The Noughties (Volume 2)

Gentleman Songsters Male Voice Choir

2005 We performed in a total of 35 functions, which included six concerts in Dudley Concert Hall, and one in Brierley Hill Civic Hall; two massed choirs concerts and the opening of the Royal Show at Stoneleigh. During the year we appeared with three British Military Bands, and with the White Russian Army Band. We performed at the Mayor of Dudley's Charity Concert, and were guest choir at the Sandwell Civic Carol Concert in West Bromwich Town Hall. In our local singing we entertained many people at different events and are pleased to report that our charitable efforts have put well in excess of £8000 into local, national and international charities during the year.

June Box finally left us as our Assistant Accompanist during January - we thank her for her loyal service over the last twelve years.

Our Celebrity Concert guests in Dudley Concert Hall this year were the Band of The Prince Of Wales's Division (Clive) - our "local" military band from Tern Hill Barracks One of the highlights of this concert was for the band (who double up as a male voice choir) and the Gentlemen Songsters to sing Gwahoddiad together. This year's Bert Bissell Memorial Shield was presented during this concert to a different choir (The Folk Choir) from the same St Dominic's School as last year's winners.

One Of Our Military Band Guests in 2005

The band of the Prince of Wales’s DivisionThe band of the Prince of Wales’s Division
The choir of the Prince of Wales’s DivisionThe Band’s choir pictured in “Full Voice”

A party of 79 choristers and supporters took a 5-day concert tour in the Netherlands, staying in the coastal town of Noordwijk. We performed concerts in the Groete kerke, Monnickendam, the Oude kerk, Zeist, and the Englese kerk, Amsterdam. All three concerts were very well supported by the local population - and we were pleased to receive standing ovations at each. We also took the opportunity to visit Arnhem, pausing to visit and sing at the John Frost bridge over the River Rhine at Arnhem (top photo). Deemed "A Bridge Too Far", the scene of massive losses of allied forces in September 1944. Whilst in Arnhem, we also visited the Ooseterbeek British War Cemetery to pay our respects. On the evening before that visit, we learned that one of our party, Second Tenor, Albert Evans, had lost a comrade in the fighting near Arnhem, and that he had never visited the area since those dark days. We were pleased to be able to help Albert locate his comrade’s grave in the cemetery. Another Second Tenor in our party, Jack Porter also saw service at Arnhem, and likewise it was his first return visit since the war. In tribute to our two colleagues, and to those who fought in that campaign, we sang Morte Criste at the entrance to the Cemetery. - This proved to be a very moving experience to all of the party.

On our return, we joined the Kidderminster Valentines in a concert at Kidderminster Town Hall on its 150th Anniversary.

Our Annual Concert took place as usual in Dudley Concert Hall when our guests were the Steve King Big Band, together with their soloist Lynn Dawes. It was at this concert when we formally presented his chain of office to our new Vice-President, Michael Collie. Michael and his wife, Gaye, have been very supportive of the choir since we first met him. It is worth noting that he attended one of our rehearsals and passed his initiation audition with flying colours - we are still waiting to hear him sing the news on the telly!!!


The start of the year

On the anniversary of the 2004 Tsunami, we repeated our fund raising with a concert entitled "Tsunami - The Work Continues" – again our compère was Adrian Goldberg of Radio WM.

In February, we held a 12 hour Sing-In at Gig Mill Methodist Church which helped us fund our new uniforms, and also acted as a good recruitment campaign.

Local Concerts and events

Some of our “local” concerts in 2006 were The Mayor of Dudley’s Charity Concert; a concert with Black Country comedians, Aynuk and Ayli (which proved to be the last time we performed with the pair, as Ayli, John Plant, passed away later in the year); a Centenary Celebration concert at Zoar Methodist Church, Gornal with the Kingswinford Ladies Choir; for the third successive year we appeared as guests of the (re-named) White Russian Army; Dudley's Festival of Remembrance; a fund raising concert for the RNLI together with Tenby Male Choir as our guests; and then in Gornal again - at Dudley Road Methodist Church in a concert raising funds for Action Heart; and we also celebrated Stream Road Methodist Church’s 40th Anniversary in song.

Touring events

“Touring” Events included St George's Day, which was celebrated once more in Birmingham; the EAMVC concert which was staged in the Great Hall at Birmingham University; once more at the opening of the Royal Show; Cornwall, was the destination for a weekend concert tour – where we joined forces with the City of Truro Male Choir for a concert in Newquay Parish Church; in October we appeared with other choirs as guests of the West Mercia Police Band in Birmingham Symphony Hall in aid of Birmingham Children's Hospital; and then the largest event in which we participated was the Festival of Brass and Voices in London's Royal Albert Hall which raised over £95,000 for Cancer Research.UK, and on the following morning all of the choristers descended on Covent Garden for a more "impromptu" performance - something like 1000 buskers!!!

Major Events in 2006

Spring (Celebrity)Concert

Our Celebrity Concert was held in Dudley Concert Hall, where our guests were The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain. What a concert this was, with some excellent entertainment from this very talented bunch of musicians

AutumnDon Maclean

Special Guest in our Autumn concert was well known comedian and presenter Don Maclean.

Christmas Charity

Philippa TomsonWe shared the stage with Phoenix West Midlands Brass and St Peter's Collegiate School Choir from Wolverhampton, and our compère for the evening was TV presenter, Philippa Tomson

We were pleased to announce that Philippa had been elected as one of our Vice-Presidents.