News 2017

December 2017

    In December the choir attended five carol concerts and two funerals.  Sorry, no reports or photos [Ed.]

    Carols at New Inn, Kilkhampton, Thu 21 Dec 2017 - 09:00pm
    Carols at ASDA Atlantic Village, Bideford, Thu 21 Dec 2017 - 02:00 pm
    Funeral Brian Moore at Barnstaple Crematorium. Fri  15 Dec 2017 - 11:00 am
    Carols at Coach and Horses, Horns Cross Thu 14 Dec 2017 -09:00 pm
    Carols at.Appledore Inn, Bideford Thu 14 Dec 2017 - 06:00 pm
    Carols at Strand Court, Bideford.Thu 14 Dec 2017.- 04:30 pm
    Funeral Don Blandy at Barnstaple Crematorium.  Thu 14 Dec 2017 - 03:00 pm

Andy Atherton November 2017

November 2017

    Concert at St. Anne's Residential Home, Whitstone. Thu 30 Nov 2017 -  Time 02:30 pm

    Thursday 30th November a sunny but chilly winter afternoon when the Torridge choir men returned into Cornwall to sing at St. Anne’s Residential Care Home, Whitstone.
    The lounge at St. Anne’s is large and accommodated a good size audience and a full choir.  Our concert conducted by music director Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price, began with three songs, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ (Mack Gordon/Harry Warren), ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ (Fats Waller/ Andt Razaf) and ‘I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside’ (John Glover-Kind). Next while the choir rested, Shirleyann Andrews, Philip Price and Malcolm Pike played J F Handel, a sonata for flute.  Continuing, the choir sang a carol, ‘Away in a Manger’, followed by ‘Glorious Devon’ (Edward German/ Harold Bolton), ‘A Clare Benediction’ (John Rutter) and ‘Mermaid’ (traditional). The first half ended with another carol, ‘Hark the Herald Angels’.  During a half hour interval, audience and choir were refreshed with tea or coffee and cakes, thank you St Anne’s
    Suitably re-energized, we continued with ‘When the Saints’ (traditional), ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’ (Harry Middlebrooks and Bruce Belland) and ‘Drunken Sailor’ (traditional).  Shirleyann and Roger Andrews entertained with an amusing recitation ‘Mary Believes’.  Then followed a carol ‘Silent Night’ before the choir sang the last three songs,  ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’ (traditional), ‘John Condon’ (Richard Laird, Sam Starrett and Tracey McRory)and finally ‘Rhythm of Life’ (Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields).  Our concert ended with a carol ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’.
    All in all this was a lovely afternoon’s entertainment so much enjoyed by everyone; thank you St Anne’s  for inviting and hosting us and very well sung our choir.

                                                              Assembled and ready to sing at St Annes

Andy Atherton November 2017

    Funeral John Mann at Barnstaple Crematorium. Tue 21 Nov 2017 -   Time 11:40

    An overcast morning of November with a threat or rain did nothing to deter loving family and friends from attending the funeral of John Mann at Barnstaple Crematorium.   Only recently had John become a member of this choir, regularly he attended rehearsals and quickly was singing at concerts.   Proud to wear the ‘Blue Jacket’ John loved the camaraderie and friendship of the choir, his baritone voice will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
    The service was brief, lead by minister and friend of the family the Rev John Peak.   Arriving at the crematorium, John was welcomed to the playing of a lively jazz band whilst the Torridge men formed a guard of honour for the coffin as it entered the chapel.  After the service the jazz band again played as family and other mourners left the chapel.
    Later, family and friends were invited for refreshments, close by at the Wrey Arms.   This was a  time to chat and remember John who was a lovely kind man with a love for nature.   He will be greatly missed by the many who knew him.  Goodbye John rest peacefully, you are sadly missed.

Andy Atherton November 2017

    Concert at Hartland Methodist Church. Sun 05 Nov 2017 -  Time 07:00 pm

    Sunday 5th November 2017, a pleasant autumn evening and the Torridge choir men assembled to Hartland Methodist Church for a full concert, conducted by Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price.  Would there be rockets and sparks flying?  Perhaps so on this night of all nights.

    The Minister John Peak welcomed a good size audience and the choir, then straight away handed on to Malcolm Pike to direct proceedings.   Our first set consisted of three songs, ‘Bring Back the Beguine’, ‘Clare Benediction’ and ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’. Then followed a flute and piano duet given by Shirleyann Andrews and Philip Price playing ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ written by Jerome Kern for the 1933 musical ‘Roberta’.  Recommencing the congregation and choir together sang a hymn before moving on for the choir to sing ‘I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ and ‘Glorious Devon’ before Shirleyann returned with a recitation, ‘Joyce the Librarian’ a poem written by Richard Stilgoe.  In the third set of songs the choir sang ‘Drunken Sailor’, ‘Ain't Misbehavin’ ‘and ‘Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho’.  Time for a short ten minute break before continuing with ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, ‘Glory to Thee’, ‘Mermaid’ and a flute/piano duet from Shirleyann and Philip, ‘Memory’ from the musical ‘Cats’, a memorable tune composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  At this juncture audience and choir together sang a second hymn before the choir continued with ‘Policeman Chorus’ and ‘John Condon’.  A short interval while Shirleyann and Roger Andrews delivered a recital ‘Army Wife’ – another gem written by Richard Stilgoe.  With one set remaining the choir had three songs to render, ‘When the Saints’, ‘What would I Do Without My Music’ and our finale the ‘Rhythm of Life’.

    It has to asked, during the concert, what was Shirleyann Andrews doing under the keyboard whilst maestro Philip Price was playing?   Why, she was saving the evening of course!   Philip’s playing was so boisterous he dislodged a securing bracket to the keyboard stand and the whole assembly was in danger of collapse.
    The concert concluded, choir and congregation were invited to the church hall for tea, coffee and a chat with friends. Thank you Hartland Methodist Church you hosted a memorable and pleasant evening.

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       Torridge Male Voice Choir prepare to sing            Shirleyann & Roger Andrews recite ‘Army Wife’

Andy Atherton November 2017

October 2017

    Joint concert at All Saints Church, Down Ampney. Sat 14 Oct 2017 -  Time 07:30 pm

    After a nice morning, warm and dry spend visiting Wantage, the Torridge Male Voice Choir and families  re-boarded the coach for a short journey to Down Ampney where we would give a joint concert with ‘A Splash of Red’ ladies choir in All Saints Church all proceeds to aid ‘Mind Song’.

    Approach to the church is tortuous, by way of a single track dead end road, lined with parked cars and overhanging trees.   After minutes of maneuvering and aid from the Rev John Swanton our driver Amanda reversed the coach a quarter of a mile to deliver us directly to the church.   It had been our intention to later use the coach for transport to the village hall half a mile away, but in view of the difficulty we decided to leg it or car share.   The church yard and church were beautifully decorated with red knitted poppies (WWI remembrance service held in September) and later in the evening the path approaching the church was lit romantically with red ‘T’ lights.   Such a lot of work to prepare for this concert paid off and much admired and appreciated by everyone.

    Inside All Saints Church, Claire Lee, MD A Splash of Red and her ladies were hard at work rehearsing.   After introductions and setting up of equipment the joint choirs conducted by Claire Lee rehearsed Rhythm of Life.   The ladies then left the Torridge men to rehearse while they went ahead to the village hall to prepare supper.  When we arrived at the hall everything was laid out and ready and oh what a varied and delicious buffet meal it was.  Thank you ladies of A Splash of Red, we enjoyed your company and good food.

    The church of All Saints Down Ampney is lovely; not so large that an audience becomes lost.   Our audience almost filled the church, this only served to heighten the happy atmosphere. This concert was to raise money for ‘Mindsong’, a Gloucestershire based charity providing music therapy and training in care homes and day centres throughout the county.   First up were A Splash of Red under the baton of Claire Lee, they sang, ‘With A Voice of Singing’, ‘As Long As I Have Music’, a lovely song in French called ‘Vous sur ton Chemin’, then a solo from an excellent young man called Gabriel Knight and the ladies finished their set with a medley from Sister Act.

    Next it was the turn of Torridge, directed by Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price we sang ‘Bring Back the Beguine’, ’A Clare Benediction’, and ‘Mermaid’.   Then a short interlude while Shirleyann Andrews and Philip Price played a flute and piano duet ‘’Two Sleepy People’ by Hoagy Carmichael.   Then leading into an interval the Torridge men sang ‘Drunken Sailor’ ‘What would I Do Without My Music’ and ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’.

    At the interval refreshments were a free glass of wine or juice of your choice and a gentle reminder please to support the raffle; prises supplied by the Torridge Choir.   Recommencing, the Torridge choir sang ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, ‘Glory to Thee’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marchin In’.   Then a short interlude while Roger and Shirleyann Andrews enacted an amusing poem called ‘The Propsal’.   Continuing the singing, the Torridge finished with ‘Glorious Devon’, ‘John Condon’, and ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’.

    The final set for the evening was the ladies of A Splash of Red.   They opened with three solo items from Sue Sosbe, Sofia Aira and Katie Sylvester then continued with lovely renditions of ‘All That Jazz’, and ‘over the Rainbow.   Then followed ‘Skyfall’, an arrangement of ‘Cross the Wide Missouri’ and to finish, ‘Anthem’ written by the well known Andersson, Rice and Ulvaeus.

    Concluding our concert the choirs joined under the baton of Claire Lee to sing a big finale ‘The Rhythm of Life’.  What a happy and exciting evening this was, a substantial sum being raised for ‘Mind Song’ (Ed:  amount not known at time of writing) and new choral friendships forged.  Thank you ‘A splash of Red’ for hosting this concert and we shall hope to sing with you another time.   Well done everyone, thank you.   I think also a special mention for John and Christine Stotesbury who travelled especially to the concert straight from their cruise holiday, Wow!

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              Torridge Male Voice Choir.                Together the choirs sang Rhythm of Life. A Splash of Red ladies choir rehearse.

Andy Atherton October 2017

    Joint Concert - RNLI at Hartland.  Sun 08 Oct 2017 - Time 07:30 pm

    Every year people of Hartland turn out for the annual RNLI concert and it’s so heartening to witness such genuine support.  This evening was the traditional format of Hartland Town Band and Torridge Male Voice Choir giving their best performances to support the R.N.L.I.  The hall was filled with an enthusiastic audience who came to support our choir and band.  Representing the RNLI, Vivien Foster welcomed everyone and handed over to music director Ros Toase to begin the concert.  Pro-tem Ross leads the band while John Thompson is away.

    The band played five tunes, beginning with a composition by our own MD Malcolm Pike, ‘Playful Promenade’, then came ‘Country Garden’, ’Eternal Flame’, ‘Bells Across the Meadow’ and to finish the set a well known piece from the musical Chicago, ‘All the Jazz’.   Ros Toase handed her baton to Malcolm Pike to lead the Torridge Choir.  Our set commenced with ‘Bring Back the Beguine’, ‘Clare Benediction’ and The Mermaid.  Then a short interlude while Shirleyann Andrews recited a saucy poem about a surgeon.  Continuing towards the interval, the choir then sang ‘Drunken Sailor’, ‘John Condon’ and ‘The Rhythm of Life’.

    At the interval Viv Foster with her RNLI  team served tea and coffee while audience band and choir gathered  and mingled to chat.  The choir opened the second half with three songs, ‘I Do Like TO Be Beside the Seaside’, ‘Glory to Thee’ and ‘Glorious Devon’.  Another short interlude while Shirleyann and Roger Andrews rendered a short amusing poem called ‘The Proposal’, then onwards with our final three songs.  They were, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, What Would I Do Without My Music’ and Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho’.
    Now, it was the turn of the band to play the final set of the concert.  Beginning with ‘March of the Peers’ and followed by ‘Rhode Island Rag’, ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ and finally a medley called ‘Round the Campfire’.   The raffle was drawn and Vivien Foster thanked everyone for their support, it was such an outstanding musical evening. Then band, choir and audience stood to sing the evergreen ‘Eternal Father Strong To Save’.  What a delightful evening this was and no doubt we can look forward to another concert next year.

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    Line up Torridge Male Voice Choir          Hartland Town Band MD Ros Toase       New member for TMVC Michael Elliott

Andy Atherton October 2017

September 2017

    Joint concert Proms in Victoria Park Bideford with town band. Sun 10 Sep 2017 - Time 04:00 pm

    Sunday 10th September 2017 in Victoria Park Bideford really ought to have been warm, balmy and dry for this late summer’s afternoon, and what a shame that it wasn’t for this the Mayor’s annual charity fundraising event.  Members of Bideford Town Band, Bideford Massed Pipes and Drums and the Torridge Male Voice Choir , all travelled to put on a show in the park.  Undaunted, the silver band and choir moved to Bideford Athletic Club (Bideford Blues) to hold the concert in the sports hall.

    Bideford Town Band opened the concert with three tunes before handing over to our Torridge choir to sing four songs ‘Bring Back The Beguine’, ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’, ‘When the Saints’ and ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’. Then leading to the interval the band played two very entertaining pieces, ‘Under the Boardwalk’ and ‘Lord of the Dance’.  Following a 20 minute interval the band opened the second half with three numbers, among them the ‘Circus March’.  Next our choir sang four songs, ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’, ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’,’Drunken Sailor’ and ‘Rhythm of Life’.  Now the concert draws to a close and the finale began with a Pipe Major piping with the Town Band, this lead to traditional community singing of, ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Fantasia on British Sea Songs’, ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ and to conclude, our national anthem.

    Considering such inclement weather this was a very enjoyable afternoon of music, many people turned out to listen and literally filled the hall to overflowing.  Well done everyone involved and our audience.   Note to self, pack ear defenders next time.

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                                                    Photos of the concert taken at the Bideford (Blues) Athletic Club

Andy Atherton September 2017

August 2017

    Concert at Commodore Hotel, Instow (Bideford Twinning). Sat 26 Aug 2017 - 02:00 pm

    Saturday 26th August 2017, is August Bank Holiday weekend and surprise, surprise, the day is beautifully warm sunny and dry!  The Torridge choir was invited to the Commodore Hotel to sing after lunch for Bideford Town Twinning Association who this weekend entertained guests from their twin town of Landisvisau, France.  Lunch can never be rushed and so it was not until after 3:00 pm that the choir could start to sing.

    Malcolm Pike was our  MD and Philip Price our accompanist.  Malcolm conducted the choir through the first set of five songs, ‘Bring Back The Beguine’, ‘Ain't Misbehavin' ‘,’When The Saints’, ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’, and ‘John Condon’. Then, a short interlude while Philip Price played a piano solo, Claude Debussy Arabesque No. 1;  such a lovely piece from a French composer and so nicely played, thank you Philip.  Our second and final set of four songs consisted of ‘Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho’, ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’, ‘Drunken Sailor’, and ‘Rhythm of Life’.   We thought the concert was finished, but our audience called loudly for an encore and so with much gusto we sang ‘Gloroius Devon’.

    A very enjoyable afternoon and thank you to our host hotel The Commodore who made us so welcome and who provided us with sandwiches after the concert.  Well done everyone.

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           Pictures taken at the Commodore Hotel concert, thank you Dan Probert and Barbara Gilmore for the pictures

Andy Atherton August 2017

    Concert RNLI at Tapley Park, Sat 05 Aug 2017 - 02:00 pm

    Saturday afternoon, 5th August was a lovely day, sunny and a moderate breeze.  The Torridge boys wended their individual ways towards Tapley Park, Bideford to render a concert for the RNLI.   The gorgeous summer weather attracted a good size audience onto the lawns in Tapley House walled garden where they sat in the sun to drink tea and eat delicious Devon cream scones.

    Tapeley is a historic estate the mansion house is grade II listed, built or enlarged from an existing structure in about 1704, remodelled in the 19th century and again in the early 20th century. The estate was inherited from the Clevland family by William Christie of Glyndebourne, his grandson John Christie was founder of the Glyndebourne Opera Festival.  He bequeathed Tapeley to his daughter Rosamund Christie and she eventually passed it onto her nephew Hector Christie.  Briefly the house was a hippie commune; then in 2011 Tapeley Park was filmed for an episode of Channel 4 TV ‘Country House Rescue’ and so  began restoration of the estate to a sound financial position.

    There was a brief introduction before Andy Atherton, Deputy MD, conducted the choir into the first set of songs, ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’,.’A Clare Benediction’, ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ and ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’.   Then, our accompanist Philip Price played Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique, No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, thank you Philip.  Returning, the choir sang two more numbers, ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ and then ‘When The Saints Go Marchin’ In’.  Ther was a short break before resuming the Torridge men completed their third set with seven songs. ‘Chattanooga Cho  Choo’, ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’, ‘Bring Back The Beguine’, ‘Glorious Devon’, ‘Drunken Sailor’, ‘John Condon’, and the finale, ‘The Rhythm Of Life’.

    Now I have to say that personally I’m not in favour of out door concerts, it is difficult for the sound to carry to our audience while at the same time we are open to distraction from wind and weather.  Today was no exception when both MD and accompanist struggled to keep music on the stand.  Being outdoors this concert was different, it needed careful attention to detail, and we owe a big thank you to all who assisted the setting up and dismantling; especially Roger Andrews our Concert Manager.  Also my thanks you Dan Probert for his additional pictures.

    What a lovely concert this was, warm sunshine, fresh air, good food and company, so much enjoyed by audience and choir alike. We give a thank you to the RNLI for inviting us and to Tapley Park for hosting this memorable afternoon.  The concert over our choir were invited for a traditional Devon cream tea, just lovely and scrumptious!

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            Pictures taken at out Tapley Park RNLI concert by Dan Probert and Andy Atherton.   Thank you Dan!
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Andy Atherton August 2017

July 2017

    Joint Concert at St Nectan’s Church Stoke. Thu 13 Jul 2017 - Time 07:30 pm

    A warm summer evening in Stoke, while a steadfast audience gathered to the appealing setting of St. Nectan’s, church for an event in the 2017 calendar of Hartland’s summer festival of music.  The Torridge choir conducted by Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price joined with Hartland Town Band to entertain a goodly audience.  On this evening mischievous gremlins were lurking, despite our best efforts we could not get our piano keyboard to sound a single note.  The situation was resolved when Andy Atherton went home, to collect his keyboard and return with it just as the concert started.  Well done Philip for accompanying us on an unfamiliar piano, thank you.

    Under the baton of music director Revd John Thompson, Hartland Town Band opened the concert with the National; Anthem then began their first set with a march ‘Bound For Home’, followed by ‘Morning Has Broken’, ‘A Trumpeter’s Lullaby’, ‘Smile’ and lastly ‘Alle Fugler Sma’.

    Next was the turn of our Torridge Choir this first set with four songs comprising, ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’, ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’’ and ‘Drunken Sailor’.  Then, a short interlude while our accompanist Philip Price played Beethoven’s piano Sonata No. 8 second movement, so well played considering the unfamiliar keyboard.  The choir continued with three songs, ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’, ‘Hartland Anthem’ and ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’.  This nicely brought the concert to an interval; happy and sociable, players and audience mingled to chat and laugh and enjoy a glass of wine and nibbles.

    Hartland Town Band opened the concert second half with a delightful mix of tunes played superbly.  Commencing with ‘March OF The Cobblers’ Elephant, then came ‘Blue Grass Blues’, ‘Ravel’s Pavanne’ and finally ‘Doyen’.  The band left the stage and the Torridge choir returned for their final set which consisting of seven songs.  Beginning with ‘When The Saints Go Marchin’ In’, then ‘A Claire Benediction’, Anthem’ and ‘The Mermaid’.  Next came ‘A Policeman’s Lot’, ‘John Condon’ and ‘The Rhythm Of Life’.

    To bring the concert to a happy conclusion Band, Choir and audience joined together to play and sing, ‘Battle Hymn Of The Republic’.  This was a such a pleasant evening what a delight it was for choir and band to perform.  Congratulations to our organisers and thank you choir and band.

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                 The Torridge Choir                      Might it work with a tap and a blessing?             The Hartland Town Band

    Thanks to Danny and Yvonne Probert for some of these pics,

    Andy Atherton July 2017

    Concert at Holy Trinity Church, Westward Ho! Sat 08 Jul 2017 - Time 07:30 pm

    This was a warm July evening, sunshine made the sea and surf of Bideford Bay sparkle and Holy Trinity Church Westward Ho,  appeared magnificent.  The Torridge Choir, family and friends gathered inside wonderfully bright, sunlit church. After brief introductions, Malcolm Pike our MD conducted the choir through the first set with four songs, ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’, ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’’ and ‘Battle Hymn Of The Republic’.  Then, a short interlude while our accompanist Philip Price played Beethoven’s piano Sonata No. 8 second movement.  Nicely played, thank you Philip.  For our second set leading to the interval the choir sang ‘Glorious Devon’, ‘What Would I Do Without MY Music’, ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ and Bring Back The Beguine’. This brought the concert nicely to an interval, the choir could rest voices while the congregation enjoyed a raffle.

    The second half began with ‘Chattanooga Cho  Choo’, ‘A Claire Benediction’, ‘Hartland Anthem’ and ‘The Mermaid’, leading into a second piano solo from Philip Price, he  played Arabesque number 1 by Claude Debussy.  Moving on to our final set of four songs, ‘A Policeman’s Lot’, ‘When The Saints Go Marchin’ In’, ‘John Condon’ and the finale, ‘The Rhythm Of Life’.  The concert concluded, choir and congregation were invited to the church hall for tea, coffee and a chat with friends. Thank you Holy Trinity Church, you hosted a memorable pleasant evening.

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             Gathering before the concert                       Torridge Male Voice Choir                              Pre concert chat

    Andy Atherton July 2017

June 2017

    Joint concert with Appledore Singers, Clovelly Memorial Hall, Sat 17 Jun 2017 - 06:00 for 06:30 pm

    A warm summer’s evening on the Hartland Peninsular where a small audience of music lovers gathered in Clovelly Community Hall for an evening of song and were ably entertained with a joint concert given by Appledore Singers ladies choir and the Torridge men.

    Our Torridge choir opened the concert; conducted by Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price, the opening set of songs were ‘Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho’, ‘Clare Benediction’ and ‘I Do Like to be beside the Seaside’.  Then a trio, Philip Price (Cello), Shirleyann Andrews (Flute) and Malcolm Pike (Piano) played Elgar’s Salut d’Amour.  Then, the choir continued to sing ‘What Would I do Without My Music’, ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ and ‘When the Saints Come Marchin’ In ‘

    Now was time for the Appledore Singers; conducted by Pam Beechy and accompanied by husband Chris, the ladies sang five wonderful songs.  ‘Another Op’nin, Another Show’, ‘When Will I See You Again’, ‘I Won’t Last A Day Without You’, ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘What A Mornin’.

    The interval was cheerful filled with chatter, laughter and folks relishing needed refreshment.  Then, to open the second half the Torridge Choir returned to the stage with six songs, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, ‘Bring Back the Beguine’, ‘Glorious Devon’, ‘Mermaid’ and ‘John Condon’.  To follow the (Apple) ‘Pips’ sang a delightful a cappella medley of three songs, ‘Bill Bailey’, Moon River’ and ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ before the whole Appledore Singers choir returned to stage for their final set, singing ‘Alexander’s Rag Time Band’, ‘Breaking Up Is Hard to Do’, ‘For All We Know’, ‘Shine’ and ‘This Little Light of Mine’. 

    To bring the concert to a close the Torridge boys clambered on stage to join with the ladies to sing ‘Rhythm of Life; accompanied by Pam and Chris Beechy, conducted by Malcolm Pike, this joint choir rendition was a great joy.  What a lovely evening this was and such a pleasure for these two choirs to perform.  Congratulations and thank everyone involved.

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    L to R: Derek Gale, Fred Poole and Richard Lockwood                                     Appledore Singers

                                 Joint Choirs - Appledore Singers and Torridge MVC singing ‘Rhythm of Life’

Andy Atherton June 2017

    Concert at Deer Park Nursing Home, Holsworthy. Thu 08 Jun 2017 - Time 03:00 pm

    Thursday 8th June and after previous wet weather, the sun came out while the choir travelled to Holsworthy to deliver a concert at Deer Park Nursing home. This is a new venue for the choir and we were warmly welcomed.   Before an audience of residents, visitors and staff, the concert was conducted by music director Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price.  We sang the same programme as our previous concert at St Annes, so here I shall not repeat myself.  All in all this was a lovely afternoon’s entertainment much enjoyed by everyone; thank you Deer Park for inviting and hosting us and very well sung our choir.


    Andy Atherton June 2017

May 2017

    Concert at St. Anne's Residential Home, Holsworthy. Wed 24 May 2017 -  Time 02:30 pm

    Wednesday 24th May, a gorgeously warm sunny afternoon saw the Torridge choir boys travel across the border into Cornwall to sing at St. Anne’s Residential Care Home at Whitstone.  Our choir had not visited St. Anne’s before and we were warmly welcomed and taken to a spacious lounge with room enough for choir and residents.

    Before a good size audience the concert began; conducted by music director Malcolm Pike and accompanied by Philip Price, we opened with four songs, ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’ (traditional), ‘A Clare Benediction’ (John Rutter), ‘I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside’ (John Glover-Kind) and ‘You Raise Me Up’ (Rolf Lovland/Brendan Graham).  The choir rested whilst Shirleyann Andrews and Philip Price played a flute & piano duet ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ (Jerome Kern).  Then the first half was completed with three songs ‘What Would I Do Without My Music’ (Harry Middlebrooks And Bruce Belland), ‘A Policeman’s Lot’ (William Gilbert / Arthur Sullivan), and ‘When the Saints’ (traditional).  Then followed an half hour interval, audience and choir were treated to refreshing tea or coffee and delicious home made cakes, so very nice and thank you St Anne’s.

    Refreshed, the concert continued with three numbers, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ (Mack Gordon/Harry Warren), ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ (Fats Waller/ Andt Razaf), ‘Bring Back the Beguine’ (Alan Simmons).  Then, playing a second flute & piano duet Shirleyann Andrews and Philip Price performed ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ (Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields).  The final concert segment began with a rousing rendition of ‘Glorious Devon’ (Edward German/ Harold Bolton). (Being in Cornwall I did wonder whether our audience might respond with Trelawney?  Ed.), Three more songs ended our concert, ‘Mermaid’ (traditional), ‘John Condon’ (Richard Laird, Sam Starrett and Tracey McRory), and finally ‘Rhythm of Life’ (Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields).

    What a lovely concert this was, so much enjoyed by audience and choir alike; thank you St Anne’s Home for inviting us and hosting the afternoon.   Well sung our choir and especial thanks to the gentleman from our audience who joined us on stage to sing ‘Glorious Devon’ and ‘Rhythm of Life’.

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                                         Pictures taken at St Anne’s Residential Home during our concert


Andy Atherton May 2017

April 2017


    Mayor’s concert at South Molton Town Hall. Sat 22 Apr 2017 -  Time 07:30 pm

    A warm spring evening in North Devon, perfect for members of Torridge Male Voice Choir travelling to South Molton for the Mayor’s concert to aid dementia charities of the district.  A large audience gathered in South Molton Town Hall, exited about the prospect of a fine musical evening.  On this occasion our Music Director was not available so Andy Atherton stepped up from the Baritone section to become MD for the evening, our choir was accompanied by Philip Price.

    At 07:30 pm Councillor Stephen Lock, Mayor of South Molton welcomed everyone to the hall and a programme of four musical acts, a charity auction and raffle.  To opening the concert South Molton Circuit Choir stepped onto the stage to sing a melange of gospel hymns and well known songs from hit musicals. 

    Following on, the second performance came from Torridge Male Voice Choir.  To open we sang a gem by ‘Fats’ Waller “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, this tune is said to have been written whilst “…lodging in alimony prison …”.  Our next song was “Bring Back the Beguine”, a song specially written by Alan Simmons for past members of Gillingham MVC,  swiftly followed by a well a well known favourite written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”,   African American spiritual songs abound and our fourth song is both well known and popular, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”, then came an evergreen written by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Field, the wonderful song “Rhythm of Life”.  The Torridge boys Grande Finale was a tribute to our lovely county, written by Edward German it is “Glorious Devon”.

    The interval was a happy, sociable and noisy affair, players and audience thronging together to chat, laugh and enjoy cups of tea or coffee with biscuits.  To keep the entertainment running, towards the end of the interval there was a live charity auction.  Then onward into the second half of musical entertainment, act three was a duo, Joanna Preston (Recorder) and Tom Bayliss (Keyboard); they played a delightful variety of classical music to the delight and pleasure of the audience.  The fourth and final act for the evening from Torrington was ‘Ploughcapella’, an a capella singing group expertly and enthusiastically lead by Alison Whittall, they sang a long programme of nine songs.

    Well after 10:00 pm the evening closed with acknowledgements and thanks from Councillor Stephen Lock and a reminder to collect raffle prizes on the way out.  This was a charming evening and such a pleasure for our choir to perform.  Congratulations to South Molton Town Council and thank you all performers.   After the concert some of our choir visited The George Hotel for drinks and a mini afterglow.   Well sung everyone!

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    Our choir singing at The Mayor’s Concert, South Molton to support district dementia charities

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    Joanna Preston (recorder) & Tom Bayliss (keyboard);         Ploughcappella

Andy Atherton April 2017

February 2017

    AGM at Woolsery Hall, Wed 15 Feb 2017 - 08:00 pm

    Choir Annual General Meeting, 16 Feb 2017,  08:00 pm

    The Choir held its AGM in the Woolsery community hall, minutes to the previous AGM were read and accepted.  Our elected officials for the coming year 2017/18 year are listed below.

    Committee Members
    - Chairman - Derek Gale
    - Treasurer - Derek Gale
    - Secretary - Gordon Mills
    - Concert Manager – Roger Andrews
    - 1st Tenor S. L. - Jim Wood
    - 2nd Tenor S.L. – Chris Wrigley
    - 1st Bass S.L. - Bob Ridout
    - 2nd Bass S.L. - Fred Poole

    - Accompanist - Philip Price
    - Almoner/Social Steward    -    Roger Andrews/Bob Ridout
    - Archivist - Roger Andrews
    - Assistant Treasurer – Bob Hopkins
    - Charities Recorder - Chris Wrigley
    - Deputy M. D. - Andy Atherton
    - Gift Aid Co-ordinator - Jim Wood
    - Librarian - Jim Ashman
    - Music Director - Malcolm Pike
    - Press Secretary - John Stotesbury
    - Web Master - Andy Atherton

    The meeting closed at 09:45 pm

Andy Atherton February 2017

January 2017

    Annual Dinner at The Durrant Hotel,  Northam. Sat 28 Jan 2017 - 07:30 for 08:00 pm

    Almost, in this year of 2017, the Torridge Choir did not celebrate with an annual dinner. At a late stage the original booking with Hartland Quay was cancelled, but after determined telephone calls and visits Chairman Derek Gale and our wonderful committee arranged a return to the Durrant Hotel, Northam.  Held in the hotel’s atmospheric dining room, the evening was outstanding, relaxed, cheerful and with appetising food.

    It was wonderful to have with us two of our retired members and their wives, Gerald and Sheila Tithecott and Eric and Lillian Clements.  Also it was simply fantastic to welcome wives of members past, Christine Higgins, June Shepherd-Blandy and Betty Howarth.  We hope you all enjoyed a thoroughly good evening.

    After the meal Chairman Derek Gale gave a brief, warm and hearty speech, with special mentions and thank you’s to all those whose efforts helped to keep the choir running, not forgetting partners who support us throughout the year.  Derek gave a special thank you to our M.D. Malcolm Pike and his wife Jill.   Through this past year Malcolm battled to successfully raise the standards of our choir, thank you Malcolm it is so much appreciated.

    Best attendance award was won by Andy Atherton, and this year’s special Chairman’s award went to founding choir member Gerald Tithecott, marking his retirement from the choir after so many years of loyal service.

    During dinner Concert Manager Roger Andrews ran a three phase raffle draw, what a good way to do this Roger!  So well done and cheerfully raising £148.   With dinner over, a seamless segway into singing popular songs. A good evening was had by all and we look forward to this exciting year ahead.

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    Pictures from our annual dinner at the Durrant Hotel, special retirement award to founding member Gerald Tithecott

Andy Atherton January 2017