<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
13 ISSUES FOR £24 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

Cotswold designers, growers and artists have picked up medals across this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Read more

Walk in the footsteps of Cider with Rosie author, Laurie Lee, as you explore the glorious Slad valley, ending up at his favourite local, The Woolpack

Read more

If captivating grade-listed buildings with landscaped gardens are your thing, you’ve come to the right place. We pick 10 of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring stately homes you simply need to visit this year

Read more
Yesterday, 10:56

Guests can expect afternoon tea, Prosecco and live classical music in the beautiful grounds of Mallory Court, Leamington Spa on Monday May 29. The event will celebrate the 90 years National Gardens Scheme charities have dedicated to UK palliative care

Read more
Friday, May 19, 2017

Giffords Circus – Any Port in a Storm, 2017 tour, at Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

Read more
Thursday, May 18, 2017

They say Cirencester is the capital of the Cotswolds but the quintessential villages that adorn the northern half of the region are equally as beautiful. In no particular order, we pick 10 of the prettiest north Cotswold villages you need to explore

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May sees the arrival of a sea of blue, and the woodlands of Gloucestershire are no exception. We pick ten pretty spots in the county to admire beautiful blankets of bluebells

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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

Read more
Monday, May 15, 2017

Gatcombe Park offers spectators one of the best cross country experiences in the world with most of the action visible from just two special locations

Read more
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

There are many beautiful spots in and around the Cotswolds to lay your blanket down and enjoy a good old fashioned picnic! Here are 13 of the best…

Read more
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Boasting quintessential English villages, breathtaking countryside and iconic landmarks, the Cotswolds have plenty of wonderful scenery to enjoy and explore. We round up some of our favourite rambles in the region

Read more
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nestled in the heart of England, Oxfordshire Cotswolds is steeped in history, culture and beauty. The picture-perfect villages, just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the Oxford city centre, are wonderful to explore. We pick 10 of the prettiest to visit

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

One of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK with its vibrant towns and charming villages, bags of history and intrigue, vast countryside and impressive architecture, we choose 32 reasons why the Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Read more
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Where else would you hold a literary festival? Tracy Spiers goes to the home town of the Bard to find out abou this year’s exciting event

Read more

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