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News for Members

News for Members

Pete Smith

With great sadness, we have to report the death of Pete Smith.  Following a long period of illness, Pete, who was 76,  died at Croydon University Hospital in the early hours of Sunday 29 December.  Pete was a member of the CMVC bass section for 25 years, a true choir stalwart who was the bass section representative for some years before he fell ill.  He was always true to his beliefs and stood up for them whenever he felt it was necessary.   He was first diagnosed with cancer around ten years ago, when he was given less than a year to live.  While he benefited from experimental treatment, he was determined to stay as fit as possible and made several extraordinary cycle rides, the first to Paris in 2010 and the second from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2013, raising funds for the Royal Marsden cancer hospital, where he was being treated.  Several years ago he was additionally diagnosed with the ageing disease of Alzheimer's, which he also fought with great tenacity.  In the past three months he succumbed to several infections and doctors at CUH were attempting to treat the latest onset when he deteriorated rapidly and died.  The choir extends its profound sympathy to his wife Hilary and their daughters Alex and Jo.  Funeral arrangements will be notified in due course.

Jeff and Sally

We are sad to announce the deaths of Jeff Burtt and Sally Maguire.

Jeff Burtt at Ypres in 2016.

Jeff, a well-liked member of the baritone section from 2013 to 2018, died at St Christopher’s hospice in Sydenham on 7 October.  His funeral will be at Beckenham Crematorium in Elmers End Road, Beckenham BR3 4TD on Friday 25 October at 3.30pm.  Choir members will be singing at the event. There will be a reception following the funeral at the Azelia Hall, 258 Croydon Road, Beckenham, from 4.30-7pm.

Sally Maguire, beloved wife of our baritone Bernard Maguire, died at their home in Shirley on 12 October.  Bernard has told members that Sally “was a great follower of our choir and all through her illness was encouraging me to keep attending. It was a joy to join the chaps at Southwark recently and she was delighted that I got there.”

Sally’s funeral will be held at St John’s, Shirley, on 24 October at 11.30.  There will be no official choir presence but all choir members are welcome to attend. 


Thursday 9 January     Rehearsals resume 

Thursday 9 July            Last rehearsal before summer break

Thursday 20 August     First rehearsal of new choir season



The latest concert list is on the Concert Dates page.


Fran and James make music

JUNE 27 - a former choir music director writes:

On a beautiful cloudless afternoon in an ancient church situated in the stunningly attractive Suffolk village of Martlesham, Fran Ringer, the choir’s past pianist, married James Jeffries, past choir second tenor, on Saturday July 21.

Fran had a vocal trio performing music throughout the service that she herself had arranged. Making her entrance to a very fetching arrangement of Can’t Help Falling In Love, Fran took an audible intake of breath as she looked down the aisle on the arm of her father before joining her fiancé at the steps of the altar.

Making no errors with the words, both gave a faultless ‘performance’ in a ceremony that was marked by the couple’s obvious happiness on their big day.



Richard, Fran and  Darren 


The 2017 choir social - the best ever!


A key moment in the CMVC social on Thursday December 14 was the presentation to Darren as he said farewell after 22 years with the choir.

There were many more magic moments at the social as a succession of choir members, some performing for the first time, stepped up to present their party pieces.   It was widely agreed that this was the best social of recent years, as so many members performed and the standard of contributions was so high.  Here are some photos of the performers:

Tony Keel: Luck be a Lady....

Trevor Watkins: 


Neil Pontin: Butterworth's True Lover's Farewell


Pete Smith: Delilah

The Alan goes to Martin

Martin Perkins is the proud recipient of this year’s Alan prize, awarded to members for outstanding contributions to the choir’s wellbeing.

Martin receives Alan Shield from Kim:  "my humblest day"

At the presentation on the final day of the choir’s Suffolk tour on 16 July, chair Kim Ormond spoke of the dedication and perseverance demonstrated by second tenor Martin in his role as chief reconnaissance officer for the choir’s après venues – the informal singing by the choir following a concert.  Martin would spend many an hour visiting local pubs and ensuring that the one selected was of an appropriate quality and served beer that would match the choir’s expectations and tastes.

In addition, Kim spoke of the fortitude Martin displayed following his unfortunate accident during a choir walk in December 2015, when he slipped on the wintry surface and fractured an ankle ­– never missing a rehearsal despite his crutches and plaster.  “He is an inspiration to us all,” Kim commented.

Martin was visibly moved when he received the famous trophy from Kim at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich, later commenting: “This is the humblest day of my life.”

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