Gentlemen Songsters Male Voice Choir

© Gentlemen Songsters Male Voice Choir   Registered Charity No 1106045 Email

Singing from the Heart of the Black Country

The Noughties (Volume 3)

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2007 - For our 50th anniversary we performed a series of concerts staged in all areas of Dudley Borough

The first of these was at St Andrews Congregational Church, Wall Heath where the choir was founded, and which was its rehearsal home in the early days. Our only remaining founder member, Don Marsh (now a Vice-President) acted as compère - using the opportunity to recount a few "old tales" about the choir and its members.

The next concert in the series took place in Stourbridge Town Hall, and included a performance by the young people from the Side By Side Theatre Group. Once again we were very grateful to Adrian Goldberg who agreed to be compère on this occasion.

Dudley Concert Hall was the venue for our Spring Concert when, our Honorary Member, Pam Ayres was the guest artist. Helping keep order on stage during this concert was another great friend of the choir - local historian and radio celebrity Professor Carl Chinn.

Brierley Hill Civic Hall was the venue for a concert with The Bachelors featuring John Stokes. The compère for the evening was local man Doug Parker

The final anniversary concert was our Christmas Charity. Our guests at this concert (which was yet another sell out) were the Phoenix West Midlands Brass and the Under Eights Choir from St Dominic's School, Brewood. Local comedian Doug Parker once again acted as our compère.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain were our guests once more- this time at our Annual Concert in Dudley during October, and what a concert it was - the "Sold Out" notice having to be posted a few days before curtain-up. Both the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the Gentlemen Songsters Male Voice Choir were on tip top form, as was our compère, Michael Collie.

Pictured is Michael Collie, who got some of the choir together to have a ukulele rehearsal session

Other concerts during 2007 included

"Tsunami - The Work Continues" opened proceedings for the year, and once again, presenter, Adrian Goldberg, acted as compère.

We contributed to Birmingham’s St George’s Day celebrations once more, and later we performed in a joint concert at Walsall Town Hall with Warley Male Choir and the hosts, Shelfield Male Voice Choir..

A very wet-under-foot Tewkesbury Abbey was the venue for this year’s EAMVC Concert

Phoenix West Midlands Brass, Doug Parker and Mel Thomas joined us in the Dudley Festival of Remembrance – this year being in support of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce Family Association.

In November, we appeared for the first time at Kinver Methodist Church- an event which raised money for the Methodist Homes for the Aged

As we approached the Christmas season, we joined with the Langley Band and other artists to perform in the Mayor of Sandwell's Christmas Carol concert at West Bromwich Town Hall

Staff Changes

During 2007, John Walley took charge of the baton as Acting Musical Director at the end of May on the departure of Lynn Andrews.

and Steven Swindells joined us as Assistant Accompanist at the tender age of 16 - working wonders for the average age of the choir!!!

2008         The Summary of a Typically Busy Year  

Saturday 2nd February  WORDSLEY Holy Trinity Church

Tsunami - The Work Continues -with Adrian Goldberg and guests Summerhill Choral Society

Saturday 5th April         DUDLEY Dudley Concert Hall

Spring Concert. Guest artist Jean Martyn Compère Mel Thomas

Saturday 26th April        BIRMINGHAM Birmingham Symphony Hall

St George's Day concert

Saturday 7th June          KIDDERMINSTER Kidderminster Town Hall

A concert with Kidderminster Valentines Ladies Choir to celebrate their 20th Anniversary along with Kidderminster Male Choir and the Malvern Singers

Sunday 22nd June         BRIERLEY HILL Brierley Hill Civic Hall

Concert with other Black Country artists in memory of Dolly Allen.

Saturday 28th June       BIRMINGHAM Birmingham Town Hall

Concert with the English Association of Male Voice Choirs hosted by Prof. Carl Chinn

Saturday 5th July SWINDON (Staffs) St John’s Church

Church Church Anniversary Concert

Friday 15th August Himley (Staffs) Himley Country Hotel


Saturday 30th August  Wall Heath Roman Catholic Church


Sunday 14th September   DUDLEY  Dixon's Green Methodist Church

Young Mens' Bible Class Anniversary Service

Saturday 27th September DUDLEY Dudley Concert Hall

Concert hosted by Viva Musica with Kidderminster Valentines and Summerhill Choral Society

Saturday 11th October      DUDLEY Dudley Concert Hall

Gentlemen Songsters Annual Concert. Guest artists Langley Band and compère Don Maclean

Thursday 6th November    DUDLEY Dudley Concert Hall

Festival of Remembrance with Phoenix West Midlands Brass

Saturday 13th December   DUDLEY Dudley Concert Hall

Christmas Charity Concert with Phoenix West Midlands Brass, St Peter's Collegiate School Choir and Harvey Andrews and compère Michael Collie.

In 2008, we were pleased to announce that June Box had accepted an invitation to become a Choir Vice-President. June was our Accompanist for ten years, prior to handing over the reins to Neil Bolton, after which time she continued for a further two years as Assistant Accompanist. The Committee and Members were delighted that June accepted this role, and we look forward to many more years with June "in the ranks"

Despite the near-collapse of the banking system, the credit crunch and the high unemployment figures, 2009 proved to be a record fund raising year for the choir – in summary we donated more than £9,800 from our own fund raising efforts during the year (which included the concert we organised on behalf of the EAMVC) plus more than £1700 raised in conjunction with other artists which was donated to the Kemp Hospice, Kidderminster, and a sum well in excess of £100,000 donated to Cancer Research UK as a result of the Festival of Brass and Voices concert in which we participated at the Royal Albert Hall in October. This was our second such concert, and this time, the 1000 mixed voices were accompanied by Grimethorpe and Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Bands

The year started at Holy Trinity Church, Wordsley when we were joined "on stage" by a touring choir from The Netherlands - the DON KOZAKKENKOOR (Don Cossacks Choir) - a Dutch choir which specialises in singing Russian music. This promised to be a fantastic start to our 2009 programme, and how right that proved to be

2009 - The end of another decade

We revisited the 60’s for our Spring Concert in Dudley Concert Hall, when our guests were The Rockin Berries.Our compère for the occasion was Black Country Wordsmith, David Bartley.

Dudley Metropolitan Borough's St George's Day celebrations took place with a concert also featuring Maggie O'Hara, Annie Hodkinson, The West Midlands Fire Service Band and Don Maclean

Our efforts turned to a big event in June, when we were the host choir, and organisers of the English  Association of Male Voice Choirs’ 2009 concert

The magnificent setting of Lichfield Cathedral was the venue, and the concert featured over 250 voices from 8 male voice choirs, plus contributions from soprano, Helen Withers, and concert organist Jean Martyn, all assisted by compère, Michael Collie (whose Grandfather was once the Dean Of Lichfield Cathedral)

We are pleased to report that we had a complete sell out for our Autumn Concert, when our star guest was Hayley Westenra. This was one concert which will remain in the memory for a long time

In the last couple of months of the year we promoted and participated in the Festival of Remembrance in Dudley Concert Hall; we were guest artists when the Central Military Band of the Ministry Of Defence of Kazakhstan appeared in the same hall, and we presented our Christmas Charity Concert, which included the Phoenix West Midlands Brass, and our compère Annie Hodkinson

Don Kozakkenkoor

Charitable Work

Hayley Westenra

pictured at rehearsal