IN THE BEGINNING 1963
It all began when 3 local men met in the Kings arms hotel for a drink and a chat. They were all singers who enjoyed a good old sing song on an evening after a few beers. It was decided to form a choir after some positive feedback from the locals. The people that started this venture were: Bill McCreath, Hamish Edgar and Neil Weatherley.
Their first rehearsal took place in the Parade School in September 1963 with Tommy Gladstone as the pianist and Peter Robson as the conductor. The idea behind the choir was to provide entertainment in local venues and especially to travel outside the town to perform in the many surrounding villages. These concerts became very popular around the district and a regular practise session was soon set on Wednesday nights. The compère for the concert would always say "We are just a bunch of lads from all walks of life here to entertain you because we like to sing".

OUR JOURNEY


In May 1969 a twinning scheme was set up between Berwick and Sarpsborg in Norway and the Sarpsborg Male Voice Choir came for a three day visit. This was a huge success and gifts to official town notaries were exchanged. A longstanding bond between the two choirs was established and the twinning of the two towns became official in 1989. The choir has since developed links through the twinning scheme with the town choir of Haan in Germany and the two choirs continue to enjoy regular cultural exchange visits. Over recent years we have developed the choir into a very professional group with a strong committee and a healthy membership of around 50 singers. Our present conductor is Mr Robin Cheer who is an ex army bandsman and our pianist is Mrs Isabel Cheer, a music teacher at a local private school.


OUR CHOIR TODAY

We currently take regular bookings for concerts and private functions. The choir enjoys visiting different towns and putting on concerts for charities, one-off and celebration events. In 2012 we had a summer visit to Haan where we performed with both the Haan MVC and the Sarpsborg MVC in the local school hall (Gymnasium) and on a stage in the town square . These choirs are visiting Berwick at the May 2015 weekend.
 
 
Conductor: Robin Cheer
 
Robin was born in Gosport in Hampshire. His initial involvement with music was through his local parish church as a boy treble in the Choir, along with several other family members. He learnt piano from his father and at the age of 11 was caught "trying out" the church organ by the then organist, who gave him a thick ear and then approached Mr Cheer Senior with an offer of lessons for the young miscreant. Robin was then accepted for an electrical apprenticeship at the Portsmouth Dockyard but a chance remark saw him going for an interview as an Army musician instead. The rest, as they say, is history.
Robin has had several varied and successful careers since which have included running a tea room, being curator and Master of the Music simultaneously at St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney and being a Head of Music in an inner city Derby comprehensive where speaking English was purely optional. He met his wife, Isabel in Orkney and after a number of years moving from one end of the country to the other has finally settled in the Borders near Kelso - a point reasonably equidistant between both his own parents and the in-laws! He now splits his time between teaching part-time in the Scottish Borders, walking the Cheer
dogs and DIY projects belonging to a 20 year plan.
 
Pianist: Isabel Cheer

 

 
Isabel is an Aberdeen lass, born and bred, which may go some way towards explaining why she is careful with money, usually her own. Her first forays into piano playing came from imitating older brothers who had lessons (and, it has to be said, playing the pieces they were learning considerably better). Her parents really shouldn't have been surprised when she arrived home one day from Primary School announcing that she had started violin lessons. She trained at Aberdeen College of Education to be a music teacher because it meant she could live cheaply at home for three years after leaving school and discovered it was something she quite enjoyed doing. She moved to Orkney after graduating, working as an itinerant class music specialist on just about every island, including the small ones where the human occupants are hugely outnumbered by the sheep population. She has held a number of different posts at both Primary and Senior level and now works at Longridge Towers School as Director of Music. Her hobbies include reading, walking the Cheer dogs and eating (expensive) chocolates.
                                                                                    
Chairman: Jim Blythe

 
Subpages (1): Todays Choir