History of The Cotswold Male Voice Choir 2014 onwards
in reverse chronological order ...
Friday 11th September 2020
Musical Director, Charmaine Worrall, with Don Baker who was a founder member in 1949
and who was still singing with the Choir when these photos were taken (14th May 2014).
We are sad to report we lost a long standing member of the Choir, Peter ‘Don’ Baker on 11th September 2020. Known for his positive and happy nature, the only thing which could get him down was someone mentioning his beloved Cheltenham Town Football Club when they had lost!
Don leaves wife Joan, daughters Sharon and Deborah, grand children and great grand children.
Due to the virus restrictions a smaller family funeral was held.
Saturday 7th December 2019
Great concert, thank you for being such a huge inspiration and support to our choir. 35 were new members. Young Luther and his Edelweiss solo was a tribute to the hold your choir have on enabling our young ones to have real belief in themselves as singers. Mr Spencer was a great guitarist too. Apologies that we couldn't get to rehearse together - I will sort the rehearsals next year.
Naunton Park Primary School
Thursday 21st November 2019
Hi Charmaine and the 10 amazing men,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for providing some fantastic entertainment at WellChild’s Christmas at Ellenborough event last night; all the guests really enjoyed it and you helped to make this event so special! It’s only the second year we have run Christmas at Ellenborough but already the event is growing and we are so grateful that you were a part of this!
I hope you enjoyed the event and enjoyed a glass of prosecco. All of the pictures from last night are available to view here on flickr, please feel free to use these in any social media posts/promotions.
You helped us to raise an amazing £1,251.00 Thank you so much! All money raised from this event will enable us to support even more children, young people and families across the UK with serious health needs.
We are so grateful for all of your support and really hope you will join us again next year, please do keep in touch! If I don’t hear from you before have a fantastic Christmas
Saturday 5th October 2019
70th Anniversary Concert
St. Matthew’s Church, Cheltenham
photo by Craig Ballinger Photography
Dear Mr. Chairman,
In your programme notes, you used the adjectives "special, vibrant and current" and that's exactly what last night's concert was. There are no harsher critics to have in your audience than other choir members like me, but I couldn't find fault with this performance. The slight blip in Passing By only added to the engagement of the audience. Proof of this were the enthusiastic comments throughout of a number of Police Choir members sitting behind me.
Please thank everyone involved. It has inspired me to aim for a return to singing with CMVC
in the New Year.
Wednesday 7th August 2019
Funeral of Colin Jones
I have only just noticed I had not gone back to you re the choir's participation in my husband's funeral, and as I did not have the chance to meet you on the day wanted to thank you for being there and the choir's performance was a big part of what we set out to do on the day for Colin. We had so much positive feedback, and clearly many felt that the choir was so appropriate and choice of music right for this (somewhat lapsed) Welshman!
So on behalf of our family thank you very much and your fellow choristers who were there.
Stow Festival Saturday 20th July 2019
Thank you for your kind words, there was no doubt the Choir was a great success enjoyed by everyone. I thought the mixture of songs were perfect for the occasion and can see why the Choir are so popular. The Festival itself was probably the best we have had and hopefully will provide much needed funds for our nominated Charities.
Wedding: Upper Windrush, Saturday 25th May 2019
I'm so so sorry not to have emailed before now. We went straight down to Cornwall for some rest after the wedding, then back to work for 2 weeks and then away on our honeymoon in Northern Italy- it's all been a bit of whirlwind! We are heading home tomorrow having had the most magical break. A 'proper' thank you will come when we have had our official thank you cards made, but before that I have been meaning to email you to say a HUGE thank you to you and the choir for helping to make our day so special. So many people commented on how wonderful the choir were and from what I heard I absolutely agree. You/they were everything we had hoped for and brought such a special touch to our ceremony. It was so special having you there with us to share our day and we had the most amazing time. It's only just sinking in that it's all over, 4 weeks later!
Please do send our huge thanks to everyone and we hope to come and see you perform at some of your events in the future.
Very best wishes from us both,
Lizzie and Will
Funeral: Friday 31st May 2019
It was with sadness we reported the passing of our friend and choir member of many years,
Clive Lawrence, pictured here (front, second from right) recording a 2010 football World Cup song.
At Clive’s request, the Choir attended his funeral at Cheltenham Crematorium where we sang:
The Lord’s Prayer
I Vow To Thee My Country
And as the family left:
Softly, As I Leave You
From Clive's daughters
Many thanks for all your help with choir arrangements. The funeral went well and the choir
sounded exceptional, dad would have been very proud. Please thank all the choir members on
our behalf please.
Amanda and Clare
11th May 2019
70th Anniversary Choir Dinner
Hatherley Manor Hotel
A great night attended by over 100, included past members.
Press article (02.05.19): Choir celebrates 70th anniversary
15th December 2018
Dunkerton’s Cidery, Cheltenham
From: Melanie Cheeseman
You were wonderful! Thank you so much for coming. Despite the weather the feedback has been really positive! We will certainly look to invite you back for future events,
Warmest wishes and Merry Christmas
3rd August 2018
Some of the Choir preparing to sing outdoors at a wedding.
1st September 2018
The Choir sang at the wedding of choir member John McDonnell and Irene
at the Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel, Tewkesbury, on 1st September.
The couple then set off for a three month trip to Australia.
2018 England World Cup Song
“Let’s Hear It England”
Choir members joined The DC Klub to record this brand new England World Cup anthem also
featuring the top commentators on TV and talented teenagers from Cheltenham. A song for all
ages with both male and female voices in perfect harmony.
As featured on Sky Sports News, BBC Points West, BBC Midlands Today, BBC Radio 5 Live
and BBC Radio Gloucestershire’
To listen to BBC Radio 5 Live interview with BBC TV commentator Steve Wilson.
11th - 15th May 2018
The Choir were afforded the honour of being invited to sing and lay wreaths at the Last Post
Ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres. In addition to other concerts over the 4 day visit, the
Ceremony concluded with the Choir singing Abide With Me.
Thursday 1st March 2018
Richard Bennettt and John McDonnell interviewed by Dominic Cotter discussing the Choir’s
forthcoming Belgium tour including their invitation to sing at the Menin Gate, Ypres.
Play MP3 file
(will open in your default media player on PC or Mac)
Each Christmas, the Choir entertains those in care at Nazareth House, Charlton Kings.
Saturday 30th September 2017
Serenading the bride, Sophie, at her reception, Purton. Husband, Daniel, made sure
everyone enjoyed themselves.
Saturday 30th September 2017
On behalf of Winchcombe Rotary Club I'd like to thank you very much for the wonderful concert last Saturday which everyone enjoyed. I believe we raised just under a thousand pounds for the hospice which was a great result. Very best wishes and thanks to everyone involved.
On behalf of Winchcombe Rotary Club
Do You Like to Dress Up?
Saturday 22nd July 2017
It was a very proud day for our bass singer Gordon Craig to be the Dad at his daughter’s wedding.
The Choir were in full attendance and it was a great day.
Pic credit: Barry Foley
Saturday 22nd July 7.30pm
The Cotswold Male Voice Choir and Loveny Male Voice Choir, from Cornwall, joined forces
to stage a concert in Gloucester.
Saturday 3rd December 2016
Nazareth House, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham
(weblink and map)
Saturday 19th November 2016
George Watson Memorial Hall, 65 Barton St, Tewkesbury GL20 5PX
Joint concert with:
Cor Orpheus Menywod Abertyleri
(Abertillery Ladies Orpheus Choir)
Saturday 22nd October 2016
Richmond Villages, Painswick
(website / map)
Included ‘Last Night of the Proms’
The concert was followed by an impromptu sing at the local Falcon pub:
Our maintenance man who was in the Falcon on Saturday said how much he enjoyed
your impromptu session. Thank you so much for a much appreciated performance.
With my very best wishes,
Head of Activities
Saturday 15th October 2016
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church, Montpellier, Cheltenham
Cotswold Male Voice and Blue Moon Harmony choirs (Photo by Sue Rowe)
Accompanist: Frances Yeend (Photo by Sue Rowe)
“Pirates” singing The Song of the Jolly Roger (Photo by Sue Rowe)
Joint concert held with
Blue Moon Harmony
Saturday 24th September 2016
St. Mary's Church, Church Lane, Berkeley GL13 9BN
"Great night Saturday - I was almost moved to tears"
"A lady came over to me at the end and said she hadn't had such an enjoyable evening for
many a year."
Sunday 17th July 2016
Bristol Harbour Festival
Aboard the ship "Kathleen and May"
Organiser and choir member Captain “Davey” Bainbridge.
Friday 1st July 2016
Choir Member Graham Ogden’s Rotary Club President’s Night
Wyck Hill House Hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1HY
Concert Celebrating The Queen’s 90th Birthday
11th June 2016
DUMBLETON VILLAGE HALL
An excellent evening with a full house and an audience that really got involved with us. They waved flags, cheered and sang throughout the concert and made the evening a true success. There were many strands in making the concert the success it was, before, during and after the performance with everyone pulling together. The props…well, they certainly lightened the mood!!
Freezing cold at a wedding in Bibury, March 2016
Cheltenham Town Hall
7th November 2015
Jon Worrall Photography
GE Aviation Male Voice Choir
Military Wives Choir Innsworth
Jon Worrall Photography
Total ticket sales were 611 = £6,110.
Total raised for Help for Heroes = £8,000
Congratulations on a fine, memorable performance on Saturday. A great team effort; I am so proud of you. Special thanks to our Frances for her unstinted work, to Richard B for the smooth-running compering and to Richard G who has lived and breathed the concert for many months.
Charmaine Worrall (Musical Director)
Good morning everyone, I am sitting here eating my toast and reflecting on the most incredible evening, at the Town Hall. I can't thank you all enough for the tremendous effort you put in, both in the months approaching the concert in terms of rehearsals and amazing ticket sales (Great job Steve Giles) and on the night itself, you should all be proud. Charmaine, Mike and Rob put in. Charmaine, once again you have pushed us hard and the results speak for themselves. Frances, as ever a superb performance.
Thank you all once again. I was so proud last night of everyone involved and was, on more than one occasion, moved to tears by the passion and beauty of our singing and, of course by the singing of the MWC and the GE MVC. And..... we have had an approach from a chap who, having been so moved by our performance, has asked to join the choir!
Richard Bennett (Chairman / Second Tenor)
It was a full house! And I think it was the best concert I have been involved with in my 5 years of singing.
Martin Kay (Baritone)
It has been quite an extraordinary evening. Last night was as good, if not better, than any previous Concert I have sung in over the past 23 years at Cheltenham Town Hall, including the Life Guard and Flowers Band Concerts. An evening to be proud of.
John Fisher (Baritone)
I thought that it was a fantastic concert and I’m sure that everyone who attended will endorse that view.
John McDonnell (Second Tenors)
Sorry I was absent. The reviews I have read are fantastic, as were the ticket sales. Really proud of you all.
Steve Allsup (First Tenors)
Thanks Charmaine, it was a magnificent occasion and a pleasure to be part of it. Congratulations to you and Frances for your skill and patience and such an amazing audience.
Martin Hamer (First Tenor)
I agree with everything said that it was a brilliant concert all round.
Colin Stillman (Bass)
Fabulous concert Cotswold MVC, Innsworth Military Wives & the newly formed choir GE Aviation MVC (brilliant after such s short time) raising money for Help for Heroes at the Town Hall. Well done all.
On behalf of all our ladies who came to sing on Saturday night, I want to say a huge 'Congratulations' and 'Thank You' for a fantastic evening. It all seemed to go really well and we hope raised some well-deserved funds for Help for Heroes. Both of your choirs were incredible; I have been asked to let you know that my mum and her friends were amazed at how great the GE Choir sounded considering the short time they had been together. We loved sharing a song with you, many of us had goosebumps after the last chorus of 'Do you hear the people sing?'
Jo Benbow, Innsworth Military Wives Choir
Alison Stephens, GE Aviation
I'm still on a high after our concert. Congratulations all round with a special mention of the fine performance of the new GE Aviation MVC achieved after such a short time. Great too to have been able to sing with the MWC - always a pleasure. Rosemary and my guests reckoned it to have been our best concert yet and remarked that we have come on in leaps and bounds (their words) under Charmaine's knitting needle - oops I mean baton!!!!
Peter de Gruchy (Bass)
As one of the new boys to the choir I would like to say what a privilege it was, and is to be involved with our great choir. Last evening was without doubt a great success and to see the Town Hall almost full to capacity was indeed highly rewarding. Quite apart from the choir having a terrific sound there is also an equally important aspect to praise and that is the wonderful camaraderie that exists amongst the choir. As the new boy on the block I am delighted to be involved and let us hope the choir can now only go from strength to strength.
Barry Rogers (Bass)
Rehearsal with the GE Aviation Choir in advance of the Help for Heroes concert.
Wednesday 28th October 2015
Richard Gaul’s write up (PDF)
Clare Carter Show 2nd November 2015
RAF Runneymede Memorial 21st June 2015
In attendance was choir Secretary Richard Gaul, who raised over £500.
Click to listen to interview of 27th March 2015
(8 mins 53 secs)
13th March 2015
I just wanted to send a heartfelt and sincere THANK YOU to the choir for making our wedding day so very special. You really were a highlight of the day and the singing was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Our guests loved it and it was a really special surprise for them. Thank you to you Charmaine especially for being so helpful along the way.
Wishing you and the whole choir all the best for the future,
Shelley White (now Jones)
25th February 2015
Chairman, Richard Bennett, presents Tim Heal of Wooden Spoon with a cheque for £2,456
raised by the Cotswold Male Voice Choir for the children’s charity of rugby
20th February 2015
David pictured far right outside the Town Hall in Annecy during the Choir’s tour to
the French Alps in 2006
David passed away in the early hours on Friday 20th February. He had not sung with the Choir for
some time, previously David had been a baritone stalwart for many years.
A memorial service was held on Monday 6th April (Easter Monday) at
St. Lawrence Church, Church Road, Swindon Village, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 9RA
Saturday 21st February 2015
Gloucester Rugby, Kingsholm
Entertaining the crowd before the London Welsh match which Gloucester won 47 -10.
We included Men of Gloucester in the programme, which the crowd really appreciated.
5th January 2015
'Taps' at the American Military Cemetery, Cambridge, 2013
Norman passed away at home on the night of 5th January 2015, having suffered a fall earlier that day. He sang for the Cotswold and Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choirs for many years.
Norman’s funeral was held at a packed St. John the Evangelist in Churchdown on Friday 13th February 2015. In attendance were 80+ male voice choir singers, representatives of the Burma Star Association, British Legion and Royal Engineers, accompanied by a congregation so large that some had to sit on prayer cushions in the aisles.
The singing was really superb, several people wanted to clap after the Morte Cristie, including my grandson. I just held my sons hands (or rather squeezed them) throughout the singing of both pieces. Please thank the choir very much for turning out to celebrate Norman’s life, I am sure he would have been very very pleased.
16th February 2015
29th December 2014
After concert in the Butchers Arms, Mickleton, 2008
Bernard passed away at Astell House in Cheltenham, where he had resided for the past few years. He was a founder member of the Choir in 1949, ‘leading’ the second tenors for over 60 years.
Bernie’s funeral was held at Cheltenham Crematorium on Thursday 15th January 2015. Former members of the Cotswold Male Voice Choir rejoined the current choir to give Bernie a rousing off.
Saturday 27th September
Joint concert in Cheltenham Town Hall
The Sydney Welsh Choir
Listen to the pre-concert interview with the BBC’s Claire Carter (24th September 2014)
Part 1 (9 mins)
Part 2 (8 mins)
Part 3 (6 mins)
Sydney Welsh Choir at the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
As part of an extensive three week tour including Dubai, Wales and Ireland, The Sydney Welsh Choir chose The Cotswold Male Voice Choir for a joint concert as part of the English leg of their tour.
The beneficiary of the concert was Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby
and what a night it was!
Bernie Campbell sings along to Martin Kay's Didgeridoo accompaniment after the concert.
It's difficult to explain the hat ... so we won't even try!
Click logo for Echo’s Michael Young interview 25th September
also available in printed newspaper 26th September (page 49)
Saturday 9th August
St. John’s Church, Churchdown
Royal British Legion WW1 Commemorative Concert
4th August 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the commencement of hostilities between Great Britain and Germany. Germany had already declared war on Russia. All the major powers of Europe mobilised beginning World War I.
with the Military Wives Choir.
There are some concerts when everything clicks; choir, audience and atmosphere; and this was one of those nights. Perhaps it was the cause. We find most concerts supporting or commemorating our armed services are very sell supported.
11th May 2014
Musical Director, Charmaine Worrall, with Don Baker who was a founder member in 1949
and who is still singing with the Choir (14th May 2014).
Wednesday 23rd April 2014
The Queens Hotel, Cheltenham
Celebrating St. George’s Day
Afternoon tea concert.
Thanks so much for your lovely message, and to you all for your absolutely brilliant singing. Everyone is so complimentary about the Choir and everything really! I really enjoyed working with you on this, and hope there will be another opportunity in the future. We've already booked the Queens for next year, so do please pencil that in your diary...
Estimated proceeds from this St. George’s Day are £3,772, which is brilliant.
All best wishes
Regional Fundraising Manager - Gloucestershire & West Herefordshire
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
Saturdays 4th January & 22nd February 2014
Gloucester Rugby, Kingsholm, Gloucester
Singing before the Aviva Premiership matches.
“We would like to think our singing contributed to the victory on 22nd Feb ...
we are keeping quiet about the 4th Jan result!”
“Men of Gloucester”
Following many requests, you can now download and print the words to Men of Gloucester.
It is sung to the tune Men of Harlech which is said to have been based on an old Welsh air. It will come as a surprise to some that many sources claim the lyrics most familiar to us now were written by English composer Sir Joseph Barnby in C.19th. The Choir sings the version adapted for the film Zulu in 1964.
Read about our previous appearance at Gloucester Rugby on 4th January 2014 ...
(Photograph Copyright 2013 Stéphanie Bourgeois)
It was with great sadness that we reported the death of our friend and colleague, Terry Hill, who died at 2pm on Saturday 25th January 2014 in Cheltenham General Hospital. The photograph above shows Terry (right) following his last appearance with the Choir in Cheltenham Town Hall on 30th November 2013.
Terry’s funeral was on Monday 17th February 2014, 1pm at Cheltenham Crematorium, South Chapel.
The Choir sang Terry’s requests Singing in the Rain (download PDF) and The Cotswold Song.
Wednesday 12th February 2014
Dean Close School
The Gloucestershire Echo came to rehearsal to video the Choir singing
“Men of Gloucester”
(see Gloucester Rugby above)