Saturday, 18 April 2020


From 'Sounds Appealing' by David Crystal, Profile Books, 2018. One of my Oxfam Bookshop purchases.

It all begins with a 12th century Icelandic scholar, 'consonants can neither be named nor produced without a vowel.' There are words that are all vowel. There are no words purely of consonants. Vowels have a primeval status 'the breath that gives existence to words. In the beginning was the vowel.'

We singers know these things.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

December 2010 - extract from Yorkshire Life

Anyone remember this?
'New Mill, near Holmfirth, has a male voice choir, with more than 60 members whose home is the New Mill Club where they meet for rehearsals every Tuesday evening.   
New Mill Male Voice Choir was formed in 1991 when 12 singers got together in a local pub. It is the youngest of the choirs in the Huddersfield area and many doubted it would ever get off the ground. But it has performed at many venues throughout Britain and has made successful tours to Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Italy. The choir has recently achieved first place in The 2010 Don Valley Male Voice Choir Competition. 
Many members of the choir sang in the recent BBC television programme Songs of Praise, filmed in Christ Church, New Mill, celebrating the final episode of Last of The Summer Wine. And the choir is mightily proud of a photograph of Bill Owens Compo conducting the singers in the mid-1990s. In 1993, the choir sang as part of the World Choir at Cardiff Arms Park under the baton of Owain Arwel Hughes with Shirley Bassey as the main attraction.
Their favourite venue is Huddersfield Town Hall and their guest singers have included Aled Jones and Sir Willard White. In October, the choir hosted a concert in Huddersfield with guest star Julian Lloyd Webber accompanied by Di Xiao.
Choir chairman John Mallinson, who runs the family butchers shop in New Mill, said: Male voice choirs are a tradition in this area and in a little village like New Mill, many people thought we would struggle to get established. But we have grown a lot since 1991 and I like to think we are very well-respected. We are proud that we have managed to get some big names as our guest performers.'
Sounds just like today.

Monday, 3 February 2020

New Mill Male Voice Choir - 2020 concert schedule latest information

Swing into Spring with New Mill MVC 

21 March  7:15 pm - 9:30 pm
St John the Evangelist, Upper Denby, Denby Lane 
Upper Denby, HD8 8UN United Kingdom

16 May  7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
St Margaret’s Church Swinton, Church Street Swinton, South Yorkshire S64 8EG 

Netherton Summer Concert 
6 June  7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Netherton Methodist Church, 1 Deyne Road, Netherton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD4 7ET

Afternoon Concert to support New Mill Church 
Sunday Sept 13th       3.00 pm

London – Yorkshire Day 2020!  Weekend away

1 August @ 11:00 4:00 pm
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge SE1 9DA

Back Again - Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
October 10th 2020    Huddersfield Town Hall

Christmas Schedule
Dec  Low Moor to be confirmed
Dec 12th Penistone Denby Dale District Rotary
Dec 19th Christchurch, New Mill Christmas Concert 

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

New Mill's Christmas schedule

Penistone Paramount 
7th December, 7.30-9.30pm (£10).
The Choir is a guest of Denby Dale Rotary at their annual Christmas Concert at the Paramount, also featuring Skelmanthorpe Band. Always well supported so get your tickets early!
Tickets available online from the Penistone Paramount
Concert Programme 
  • Set 1 –  Deck the Hall,  Away in a Manger, Seasons of Peace, Let there be peace on earth, Candlelight Carol, Hallelujah.
  • Joint with Band – Hail Smiling Morn.
  • Set 2 –  Masters in this Hall, Hush be Still, Anthem from Chess, Do you hear what I hear (+Ann Wilkes) 12 Days of Christmas, White Christmas.
  • Carols – O come all ye faithful, Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Christ Church, New Mill
21 December @ 7.00-8.30pm (£10)

The Choir’s annual Christmas Concert for New Mill.
Tickets available from 21st November, to order click on the button here.
Again we welcome special guest Soprano, Charlotte Browne

 Concert Programme:
  • ALL: Once in Royal David’s city
  • Choir: Hail smiling morn | Away in a manger | Seasons of peace | Masters in this hall
  • SOLO : Charlotte Browne
  • ALL : Carol – to be decided
  • CHOIR:  Deck the hall | Hush be still | When a child is born | Candlelight carol | O Holy Nightl (with Charlotte)
  • ALL: Carol – to be decided
  • SOLO: Charlotte Browne
  • ALL: O come all ye faithful
  • CHOIR: 12 days of Christmas | Do you hear what I hear (with Charlotte) | White Christmas
  • ALL: Hark the Herald Angels sing

We are also singing at Low Moor. Bradford, Monday
16 December 7:15 pm - 9:00 pm

The annual BASF Christmas concert

Sunday, 10 November 2019

New Mill MVC's newest SUPERSTAR - EMIDIO

An email dropped out of cyberspace last night. Emidio wrote:

"Should have mentioned this, Tuesday.
   Tickets went on sale from 1st November for a Huddersfield Light Opera Company production of Jesus Christ Superstar, six evening performances and an extra Saturday matinee.  
   I auditioned for Caiaphas and got the part. Doesn’t interfere with choir, at all, rehearsals are Mondays. Time enough to get on top of the part, I hope. 
   Performances are at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, 20-25th April 2020."

KEY INFORMATION from Stageagent

Adult, Mature Adult
Non Dancer
C2 (low C)
Biblical era israel

We first heard of this at the rugby club lunch 13 of us attended last Saturday. We performed 3-4 numbers and were appreciated. The game went well with a convincing win for Lockwood Park. No rain and the Osset Blonde was excellent.

Back to Caiaphas. Role size is interesting - large would be more accurate, but I guess Emidio will be pleased that he's not expected to dance. 
  Emidio, how do you feel about being an outspoken murderer? 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Russian 'flash mobs' and national anthems - don't forget 'The Temperance Seven'

Local music society looks at some Russian 'flash mobs' and national anthems - don't forget 'The Temperance Seven'
A recent local music appreciation session at Holmfirth U3A covered 'Russian Flashmobs' and 'Anthems'.
  The flashmobs appeared informally in car parks, high street shops and supermarkets. There were also formal choir concert excerpts and small groups who simply turned up and sang. Moscow, Siberia, Leningrad and others. There were a couple of points for me. First the audiences. The flashmob audiences were surprised and delighted and at the finish joined in. Presumably the concerts were performed to audiences, but they were heard not seen. The small groups sang to themselves with no one listening. I've experienced this in Inverie, Scotland and at the Male Choir Festival, Cornwall. Get into a circle and enjoy harmony and singing for their own sakes - people can listen if they wish but it's not mandatory.
  Second, singing in Russian. We couldn't understand, but we were an equally delighted audience. The flashmobs included acrobats and everyone was smiling and moving. Infectious. The concerts and small groups had to rely on their singing quality and choice of music. Kalinka and The Red Army Choir didn't inspire me. A girls' choir was marginally better. The small groups, all girls, went for tight harmonies and gentle music. They moved and smiled and looked at each other. I could have listened to more. It's vocalisation (clic and see Rod Williams) - music and voices and body language and an audience that wants to do the same.
  What makes a good anthem? Much of the following: large or small audiences having an inspired experience, instinctive, emotional, not planned, people with something in common - young, old, generational, country, district, oppression, triumph (I could go on) - adopted by sports and other organisations, traditional or modern music, dramatic chorus.
  So again it's the audience that confers power to an anthem. And again voices alone or with music. Not always in recognisable language. I defy anyone to be down the Arms Park, Cardiff before an international and not be moved by 90,000 singing the Welsh National Anthem.
  Examples - God Save Our/The Queen, Rule Brittania, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem.
  With apologies may I add Born in the USA (Springsteen), You'll Never Walk Alone (Gerry and the Pacemekers), My Generation (The Who).
  Is your fist pumping into the air? It's an anthem. The audience says so.

New Mill MVC are in concert at Huddersfield Town Hall with 

The Temperance Seven on 12th October

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Will Noble and family - don't forget THE TEMPERANCE SEVEN

Roderick Williams has featured previously on the blog - choral singing. Lately, his radio4 podcasts outlined some social history behind singing - (clic on A Singer's Guide to Britain). Songs are about people and places and belonging. Whenever and wherever their origins they help us make sense of our world. Folk songs especially seem to define who we are. Among pieces of welsh singing, Billy Bragg talking about English identity and Robbie Burns, guess who pops up? Cuthbert and Lydia Noble, children of the famous Holme Valley Will Noble, with songs about the local area and dry-stone walling.
Barry Meeres and I share experiences of cycling a ridiculous distance up and down Holme Moss (clic on here for mountain bike challenge) and a dry-stone walling course up on Crosland Moor (clic on here for dry-stone walling). We enjoyed the walling.
  Will Noble released an album of his favourites, including the Watter Rattle made infamous by non other than our Chairman, John Mallinson. Cuthbert and Lydia also feature. (For a review, clic on). The walls they repair in their day job have endured since the 18th century when the government sanctioned enclosures.

Clic here for an album sample

New Mill MVC are in concert at Huddersfield Town Hall with 

The Temperance Seven on 12th October