SINGING TOGETHER

SINCE 1923

OUR CHOIR MEMBERS

First Tenors

 Rodney Gifford, Tim Harris, Rob Holmes,

John Huxtable, Jim Jarvis, Frank Moore, Philip Peppard, 

Tony Sherlock, Terry Williams

Second Tenors

Reg Alford, Cliff Banbury, Hugh Goddard,

 Tony Harrison, Martin Linter, Daryl Livingstone, Mark Schmid, Tim Sellers,

Mike Shave, Ron Wheeler

First Bass

Gareth Ballard, Ian Chesney, David Gibbon, Dave Greenwood, Glyn Hallett,

Keith Hills, David James, Lyn Jenkins, John King, John Newsome, 

Richard Sheard, Paul Wallis, Andrew Warner

Second Bass

Ian Burt, Luigi Capozzoli, Drew Simcox, Peter Lander,

David Taylor, Paul Rogers

 

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Tracey Hansford

Musical Director

Cheltenham born soprano Tracey Hansford completed a Music Degree in Bath specialising in performance in 1994. Tracey enjoys a varied repertoire of recitals and oratorio in the local area and is currently singing with Operaletta, a Bath Opera group. She also regularly performs with Ad Lib who are an 8-piece barbershop group. Tracey runs a successful teaching practice both in Wells and Bristol and is also musical director of Cantabile who are a ladies choir based in Wells.  This is Tracey's seventh year as Musical Director of the Glastonbury Male Voice Choir.

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- 1923 -

It was on February 1st 1923 that a meeting was held in St John's schoolroom to consider the creation of a male voice choir in Glastonbury. A committee was formed with a Mr Pocock as secretary and Mr George Durston as conductor. St John's schoolroom was booked as a practice venue at the rate of 2/6d (12 1/2) a week during winter months and 9d (4p) a week during the summer months. The first practice was held on February 16th with 20 members in the choir.​The choir gave their first concert on 29th July 1923 and right from the beginning it was decided that at all concerts no charge would be made for their services and that policy remained until as recent as 2005. Previously the conductor and accompanist gave voluntarily of their services and choir members paid a nominal annual fee to cover expenses. However, times have changed and since 2005 it has been necessary to turn to the professionals for musical direction, that has resulted in a performance charge to help cover expenses.​The choir continues primarily to perform in support of national and local charities and fund raising organisations.I'm a team member. I'm a great place to list my job title and introduce me so your customers can get to know me. Double click me to change me and add your own content. To customize me and change my font go to the Design panel.

- 1924 -

The Founders of the Glastonbury Male Voice Choir, a year after its formation.

- 1930 -

It is interesting to read in the minutes of a meeting in 1930 that the quality of the singing was discussed and that several young members of the choir should be asked to resign! However, this threat was not carried out and the choir continued going from strength to strength.

- 1940 -

There is a record of a meeting on January 16th 1940 but the minutes were never ratified or discussed due to the effect of the Second World War when the choir was disbanded.

- 1945 -

The first meeting after the war was on 13th December 1945, George Durston was still conductor and a Miss Barbara Badman was invited to become the accompanist. It is said that she told the choir that she would come along for a couple of weeks to see how she got on!

- 1948 -

- 1950 -

In 1950 the choir won the "Golton Cup" in the open section at the Bournemouth Musical Competition Festival. That was one of many cups and competitions won during the choir's competitive years but sadly all cups and trophies were lost many years ago.

- 1951 -

​In September 1951 George Durston retired after 28 years as founder conductor and eventually died in 1958 but is still revered today as the man with so much vision and music.

- 1953 -

It was decided in 1953 for the choir to hold its own 'Ladies Night' Concert as an annual event, this continues today under the title of 'Guest Night' and held every May in the Glastonbury Town Hall.

- 1955 -

- 1960 -

​​​In February 1960 advertising for new members produced little result with hardly anyone coming forward to join. Despite this, Guest Night was arranged for the 11th April, 1960 at St. Duntstan’s School.


At a meeting the following November in it was reported that this concert was very successful and received a mention in the local press. The choir took part in the Taunton festival and came second, and in the Bristol Eistedfod where they also came second.

- 1961 -

​​Last year’s Guest Night was the best ever. New members were starting to come to the choir and everyone looked forward to a steady increase.

- 1962 -

In January 1962 the numbers of members were rising very satisfactorily and the choir was now 36-strong. The treasurer reported a healthy bank balance.

- 1964 -

​​It was reported in the minutes of the AGM on January 14th 1964 that "although the choir had enjoyed another successful year, it was reported that the West of England Male Voice Choir Association had disbanded, as had the Stoke St Michael Choir.


Over the past few years many choirs had ceased to be whilst this choir, with a long and proud history, continues and will continue as long as we have the desire and the will. We have a challenge to keep music-making alive in the West Country so that the work, so well begun, will continue."

An emergency meeting was held in May 1964 to discuss what appeared to be a mass resignation from the choir. It would seem that something gone very wrong and the very existence of the choir was in doubt. The meeting was fully attended and a frank discussion followed which resulted in the resignations being withdrawn.

Mr J Loveridge was invited to become conductor and it was hoped that the choir would once again occupy the coverted place in the musical life of the West Country that we used to enjoy.​

- 1966 -

By January 1966, once again the choir was on the up. Support is growing for the new conductor and it was reported that members were enjoying the practice nights and new music being sung. Fourteen concerts had been given during the years and Guest Night was again a resounding success.

“The happy co-operation of officers and members encouraged and supported by our president and vice presidents made the past year one of the most successful for a very long time.”

- 1970 -

​​It was reported at the AGM on February 10th that the choir had once again had a successful year tinged with sadness at the loss of two stalwarts of the choir.

Mr F Vincent served for several years as librarian and was a long-standing choir member. Mr Stanley Barker was the last founder member of the choir, having been a member for 47 years. He was the choir chairman for 42 of those years.

Guest Night as always features prominently in choir minutes but in July 1970, for the first time in many years, it made a profit of 1/5d. The treasurer was congratulated on being able to show a profit (sounds like creative accounting!)​

- 1972 -

Once again there is a record of the choir going through unhappy as well as happy times. Two more long standing members have died but the choir continued to give excellent concerts.The conductor stressed the need to encourage new members, especially with the 50th anniversary year approaching.​At the AGM held on February 27th 1972 the secretary reported the he had gone back over the minutes and was please to recognize names appearing over the years. In particular he said that Barbara’s name “flowed through all the minutes” and he once again, on behalf of the members, thanks her for all her ongoing service.The president, Mrs Bullied, said that the Glastonbury Male Voice Society held the longest and probably the proudest record in the district for supporting charities.In July 1972 there is reference to enquiries made about the choir’s missing trophies.

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- 1973 -

- 1976 -

The meeting held on February 15th is the first one reported as having been held at Barbara’s house. This is a significant occasion as we nearly always held our committee meetings at Barbara’s house. There seems to be only one reason for this which has nothing to do with convenience of location but all to do with the fact that Barbara made us all the most fantastic cakes!

- 1983 -

It was the choir’s Diamond Jubilee year and June Russell was invited to become President of the Glastonbury Male Voice Choir; she was delighted to accept. Over the years the choir has had many good times and successes as well as those times when they seemed to be in real crisis, usually brought about by a fall in the number of members.

- 1987 -

By March 1987 the choir is moving forward and upward once more. Members have increased to 21 from 11 the year before.

The new conductor has had a spell in hospital but sends a report to the AGM. It reads:

“Hello choirs. Here I am sat up in bed waited on hand, foot and finger by a whole bevy of beautiful girls dressed in nurses’ uniforms.

But in spite of that, and I know you won’t really believe me when I say this, you are very much in my thoughts tonight as your hold your AGM.”


John then went on to say:

“If last year I likened the choir to laying on the floor with just one little finger off the ground, this year we are back up onto our feet and starting to go places.”

- 1990 -

- 1992 -

The Men of Mendip Choir at Shepton Mallet closed in February 1992 after many years but several of the members of that great choir came to join us at Glastonbury which gave us a real boost.

- 1995 -

At the Guest Night of May 1995 a presentation was made to Barbara to record and celebrate her 50 years’ service as accompanist for the choir. It is perhaps interesting to note that at this time the longest serving officer of this male voice choir should be a woman!

- 1998 -

Glastonbury Male voice Choir celebrated its 75th anniversary with a Guest Night in May 1998 at the Glastonbury Town Hall, singing through a thunderstorm of some intensity.

- 2005 -

n June of this year John Beauchamp announced his retirement as musical director after nineteen years.​​Returning after the summer break in September to a new conductor was to be a nervous period of expectation for everyone. The choir was fortunate to engage the services of A young man, Jamie Knights. Having recently graduated from Bath Spa University and therefore at the very beginning of a glittering musical career, Jamie became the eighth musical director and swept through the ranks like a breath of fresh air.

- 2006 -

Barbara Durston continued to soldier on as accompanist and completed her 61 years service before finally following John Beauchamp into retirement in September 2006 and so the claim that the longest serving member of this very male choir was a woman passed into history.With a new face on the podium and a new face (Carolyn Doorbar) at the keyboard the choir had need to move into a new, modern, somewhat commercial phase of its life. This did not sit easily with some members but the days of “serving the choir for the love of it” were over. We now had two professional musicians on board with other calls upon them than just GMVC. The choir, by necessity, embarked on a steep learning curve into the modern world.​Although the next few years saw membership dwindle through movement and natural wastage, there is no doubt that Jamie Knights brought huge musical improvement. A regular Christmas concert appeared in the programme together with other performances throughout the county including a number of summer outings to National Trust Barrington Court.

- 2008 -

June Russell retired as President in February 2008 and has now been succeeded by Mr Bob May, one of the most senior members of the choir.GMVC really came to life with the development of its own website. This opened up all sorts of opportunities. The existence of the choir was becoming known to many more listeners and singers.

- 2009 -

As expected, Jamie Knights’ career was going from strength to strength and it was not too much of a surprise in June 2009 when he announced his impending departure to continue his education. Musicians don’t exactly grow thick on the ground and finding a replacement for such an enthusiastic talent was never going to be easy.

 

- Enter the lady! -

 

Tracey Hansford, an established singing teacher and conductor with a Ladies choir in Wells was introduced. The first female musical director of GMVC might have been a culture shock to some but today, as she approaches the end of her fourth year in charge, Tracey, now ably assisted at the piano by Christine Robertson, is proving to be a popular and inspirational leader.

- 2011 -

We held a magnificent joint charity concert with Radcliffe-on-Trent male voice choir in St.Johns Glastonbury.

- 2013 -

- Celebrating 90 Years of the choir -

 

The choir’s profile and reputation is growing along with its membership. There are more singers on stage in 2013 than at any time in the last twenty years at least. The range of talent and repertoire is increasing year on year. Performances now include our regular Glastonbury concerts together with weddings, bandstand appearances in Wells and a competition entry in Bath Guildhall.​The Glastonbury Male Voice Choir, probably the oldest male choir in Somerset has managed to survive where other choirs have not, due only to the continuing support of all it's members through out the years, and those that have come to listen.The choir is now thinking outside the box, rising to most challenges thrown at it and going from strength  to strength.Long may it continue.

- 2014 -

The Choirs Annual Guest Night Comcert

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