About WMVC
How It All Started
Choir People

Weybridge Male Voice Choir
Founded 1921
Serving The Community

Want To Join?
Photos
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Events

Registered Charity No. 1038624
Member of the National Federation of Music Societies
About Weybridge Male Voice Choir
Hon. President: Malcolm Singer M.A. (Cantab.)
Director of Music, The Yehudi Menuhin School
Director of Music: Christine Best
B.A. Cert. Ed. ACertCM

Weybridge Male Voice Choir outside Peterborough Cathedral

Weybridge Male Voice Choir outside Peterborough Cathedral
where they sang on route to a joint concert with
Sheffield's Worrall Male Voice Choir 2006

   We are a choir of amateur singers who :
  • Are based in Weybridge, Surrey, England and come from all backgrounds, age groups, occupations and levels of singing experience
     
  • Sing for our own enjoyment , to preserve and extend the male voice choir tradition and to raise money for deserving causes
     
  • Are a registered charity in our own right , performing twenty concerts or more each year for local and national charities
     
  • Take pride in the reputation we enjoy and the standard of performance we have achieved under the expert guidance of our Musical Director
     
  • Delight in sharing our love of singing with local, national and international audiences
     
  • Maintain an extensive and varied repertoire from which we are able to build a concert programme to suit all musical tastes
     
  • Have undertaken many concert tours nationally and abroad, and participate in festivals and competitions
     
  • Enjoy the unique fellowship and camaraderie of joint performances and events with other choirs
     
  • Gladly welcome new members without formal audition - the only requirement is a desire to sing!
Weybridge Male Voice Choir is about 60 strong and performs at around 20 concerts each year, raising funds for national and local charities, such as the Sam Beare ward in Weybridge for which the choir help raise over 5,000 earlier this year in a joint concert with the Treble Clef ladies Choir.
A recent engagement was at Brooklands Museum where they performed for the Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Victor Eldridge, at his charity dinner. They have released their latest CD which will be on sale from 19 March. For more information about this, see their website - details at bottom of this page.
How It All Started

In 1921 a small group of choristers from the United Reformed Church in Weybridge decided to get together on a regular basis to sing. Very soon they were giving public performances in support of local charities and community projects, and so was born the Weybridge Male Voice Choir. From those humble beginnings the choir has grown to its present strength of over seventy members and enjoys a national and international reputation

"Big trees from little acorns grow" seems to be a fair description of the birth and development of the Weybridge Male Voice Choir, for such was the success of a scratch male quartet at a concert in the Congregational Church Lecture Hall in Queen's Road, Weybridge in 1921 that recruitment was started to form a choir.

An inaugural meeting over a cup of tea resulted in the formation of the choir under the leadership of its first conductor, Mr Charles Edwards, and it soon started accepting local concert engagements. Recognition of the choir swiftly spread throughout North West Surrey and demand for concerts in support of worthy causes increased each year. Choir membership grew too, reaching nearly sixty by 1925.

Like any amateur organisation the choir has had its 'downs' as well as 'ups'. After the burgeoning success of the first years the choir hit hard times in the early thirties, with falling membership resulting in an unbalanced choir. With hard work and enthusiasm, however, this trend was soon reversed and the choir re-structured to continue its growth, entering the local competitive arena in 1933 at the Kingston Music Festival.

Participation in festivals has continued ever since with some notable successes. The Second World War interrupted activities, but at a special general meeting in 1946 the choir was reunited once more to resume where it had left off.

During the twenty seven years under the Musical Directorship of Bob Farrow, from 1950 until his death in 1977, the quality, success and reputation of the choir blossomed, and continued under the subsequent leadership of Malcolm Singer (now Musical Director of the Yehudi Menuhin School at Stoke d'Abernon) and then Thomas Hartman.

Under Tom's baton the choir celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 1981 with a series of special concerts, culminating in a performance of Cherubini's Requiem in D Minor for male voice choir and orchestra.

With Tom's departure after two enjoyable years it was not possible to find a full-time Musical Director to replace him immediately, and the choir entered another difficult period with membership starting to fall.

The trend was soon reversed, however, with the appointment in 1985 of our present MD, Christine Best, who had already been involved with the choir for many years as accompanist.

Weybridge Male Voice Choir in Cathedral Concert, Liverpool July 2005

Weybridge Male Voice Choir in Cathedral Concert, Liverpool 2005

Weybridge Male Voice Choir in Cathedral Concert, Liverpool July 2005

The last decade has seen another 'golden age' in the choir. As well as its usual programme of twenty or so concerts each year in support of charities and community projects the choir has;

  • Toured abroad in Holland, Germany, France and the Czech Republic
     

  • Participated in World Choir events in Cardiff Arms Park, Atlanta and Dublin
     

  • Competed with success in many festivals
     

  • Performed in many Cathedrals and other prestige venues (Lichfield, York, Peterborough, Wells, Ely, London Guildhall)
     

  • Participated in the VE Day anniversary celebrations in Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.

Weybridge has been an enthusiastic participant in the regular Six Choirs Festivals involving male choirs across the country, and has hosted the event on two occasions. The choir is always pleased to join with other choirs and in recent years has been pleased to welcome to its Annual Concert in Weybridge choirs from Chicago, Germany, Prague, Vancouver, Tonna and Port Talbot.

In 1996 the choir celebrated its 75th Anniversary by participating in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and staging a special Anniversary Concert at the Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, London.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and devotion of its Musical Directors and other officers the choir has gone from strength to strength, becoming an integral part of the artistic and social life of Weybridge and surrounding areas as well as expanding its reputation nationally and abroad. We are resolved to continue and build on these strengths into the 21st century!

Choir Events in 2012 Include     
Sat 28th January 2012 Concert For The Elderly & Disabled
Free Concert at Chertsey Hall
Sat 4th February 2012 at St Peter's Church Hersham
in aid of the Mayor Of Elmbridge Charities,
including the Sam Beare Hospice, Weybridge
Sat 31st March 2011 - Spring Concert
Joint Concert with Treble Clef Ladies Choir and "A Touch Of Brass"
in aid of the The Patience Baden-Powell Centre
at Walton Firs Activity Centre, Cobham.
Choir People      

Christine Best, Musical Direcor of Weybridge Male Voice ChoirChristine Best Musical Director

The Weybridge Male Voice Choir is very fortunate to have Christine Best as its musical Director. Through her musical ability and dedication, she has led the choir through many fine performances and competition successes.

Christine is also musical director of the Treble Clef Ladies Choir and both choirs have performed together in combined concerts. In addition she directs the St James' Church Choir in Weybridge where she is also organist. The church choir has a very fine reputation and has been invited to sing in Westminster Abbey on several occasions. Christine also directs the Weyward Singers, a mixed Choir, and organises instrumental groups for young people.

She is Governor of St James' Church of England Primary School in Weybridge, where she assists with training of the choir and teaches recorder and other instrumental groups.

 Mike Wood - Accompanist - Weybridge Male Voice ChoirMike Wood - Accompanist

Mike Wood's enjoyment of music and musical performance has endured from his early teens when he learnt the flute. He played in many orchestras and also found the opportunity to teach himself to play the organ. He was appointed church organist when he was 16.

Mike joined WMVC as a chorister, but after a brief spell became the choir's accompanist - a role he has filled for the past 10 years.
He describes himself as an amateur musician who is delighted to have found a beneficial outlet for his talents.

As well as playing for other choral societies and groups, he was for some years Organist and Choirmaster at St Mary's Church, Sunbury and St Nicholas' Church in Shepperton.

Want To Join Us ?  
Want To Join Us?   "But I can't sing..."

This is the reply which often comes back when someone is invited to join the choir. Christine, our Musical Director, has a ready answer.
"Most of us can sing, but many don't realise it!"

And it's true! Singing and making music is as instinctive to us humans as breathing, eating and drinking! It helps if you can hold a tune in your head, but beyond that everything else can be taught - something that Christine is very good at as the performance quality of the choir demonstrates at every concert.
 
So if you live within reach of Weybridge and you'd like to give us a try, just come along to one of our weekly practice sessions, any Tuesday evening, 8pm at St James' Parish Centre, Weybridge. Park in the adjoining Churchfield Road Car Park.

There is no formal audition, only an informal test after a few weeks. You will be made very welcome and can decide for yourself whether or not you want to join us.

Of course, we're always happy to welcome experienced singers too, so if you live or work in the area, please come along.
 
The Magnificent St James' Church - A Beautiful Local Landmark

St James' Parish Church

 
We have built up an extensive and varied repertoire of items ranging from traditional male voice numbers to modern arrangements, and regularly add new items, many of them suggested by members themselves. Christine is also prolific in the bespoke arrangements and original numbers she pens for us!

We perform about twenty or so concerts each year, mostly in support of local and national charities at home and abroad as an important element of our choral and social diary.

For more details, contact David Thomson on the number below.
Photos
Weybridge Male Voice Choir Singing at the Eden Project Cornwall
Above: Weybridge Male Voice Choir Singing
at the Eden Project during the 2009
Cornish Festival of Male Voice Choirs
Photo Courtesy Bernard Andrews Photography
Weybridge Male Voice Choir in Cathedral Concert, Liverpool July 2005
There are 4 excellent photos on this page of the choir's visit
to Liverpool in July 2005, when they sang in both Cathedrals
Weybridge Male Voice Choir in Cathedral Concert, Liverpool July 2005
If you have any other photos of Weybridge Male Voice Choir,
please send them in (with brief details of the event) to info@allaboutWeybridge.co.uk
Contact Details

Weybridge Male Voice Choir

General / Membership:
David Thomson 01276 474 056 info@weybridgemvc.org.uk
Concert Bookings:
Dave Cox 01252 326 514 bookings@weybridgemvc.org.uk
 

Weybridge Male Voice Choir Website

See Choir Events for details of forthcoming concerts

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