Men United in Song: 40 Men Wanted.
Imagine standing shoulder to shoulder in a chorus of local men, proudly singing songs that not only sound fantastic but also make a real difference.
That’s the heart of Men United in Song – a project designed to bring men of all walks of life in Nottinghamshire together through the power of song. Whether you’ve never sung before or just need a nudge to revisit an old pleasure, this is your chance to be part of something monumental. With a series of free workshops to help you learn the skills, techniques and songs involved, culminating in a grand charity concert at Southwell Minster, you’re not just bravely taking on a big challenge; you’re raising vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK. Don’t just watch – be a part of this inspiring journey or encourage men in your life to join in.
Men United in Song is organised by Radcliffe on Trent Male Voice Choir and their professional music directors, and will take place from the end of February to the concert on Friday 9th May.
For more information email ROTMVC@gmail.com or phone Malcolm on 07950098936.
In September 2023 Sarah Trevers, specialist voice coach led a session with some of us and showed us ways to sing and breathe better…..
The May, 2023 concert was a resounding success resulting in a sizable handover to Prostate Cancer UK.
Our 40th Anniversary was marked by a very successful concert in St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on 27th May 2023. The RoTMVC were joined by the wonderful Derwent Brass and six superb soloists who formed the semi-chorus in Biebl’s Ave Maria. There was a large audience who were universally positive in their praise for the whole performance, which brought together people who joined the choir only this year and at least one of our founder members. We also raised over £1000 for Prostate Cancer UK. So the choir is still going strong after forty years and looking forward to another milestone – a concert planned for Southwell Minster on Friday, May 10th 2024 – and of course this year’s Christmas Carol Concert, on December 16th.
Geoff Warrington, RMVC Archivist and Malcolm Dillon, Secretary, June 2023
Peter Gill receives his wings from chair John Bartle.
The choir had a great trip to Yorkshire and were invited to sing in Beverley and Hull Minsters (pictured) where our music sounded beautiful. We also had a lot of fun and audience appreciation sharing concerts with the local Dagger Lane Singers in Cottingham and the Driffield Male Voice Choir in their local church (and afterwards shaking the rafters with them in the local Wetherspoons!)
March 2023 … Rushcliffe Local News
The choir, pictured below with Associate Musical Director, Kieran Seymour, and our accompanist, Sue Bennett, shared a concert in March with Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir in the Church of the Good Shepherd in Woodthorpe, Nottingham.
The Christmas Concert 2022….
John Bartle interviewed by Radio Nottingham about membership and after lockdown. ……
In November 2022, the RoTMVC visited Radcliffe on Trent Primary School…
Our MD, Deborah, was recently interviewed by Radio Nottingham. You can listen here….
Alistair’s welcome to the choir of Ian Taylor, Kevin McGowan and Chris Terry, Thursday 28th July 2022…..
Some of the singers were happy to visit Radcliffe on Trent carnival in July 2022, just for the enjoyment of a warm, summer afternoon singing!
On the wonderfully warm day of 2nd of July, 2022, the choir visited Holme Pierrepont church and performed two sets with an encore!
An earlier engagement, on 4th June, was a return to the National Trust’s Clumber Park Chapel, where we had previously sung on the 19th March. On this occasion, we sang two separate 30 min sessions, at 12.00 and 13.40, as part of the local National Trust’s Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. This left time to enjoy a picnic or use of the large adjacent cafe and a stroll around this beautiful park and lake.
2. Our previous performance, on Saturday 21st May, was part of the MAY MUSIC FESTIVAL held at the Radcliffe Methodist Church on Shelford Road. (See photo of us and the RoT Ladies Choir combining for the finale). This event raised over £2300.00 for the Rainbow Hospice and The DEC Ukraine Appeal. To show the variety of talent on show see the program below.
3. On the 1st of May the Radcliffe on Trent Male Voice Choir was honoured to be one of the invited choirs from the East Midlands to Sing For Ukraine, organised by Bestwood MVC. This event showcased the power and subtlety of Male voices in concert. The program featured favourite pieces chosen by each choir and specific Anthems for Ukraine. The event raised just over £3,000.00 for the chosen charity!
4. On Saturday, 12th March, we held our Spring Concert together with the Derwent Brass and the Radcliffe Junior School choir. The proceeds were for the benefit of Nottingham’s Maggie’s Cancer Charity. The photos below show our Musical Director, Deborah Davies, and the Choir with the Derwent Brass.
Previous updates:- We were pleased to report that on Thursday 13th January we held our first practice of the New Year and sincerely hoped that there would be no more interruptions due to Covid. However, we sadly have to report the recent deaths of two very valued associates of the choir.
The first loss, on December 30th, was one of our own, Colin Macmillan, a member of the Baritone Section since 2013. We were invited to sing at Colin’s Funeral on the 4th Feb at Edwalton Holy Rood Church.
The second loss, on January 10th, was the passing of a very well-known and loved local sports commentator and journalist, Colin Slater, one of whose attributes were a distinctive resonant voice whether heard on local radio describing a winning goal for his beloved Notts County F. C or, in more measured tones while compering one of our Christmas Concerts over the past 20 or so years. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of these two gentlemen both of whom, in their own way, contributed greatly to the past success of our choir.
CHRISTMAS 2021 ACTIVITY
We performed the first of our two scheduled Christmas concerts on the afternoon of Saturday 4th Dec at David Rose’s Eco Farm Barn at Screveton, near Car Colston. The photo below, courtesy of Choir member Geoff Warrington, shows us enjoying mulled cider at the interval.
This was part of a Christmas Fair which included local craft and produce stalls, children’s tractor rides, mulled cider and mince pies and a Nativity playlet which featured Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter ending with a stable scene with cattle and sheep from the farm. The concert featured a variety of carols the singing of many of which we were enthusiastically joined by the extensive audience. A most enjoyable experience marking our first public performance since December 2019!
Our second seasonal event was to have been our ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CHARITY CONCERT which was to have taken place at Grange Hall, Radcliffe on Trent at 2.30 pm Saturday 18th December but was cancelled due to Covid constraints.
As of the 2nd September 2021, we returned to practising each Thursday in the newly refurbished Methodist Church, Shelford Rd., Radcliffe on Trent. These practices start at 7 pm and any interested folk are welcome to sit in.
July 1st 2021 marked the occasion of our first live practice since early 2020. This was attended by 20 members, including our MD Deborah Davies and Accompanist Eleonora Babitskaya. Those attending were expected to wear masks, have had two vaccinations and to have self-tested. The following three photos are of this event which took place in a well-ventilated barn at Home Farm, Screveton, each Thursday in July 2021.
Due to the ongoing medical crisis and “lockdown regulations” we were not meeting or performing en bloc between Feb 2020 and Ist July 2021, but many were in contact via the internet during Zoom practices. We also had the opportunity of using our online practice files so ably collated by choir member Bill Hill.
Dec 4th, 2020
Feb / 2020
From: Bill Hill, Press Officer
Mobile: 07972 013 614 E-Mail: ROTMalevoicechoir@outlook.com
A CHOIR’S FAREWELL
The Radcliffe On Trent Male Voice Choir sang farewell to their long-standing member David Banks, on the occasion of his Celebration and Thanksgiving service on 10th February at St John of Beverley, Whatton in the Vale.
Over 30 choir members sang two of his favourite pieces, the devotional Morte Christie and the spiritual Oh What A Morning, followed by a commendation and blessing. The choir was accompanied by long-standing pianist Eleonora Babitsky and directed by Deborah Davies, who also played the organ. The choir’s previous Musical Director Richard Howarth also attended, and a fine address was given by Alan Haydock to a large congregation, such is the affection in which David was held. Snow and wind did not deter those attending and Mrs Judith Banks was able to thank everyone present at the church hall post service reception. David supported many aspects focused on the choir in addition to serving as Chairman, not least being an enthusiastic participant in many sailing adventures.
WELCOME NEWS. We are delighted to announce that, as of September 2020, Deborah Davies has accepted our invitation to be appointed our Musical Director.
You may not be aware of the fact that almost every public performance by our Choir results in the raising of Charitable funds, perhaps, for example, for the fabric of the building being sung in or for third-party causes, often local or national organisations. Examples of the latter include our Annual Christmas Carol concerts which in 2020 would have been directed at MAGGIES. Despite the fact that these concerts were cancelled due to the Pandemic a number of sponsors and supporters have together ensured that the sum of £690.00 will be passed on to the above in due course.
As another example of our usual activities you may like to view and listen to one of our recordings, this is one of the HALLELUYA CHORUS as sung in the Chandlers Ford Methodist Church at a joint concert with the Romsey MVC while on tour in April 2016, if so click here.
For previous activities of the Choir scroll down on this page or visit other pages via the menu list at the top of this page. Our most recent public activity, on 19th Dec. 2019, was our traditional carol singing tour of local care homes while our LAST TWO PERFORMANCES when we were joined by the Newstead Brass Band and, in the Matinee, the RoT Junior school Choir, comprised our Annual Afternoon and Evening Charity Christmas Concerts at St Mary’s Parish Church, Radcliffe, held at 2.30 pm and 7.00 pm on Saturday 14th December 2019. On this occasion, the recipient Charity was “BACKUP” for which the amazing sum of £2,174.00 was raised.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on the BACKUP Charity visit the following link:
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE CHOIR: Our home base is the village of Radcliffe on Trent in Nottinghamshire. The Choir was formed in 1983, has sung over 500 Concerts and raised over £400,000 for charity, performing in varied locations including Westminster Hall, The Albert Hall, The Cutty Sark in Greenwich, Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, Belvoir Castle, village halls, 20 different cathedrals and numerous churches. Internationally, the choir has performed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France and Wales. We have also exchanged visits with a South African Choir while singing at 5 concerts in the Cape Town area. As well as singing, the membership, friends and families have varied communal interests some of which are seen in the poster below:
For the latest information on the Radcliffe Male Voice Choir please visit other pages of this website (www.radcliffeontrentmvc.org). Also a Facebook Page has now been launched at www.facebook.com/ROTMVC.
Prior to the Christmas concerts noted above our previous appearance, on Sunday 1st December, was as one of the “acts” invited to perform at the Melton Mowbray Victorian Christmas Market. This enjoyable event was a fine introduction to the festive season both for ourselves and those present at this craft and produce display.
Before that, we sang at the Notts Royal Concert Hall on Sunday 10th November when we joined a number of other choirs in Radio Nottingham’s Choir Festival “MARK’S BIG SING” (see Poster below) supporting CHILDREN in NEED at which over £8000 was raised. Clicking HERE will show Choir photos and brief singing excerpts:-
Before our 2019 summer break our three previous Concerts were, on 23rd July, at Lark Hill Retirement Village; on 21st June, at Long Bennington Village Hall and on 11th May, with the Norwich Phoenix Choir at Christ Church, Grantham.
Earlier in the year- we were invited to appear at the RoT Parish Council AGM to receive their Chairman’s award for services to the Community. See photos below:
Representatives of all Awarded Groups:
RMVC Vice Chair Rod Haslam receiving the Plaque from RoT Parish Council Chair David Barton. (nb Photos 1&3 are courtesy of Michael Bedford.)
Other recent activities included a SPRING CONCERT TOUR from 5th – 7th April, when, while staying in Cheltenham the Choir had 3 engagements:
- 6th April – Lunchtime RECITAL IN GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL.
- 6th April – Evening Concert at St Georges Parish Church, Upper Cam.
- 7th April – Joint Concert with Cirencester MVC at Cirencester Baptist Church.
- 10th April – Recital in Grange Hall, RoT, in support of the Blue Bird “help for aged” initiative.
Early in 2019, we held an eight-week SINGING COURSE which started on 10th January 2019 and attracted 12 new members. To mark its conclusion we, together with the course participants, held a “Mini” CONCERT on Thursday 7th March at the Methodist Church, Shelford Rd., RoT, for partners and friends at which 10 numbers were sung, 5 of which were learnt during the course.
This was an enjoyable event which, incidentally, also raised £386 for Prostate Cancer Charities.
The Radcliffe on Trent Male Voice Choir’s first 40 years – 1983-2023
To begin at the beginning …. how better to introduce a male voice choir founded by a Welshman than to use the same words that opened Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood? The Choir’s founder and first Musical Director was Clive Sims BA, LRAM, from Penygraig in the Rhondda.
…. from small acorns …. on 30th June 1983 Clive convened a meeting of those interested in forming a Male Voice Choir and so planted the seed for what has roots in a membership that spread rapidly from Radcliffe, throughout Nottinghamshire and into neighbouring counties; when the Choir gave its first concert, in Radcliffe on 26th November 1983, 28 men were enrolled. Clive directed the Choir on another 46 occasions, including its first appearances at Belvoir Castle and Southwell Minster, and added 83 pieces to the repertoire, several in his own arrangements and some in Welsh. After the Llantrisant Male Voice Choir visited Radcliffe in October 1986, Clive took his Choir to Llantrisant where, in May 1987, it performed to great acclaim, which was a triumph for Clive. By 1988 the Choir had 55 members who had received the distinctive blue jackets which are often praised for being as smart now as when introduced. Clive last directed his Choir in the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, on 20th December 1988.
Clive was followed by Richard Howarth who first appeared as Musical Director on 3rd February 1989, in Southwell Minster. He is a baritone who, after studying at the Guildhall School of Music, joined Kent Opera. Richard remained with the Choir until April 2009. He directed it in over 345 performances and introduced more than 90 new pieces with the exhortation ‘watch me!’ because, as with Clive, performances were without scores. Chris Burton became MD on 24th April 2009 but following appointment to a position at Winchester only directed the Choir until 4th June 2011. However, he organised an arrangement of Nunc Dimittis for the Choir by Alex Paterson, a Birmingham Conservatoire student, and directed the Choir when that premiered in Birmingham Anglican Cathedral in September 2010.
In its earlier years the Choir benefitted from two outstanding accompanists, Alex Denman, from March 1989, and, from September 1999, the brilliant Eleonora Babitskaya who had been judged ‘best accompanist’ in the International Tchaikovsky and other competitions in Russia. She remains warmly linked to the Choir after playing with us for over twenty years as accompanist.
Subsequent Musical Directors of the Choir have included Victoria Barlow and Michael Bonshor. Michael strongly promoted the health benefits of singing and being a member of such a choir to us all and in recruitment, using the evidence of their value to physical and mental health and social wellbeing.
Deborah Davies, originally Associate Musical Director, was appointed MD in 2020 and has brought her experience, energy and skill to enhance our recent performances. She saw us through the pandemic with rehearsals at first on Zoom and then in the airy barn at Screveton eco farm, where the chickens and cows were enthralled by our talents. With two other admirable women, Judy Holroyd and now Sue Bennett, replacing Eleonora, we again have great support from the piano. Kieran Seymour, Head of Music at Toot Hill School, joined us as Associate MD last year and brings additional techniques and enthusiasm to complete the excellent Music Team that now leads us. They continue the traditions of a Male Voice Choir and are keen to develop the choir and the ways we can bring in more men of all ages to sing together. The Choir still has three of the Founder members among its 51 men.
The Choir has made over 540 public appearances in more than 220 venues in England and Wales, and 18 overseas. It has performed over 310 secular and ecclesiastical pieces from an eclectic repertoire spanning four centuries and often described as ‘from Byrd to The Beatles’. As well as English, items have been sung in Breton, French, German, ancient Hispanic, Italian, Latin, Welsh and Zulu, and some in both the original language and English.
In most years since 1997, the Choir has made a short tour with a recital given in an Anglican cathedral. These ranged from the cavernous (Liverpool) to the relatively diminutive (Birmingham) and include, from north (Durham) to south (Exeter), east (Norwich) to west (Hereford, Llandaff Cardiff), and 12 in between, including York Minster. Covid created a pause, but the Choir resumed its touring with a very successful trip to East Yorkshire this April. The Choir performed in Beverley and Hull Minsters and enjoyed joint concerts with a mixed voice choir in Cottingham and a male voice choir in Driffield, followed of course by the customary ‘afterglow’, with many voices joining the singing in a local pub.
Other memorable performances were at Cardiff Arms Park (in the World Choir and with Shirley Bassey, 1993), at Buckminster (Leics.) in May 2012, withSheku Kanneh-Mason (just 13!) and his sister Isata, in London’s Royal Albert Hall (the 2016 London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs), the Banqueting House (Whitehall Palace), the Royal Hospital (Chelsea), the fo’csle of the ‘Cutty Sark’ (Greenwich), the Royal Concert and Albert Halls, and National Ice Centre (Nottingham), the NEC (Birmingham), Kedleston and Kelham halls, Papplewick Pumping Station, Newark Castle grounds, theatres in Newark and Skegness, the Eden Project (Cornwall), and on the cruise liner ‘Silver Wind’ (Pool of London) and a Brittany Ferry. The Choir featured in Central Television’s ‘Heart of the Country’ programme in February 1993.
Short visits have been made to Belgium, France and Germany. Several members joined the World Choir in Atlanta, USA, in 1994 and the 25th Anniversary of the Choir was celebrated with a week in Rome in 2008 when several pieces were sung in Italian. Another extended tour, to South Africa in 2000, was promoted by a choir that visited Radcliffe in 1999; in addition to this and the Llantrisant choir, others from England and Wales, and from Germany, Russia and The Netherlands, have been hosted in Radcliffe.
The Choir became a registered Charity in December 1996 and in 1999 the then MP for Rushcliffe, Kenneth Clarke, became its President and has been a great supporter of the Choir since then. Fundraising through its public performances is an important part of the Choir’s activities and has benefitted many local and national causes, some nominated by members as beneficiaries of its Christmas Concerts. Singing carols in Radcliffe care homes began in December 1993 and became a popular annual event. Records indicate that in its 40 years the Choir has helped raise over £400,000 for charitable causes. Current members look forward to the Choir continuing to enjoy singing together, entertaining audiences and providing benefits to charities – and of course to the 50th Anniversary, a mere 10 years away.
Our 40th Anniversary was marked by a very successful concert in St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on 27th May 2023. We were joined by the wonderful Derwent Brass and six superb soloists who formed the semi-chorus in Biebl’s Ave Maria. There was a large audience who were universally positive in their praise for the whole performance, which brought together people who joined the choir only this year and at least one of our founder members. We also raised over £1000 for Prostate Cancer UK. So the choir is still going strong after forty years and looking forward to another milestone – a concert planned for Southwell Minster on Friday, May 10th 2024 – and of course this year’s Christmas Carol Concert, on December 16th.
Geoff Warrington, RMVC Archivist and Malcolm Dillon, Secretary, June 2023