Could Monmouth Male Voice Choir be the first set of choristers in the whole of Britain to return to
face to face rehearsals? Chairman Huw Edwards certainly believes this to be the case as, on a sunny but distinctly chilly Thursday 6th May, 38 members (across two sessions) resumed rehearsing in the grandstand at Monmouth Sports Ground.
As soon as the Welsh Government granted permission, allowing 30 to meet outdoors for organised activities, Events Co-ordinator Clive Weatherby assembled a task force to set everything up. Weeks of preparation were needed. A full risk assessment was carried out, permission sought from the appropriate authorities, electric generators acquired and social distance spacings set out. A ‘dry run’ was then held at the end of April. On receiving the thumbs up, the choir set up a strict booking system and all was ready for the kick off.
In order to comply with Covid regulations, two rehearsal sessions were organised for the evening. As the excited choristers gathered, few could believe that 59 weeks had elapsed since their last public performance, the Flood Relief Concert held at St Mary’s Priory Church in March 2020. After such a long lay off voices were understandably a little croaky, but MD Mike Steer was happy to ease members in gently with a series of vocal exercises. Accompanist David Carr, suitably attired in overcoat and fingerless mittens, sheltered from the chilling wind in a gazebo, but still managed to perform to his usual high standard. The choir ended the session with a rendition of Ar Hyd Y Nos, with many feeling that they could have sung “all through the night”, such was the joy from being back together.
The success of the evening ensures that these rehearsal sessions will now continue on a weekly
basis until indoor sessions at the Baptist Church can resume. Monmouth Male Voice Choir wish to express their thanks to Monmouth Sports Association for their assistance throughout.
If you are interested in joining Monmouth Male Voice Choir, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
original article published in Monmouthshire Beacon