Semi-Brief January 2023
It was announced that the safety precautions relating to covid could now be eased and the green light given for the commencement of rehearsals. Our first rehearsal was on the 7th October 2021 with just twelve members taking part. The reality of six members having died and others unable to attend due to sickness really became apparent.
The choir was determined to carry on and try to find new members. Since the choir has started rehearsals again, we have recruited four new members who have already become well integrated into the choir.
Our first concert was in Llandudno where we performed in two churches one on Saturday evening at St. Johns Methodist church where we have sung many times. The second was at ‘Our Lady Star of The Sea’ nearer to the pier, where we were made very welcome by the parish priest. At the end of the first half, we were led across the road to the parish centre where we were overpowered with refreshments which were most welcome. We returned to the church for the second half of the concert. At the end of the concert, we were invited to attend again next year. Weekly rehearsals continued until 13th September when we gave a concert at ‘The Little Sisters of the Poor’, Plymouth Grove. When we arrived, we were informed that a number of residents had contacted COVID and had to remain in their rooms but would still be able to hear us through the PA system. At the end of the concert, we were warmly applauded and a request was made for us to return again in the future.
Weekly rehearsals continued. The choir had a request to sing at the Remembrance service at Sedgley Park. The service was held in the chapel at Sedgley with the chief constable in attendance with other officers and dignitaries, together with family members of officers who had been killed on duty. The service was led by Fr. Barry Lomax who is the catholic chaplain to the police, music provided by the police band.
When the service ended everybody filed out in procession to the memorial garden in the grounds of Sedgley Park, with the path to the memorial garden lined on both sides by police officers. After a minute’s silence family members were able to leave wreathes and flowers at the plaques of the bereaved police officers.
Saturday 19th November
The Centenary Concert of The National Association of Choirs
The choir had been invited to sing at the Centenary Concert of The National Association of Choirs which was held at Blackburn Cathedral, along with, Colne Orpheus Male Voice Choir, Nelson Arion Glee Union Male Voice Choir, Saddleworth Singers Ladies Choir and Windermere and Bowness Community Choir.
GMP choir opened the concert singing, Amen/This Little light of Mine,
The Lord’s Prayer, Take me Home and African Prayer. The singing of ‘Get to Know a Policeman’ was a huge success. David Lawrence the principal conductor who has conducted concerts worldwide was suitably impressed, as I spotted him filming us as we sang ‘The Policeman’.
We were followed by Saddleworth Ladies Choir and then Colne Orpheus Glee Union MVC.
The first half ended with the massed choirs singing a specially composed piece, ‘Since Singing is So Good a Thing’, written by Ronald Corp who is president of The National Association of Choirs. He is one of Britain’s most prolific composers-conductors and travels the world conducting various types of choirs. This was followed by the interval.
In the second half we heard ‘The Nelson Arion Male Voice Choir’, The Windermere & Bowness Community Choir. The massed choirs then took to the platform and sang, ‘With a Voice of Singing’, ‘Morte Christe’ and ‘Gwahoddiad. The final piece sung by the massed choirs was ‘Music’ another piece composed by Ronald Corp.
A presentation was then made to each choir consisting of a music stand engraved with the name of the choir and a commemorative bone china mug decorated with the National Association of Choirs emblem for all the choir members.
Friday 25th November
Eccles Town Hall
This was a new venue for us and had been arranged by Jeff Pearce who has connections with the Eccles Community. The hall has been refurbished and is a very pleasant place to sing. The hall is run by a team of volunteers who are very accommodating and do a fantastic job.
We opened the concert with ‘The Wellerman Anthem’ (from the musical Chess), and ‘Cavatina’. We then finished the first set with ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’.
Eric then took to the stage with his trusty guitar and sang. ‘I will find out’.
The choir returned to complete the first half of the concert singing: ‘Stout Hearted Men’, ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square’, ‘This is The Moment’, ‘Morte Christe’ and finished with ‘Amen/This Little Light of Mine’.
After a short interval the concert resumed with ‘Take me Home, ‘’The Lord’s Prayer’ and ‘With a Voice of Singing’.
Jeff Pearce then took centre stage with his partner in crime in the form Sergeant Vic (A Dummy dressed as a policeman). There then followed a hilarious dialogue between Jeff and the sergeant, which left me wondering which one was the dummy.
The programme continued with: ‘The Blackpool Belle’ made famous by ‘The Houghton Weavers’, followed by: ‘Gwahoddiad’, ‘African Prayer’, ‘Get to Know a Policeman’, ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’ and concluded with ‘When the Saints go Marching in’. The choir then received a standing ovation from the audience.
I have a feeling that we may be singing again in Eccles sometime in the future.
Thursday 15th December
Sedgley Park Community Carol Service
Once again, we were invited to sing at the GMP annual Christmas Carol Service in the chapel at Sedgley Park. A welcome was made by Emma Ashworth, Branch Director of the People and Development Branch.
The service was led by The Revd. Charles Nevin, GMP recently retired lead chaplain.
‘O Come all Ye Faithful’ was the opening carol followed an opening prayer by the Chaplain.
There was a series of readings from members of the police interspersed with carols: ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, ‘While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night’, ’We three Kings of Orient Are’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. The police choir sang, ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ and ‘We’ve Got Good News to Tell’.
The Chaplin then gave a final Blessing, after which we were all invited for some light refreshments.
Three gentlemen of extended years were at the doctor’s surgery for some tests.
‘What is two times two?’ the doctor asked the first chap.
‘94’ came the reply.
Then the doctor asked the second chap, ‘What is two times two?’
‘Wednesday,’ the man said.
The doctor then said to the third old man and asked him:
‘What is two times two?’
‘Four ‘he answered.
‘That’s excellent,’ enthused the doctor. ‘How did get that?’
‘Easy,’ said the third man. ‘I divided it by Wednesday.’