Monday, 17 October 2016

Great guy to meet on a cruise.

The Singing Speaker, Jeff Woods. Originally from Salford, he’s lived in Wales and now it’s Lincolnshire. He’s been around a bit, singing and speaking (
His choice of best voice - Sinatra, Callas and Robeson. Other choices of successful singers included Alfie Bo, Monro, Formby, Ella, Nat King Cole and Gigli. Full of interesting factoids. Monro was a bus driver for a while. Cole was a great pianist. Formby’s dad was a top music hall act. Ella started as a dancer. 

Thursday, 15 September 2016


Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away
If you can use some exotic booze
There's a bar in far Bombay
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away

A magnificent man, except when he's grumpy

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Home of the Swale, that beautiful dale

Following Muker Show, the Silver Band decanted to the Farmer's Arms car park and played eight hymns, accompanied by an impromptu mixed local choir. Abide with Me, Amazing Grace and Beautiful Swale were included. Songsheets were provided. The bar, which had been going all day, played with two on tills and eight on taps. The queue was always a dozen or so, but never long-winded.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Bring Him Home

From a great musical. I think it was Len who had this as part of our repertoire. I can't remember it being one of our better pieces. I recall back in 1994, rehearsing at one of the schools in New Mill. It was a difficult time for the family and I just used to fill up.

soul music


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Skye Boat Song

Over 20 years ago I joined a singing evening class at Holmfirth High. The tutor was a Welsh tenor called Len Williams. It wasn't a step too far to move across to New Mill Male Voice Choir.
  Len was a legend with his stories and his irritability, but he got a choir going from the dubious resource of The Duke of Leeds taproom. We performed concerts and went on tour and became attractive to new and seasoned singers alike. We improved.
  The Skye Boat Song was a practice piece in the evening class. He obviously imagined and expected too much when he and Catherine visited the West of Scotland. Over the sea to Skye was not an uncertain distant destination, fraught with danger. His face fell as he described the road bridge from the Kyle.
  Len was the founder of the choir and jealous of others who wished to influence its running and direction, for example the committee. Eventually he left, but a great legacy.

soul music    radio 4 music that stirs the emotions


Friday, 8 July 2016

The Way You Look Tonight

This piece was arranged for the choir by our long-standing pianist Anne Levitt. She was the other half, along with conductor Elizabeth Hambleton, of a great musical team. They are still around, filling in when our current team are away.

soul music  radio 4 music that stirs the emotions

Queen Anne - CD recording QEGS, Wakefield

Elsecar winners

Sunday, 3 July 2016

How Great Thou Art

For someone with little or no religion, can I have permission to say that this is my favourite hymn?   We sang it at the Town Hall with Aled Jones on the solo and emotional it was. Elvis does it wonderfully. I did have thoughts about asking our MD if I could train up for the solo, but he then went and did his own arrangement.

soul music  radio 4 music that stirs the emotions


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Abide With Me


This was my mum's favourite hymn. It was and still is the Rugby League hymn. Me and my brother took her to the 1980 Hull derby cup final (Hull KR 10 - Hull FC 5) where the royal guest was Queen Mother. Goodness knows what she thought of the game. Same weekend as the Iranian embassy siege, brought to an end by the SAS. Mum left school at 14, shorthand typist, shop assistant (confectioner, photographer), secretary to catering dept. HRI. She died in 1995, aged 75.
  Our current version was arranged by MD Alan Brierley. We sang it in Flanders, at the Menin Gate. I think his mum likes it too.

soul music    radio 4 music that stirs the emotions


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Bridge Over Troubled Water

The choir doesn't sing this as often as we used to. It was in every concert at one time. I remember an excellent performance in Wrexham, where we shared the stage with Cantorion Colin Jones. A massive round of applause which was no mean feat in N. Wales with an elite Welsh Choir.

Clic on the link to hear more

Soul Music       Radio 4, music that stirs the emotions

Recorded 1970. Their final album and biggest hit single.

Both born 1941. New York Jews. Started singing together aged 11/13 years. Each married several times with children. Strongest early influence - The Everley Brothers.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Ready to fly

Anticipation written all over me
Thank you Howard

(won a weekend with this beast in a raffle - BMW 4series: diesel, automatic, convertible)

Saturday, 23 April 2016

New Mill and Manhattan Voices

Manhattan Voices are from Scarborough. Ladies who sing mostly modern songs, jauntily and obviously with great pleasure. Do come - they are a real treat.

And your hosts, New Mill Male Voice Choir, with their mix of traditional and modern repertoire.
Tickets from the website or Adam Brown  861519.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

New Mill MVC with Vocal Expressions

Saturday 16th April 7.00pm
Shelley College
Tickets £8 on the door
or contact (1) 07858396356 Cath Hinchliff

Subtle male, female and joint harmonies.
Refreshments included.
Perfect for the new long Spring evenings.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Homestart/New Mill MVC/Holmfirth High - Music Concert Saturday 19th March

Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. We support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. The benefits of our support include improved health and well being and better family relationships.

 Saturday 19th March 7.30 pm Holmfirth High School

New Mill MVC with Holmfirth High Orchestra

Tickets £8 from J Senior (684648) or on the door.

Programme includes, Those Magnificent Men, No arms can ever hold you, My dearest dear, Crazy little thing called love, Gwahoddiad, He ain't heavy, Can't take that away from me, Carrickfergus, Just George, American trilogy, Bridge over troubled water, The lost chord

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Happy couple and a new music group

This is the debut gig for DCM (Dave, Chris and The Dovester) otherwise known as Don't Come Monday. The song was written and sung by Labi Siffre in the 1970s and today has had a new life with Madness. It was played at our wedding evening bash, 44 years and 1 month ago.

video link

Thursday, 18 February 2016

More choir youth policy

If you could see what I can see
When I'm cleaning winders

Monday, 8 February 2016

Gruesome threesome?

 Having a night off from rehearsal

Monday, 25 January 2016

It's that time of the year again.

In other words, the AGM. Always a tricky time as guys leave the committee after several years of hard and often unappreciated work. Even trickier is the resignation of the two key people: chairman and secretary.
  We had a great Christmas period: Low Moor, Penistone Paramount and Christ Church, New Mill. Then an enjoyable weekend rehearsal in Scarborough. Our new material includes Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel and Alexander's Rag Time Band. 
  Our programme for the first part of the year is as follows:

Saturday, 19th March 2016 19:30    Homestart Concert Holmfirth High School

Saturday, 16th April 2016 19:30    With Vocal Expressions Shelley High School

Saturday, 21st May 2016 19:00    With Manhattan Voices St John's, Upper Denby


Our Laurel and Hardy tribute.

Friday, 22 January 2016

New Mill Youth Policy

Overheard in Scarborough.
'See yon lad, he's our youth policy' pointing to a thirty something.
'Where does he work?'
'Which section is he in?'
'Fruit and veg.'

For the unitiated, neither fruit nor veg are accepted as singing parts in a male voice choir.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Reasons for singing

Chris Rowbury writes (

1. Singing is a community activity
Making friends with people from different backgrounds who have a shared interest in singing. Contributing to a shared goal through teamwork.

2. Singing creates a sense of achievement
Improving singing technique and vocal skills. Remembering words and melodies and nailing a new song before performing in a concert in front of an audience. Being challenged by more difficult material.
3. Singing together makes for a great sound
Through harmonising with others in rehearsal and performance, creating together to make a really good big musical sound. Getting positive feedback from audiences after working hard on a song.

4. Singing is good for your health
Physical - warm-ups improve the body’s flexibility, sense of rhythm, balance, self-awareness, etc.
            - aerobic activity increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups.
            - singing can increase lung capacity, improve posture, clear respiratory tubes and sinuses.
             - healthier heart and immune system.
Mental   - reduces stress levels, increases mental alertness and emotional well-being.
             - choral singers are happier, more alert and relaxed after a rehearsal.

Weekend Scarborough workshop
What does beer do that is good for you?

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

New Mill's Laurel and Hardy tribute group.

Fresh from their success at the Heckmondwike Palladium, the group were a big hit at The Red Lea Hotel, Scarborough where they appeared in from of their home crowd, New Mill Male Voice Choir. Their rendition of Lonesome Pine was accurate and mostly in tune.
Rod - guitar and vocals
Ann - vocals
Clive - vocals
Dave W - vocals and inflatable hammer.

The gig nearly didn't go ahead because Dave, aka Oliver, lost his moustache. He clearly had it one minute and then it was gone. He left John and Delia hunting for it whilst he went to a Friday night rehearsal. On his return Sheila bashfully handed him the moustache which she had retrieved from a rubbish bin.