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Peterborough tour report

Welcome to the website of Croydon Male Voice Choir

Southern England's most exciting male voice choir!

Registered charity number: 1112732

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Choir tours Peterborough - at last!

May 19: The choir enjoyed a rollicking tour of Peterborough over the weekend of May 13-15, singing in two concerts as well as at the city’s renowned cathedral.  The tour brought to fruition plans first laid for 2020, but postponed twice due to Covid.

Choir (Banners conducting) warms up at Peterborough Guildhall

The first concert was at All Saints Church in northern Peterborough.  As well as the choir’s four sets of four pieces each, conducted by choir music director Roger Pinsent, with David Terry accompanying on the piano, the event saw the debut appearance of the choir’s Octet. Composed of two members of each of the choir’s four voice sections, they wooed the small but enthusiastic audience with three numbers, ending with There is Nothing Like a Dame.  During the second half, choir chair and tenor Kim Ormond sang three solo pieces, which were warmly received.

 Octet sings at All Saints (Photo Paul Binge)

Before the cathedral performance, the choir warmed up beside Peterborough’s ancient Guildhall, with Dave "Banners" Bannister conducting, and attracting interest from shoppers and passers-by.  Once in the cathedral, with its splendid reverberating acoustics, it sang a dozen numbers, culminating in a rousing encore of the Handel Hallelujah Chorus. Cathedral precentor Rowan Williams thanked the choir for the “joy” it had brought her and the cathedral audience.

The choir at Peterborough Cathedral (photo JWT)

That evening the choir travelled to the village of Market Deeping to sing at St Guthlac’s Church.  This time the solo spot was taken by bass Mike Sharpling, whose set included the affecting Just A-wearying for you, made famous by Paul Robeson.  The Sandilands Shantymen occupied the second-half spot to great effect. The choir finished, once again, with an encore of Hallelujah Chorus.

Among the appreciative audience were two of the choir’s most loyal followers, life patrons Dr Nick Ford and his wife Joanna, who travelled to Peterborough from Croydon expressly to attend the concerts.  Dr Ford, a retired Shirley GP, said that the choir always brought them great “pleasure and joy”.

During the tour the choir surprised and thrilled Peterborough pub-goers with its spirited après performances, mostly at the Draper’s Arms, a short step away from its hotel.  The singing continued until 1am, whereupon some returned to the hotel while others located another drinking venue open until 3am.  It was weary but contented group who climbed aboard the coach home on Sunday morning, swapping stories of fulfilment and excess, and already anticipating the next choir tour in 2023. Thanks as always to choir organiser John Ward Turner, as energetic and attentive as ever in ensuring that all went well.

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