first concert of the year was a Sankey Evening at Stithians Methodist
Church in late January. The Choir joined with the Stithians Ladies
Choir for this event. More than a decade has elapsed since the two
choirs recorded our Sankey collections, Sankey - The Fifth Album.
The Choirs have produced five 'Sankey' recordings over the years
since 1974. This collection totals 73 hymns and may well be one
of the most complete. Sankey was originally an amateur singer, composer
and choirmaster. Dwight Moody was a preacher. Sankey composed several
hymns and Moody wrote several poems and songs. But primarily they
were a worship team. Sankey used hymns from many sources and composers
but usually those of the characteristic style that has lived on.
Though from America, Sankey and Moody participated in the great
Methodist revival in the UK in 1873-75, touring England and Scotland.
After a slow start this was a roaring success. The success continued
on their return home. One example - the New York crusade - began
on February 7th, 1876 at the Great Roman Hippodrome on Madison Avenue.
A choir of 600 voices was led by Sankey, and Moody had his largest
audience to date. Our concert at the Methodist Church, albeit on
a smaller scale, allows us to imagine such an event.
next two concerts were also 'joint' with Rame Peninsula MVC (at
Millbrook) and with Torpoint Ladies who were making a reciprocal
return visit to Stithians. The fourth concert of the year was
'joint' in a big way. Eleven choirs from S.E. England and ourselves
from Cornwall combined to give a massed choirs concert (about
400 voices) in the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. This was the third
such concert organised by the Croydon Male Voice Choir and it
was a huge success with an appreciative audience of approximately
1500 people. Continuing in the mode of shared concerts (a coincidence),
Saturday 24th June found us at Centenary Methodist Chapel, Camborne,
performing with the Siendorf Beaumaris Band, tenor David Rashleigh
and baritone Sydney Mitchell. The compere was Rebecca Wills of
Spotlight SW. The concert was in support of The Centenary Centre
and Cornwall Hospice Care. The Beaumaris Band had departed Anglesey,
N. Wales, at 6.00 a.m. and after their 13 hour trip (it was a
summer Saturday!) gave an electrifying performance that included
some singing (!). This was serious competition! It was the best
live band performance that some of us had ever heard. The Choir
and soloists were very much the supporting acts but we are confident
enough to play this role - and, judging from audience response,
our contribution was much appreciated.
in the year a Bristol TV production company, Available Light Productions,
found the choir on the internet and asked if we would help in
the making of an episode of How the West was made (for ITV1).
The Director, Presenter (Chris Chapman) and team filmed voice-overs
in June outside and inside Stithians Methodist Church and filmed
the Choir singing the two verses of Jerusalem. The second series
of How the West was made examined the effect of the Industrial
Revolution on the Westcountry. The episode involving the Choir
was aired in September.
performed 4 'patio concerts' at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth
throughout the summer. These are less formal than our usual performances
and are much enjoyed by our supporters and holidaymakers. Another
summer concert was up at Par Methodist Church. It was one of those
very hot 2006 summer evenings and as we were singing up in the
gallery, we had to make it a 'jackets off' performance. We do
not do this lightly - but occasionally needs must. In September
we were the closing event of the Mawnan Country Fair. The following
week we supported a Battle of Britain commemoration at Illogan
Federation of Cornish Male Voice Choirs organised a concert held
on 23rd September in the Hall for Cornwall in Truro. We participated
in this event as a Choir and our MD, Ken Downing, played a lead
role by conducting the opening three pieces. About 230 singers
were involved; the event was a sell-out; and the concert was a
resounding success. It was in support of Cornwall Hospice Care
and more than £10,000 was raised for the Hospices. One criticism
(from within the body of the singers) was that the programme relied
too heavily on the usual 'golden oldies' mix of songs. It is difficult
to judge just how much new music the Male Voice community should
introduce at these events. The views of our regular supporters
on this issue would be welcome.
performed in Trewoon Village Hall and Mullion Methodist Church
and held our Annual Gala Concert at All Saints' Church in Falmouth
on 19th November. This was well attended in spite of some atrocious
weather. We were pleased to welcome four of our regular soloists:
the duo John and Rosemary Heard, Alison Harvey and Angela Thomas.
Their different styles, mixed with the Choir's efforts, made for
a varied programme that seemed to be appreciated. The annual carol
service at the Stithians Methodist Church was held on 3rd December.
Traditionally we combine with the Ladies Choir to lead the carol
singing. The concert year was completed with a visit to Nancegollan
Village Hall and finally Stithians Village Hall for traditional
carol singing with Stithians Ladies Choir.
are most grateful to the soloists who have supported our concerts
throughout the years: Claire and Gareth Churcher, Alison Harvey,
John and Rosemary Heard, Amy Roberts and Angela Thomas. We also
thank our Ladies Committee who give us help throughout the year
and our loyal supporters who attend so many concerts and travel
with on our expeditions over the border into England.
Rame Peninsula MVC at Millbrook
Torpoint Ladies at Stithians
Fairfield Halls, Croydon
Centenary Methodist Church, Camborne
Par Methodist Church
Mullion Methodist Church
Gala Concert, All Saints' Church, Falmouth
Smith Country Fayre
Princess Pavilion, Falmouth
(4 patio concerts)
Hall for Cornwall (Hospices)
Trewoon Village Hall
Stithians Methodist Carols
Stithians Village Hall Carols