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Waldershelf Singers

Singing for the Love of it…

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wschoir

I am General Secretary of the Waldershelf Singers a self funded community mixed voice choir, currently the resident choir at The Venue, Stocksbridge, Nr Sheffield, South Yorkshire UK.

A Concert for Norman

Click on this link to see the poster …

MGMVC-WS Concert Poster 1

 

By popular consent, we have arranged a concert, jointly with Millhouse Green Male Voice Choir, on Saturday, 5th October 2013 at The Venue, Stocksbridge, to remember Norman Hodgkinson. The concert will start at 7:30 pm.

Norman was a founder member of the Waldershelf Singers and a long time member of the Millhouse Green MVC. It seemed fitting that both choirs should hold a concert for the benefit of Barnsley Hospice, which was the charity to which his family asked that donations be made following his death last April.

More details will be forthcoming about ticket sales. Because of Norman’s popularity, it is likely that this will be a sell out concert, so keep an eye out for announcements in the local press, on Millhouse Green Male Voice Choir’s web site and here at the Waldershelf Singers Blog or look out for posters and articles in the local press.

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Ode to The Waldershelf Singers

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
A Stocksbridge Community Choir
Singing all kinds of things
From sacred to swings
To entertain is our desire.

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
It’s a real friendly group that you see
Dressed in black, turquoise, white
We’re an interesting sight –
We scrub up quite well you’ll agree!

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
Singing four part – soprano and bass,
Tenor and alto –
Our main wish is to
Harmonise, not to disgrace.

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
With Rachel our loyal pianist;
Her fingers fair fly
Over notes as she tries
To keep us in tune – a real optimist!

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
With conductor Adam we try to keep pace;
We sing slow or quick
When he waggles his stick
And just hope there’s a smile on his face!

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
But we can’t all read music, that’s true;
We learn it by rote –
We just open the throat
And hope the right sound comes through!

We belong to the Waldershelf Singers
A more cheerful lot you’ll not see;
We’ll sing and we’ll play
Both at home and away,
Yes, the Waldershelf Singers are we.

© 2013 Christine Herbert

[Our thanks to Christine, who is a member of the alto section of the choir. As well as allowing us to appoint her to the committee last month, as our new Treasurer, it turns out she has another talent. She surprised us with this poem at yesterday’s concert in Mosborough. I’m fairly sure this will not be the last you hear from her]

Norman Hodgkinson

It is with much sadness that we heard, on Wednesday last week, of the loss of this stalwart of the Choir. Norman was a founding member of the Waldershelf Singers, just over fifty years ago, and was an experienced singer, performing not just in Choirs around the region, but as an accomplished soloist. His deep and very strong bass voice was always an anchor in the occasionally perilous seas of choral singing!

Above all that he shall be remembered for – his constant desire to sing and perform, to be there with us, supporting us in our every endeavour and never complaining about the pain and discomfort that he must have been increasingly suffering – is his sense of humour.

I’ll always remember the day when I went to pick him up to drive to a concert somewhere, and asked him how he was. His answer was, with no small glint in his eye, in a slightly exaggerated expression of the vernacular, dismissive as ever of how he really felt, “I’m better than what I was, when I wasn’t as good as what I am”. And he revealed how sharp he was, when I unwittingly responded to this, saying “and how good is that, Norman”, to which he replied “it’s better than what it was, when it wasn’t as good as what it is”

He leaves us with that amusing expression of his undaunted spirit. He was an old soldier, whose enthusiasm for singing never dimmed. He will be up there now, anchoring the Choir Invisible with the deep and secure sound of his inimitable bass voice.

Thanks, Norman. We’re going to miss you.

John Anstie

Our Fiftieth Anniversary

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Waldershelf Singers (formerly the Waldershelf Choral Society). I feel very privileged to be in this position at such a time; to be a part of this Choir and singing amongst such an amazing group of people, whom I am also happy to call friends. At the moment of such a notable achievement, on Saturday evening at Tapton Hall in Sheffield, we celebrated this with a dinner, a bit of dancing and entertainment by the six piece band, SwingamaThing. We shall not be singing for a change; we’re off duty and will be indulging ourselves on Saturday evening.

A significant part of this celebration is that we should recognise all those who have been loyal to the Choir for many, many years, some of whom have been there pretty much since we started. One in particular, who became a founder member in 1962, has given the Choir fifty years of uninterrupted service since then. He is still singing as strongly as ever in the tenor section today! He is of course the inimitable Gordon Rogers.

Last month I visited Gordon’s home and spent a pleasant hour or so in conversation with him about the choir, past, present and future, and what part he himself had to play in it over those fifty years. A recording of this conversation follows below.

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Just single click on this link:

A Talk with Gordon Rogers

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