alfreton male voice choir

Alfreton Male Voice Choir

Welcome to the web site of the Alfreton Male Voice Choir

23rd October.  Progress has been made with our technical team and we are now able to share our little musical presentation. We are getting very excited about the progress of our sound and vision achievements and it is spurring on some who thought the technicalities were outside their understanding to get involved; just double click on Lisa’s nose and watch (and listen to) our little video.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed producing it.

13th October. The Committee have worked hard to prepare for face to face meetings and are committed to resuming as soon as possible. Analysis of restrictions shows that we are allowed to proceed provided it is an organised and compliant venue and procedure and, as such, we are ready to go. However, a lengthy discussion yesterday concluded that we felt it necessary to continue as we are for another month before a further review in early November.

17th September. We got a little excited last week when we started proceedings to prepare for face to face (socially distanced, of course) choir practice. Risk assessment and location plans formulated just in time for the brakes to be put onto gatherings. However, we continue to maintain contact and enjoy virtual choir practice each week; the recordings have also been going well and we are all pleased to be able to sing together even if not at the same time (work that one out). Tonight’s practice is given over to recording session; branching out from manipulation of the audio by yours truly, Secretary John is having a go at picture editing; can’t wait to see where that takes us.
Sadly, we have heard from Colin Goodwin that, due to his and Josie’s health issues  he will be unable to continue with choir activities. Colin is a long standing member of the choir and has been our oracle; should you wish to find what songs we sang in any of the past 20 years, Colin’s your man. We keep Colin and Josie in our thoughts and wish them the very best during these difficult times.

30th July. The world still does not know how to handle this dreadful situation; as time goes on the future seems less certain in many ways, not least of which is the risk associated with how the virus spreads. Singing is still well up there on the list of ‘do nots’ and without some science to satisfy any fears,  then  we see a bleak future.
Before all this started, it was generally seen as anti-social to be constantly occupied on the internet rather than face to face; that is now turned upside down and we are all trying to get to grips with the technology we so derided. The choir has stepped up to the mark and is embracing the ZOOM practices we have each Thursday; we are progressing our skills at providing practice materials and we are  working towards producing a choir recording. Each member is recording their own part in the comfort of their own home (the soundproofing of which seems the hardest part) for our ‘apprentice sound engineer’ to work on.  I’m sure, as our skills are honed, we will continue to enjoy the challenges of singing to a different audience.

25th June. Hard to believe we have been isolating for 3 months; when this began we did not imagine that we would be suffering for so long. Fortunately, the weather has been kind so the queue for shops has been more acceptable than it could have been.
The choir has continued to progress with practices via ZOOM and we are slowly getting to grips with the technology required to keep us moving forward. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we can return to the real world.

Here we are on 10th May and still confined to barracks. An announcement  is due on the next phase of the ‘lockdown’ which we approach with concern on many levels. We are seeing many changes to everyday life and the choir is striving to maintain contact through continued ‘ZOOM’ choir practices. We log in to the meeting at our usual practice time and have chance to say hello to most of the members before having a sing to backing tracks broadcast over the system. Not ideal but good to maintain a presence and keep in touch. Thursday nights session was an opportunity to celebrate VE Day, though not how we expected it; we were due to entertain at Tupton but, instead, were treated to some music from Mick Mullarkey and a chance to sing some well known favourites like The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again to get in the mood for the ‘big day’.
On Wednesday 6th May we were able to join the funeral service for our old friend Ron Padley . With only 10 people allowed at the crematorium the service was broadcast on the ‘web’ and it was good to be able to ‘virtually’ attend as the only available alternative. It was a lovely service which is now available to view at, select ‘view a webcast’; at the top there are 2 boxes, in the first put amber6645 and in the second 589645. Press the arrow you see to the left of the picture and see the service. I was not aware, until then, that singing was not allowed and this makes you realise how difficult the future is going to be.
Hoping you and your families are keeping safe, and spirits up, just don’t forget to keep singing.

18th March 2020. In a rapidly developing picture, I think it safe to say that at least half of 2020 has been cancelled. Suffice to say that, rather than announcing what is cancelled, we must assume that all activities are stopped until further notice. Early April now seems a little ambitious for choir practice resumption; I think the difficulty will be getting started again after this stage of the crisis is declared over. It’s difficult to imagine, at this moment, what the future holds; all we can hope is that all our friends are able to keep safe until it’s over and look forward to meeting up again at the other side. As we have said so often, singing is a great healer so let’s all keep taking the medicine.

After the tremendous start to the year (see below), you may have seen from the Facebook feed that it has been decided that choir activity  be halted until early April.
The Civic Service which was due to take place at St Martin’s Church this afternoon (15th March) was cancelled and future concerts will be subject to constant review.
It is remarkable how life has changed in such a short space of time due to the coronavirus ; in consideration of the long term prospects it can only be hoped that normal service will be resumed.
To all you choir members, a reminder that practice tracks are on the site and can be accessed for you to help keep in touch with your vocal chords.
Hope to see you soon.



2020 got off to a tremendous start for the choir last evening (24th January) when we were joined by the Derbyshire Community Male Voice Choir, led by Chris Hare, at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Alfreton; it was a great evening of entertainment for a small but enthusiastic audience which enjoyed music and laughter from both choirs.
We set the ball rolling with Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Irving Berlin classic 1911) before going romantic with our version of ‘Let It Be Me’ (popularised in 1994), and High on a Hill (arranged by Alwyn Humphreys); closing the first half was a solo from one of our base section, Colin Smith.
DCMVC then entertained us with a variety of pieces, one of the highlights, to me, being a very moving  solo by Tom Fleming singing ‘Tell My Father’ from a little known musical called Civil War. Another favourite was Hallelujah, the well known Leonard Cohen piece. Chairman Kevin Griffiths quoted a few nuggets from his joke book between numbers to raise a smile.
Our very own Mick Mullarkey entertained, encouraging audience participation with Swing Low and a few other well known and liked sing-along songs. What would we do without him?????
We then tried to help a sleeping lion with ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’  (popularised by Token, 1987), then sang ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’ from Les Miserable (1980) and ‘When The Saints Go  Marching In’ (1938).  ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (Original version by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, popularised as a football anthem in 1963) rounded off the AMVC set.  This was followed by a  joint rendition of ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘American Trilogy’ to bring the evening to a rousing conclusion.


December 2019

2019 went out with a hectic few weeks seeing the choir entertaining at several venues, all of them greatly enjoyable.
3rd December (see below)
10th December was the Palmer Morewood Christmas Party, good fun for all.
11th December South Wingfield Social Club, a great evening enjoyed by all.
13th December Swanwick Baptist Church Carolathon, carols chosen by the audience.
16th December Florence Shipley Care Home entertaining residents and families.
19th December Meadows Care Home for our old friend Ron Padley.
21st December Christmas at the Ripley Co-Op. Most enjoyable morning raising £400.00 for British Heart Foundation.
Time to rest the vocal chords before it becomes a happy memory!


Tuesday 3rd December
Today several members of Alfreton MVC joined Pye Hill MVC  to attend the funeral service for Raymond Grenville Smith who sadly died on 8th November aged 88. Ray had been a valued member of both choirs for some years and was, to say the least, a well liked ‘character’. Having sung everywhere from base to top tenor he could always be relied on to add something to our vocal arrangements.
A delightful service was conducted by Reverend Ros Wilkes at Swanwick Baptist Church, entrance music being Moon River, one of Ray’s solo triumphs. All Things Bright and Beautiful was the opening hymn followed by a tribute to Ray’s life and exploits. Pye Hill and Alfreton Choirs then joined in singing  ‘Speed Your Journey’ and ‘Softly as I Leave You’. Amazing Grace was the final hymn before words of commendation and exit to the song  ‘On Top Of The World’ by the Carpenters.
We then retired to the Cross Keys for refreshments and more memories of our ‘experiences’ with Ray. A most fitting and enjoyable, though sad. occasion.


Friday 29th November

After a great disappointment on Thursday 28th November due to cancellation of the Willersley Castle appearance (they omitted to inform us until we had arrived at the venue) we had an enjoyable evening entertaining guests at the Roman Catholic Church, Alfreton, A lively evening was enjoyed by a sizeable audience  and the choir. Mick Mullarkey and the Saga Louts caused some merriment amidst a varied programme of songs from the choir. Our pianist, Michael Anthony, played a couple of delightful  Christmassy songs ably assisted by his daughter, Rachel, on sleigh bells. Tea and mince pies supplied by the church were a welcome half time treat.



19TH October  

Last Quarter of 2019

Another update for 2019. The last one started with our activities at a Christmas celebration (admittedly in January) and here we are coming very close to it starting all over again. We have been busy with Bulwell and Stonebroom concerts, the Mayor’s Civic Reception and, of course, our annual concert for this year in support of the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

And what a night that was at The Post Mill Centre, South Normanton.

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A packed house was treated to an evening of varied music with a great deal of laughter thrown in.  We were entertained to some wonderful trumpet solos by Mr John Barker, some light entertainment and  community singing with the Saga Louts and pieces including ‘Alexander’s Rag Time Band’, ‘Let it be Me’, ‘The  Holy City’ and John Rutter’s interpretation of ‘For  The Beauty of the Earth’.

Although we sang about it, the lion did not get much sleep; we seem to have a new member which helped us bring some amusement to Wimoweh.

Other songs from the shows included Anthem from Chess and, from Les Misérables, Bring Him Home and Do You Hear the People Sing {with much enthusiastic flag waving from Tom). Mulligans Musketeers put in an appearance before being upstaged by pirates from the Jolly Roger (and Squalk the parrot).

Chairman Derrick Hesketh presents tokens of appreciation.

We enjoyed singing How Great Thou Art, always a pleasure to hear John Stamp’s solo verse.  I should also mention the solo performance in The Holy City performed by Colin Smith; unfortunately this was missed from the programme so many apologies to him as it is a great piece.
After some information about the Bluebell Wood Childrens Hospice, the beneficiary of the evening, ‘That’s All I Want From You’ was a very poignant reminder of how precious life is.  ‘High on a Hill’ (accompanied by John on trumpet) is about making your way and seeing the world while, finally, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ sums up the evening’s theme; in the face of events which most of us, thankfully, only hear of, it is heartening to know that a place like Bluebell Wood is there to support patients and families through the most difficult of times and that no-one need feel they are alone.
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Life goes on:-
November promises to be a challenge with Wirksworth URC, Willersley Castle and Christ the King on 23rd, 28th and 29th. Somewhere in there the Saga Louts have to pull in a collection for ‘Children in need’ around Alfreton town. Then we’re getting in the Christmas spirit at Palmer Morewood’s Christmas Party on the 10th December, South Wingfield Social Club on 11th December , Swanwick Baptist Church on 13th and Florence Shipley Home, Heanor on 16th.
We’re looking forward to our visit to Ripley Co-Op on 21st and that’s almost another year over.


Halfway through 2019

Where does the time go? We are already half way through 2019 and are working hard in preparation for our October Showcase; in the meantime we have had a busy time. January 15th was a late celebration of Christmas at the Palmer Morewood Club; in March we visited our own Ron Padley at the Meadows Care Home, Alfreton and he helped us entertain the residents (Ron can’t get to the choir practice, so the choir went to Ron). In April we entertained at the Mayors Civic Reception, held at Palmer Morewood and on May 23rd we entertained at Alfreton Community Hall, in aid of St Martins Church, alongside Samantha Knighton and Hannah Ball. Sadly, prior to this, on April 24th, we were privileged to be invited to attend the funeral of Jacqui Mullarkey , the much missed wife of Mick Mullarkey. On 11th June we made a further visit, back by popular demand, to the Meadows Care Home for Ron and on  19th June we entertained holidaymakers at Willersley Castle, Matlock. A visit to Belper Memorial Park on 30th June for the annual Lark in the Park brings us up to date and we hope you have managed to catch at least one of the performances; if not we hope to see you sometime in the future.
A little quiet spell coming up for a few weeks while we hone up the concert programme . It gets  busy in September and continues to be hectic all the way to  Christmas. Keep an eye on tbe diary.

We are sad to report the passing of Mavis Padley, the wife of our longest serving member Ron who, you may recall, we recently visited in the Meadows Care Home where they both lived. The funeral is on Monday 12th August at 1pm at St. Martin’s Church, Alfreton;  the choir will be there to support Ron at this very difficult time and be singing one of our, and his, favourite songs, which we know as Ron’s Song, because he donated it to the choir some years ago. Thoughts and prayers go out to Ron and the family.


                                          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.

November 2018

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Our concert venue.






That’s us going in the Artists’ Entrance.



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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.




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Mick Mullarkey, ever ready to entertain, helps us unwind after the concert.




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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!!!


2017 memories

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.

The Year To Come

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’, HomePress 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.

Click HISTORY to see where we come from and DIARY to see where we are going to. (Make a note in your diary and we hope meet you).

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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