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Tour report May 2023

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 wows Cheltenham

May 21: The choir has returned from a successful weekend tour of Cheltenham, where it staged three concerts and made a round of informal appearances.  It won widespread praise for the quality of its performances, and riotous acclaim for two late-night sings in a local pub.

CMVC warms-up in town centre ahead of Minster sing (photo JWT)

The choir sang at St Peter’s in the village of Winchcombe on Friday evening, May 19, with 17 pieces from its current repertoire, conducted by choir music director Matthew Quinn and accompanied by pianist/organist Sam Prouse. Standout performances included Steal Away, Nessun Dorma and the encore piece Jolly Rodger.

Tombstones a-trembling: Dick Jones warms up choir at Winchcombe

Between sets, choir bass Mike Sharpling sang two songs and the Sandilands Shantymen three shanties, which were enthusiastically received.   The Revd David Penny thanked the choir for a “magnificent performance”, commenting that music was well-known for enriching the “mind and soul”. 

Nine-man Octet struts its stuff at Bishop Cleeve

On May 20 the choir sang at Cheltenham Minster at lunchtime and at St Michael’s, Bishop Cleeve in the evening. This time the support acts were Sam Prouse on organ and the choir’s Octet, who actually have nine members and are known as the Nonet, and who gave a stunning rendition of The Rose. Church warden Ann Jessop said it had been “a great evening”.

First-floor audience applauds at Bank House (photo Dave Berry)

As well as several street performances, the choir sang two extended after-concert sessions at the Bank House, a pub especially popular for selling beer at bargain prices, which the choir took full advantage of.  The Saturday night performance went down a storm with the pub’s resident drinkers, some of whom joined in with the singing. The choir was widely congratulated as it finally headed for its hotel at 1am. 

Matthew conducts CMVC at Winchcombe (photo Katrina Keel)

Choir members also scored a hit on Saturday afternoon at the Sandford Park Alehouse, where the guvnor gave the singers a 20% discount on their beer orders. A tweet from the pub praising the choir scored over 1800 Instagram hits in 24 hours.

Some members sought alternative pleasures by visiting the nearby Gustav Holst House, where the Planets Suite composer was born and lived as a child.  It has to be said that this high-culture group was vastly outnumbered by those at the Sandford Park Alehouse.

The annual singing tours are a long-established tradition for the choir.  In the past it has visited Cornwall, Norh Wales, Yorkshire,  Devon and Norfolk.  It has also toured abroad, to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.  Plans for the 2024 tour are already being discussed, with Arundel a mooted possibility. 


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