Bury St Edmunds: St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir to celebrate 25 years in 2013
A CHOIR which is seen as “family” for the men who sing in it is soon to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir is now a thriving choir of about 90 members which performs abroad as well as in the UK.
On reaching 25 years in 2013 there will be a dinner at Ickworth House on January 5 for those currently or formerly associated with the choir as well as a special celebratory concert at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds in June.
Brian Raistrick, one of the choir’s four founding members, said a fire at Howard Middle School on Bury’s Howard Estate in 1984 played a part in the group’s formation.
Mr Raistrick, who was headteacher of Howard Middle at the time, said following the fire Stephen Linden was appointed as joint music master for both the middle school and County Upper School, describing him as “instrumental” in getting the choir going in the first few years.
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Mr Raistrick, who founded the choir with Mr Linden, and County Upper teachers Paul Deane and David Bailey, said: “I think at that time [the beginning] there was nearly every other choir in Bury and that’s how it started mainly because we said this is a niche, there isn’t a male voice choir, and I think the fundamental thing is how many men over the years it has drawn in.
“There’s a great feeling of camaraderie and togetherness, I must say that, and they have toured abroad. They have been to many places abroad as a choir. They have a very big programme and it’s become very successful.”
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Mr Deane, who described the choir as having a “sense of family,” said some of his favourite moments were singing in the Marble Church in Copenhagen some years ago and being the first English choir to be invited to perform at a festival in Estonia in 2007, which brought together thousands of singers.
Chairman of the choir, Ivor Thulborn, who has been involved since the first rehearsal, said it would be lovely for the choir to attract more younger members, adding how they were introducing into their repertoire songs which are more up-to-date.
He said praised the choir’s music team. Its current musical director is Mark Jefferson.
The choir normally does a concert once a month and rehearsals take place from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursdays at Howard Middle School.
For more information visit www.semvc.com. A new website is due to be launched in February.