This is the MAY 2015 EDITION                                                    To see this email at its best, click on:
           for Members and 'Friends' of the Choir.                                                   View it in your browser.

(Photo: courtesy of Dr Wendy Allard)

The men of the Colne Valley, with their wives and sweethearts, headed down to the West Country this last weekend to take part in the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival.  They bill this festival as 70 choirs and 60 events at 50 locations across Cornwall.

For us, it was 4 concerts in 6 events at 6 locations and 1 competition. 

The competition was held on Saturday in Truro. Singers, wives, sweethearts all seemed to agree we’d sung about as well as we could.

Then came a tense wait in the Hall for Cornwall as the judges came to their verdicts.

41 Voices and over category - £1,000, Best UK Choir in its class and First Prize – Colne Valley Male Voice Choir

.... and then a few minutes later......

Overall Best UK Choir and the Peter Gould Trophy  – Colne Valley Male Voice Choir

A small Swiss ensemble, Maennerstimmen von Basel pipped us to the overall Festival trophy and we congratulate them.
But for us, retaining our title as overall Best UK Choir was the wonderful result we had striven for and our great thanks go to Thom Meredith, whose insight, guidance, musicality and unfailing patience led us to a performance, in which we can rightly take pride.

It also meant we could revel in the next three concerts we were part of, singing with freedom and confidence (and no little skill and quality in the added percussion).  

We were also able to enjoy the other performances – in particular – the stunning 8 man Czech ensemble, ‘The Gentlemen Singers’ and a youth choir, ‘Dagilelis’ from Lithuania.

(Photo: courtesy of Dr Wendy Allard)

It was a great festival and our hotel base by the seaside in Newquay was just excellent. The organisation was flawless, thanks mainly to our Choir Secretary, Jenny, so all we had to worry about was the singing.

“Still mighty after all these years” 
These were the words on the adjudication sheet from one judge, Alan Simmons. (This week, at least, I think he’s right!)

The news sinks in – Cate Clark captures the jubilation on the bus back to Newquay.

Another member reaches 40 years with the Choir.

This month it is John Smith - known to many as Jack Smith - who has reached this fantastic milestone. 

Chairman, Roger Fielding, with Choir Chaplain, John Radcliffe, presented John with a certificate marking his ‘Honorary Life Membership’ at an informal ceremony in Slaithwaite at the end of April.

“Actually,” says Jack, “It could have been 43 years or more but I had to miss out a few years.  We’ve had some great times – me, my brother, Mel, (who was Choir Librarian for many years) and my fellow second tenors.  In my estimation, they are the ‘heart of the Choir’”

Naturally, Jack was with the Choir, when it made its first venture to the newly established Cornwall International Festival in 2007.  Since then, Jack and the Colne Valley men have made four more appearances. 

He and brother Mel are shown here in 2007 with the trophies.  Sadly, Mel is no longer with us but Jack was there - in fine form -  this last weekend to share in the Choir’s latest victory.

Jack battles a soft ice-cream in the Lands End wind – and loses!

Man Catches Fish

A reader sent me this photograph of himself with a fish.  Apparently it’s a Butterley Perch he ran into, whist on his canal boat near Tunnel End.

The reader, actually Choir stalwart, Mr David Hirst, added, he’d recently caught another one just like it on a family visit to New Zealand.  “Except that other one I caught was a Yelllowtail Kingfish and much bigger.  Oo....maybe two or three times this size!  But sadly, it escaped before my lad could get his camera out!”

John Rutter talks about why choirs are special

Click here or on the image to hear John Rutter explain why choirs are important.

"Hi Mr Editor,

I have to respond by saying a huge "Thank You". The new website is terrific.  

I can't begin to imagine how much hard work has gone into this project since you offered to bring the paper version of Voice of the Valley into the electronic age and now to give the choir a second voice - that is - online.

It is a great credit to you and the other members in the collaborative effort. It packs in a lot of information in a cheerful, accessible and joyous style.  Well done and congratulations."


The Editor responds: Thank you Michael.  It is a team effort. And may I add for the benefit of other readers:- If you haven’t seen the new website yet, just type into your browser

I hope you enjoy it.  And send me your friends’ email addresses too and I’ll add them to the readership list.  Then they’ll get Voice of the Valley, automatically, in their email for as long as they want to receive it.  And send me your thoughts and suggestions about the website, too, if you would.  And if you have some suggestions for VotV stories don't hold back.  I'm always interested in readers' ideas.
And another thing.....

Have you heard these lads before ?

They are The Bottle Boys and they are quite amusing.

Bottle Boys Billie Jean Remix 
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