigfield represented the charity and gave us all a little insight into the work that is carried out to bring a little light to the lives of these unfortunate children and their families. We hope that our, and your, efforts will help. If you click on the ‘When You Wish’ logo above you can see, and hear, some heart warming stories.
On Sunday we had an early start to get to Huddersfield Town Hall for 9.30 to attend a rehearsal for our November 3rd appearance at the Royal Albert Hall. This was a meeting of Northern choirs and the first time the ladies and men got together. We were under the eyes and ears of William Relton (wearing his trademark red braces) and were given a few sharp words of ‘encouragement’ when we did not stick quite to his plan. It was most enjoyable and rewarding to hear the pieces we are practicing taking shape with 750 voices instead of the usual 30. A slightly concerning fact is that the men are outnumbered by the ladies this year; not, you understand, that I have anything against ladies, but see it as a worrying decline of interest in the male section.
Nights are drawing in and clocks will soon be going back. I’ve already heard of some people singing carols. The years get shorter!
A few weeks concentrating on The Royal Albert Hall then it is really nearly Christmas. A busy time for the choir begins with a trip to Florence Shipley Care Home in Heanor on 3rd December, Wednesday 12th December we are at South Wingfield Social Club, Thursday 13th we are having our own Christmas celebration at Alfreton Golf Club, Thursday 21st Baptist Church, Swanwick and Saturday 22nd we are at Ripley Co-Op for our annual ‘Entertain the Shoppers ‘ with a collection for the British Heart Foundation, usually a most enjoyable and rewarding morning.
Each Thursday we enjoy our singing session followed by some very welcome lubrication from the bar. Unfortunately, we have lost several members of late for various reasons and need to recruit replacements. If you’ve read this far, how about giving it a go; you would not regret it!!!
Last year was a busy and enjoyable year for the choir with several appearances at Willersley Castle, an afternoon ‘ Lark in the Park’ (with good weather) at Belper River Gardens, concerts at Alfreton Community Hall and Zion Church at South Wingfield , we supported 2 wonderful wedding ceremonies, performed at the Alfreton Town Council Civic Service at the Watchorn Church and entertained the Somercotes Ladies Group. These events were topped in October by our Autumn Showcase, performed at a new venue, The David Nieper Academy, Grange Street, Alfreton.
During the Christmas period some choir members entertained a group of Dementia and Alzheimer sufferers at a meeting in Alfreton; we all performed at South Wingfield Social Club’s Christmas Event, Palmer Morewood’s Christmas Party, morning at Ripley Co-Op and evening at Tesco, Alfreton. All these events were well received and collections for the British Heart Foundation alongside appearances at the Co-Op and Tesco realised the magnificent sum of £457.99.
We look forward to 2018 being equally productive and enjoyable; as usual, we hope to make your acquaintance along the way.
This years annual concert is on October 6th and is supporting ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’Press this LINK for more information.
It is very moving to see the enjoyment that these unfortunate children, and their carers, get from the experiences they have, thanks to the support and encouragement of this organisation. The good thing is that you can support the charity and, as a reward, have an excellent evening’s entertainment at The David Nieper Academy, Alfreton.
You may have seen through the year that we have a small group of choir members who like to ‘dress up’ (or maybe that should be ‘down’) to support the busking talents of Mr Mick Mullarkey; on these occasions Alfreton has been ‘entertained’ in aid of collections for Ashgate Hospice, Children in Need and Red Nose Day ( in fact, any excuse to have a laugh and make money in the process). They also seem to have found their way past the MD and into the concerts (he appreciates it really), providing a little amusement and diversity.
Keep an eye on the diary and make sure to join us at some future event; we look forward to the opportunity to entertain you. Please continue to explore the site; we hope you find it interesting. It would be very much appreciated if you would leave a comment on the CONTACT page; simply go to the enquiry form, fill in what it asks for and leave a message. Whether a criticism, a suggestion, some information for us, a request for something from us or just to acknowledge that you are there, we will be pleased to hear it.
See our CHARITIES for the beneficiaries of our work and JOIN US should you be interested in singing (sorry but we are a men only choir). There is a little about our singers in MEMBERS with sample music in GALLERY.
There is lots about us in WHAT WE DO and the range of our music in SONGS. If you have any requests for concerts, bookings or suggestions use CONTACT US. For up to date details and practice news press LINKS.
To see some information about significant members of the choir, go to BIOGRAPHIES
Where: Palmer-Morewood Memorial Club, 36 Hall St, Alfreton, DE55 7BU
When: Thursdays 6:45pm - 8:30pm
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