6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

Review: Dursley Male Voice Choir’s annual Christmas Concert

PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:05 22 December 2016

Dursley Male Voice Choir

Dursley Male Voice Choir

Archant

Dursley Male Voice Choir gave their annual Christmas Concert on December 16 and 17 at the Lister Hall, Dursley. Katie Jarvis wouldn’t have missed it for the world

Now here’s the thing. When I write about Dursley Male Voice Choir concerts, of course I talk about the harmonies, the skill, the melodies, the soaring of 60 (or thereabouts) glorious voices melding together into quivering atoms that lift spirits right up to the concert-hall ceiling.

All that – as choir fans will know – is a given.

But I want to digress a moment. Because what those fans also know is this. The minute you walk into a DMVC concert (especially on home territory), you just – how can I put it? – …you feel part of a community. There are those oh-so-familiar faces among the audience (even if you can’t name them, you see them year after year); there’s a sheer warmth that has nothing to do with the hard-working boiler; and there are huge amounts of fun, right from the moment you’re joshed into buying raffle tickets by the DMVC groupies (OK, then – wives, mums, sisters and friends) (and the prizes are always multiple and generous). What I’m trying to say is this: a visit to a Dursley Male Voice Choir concert is like a group hug, set to music.

But, lads! I know! I can see you all, in my mind’s eye, (in your smart plum uniforms with the black bow ties), yelling, “Get on with it, Jarvis! What did you think of the music?” (Though couched in polite terms; because these are the most urbane of gentleman.) So here we go:

For the marvellously umpteenth time, my Christmas has begun with the annual festive Dursley Male Voice Choir concert at the Lister Hall in Dursley. There are some things you expect, some of which I’ve mentioned. What you don’t expect is compere Terry Pascoe to be half the man he used to be. The debonair, slim version – so a little bird tells me – is upsetting the troupe: “If I can lose this much weight, all the wives think the rest of the choir could, too!” this ‘anonymous’ bird explained.

If we didn’t recognise the handsome figure, then we did at least recognise his dreadful jokes. “Advent calendars are going to be a thing of the past,” Terry tells us. “Their days are numbered.”

And then the music begins. “You might think this is a strange song to start a Christmas concert,” musical director (the wonderful) Barrie Cooper suggests to us. And I guess the Jewish celebrational Hava Nagila isn’t a traditional choice: “But it’s a toe-tapping, infectious song to begin with,” he adds. Besides which, its performance brings together all three members of the musical team: Barrie, Brian Parslow (the assistant musical director), and Paul Phillips (accompanist). And what a team they are!

They led the choir through a thoroughly Christmas programme that, nevertheless, was superb in its variety: the spiritual harmonies of Rise Up Shepherd; Barrie’s own A Joyful Song of Christmas (where you can sing the three harmonies that make it up, in any order you like, and still produce a masterpiece); and the Irish Christmas in Killarney, celebrating one of the choir’s favourite countries to tour.

It wasn’t just a Christmas theme that united these numbers; it was an innate sensitivity and feel for the music that the choir endows them with. Ladies, these might look tough men, but they definitely eat quiche; they definitely weep while watching Bambi. Absolutely superb.

This year’s guest artistes were Iwan Lewis and Olivia Brereton, graduates from the Guildford School of Acting, who now live in Cirencester. Despite Iwan’s sore throat (which wasn’t in evidence – at least, not to me), they were brilliant performers. Their duet from Phantom - All I Ask of You - was simply sublime. If they hadn’t already admitted to being in a relationship together, I’d have strongly advised them to consider it, after hearing that.

“Do we sing to each other around the house?” Iwan asked, rhetorically.

“Yes!” they both replied.

It was also lovely to have rich-voiced Stan Unwin back singing a solo with the Wexford Carol.

But let’s leave the last words to another of the carols on the programme: God’s Surprise, lyrics by a member of the Ionian community:

Who would think that what was needed

To transform and save the earth

Might not be a plan or army,

Proud in purpose, proved in worth?

Who would think, despite derision,

That a child should lead the way?

Indeed. Who would think that not shops, or feasts, or presents, or Amazon, but a simple choir might herald Christmas day?

Thank you, Dursley Male Voice Choir, for another perfect start to the festive season.

For details of future concerts, contact Lawrence Bryant on 01453 890195, or visit the website

For more of the Cotswold Christmas carol services and concerts, take a look here.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Thu, 15:57

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tue, 13:35

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Cotswold Life back in 2007, Candia McKormack, now our deputy editor but back then a designer, came up with this brilliant interpretation of the iconic Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album cover. We liked it so much we thought we’d use it again on our 50th anniversary

Read more
Mon, 14:29

We never tire of pretty pictures of the Cotswolds. Here are ten of the best shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Walk in the footsteps of the talented and controversial socialites, the Mitford Sisters, around stunning Asthall and sublime Swinbrook. The perfect pub walk for a summer’s day

Read more
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Crunchy leaves under foot, bracing walks in beautiful countryside, mugs of hot chocolate in cosy tea rooms and charming pubs with roaring fireplaces – what’s not to love about autumn in the Cotswolds?

Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017

For 80 years now, Bourton-on-the-Water has been one of the country’s finest locations in which to catch sight of Gulliver-esque giants. Join us as we get on hands and knees to take a peek into the homes of Cotswolds’ own Lilliput...

Read more
Friday, September 1, 2017

We go behind the scenes of Oxfordshire’s largest sporting event

Read more
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Positioned on the Roman-built Fosse Way, Moreton-in-Marsh is a town steeped in history. Complete with chocolate box houses and meandering streets, it’s the perfect place to explore for a taste of quintessential Cotswold life. We’ve assembled a brief guide to help you to get the most from your visit…

Read more
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Walk in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll and visit the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland amid the historic water meadows of Oxford

Read more
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Imposing manor houses, quiet medieval villages, idyllic swathes of countryside - the Cotswolds offers a lot for location scouts in the film business. We pick 19 famous filming locations in the Cotswolds, as seen on screens big and small

Read more
Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Reeves family, from Dursley, have always loved cycling through the countryside with daughters, Hannah and Charlotte. But as Charlotte, now 19, grew older, her special needs made cycling increasingly difficult. Their solution – Charlotte’s Tandems – is now an innovative UK-wide charity, as Katie Jarvis discovered

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thousands of visitors flocked to BBC Countryfile’s first live event last year, and following its monumental success it will return to Blenheim Palace this summer, promising to be bigger and better than ever. We pick ten reasons why Countryfile Live is the perfect day out for the whole family

Read more
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jane Leigh visits the Warwickshire town of Royal Leamington Spa to find a thriving independent sector amongst the Regency architecture

Read more
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

There are plenty of fantastic events in the Cotswolds this summer, and many can be enjoyed with man’s best friend in tow. Mark Lewis, Managing Director of Cotswold RAW, the biologically appropriate raw food for dogs, talks us through what’s coming up for you and the family to attend

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search