Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir

Founded in 1928...

 

Choir News

April 2017

We have had a lovely concert in Thame and on Saturday 8th we appear at St Peters Church in Great Hasley. Tickets are selling fast. Some of the choristers are providing additional enetertainment!

March 2017
The choir is well in to its 89th year which began with our St Davids day celebration in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. It was an amazing concert. Our music team excelled, the choir had 42 members on stage and the new venue is magnificent. We had an excellent review of the concert which is available to read if you click here.

We have a busy year ahead with a number of public performances in addition to weddings and other events. We are also looking forward to two trips to Wales to sing with other choirs who are also members of the Welsh Association of Male Voice Choirs.

I've just added photos of the last 2 concerts of 2016 to the website, if you want to see the photos click here

November 2016

We are getting ready for our last concert of 2016. Its in Oxford at St Barnabas Church, Jerico and is supporting The Charity 'Young Dementia UK'. It should be a lovely occasion with songs, carols and readings to get you into the Christmas mood!

Young dementia

 

October 2016

Saturday 8th October Oxford Town Hall

I was going to write a report.... Morriston wrote such a good one... I had to 'borrow' it.

It was a brilliant concet thanks to all of the hard work put in by both choirs, soloists and our supporters. Hearing Dogs for Deaf People raised £740 for the charity and did an excellent job of informing the audience of their valuable work.


The voluptously stuccoed hall in Oxford Town Hall was the venue for Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir's Annual Concert. It is a wonderful room, with a seating gallery, and it was almost filled to the brim.

This was a joint concert, with the combined choirs singing ten pieces together, and each one singing three on their own. The two Musical Directors each conducted one half of the concert, which involved a change of seating arrangement in each half due to the different placing of the four choir voice sections for each choir. Fortunately, we were able to have a full rehearsal in the afternoon so that choristers could get accustomed to the other choir's MD's interpretation of familiar songs. This meant that, by the end of the evening, we had sung two concerts!

The choice of combined music included several Welsh favourites such as Rachie and Llanfair, and we were impressed by the command of the language by the exiles. Oxford's MD, Helen Swift, is very expressive when she conducts, and she left us in no doubt as to what she wanted from us. Perhaps it does a choir good to be conducted by a different conductor occasionally; it certainly sharpens one's concentration!

Our MD D. Huw Rees had chosen Unchained Melody, The Lord's Prayer, and Anfonaf Angel for our "solo" pieces, with bass Huw Roberts singing the solo part in the latter.

Unfortunately, our accompanist Hywel Evans was unable to travel with us due to illness, but we were extremely fortunate and grateful when Helen Swift stepped into the breach at short notice.Oxford's three pieces were the old favoiurite, Myfanwy, Field's of Athenry, and a very amusing version of Grandfather's Clock which involved some audience participation. They were accompanied by Tim Croston (piano) and Andrew Patterson (organ).

We were also entertained by operatic duo Hannah Fraser-Mackenzie and Robert Jenkins. In the first half they sang classical operatic arias, and in the second their programme was based on West End and Broadway show numbers.

The concert supported Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and we learned that it costs over £40,000 to train and maintain a dog. We were treated to an excellent 'afterglow' in the Town Hall's bar, where we were able to lubricate our hard-worked voices before heading for home (or to our hotel), having thoroughly enjoyed this collaboration.

We plan to invite the Oxford Welsh Choir back to our own area in 2017, when we look forward to brief friendships being rekindled. Thank you Oxford Welsh Male choir for our invitation to join in your special day

 

June 2016

I've managed to catch up with the pictures from our earlier concerts. Unfortunatley we don't have any from our first 2016 concert in Oakley on 16th Jan 2016. If you do have some I'm more than happy to post them on the site.

We are having a taster session to allow male singers to see if they would like to join the choir. Do take a look at the taster page <click here>

 

Spring 2016

Happy new year....

How time flies when you are a busy choir! We have alreay sung at two concerts in Oakley and Goring (Invited back in 18 months!). We also had a fabulous St Davids Day Celebration with Tenor Richard Lloyd Owen, our choir and a mountain of food. On Saturday we sang at the first of 5 weddings for 2016, although the weather was awful the atmosphere in The Clock Barn in Whitchurch was warm and welcoming. Do check our facebook page for recent photos, I'll be putting fresh ones on the website soon.


December 2015

'Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda', to all of our Welsh readers. To the rest of you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Card front 2015

Our last performance of 2015 is at Oaken Holt Care Home... sorry, its a private party!

 

November 16th 2015

Our MD Helen Swift, husband Jonathan and friend Steven Morris gave an excellent concert in Woodstock on Saturday. The programme covered music from Mozart to Flanders and Swann and was delivered in an enetrtaining manner by the trio. You missed the three attempts at 'The Elephant', which began with piano and clarinette, on the third and final time it was played on piano and contrabasse clarinette. An amazing piece of musicianship and theatre.

Helen Swift, JonathaN French and Steven Morris

on Saturday 28th November we have or final concert for 2015, do come! St Leonard's Church, Eynsham. OX29 4HW

Tickets are £10 from: Margherita Pierini – 01865 880923

 


November 2015

It's been a busy year, however, we still have two performances to go before the Xmas break. One is a public performance in St Leonard's Church, Eynsham. OX29 4HW on November 26 and the other is a carol concert in a local care home. Our MD Helen Swift is singing in a Concert next Saturday (14 November) at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Woodstock. Tickets £10.00 at the Woodstock Bookshop, or at the door, or ring 01993 813594

 

October 2015

The last few days before our Annual Concert. Everybody has worked so hard to make this a success. Please brave the horrors of Oxfords parking and road works and come to the magnificent Town Hall and listen to two amazing choirs and two 'star' soloists.

For those who missed us on That's Oxford, here is Monday's programme. We gave the choir and the concert a good plug and hopefully reached a new audience.  Shame their sound quality is so poor. You might be interested to know that I put the link on Facebook last night and it's already been seen by 391 people.  Maybe one of them will be buy a ticket!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c-60unF3gzI

 

September 2015

At the end of a busy summer the choir had day trip to Caldicot. We set off in time for an early lunch in Chepstow. After lunch the group divided in to walkers, tourists, shoppers and rugby fans. The walkers took a scenic route up the Wye valley and the tourists explored the old bridge, museum and castle. The evening concert in Caldicot was amazing. The audience packed the leisure centre, the two choirs (30 from Oxford 60+ from Caldicot) filling the space with an amazing sound. There are some photos on the website and on our Facebook page

May 2015

The sun shone on 'a grand day out' for 40 members of the choir who joined 700 other singers at the Albert Hall for the Festival of Voices. It was the best massed choir event that I have attended, the audience and the performers loved it. Check out facebook or the website for some photos.

April 2015

Where have the last few months gone? A brilliant St Davids Day celebration with our amazing guest choir Côr Caerdydd. Four more concerts and an Albert Hall rehearsal with Alwyn Humphreys. Please look at our photo pages I've just made 2015 live and completed the last two entries for 2014.

January 2015

A belated Happy New Year! We have a very busy year ahead, with eleven concerts and 4 weddings. In addition to our normal rehearsals we are putting the finishing touches to our St David's Day concert which features a special guest choir, Côr Caerdydd, in addition to our traditional Welsh Tea.

November 2014

Last night at our AGM (8/11/2014) the whole choir unanimously supported the selection of Malcolm Hookham as our new President. Malcolm has been with the choir for over 40 years. He has not just been a chorister, he has always been a 'worker' either as a committee member, marshall, organiser of the social fund raffle or just the guy who always offers to help, however menial the task. He is well liked by all of us and is a real ambassador for The Choir. Congratulations from us all.

November 2014

I hope you didn't miss an excellent concert at the Oxford Town Hall on Saturday 1st November. The visiting choir from Builth complemented the Oxford Welsh perfectly. The solo items and combined pieces were all amazing. Click <here> to hear us singing American Trilogy, with Helen Swift conducting, Tim Croston on piano and Andrew Patterson on organ. Many thanks to the Builth choir especially Bill Bain and the music team of Luned Jones, Adrian Morgan and Ann Bufton.

In a departure from recent years, our solo slot was filled by the musical duo 2Πr. This consisted of a former accompanist, Alex Howgego and singer Rhiannon Drake.


September 2014

Its been a busy year as you can see from our photo gallery. We have one more concert before the Town Hall on November 1st. This concert should be extra special with the choir from Builth Wells joining us on stage. Our supporting act will be our former accompanist Alex Howgego and singer Rhiannon Drake to listen to them click here For more details of the concert and to download a poster click here

We also recorded a brand new CD in July. Its called Remembrance , the theme is reflection and remembrance, it will soon be on sale price £10. You can see some pictures of the recording day in our photo gallery (click 'Media').

June 2014

At Haydn's funeral his son David Cooper read this eulogy. I found it so informative and amusing, recounting wartime exploits, a childhood in Wales and his early days in Cowley. I hope that you will enjoy reading it.

Haydn Cooper passed away very peacefully on Monday 9th June. He was 96 years young.

Haydn became our Choir President in 2003. He was a singing member of the choir from the early 1930’s till the late 90’s. As a boy he had travelled from Wales to join the other exiles working in the car factory. He was another piece in the intricate jigsaw which keeps our choir Welsh and his loss will be felt by us all.

The choir were very glad to have had the opportunity to sing for Haydn at his care home on 30th April, an event which he very much enjoyed and talked about during his last few weeks.

Haydn Cooper

 

April 2014

You missed and excellent concert with our guests from Tenby. The two choirs sang to a packed Guildhall on Saturday 12th April. The pictures on the website don't do the evening justice. The choirs sang two joint sets and two solo sets. The singing continued until well into the night as the afterglow took place in the bar. Our Guests were most impressed by 'Abingdon Bridge!'. Our soloist for the evening was Hannah Nye in addition to here solo Items she sang Deus Salutis with both choirs. In return we sang one line of Villia.

Look out for us next at St John the Baptist, Stadhampton on May 10th

March 2014

Our largest choir and largest audience for a St David's Day. The choir of 37 were joined by The Dafydd ap Gwilym Society, Hannah Nye and music team members Helen Swift, Tim Croxton, Andrew Patterson, Craig Williamson and Alex Howgego. For more pictures <click>

I have been getting the website up to date and have started putting pictures into the galleries. Its a long job....

For instant news do look at our Facebook page 'OxfordWelsh' and for more details of the concert with Tenby click <here>

 

January 2014

Welcome to the new year! We already have a full calendar for 2014 with a couple of extra events awaiting final confirmation. As you will see we are now booking in to 2015!

Our MusicTeam now consists of Musical Director Helen Swift and accompanists Tim Croston and Andrew Patterson. Craig Williamson remains as a guest conductor when teaching committments allow. Alex Howgego is also still on the scene, although we will be seeing less of him following his move to a new job in Bristol.

For the first time in many years we actually have our St David's Day 'Celebration' on the 1st of March.

Saint David, who lived and died in the sixth century and is credited with spreading Christianity to the pagan Celtic tribes, is unlikely to have approved of even the slightest tipple. Like the strong temperance movement that is understood to have put paid to the Welsh whisky industry in the 19th century, he was a teetotaller (hence his alternative title of 'Dewi Ddyfrwr' meaning David the water drinker).

Life at the ten monasteries St David is said to have founded was harsh, according to an essay on the Data Waleswebsite. He expected monks to follow his strict diet of herbs and bread and to harness themselves to ploughs instead of using oxen. He is the only Welsh saint to be canonised in the western church and he has been the patron saint of Wales since the 12th century.

The most famous of the miracles attributed to St David (known as Dewi Sant in Welsh) took place during the synod at Llanddewi Brefi, 42 miles north east of Cardigan. According to the Wales Tourism Board, in order to get the crowd's attention "he placed a cloth on the ground which duly rose beneath his feet and a white dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, settled on his shoulder".

Six weeks later, on Saturday 12th April, we have a joint concert with Tenby Male Voice Choir, as part of their Spring tour. The concert will be in the Abingdon Guildhall and features both choirs and local soprano Hannah Nye and Paul Varello, a tenor from Tenby.

 

 

 

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