A Buzz in the Air!

 

There was a louder than usual buzz in the air at the Berwick Male Voice Choir Christmas Concert at St Andrew’s, Wallace Green, Berwick on Wednesday 14th December. The audience got into the spirit with the Kazoos supplied by Longbones Retailers and buzzed along to the traditional tunes played on the piano by Robin Cheer the Conductor.

 

The male choir was in good voice with spirited versions of Welsh hymns, Scottish tunes, and spirituals. The Choir’s own WAGS section joined in with beautifully sung wistful and humorous numbers.

 

But Christmas is all about togetherness and the audience enthusiastically joined in at the beginning, middle and end of the concert with traditional carols finishing with the rousing ‘Come All ye Faithful’.

 

Deputy Mayor Gregah Roughead from the Civic Party thanked the choir both for the concert and for the way they helped to promote Berwick locally and abroad in the twin towns in Norway and Germany.

 

Berwick MVC has an open night on 4th January at 6:45pm in the Atrium at Longridge Towers School.  Anyone who wishes to try singing please come along and have a go. No experience necessary.  





DECEMBER 2016

The Festive Season is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year for the choir, and also one of the most enjoyable. We continue to rehearse each Wednesday  and will be be delivering 2 full concerts of Christmas music during the month. The first is at Longridge Towers on Friday 9th December followed by our popular celebration of Christmas at St Andrews Wallace Green Church on Wednesday 14th December. In both events we will be supported by some special guests who are looking forward to these concerts as much as we are. 

On Sunday 18th December a contingent of choir members will be out and about spreading Christmas cheer to care homes in the Berwick area.   This has been part of the choir's programme for a number of years and it is something the residents look forward to very much.

Homes we will be visiting are

Spittal Rest Home
North Road Care Home
Eyemouth Saltgreens
Birch Hill
Carham Hall

In addition the choir will be making a visit to Berwick Infirmary on Christmas Eve






AUGUST 2016

The Choir  have just returned from one of their most successful and enjoyable foreign adventures. 

BMVC were invited to participate in the 1000th anniversary celebrations of the Norwegian city

 of Sarpsborg, ( twin town of Berwick), and spent 5 glorious days entertaining and being entertained by the 

Norwegian people.

The choir have had a close friendship with the Sarpsborg Male Voice Choir for many years and exchange visits

 have taken place regularly for nearly 30 years. Nevertheless it was a great privilege for BMVC to be invited 

to the 1000th anniversary celebrations, which coincided with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the 

Sarpsborg Choir.  

 

On Friday evening the venue was Sarpborg Scene, a custom built concert hall, that allowed the choirs to show 

off their talents to maximum effect. With modern acoustics, and sophisticated amplification it was an uplifting 

experience for the choir, more used to the more intimate surroundings of churches and village halls. Both 

choirs delivered musical programs from their more contemporary repertoires and an element of humour 

was introduced by a rather comically attired master of ceremonies. 

The packed audience were served up a real treat when both choirs combined in a performance of

  “Do You Hear the People Sing”  from Les Miserable in the evening’s finale.

 

Saturday’s concert took on a totally different tone.  As was appropriate for the venue the programme had a 

much more formal and religious content.  The choir found themselves in more familiar surroundings in 

the stunningly beautiful Sarpsborg Kirke, the largest church in the region.  Again a packed audience were 

entertained by individual performances from the choirs in addition to a famous local ladies choir, KODA. 

 However, in the words of the old cliche, keep the best till last, BMVC and Sarpsborg Choir gave a

 performance that will be remembered for a long time by both audience and singers alike.   American Trilogy 

is an old Elvis Presley song, with the most incredible climax.  However, in a church with fabulous acoustics, 

a choir of 80 voices, and an organ accompaniment that almost blew to roof off, something special was 

witnessed.  At the end the audience were on their feet clapping and cheering with many  wiping away tears.

  Some of the choir were visibly moved and the Norwegian MD who conducted the choir said he had never

 felt so emotional at any piece of music.

 

Apart from the musical performances the visit will be remembered for the outstanding hospitality delivered

 by members of the Sarpsborg choir and their wives and families. They organised a formal reception, a (very)

 informal evening of song and banter, and a number of sightseeing and shopping trips.  All in all it was viewed

 as probably one of the most successful and enjoyable foreign trips the choir have made.

 

Sarpsborg Choir have accepted an invitation from BMVC to visit Berwick in 2018 and that is something

 to really look forward to.





August 2016
Although our season does not officially start until next month, the choir have nevertheless been busy in rehearsal, in preparation for our concert tour to Norway from 18th to 25th August. Our association with the town of Sarpsborg goes back many years and our choirs have enjoyed frequent exchange visits, the most recent being in 2014 when we had the pleasure on entertaining our Norwegian friends along with the choir from Haan in Germany, in Berwick. During the 6 day visit we will be performing in 2 concerts, alongside other choirs from the Sarpsborg area, and attending various social functions as part of the town's annual civic celebrations.


April 2016
Our season comes to its traditional climax when our Gala Concert is held at Wallace Green Church on Saturday 9th April.  Rehearsals commenced in September and the choir have worked hard through the winter months, not only to learn a number of new songs but to polish our performance of our regular favourites.  
We have delivered a number of concerts during this period including visits to Norham for our 4 choirs concert and Kirknewton to help raise funds for the Northern Air Ambulance Service.
Our annual Gala Concert however, gives us the opportunity to showcase our talents to our local supporters in the  Berwick area, and is eagerly anticipated by our large and loyal following.
Our Musical Director, Robin Cheer, has written some original arrangements of popular songs, especially for our choir.  At least one of these pieces has never been performed by a four part Male Voice Choir before, and really is something special.  The evenings entertainment will be complemented by a number of solo performances and a special appearance of Holy Trinity Class V Choir.    Tickets priced £8, can be obtained in advance at Longbones in Berwick or at the door. The concert starts at 7.30pm  with doors opening at  7.00pm.

March 2016
Our next concert is being held on Saturday 12th March at St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Norham with a starting time of 7.00pm. Although demand for tickets has been very strong, there are still a few available, but if you are thinking of coming please get your tickets in advance as it is unlikely there will be any available at the door.  To secure your ticket (£8 each) please call Jim Blythe on 01289 382442.

This concert promises to be extra special as we are being joined by another 3 choirs, namely, East Fife Male Voice Choir, Hawick PSA Male Voice Choir and Longridge Towers Baseline Choir. In all there will be over 100 singers performing at the event.  Each choir will be performing individually, showcasing their own particular musical style, before joining together for a roof raising finale that is guaranteed stir the blood. 

The last time we invited guest choirs to Norham the concert was a complete sell out, so please give Jim a ring to get your ticket.



February 2016
With the festive season behind us and Christmas carols put away for another year the choir have been rehearsing hard for our first concert of the year which takes place at Kirknewton Village Hall on Friday 19th February.  The performance starts at 7.30 and tickets, priced £10 each (including cheese and wine) can be purchased in advance at T W Brand, Newsagents, Wooler.  
In addition to some regular favourites, the choir will be performing a number of songs for the first time and in fact one song in particular we believe has never been performed by a Male Voice Choir before. Should be an entertaining evening.

January 2016
Our first rehearsal of 2016 takes place at Longridge Towers School on Wednesday 6th January at 6.45 pm.
At this rehearsal we are extending an open invitation to prospective new members to come along and have a sing with us for a bit of fun and hopefully feel that joining the choir might be something they would like to do.



December 2015
With the Festive Season well under way the choir are actively involved in bringing a bit of seasonal cheer to the town and surrounding area.  Apart from our Christmas concert which takes place on 9th December at Wallace Green Church the choir will be visiting various care homes and hospitals in the area in the next couple of weeks.  On Tuesday 8th Dec we will be singing carols at Light up a Life Hospice   on 16th we will visit Saltgreens Residential Home, on  Saturday 20th we will visit Garden House, Spital, and North Road Care Home in the morning followed by Birchill and carham Hall in the afternoon.  On Christmas Eve we will visit Berwick Hospital.