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Newsletter May 2019

CVMVC’s next concert is on Saturday, May 18th at 15.00 hrs at St Paul’s Church, Chipperfield. “A delightful venue on the village green, and opposite a good pub! “

Please note that the concert’s timing has been changed, to avoid a clash with other events in the village.

The programme will combine ‘songs from the shows’, with some less familiar pieces getting a ‘early run’ prior to the forthcoming concert in Gloucester cathedral.

We welcome the return of Alice Martin, who was awarded the Chess Valley Male Voice Choir bursary at this year’s Chesham Arts Festival, as the guest soloist.  Alice is 17 years old and in Year 13 at Wycombe High school where she is studying Music, English and French A levels. She has her Diploma in singing, Grade 8 flute and is currently preparing for her Grade 8 piano. Alice loves performing arts, and recently played Maria in the Royal Grammar School’s production of ‘West Side Story’. She enjoys competing in several music competitions throughout the year, and is auditioning soon to move up from the National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain into the main choir.

Tickets;£10 from Jeremy Wyman 01494 775631  or at the door

Parking; there is ample parking in the vicinity of the church

The Elgiva Gala Concert

On Saturday the 23rd March 2019 the Chess Valley Male Voice Choir (CVMVC) held a Gala concert at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham.  The event was in celebration of 25 years of CVMVC.  The evening was supported by The Rotary Club of Chesham, and proceeds will be going to both the choir’s main charity, Chiltern Music Therapy, and local charities supported by Rotary.

The Elgiva was gratifyingly full and all present agreed that it was a fantastic evening of entertainment full of energy by all involved in the concert.  The CVMVC was in good voice and performed songs ranging from ‘Thank you for the music’ by Abba to ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ by Julia Ward-Howe, New York, New York’ by Ebb/Kander, ending with a Welsh influence – Cwm Rhonda and Eli Jenkins’ Prayer.

Young musicians are always part of a CVMVC concert, and on this occasion we enjoyed the performance of The High Wycombe Music Centre Saxophone Choir directed by Katie Brown.

They performed with such irresistible enthusiasm the whole audience could only cheer and demand an encore.  Their soloist Jasmine Brown, the 16 year old daughter of the group director, was extraordinary and seems destined for great things in the future. From their playing it was clear that they enjoyed the evening, and it is hoped that they will be part of a future CVMVC concert.

London Marathon runner

Congratulations to first tenor, David Walker, who completed his 39th London marathon last month. David is one of a very select group of only 10 runners who have taken part in every race since the first London marathon in 1981.

Dave said the day went quite well, and he managed a much more consistent pace than last year, albeit a slow one.  Under  6 hours was his target, but he had to settle for 6 hours 22 minutes.

To date, David has raised in excess of £1300 for his chosen charity, the Stroke Association as his Uncle died a few weeks previously after a series of strokes. He thanks his church and Rotary communities and the choir for their support.

CVMVC Concert dates

15th June- Concert – Gloucester Cathedral. 12.30

30th June – Cream Teas Concert- St. Peter & St. Paul’s Church, Great Missenden. 14.30

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CVMVC Newsletter  –  Spring  Concert 2019      

The Christmas period was an active one for the choir – the concert at the Broadway Baptist Church on December 15th was well attended, despite the very inclement weather.  Again, the young soloists, vocalist Rose Smith, and harpist, Lucy Howitt amazed us with their prowess, whilst the enthusiastic audience participation ended the evening in style.

The following Tuesday, the choir performed in the barn at the Black Horse in Chesham Vale, and Sheila’s encouragement of one of the very young children present, when singing his choice- ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, was a highlight of the evening. At both events money was collected for the choir’s charity, Chiltern Music Therapy. Thanks to Lisa Walker and her staff at the Black Horse for their hospitality.

The Spring (only just!) concert is on March 23rd and, as part of the Choirs 25th year celebrations, it will be held  at the Elgiva Theatre, starting at 7.30,. The concert, in support of Chesham Rotary, titled ”Thank You for the Music” will reflect the wide range of repertoire the choir has performed from the early years to more recent times. As for all the CVMVC concerts, there will be talented young musicians contributing to the programme. On this occasion, they will be bringing a very different, and exciting, touch to the concert -Jasmine Brown, an excellent saxophonist soloist, and the award winning High Wycombe  Music Centre Saxophone Choir. They will be directed by Jasmine’s mother, Katie – an accomplished jazz musician herself- and playing traditional and modern jazz selections.

Jasmine is 16 and a pupil of John Hampden Grammar School (the school’s only female pupil!). She began learning the saxophone at the age of 8, passing her Grade 8 with distinction aged 12, and is now in her 5th year of study at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where each Saturday she takes saxophone lessons with Sarah Markham and plays in several of the outstanding ensembles there. Jasmine has enjoyed success in many local competitions, including the Marlow Festival for Music and Drama, the Orpheus Festival for Young Musicians, the Chesham Arts Festival and the Toddington Young Musician of the Year Competition. She has performed with both the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain. Passionate about making a career in music, Jasmine and hopes to study the saxophone at a conservatoire when she has finished her A levels.

Katie Brown, studied clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music followed by saxophone and Jazz at the University of Tennessee. She works as a freelance jazz musician and also teaches the saxophone, clarinet and coaches ensembles at various schools, as well as running ensembles at the High Wycombe Music Centre.

The High Wycombe Music Centre Saxophone Choir was set up in September 2014 with just 6 members. The group has grown over the years and is presently 15 strong. They perform a wide variety of jazz repertoire from early traditional jazz through to funk and contemporary jazz. A lot of the pieces feature improvisation and many members of the group are highly accomplished improvisers. Highlights for the ensemble have included performing twice at the Albert Hall, getting through to the finals of Music for Youth on two occasions and winning trophies in many local competitions. Last summer the group recorded a CD, which was an exciting and rewarding experience.

Chris Palmer

Mike Armstrong remembers long standing choir member, Chris Palmer, who died in December “ a friend for many years, our families shared many good times together. He was always the life and soul of a party, and his sense of humour and laughter made it impossible to be glum when in his company.

It is ironic that we rehearse in a Methodist church, because Chris and I – and several other choir members  – enjoyed the relaxing effects of a beer or two after a rigorous rehearsal session, in the ‘Recovery Room’ in the Queens Head,  and enjoyed  many a generous gin and tonic or bottle of wine together.

Chris was a staunch member of St. Mary’s church, in Old Amersham, and served for many years as a sidesman, and looked after the management and allocation of the town’s alms houses. He was a member of the local Griffin Club, and the Amersham Rotary Club, and with his long experience in HR, gave valuable counselling and career advice to many people.

He was a wonderfully supportive father to his four children, and grandfather to 11 grandchildren.

Chris was a caring, compassionate man, but one who did not suffer fools gladly, and I shall miss his company and common sense. In particular, I shall miss his laughter and optimism. An abiding memory is of Chris and I standing nose to nose in our villa in Cyprus, singing ‘I wish I was a Cloud’ to each other, having consumed many G&T’s, and I am sure that he will have found that cloud now, and be wishing us all well from it”.

Our thoughts are with his wife and family