Choir History

Choir History

 

The Kerrier Male Choir began life as the St. Keverne Male Voice Choir which was formed on the 22nd April 1944 at a special meeting which took place in the St. Keverne Village Hall where the statutory rules for the running of the Choir were agreed. Mr.H.P.Richards was appointed Musical Director and Mrs.M.A.Moyle appointed accompanist. During 1944 the Choir practised every Monday evening at St. Keverne Village Hall and at its first concert sang two pieces of music, “Bless this House” and “Bird Songs at Eventide”, along with Hymns and songs from the Sankey Hymn Book. The concert took place in the St. Keverne Village Hall and was in aid of funds for Servicemen returning from the Second World War. The event was a great success and the sum of £120 was raised for the ‘Welcome Home Fund’.

 

In its early years the St. Keverne Male Voice Choir entered the Junior Male Voice Choir section of the Cornwall County Music Festival winning the Bolitho Shield for three years in succession - 1946, 1947 and 1948. Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s the Choir continued to build its reputation and membership under Musical Director Mr.H.P.Richards, who was affectionately known by all choir members as “Uncle Joe”. Sadly Mr. Richards passed away in 1958 and the baton was passed to Mr. Jack Boaden who was organist and choir master at Cury Methodist Church and he remained at the helm until his resignation in 1966 when Mr. Hubert Hicks (who was choir master of St. Keverne Parish Church and a founder member of the Choir) was appointed Musical Director. During Mr. Hicks’ time at the helm the Choir made several visits to London to sing with the massed Cornish Male Voice Choirs including the trip on 5th November 1983 for the very first 1,000 Cornish Male Voice Choir concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

 

The Choir has also taken part in many radio broadcasts over the years including a Christmas Carol link up with Australia in 1985 and it is no stranger to television either, making 10 appearances on the silver screen, including the much loved “Songs of Praise” which took place at St. Keverne Methodist Church on 23rd October 1968. Mr. Hicks remained Musical Director of the Choir until 1994 and led it in its 50th Anniversary celebrations in that year.

 

After Mr. Hicks retirement Mrs. Ruth Martin was entrusted with the baton and under her leadership the Choir enjoyed tours to Somerset in 2001, singing in Porlock and Stonehead, and Southern Ireland in 2004, singing in Clonakilty and Kinblane. Mrs. Martin retired in late 2004 just after returning from the Southern Ireland tour and was succeeded as Musical Director by Mr. Ian Edwards, who made his musical name in the Brass Band world. Mr. Edwards led the Choir until his resignation in 2011 and during his tenure the Choir won several awards at the Cornwall County Music Festival.

In January 2012 Mr. Paul Triggs joined the Choir as Musical Director. During that year, with members being drawn from as far away as St. Ives, Perranporth and Truro it was felt by the members that a more central practice venue would be best suited to all so, at the Annual General Meeting in January 2013, the Choir voted to relocate its principal practice venue to Helston. This proved to be successful in helping to increase the Choir’s membership to its current 39 singing members. The Choir remains proud of its origins and retains strong links with St. Keverne village.

 

The Choir celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2014 with a selection of concerts including a Charity Concert at the Roman Catholic Church in Truro with all proceeds in aid of the Little Harbour Children’s Hospice, a joint concert at St. Michaels Church, Helston with the St. Stythians Male Voice Choir and the Marazion Apollo Male Choir and it supported the Burraton Male Voice Choir in celebrating its own 40th Anniversary at a joint concert in Saltash.

 

In October 2014 Mr. Triggs resigned as Musical Director and shortly thereafter was succeeded by Mr. Alastair Taylor who led a very happy choir through 2015.

 

The Choir voted to change its name to Kerrier Male Choir in November 2014 and enjoyed an enthusiastic year under Alastair Taylor’s direction completing 18 concerts.

Alastair's career took him into mainstream school teaching in late 2015 and Kerrier Male Choir was delighted to welcome Roger Pinsent as new Musical Director who took over in February 2016. Unfortunately Roger is returning to Surrey for family reasons at the end of the year and the choir is delighted to welcome JANETTE EATHORNE as the new Musical Director to continue the choir's development.

 

The Choir is always looking to recruit new members and you can be assured of a very friendly welcome and an enjoyable evening of singing. If you would like to become a member of the Choir please come along to Sainsbury's cafe, Helston where practices are now held every Monday evening, commencing at 7.30 p.m. or contact the Secretary via the contact page.