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Poster design created and kindly donated by Asami Matsufuji

Click for Soundtrack TRELAWNY [3:08], recorded at Royal Albert Hall.

(Men of Cornwall Sing)

The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs presents a Massed Male Voice Choir Charity Concert at


Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor



Organist: Jonathan Delbridge

Compere: Bishop Tim Thornton

Charities: RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care, Radio Corwall Charity Appeal

On Saturday 2 November 2013, in the year of its 30th Anniversary, The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs presented a Massed Choir Charity Concert at The Royal Albert Hall.

The Federation is committed to promoting male voice singing, particularly in Cornwall, encouraging young people to sing and become involved with music. Cornwall boasts many highly talented and enthusiastic young musicians, as demonstrated by this concert's guest artistes, Cambiata, a group of young male singers aged between 12 and 25, and the wonderful Cornwall Youth Orchestra.

Kernowyon A Gan (Men of Cornwall Sing)!
Royal Albert Hall Charity Concert rasies: £73,426.71

Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs disburses proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity concert, Kernowyon A Gan (Men of Cornwall Sing), to recipients
Photograph by Eric Heesom

There was much to talk about when over 100 invited representatives of Cornish male voice choirs gathered together at the Lanhydrock Hotel on Friday, 7th March, to witness the disbursement of the proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity concert organised by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall in London last November. A total of £73,426.71 was presented to the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal, each charity receiving a sum of £24,475.57.

Terry Hodge, Chairman of the Federation, reflected on “a truly remarkable evening at the Royal Albert Hall” and thanked “all those involved, including those who attended the concert and filled the venue, for their effort and support in raising such a magnificent sum for the three charities. It was beyond our wildest dreams that so much would be raised. There is no doubt that the funds presented this evening will have a significant impact on the work of three excellent charities for the benefit of people in and of Cornwall.”

Guy Botterill, RNLI Fundraising Manager for the south west, and Suzanne Tanner, representing the St Ives RNLI branch, received their donation to the RNLI from John Trethewey, Treasurer of the Federation and president of Looe RNLI. They explained that the money would be used to help to provide a new tractor for the St Ives lifeboat. Suzanne was astonished by the amount which meant that they had just about reached their target.

In receiving the donation for Cornwall Hospice Care, made by Terry Hodge, Chairman of the Federation, Kevin Marsh, Facilities Manager, emphasised how important fundraising is for the work of the organisation and thanked those involved with the concert who had helped to raise such an impressive amount.

Daphne Skinnard, Assistant Editor for BBC Radio Cornwall, accepted the cheque on behalf of the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal from Phil Taylor, Vice-chairman of the Federation. She explained that the appeal now would be raising funds to support local community initiatives. The amount donated to the appeal was several times more than anything expected and gives the new appeal a tremendous start.

The above photograph shows the presenters and recipients of the cheques surrounded by representatives of some of the choirs who participated in the concert and attended the presentation evening. During the evening souvenir photographs were presented to the four Musical Directors, Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor, who prepared and conducted the massed choir, and to Bishop Tim Thornton who so expertly compered the event. Others recognised by the Federation were accompanists, Annette Turton, Elizabeth Sidebotham, George Smith and Chris Bennett, along with organist, Jonathan Delbridge, and guests, Angela Renshaw, on behalf of Cambiata Cornwall, and Tim Boulton, on behalf of the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. Eric Pinch, the singing cyclist, was also recognised for his efforts in single-handedly raising over £1,000 as a result of his sponsored cycle ride from Tavistock to the Royal Albert Hall. George Smith, a stalwart within male voice choir circles, has since passed away. The news of George’s passing was met with great sadness and regret by all members of the Federation.

Sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer, CFMVC

from sponsored cycle ride to the Royal Albert Hall

Eric Pinch of Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir, is delighted to report that his final total raised for the Concert's three charities, Cornwall Hospice Care, the RNLI and BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal, amounts to £1139.71. He says: "Out of that £90.71 went direct to Cornwall Hospice from my collecting tin on my bike". In addition Eric did a separate sponsorship for Mary Tavy Methodist Chapel, (he is a member) which raised £125. "Well worth the effort" says Eric.

Scroll down this page to a news item dated 5 December to read Eric's entertaining daily diary of his cycle ride from Tavistock to the Royal Albert Hall, where he took part as a chorister in the Federation's charity concert. There is also a printable version of Eric's tale, if you prefer a hard copy.

Thank you Eric and Congratulations! on your wonderful and hard earned achievement.

Item posted 07/12/2013


The Federation greatly appreciates the kind communications received since the concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Here is another kind letter recently received:

"Please convey to the Federation and contributing choirs our thanks for a wonderful evening on the 2nd November – it was truly thrilling. The mix of musical styles, new and old tunes together with the wonderful talents and skills of all who contributed was an utter joy.

This was the first time we have been to the Royal Albert Hall and it could not have been a more emotional occasion. For me, Cornish through and through but living in exile (in Devon) it was the event of the decade, and my advance 2013 Christmas present. The three hours or so of the event passed so quickly, we could happily have come back on Sunday to hear it all again.

Please convey to the Federation and contributing choirs our thanks for a wonderful evening on the 2nd November – it was truly thrilling. The mix of musical styles, new and old tunes together with the wonderful talents and skills of all who contributed was an utter joy.

I know it must be a huge amount of work for everyone to organise such an event, but believe me, it was very much appreciated. Let us know when the next date at the RAH is booked – we will be there!

Kind regards

April Arnatt"

Item posted 05/12/2013


via the south coast, Route 2 of the National Cycle Network
390 miles 400 yards 2 ft 3 ins, to be precise




Here we go, a fairly early start from home just 200 metres before I am on route 27 accompanied by fellow choir member Ray Stenning. Lots of photos on this first stretch through the Grenofen tunnel over the new Gem bridge. Soon at Yelverton and down to Plymouth along the Plym Valley trail. At Marsh Mills we get onto route 2 and back roads through Plympton skirting the A38 before entering Ivybridge to meet up with Fellow Chorister Jeff Campbell for a coffee break. On to Jeremy and Enid Wells gaff but they were not at home.

Further back roads to Harbourneford where I parted company with Stenning. It was just as well; despite carrying Choir Mascot “Tamar Tom” he was holding me up. Slower than a three speed walking stick springs to mind. A delightful traffic free stretch from Dartington to Totnes. No alternative from Totnes to Torbay and beyond to Dawlish as the route has yet to be defined having to stay on main roads.

Bad: Uphill out of Totnes and Torquay. Left phone charger at guest house.

Good: Rough looking guy came across the road when I paused for breath going uphill and surprised me, dropping a note in my Cornwall Hospice care collecting box. Never tell a book by its cover. A lady waved me down in Torbay to again give me money. Downhill into Teignmouth.

Stopover The Seaway Guest House, Meal at Drakes Restaurant, Northumberland Terrace.

Eric Pinch and Ray Stenning, who accompanied Eric
on the first leg of the journey,
to Harbourneford.


A short hop to get to the Starcross to Exmouth Ferry. Delightful crossing and good conversation with a couple of gents collecting their Caravan to take back to brummie. Speedo playing up and got that sorted in Exmouth. Big climbs out of Budleigh Salterton, Otterton, Sidmouth, Branscombe, Seaton and Colyford.

Bad: the climbs. Got soaked walking for a Ruby in Axminster. Left pannier cover at Axminster.

Good: the Curry and the Hotel. Stopover: the Kerryington Hotel.

Tamar Tom, the Tamar Valley MVC Mascot
packed and ready to go!

Starcross Ferry

Another big climb out of Axminster towards Raymond Hill and the Dorset Border but a relatively quiet back road. Soon into Bridport looking for a chapel service but to no avail - had to settle for a Costa coffee. Did find a local Sunday Independent but not until much later found out it was a week old. Donations and a good chat from a London Family. Quiet roads out of Bridport heading towards Hardy’s monument. The heavens opened up before I reached the summit but I soon stopped it. I donned my foul weather gear. End of rain. A lovely downhill into Dorchester. A good flat ride on minor roads with a welcome tea break at Moreton. The home of Lawrence of Arabia. Into Wareham and with light fading onto Upton Poole to my son’s home. An excellent meal of beef and home grown veg. The storm that had been threatening then came with a vengeance and lasted through to the early hours.

Bad: The climbs, the big shower for over an hour, mid afternoon. Good: The views from Hardy’s monument, downhill ride to Dorchester, flat roads to Poole, Moreton Tea rooms.


I waited quite late before setting off again towards Bournemouth, Boscombe and Christchurch but a pleasant ride along the coast before heading inland to the New Forest. Signing then became a problem and I found myself on the A35. Not where I should be. But pressing on I came to civilisation to ask a lady “where am I?” - reply “Brockenhurst”. Eureka, exactly where I wanted to be. A hot chocolate brownie and Dorset cream and a pot of tea along with Elvis singing along - perfect. We were ready for a few more miles. Road ahead closed did not deter me as I sped on through the forest. Ever mindful of the time and thinking the ferry would stop at dusk there was no stopping. Arrived at 4/4-30 to be greeted that the last ferry did go at 9pm.

Ferry across and then difficulty in getting out of Southampton, found myself at Saints footy ground but got back on track despite a fall off the bike going up a slope and having to turn back on oneself; went flying but no damage. Into the dark at Netley. No room at the Inn not even a stable.

On towards Hamble and first set of shops, nothing here mensab, Southampton nearest. I was not going back. Right in the village now making enquiries. Yes says one man, The Compass, number on door to ring: no reply. Two people outside pub. They have some numbers inside. Left my phone charger in Teignmouth, had to use landlady’s - first try no good, full up. They then came to the rescue with The Farthings guest house - they could take me. Sorted. Up to house, unload, shower, back to pub for some welcome nosh. Enquiries as to what time the ferry left in the morning. Ranged from 8am to 9-30.

Bad: Lost bearings in Christchurch. Information to the rescue with local map; lost bearings in New Forest, falling off bike; lost bearings in Southampton. Difficulty in getting accommodation in Netley/Hamble.

Good: Seafront Poole, Bournemouth, Boscombe. The ride through the New Forest, despite bearing lost. The Ferry Hythe/Southampton. Finding digs in Hamble, the meal at the Victory Inn Hamble.


Good breakfast and conversation at The Farthings. Off at 8-15am to take a detour away from the ferry but had second thoughts and turned back to find the ferryman waiting. What time do you leave? What time do you want to leave? Half an hour ago. On board with a look-alike granddad from Fools and Horses and we were away across the water on delightful morning. Out of Warsash and met up with a gent cycling to Titchfield Conservation Park Haven.

Great ride to Lee on Solent, visited HMS Sultan Engineering School. Served there in 1969 and 1972. Onto Gosport - bought a phone charger on the street. Picked up some monies on the street for Cornwall Hospice Care.

Across the water, Gosport to Portsmouth followed by a pleasant ride to Southsea and on to the Hayling Island ferry. A pleasant ferry crossing and in conversation with the ferryman. Onto the Billy Way old rail line towards Havant. Route not well signed around Havant/Chichester. The wind was still blowing in a southwest direction and whilst proceeding on a legitimate pavement and going between two sign posts, a gust of wind caught me and I glanced my little finger against post and handlebar, bent the wedding ring as well; a shout of “Botheration!” went out and I was in some discomfort for a few miles. Got sorted with a change of kit and a plaster from the cafe where I stopped. On again to Bognor and Felpham and after a couple of enquiries found the Beachcroft Hotel right on the route. A very good meal and tiredness had caught up with me as I dropped off at the dining table for a couple of seconds and so off to bed.

Found out I could have ordered a packed lunch but it had to have been in by 9pm. Wrote a sob story of a letter to give to the Chef via reception offering to make the sandwiches myself. It worked; after breakfast a pack was waiting for me and I got them for nothing as my bill had already been prepared. The paper bag would come in handy (see next part of journey).

Bad: hurt finger, tiredness.

Good: The three ferry crossings, hot chocolate at Hayling, The Billy Way old rail line. Gosport High Street. Beachcroft Hotel, perfect location meal and packed lunch.


An early morning stroll along the beachfront, splendid sunrise – on to a newsagent for the papers. Haddock, toms and toast for brekkie. Got going at 8-45 but looking for signs instead of road numbers. Off track again somewhat but on track again after a few miles. Stopped at a place called Ferring, past Littlehampton. A delightful but busy cafe. Panic on leaving; could not find the mobile. Two ladies to my assistance but no joy. Where had I been? The toilet - no joy. Had it been handed in? Yes, deep deep joy. Pinchy buck up was the word.

On to Worthing and again a delightful sea front traffic-free ride heading towards Shoreham-on-Sea where I would alter course and head inland for the first time in 300 miles. Lack of directions found me down on a dog leg in Shoreham but found my way back after asking for directions. Back to the road bridge and onto the Airdrome road and eventually onto the Downs Link route. 40 miles of almost traffic-free along the old Shoreham to Guilford rail line. Storms the previous days had done their damage with appx 6/8 trees down but all passable after some difficulty. The afternoon was closing in when I met up with a young man (Charlie) from nearby Christ Station, near to Horsham. Into conversation with him and Guilford was my next stop. But on his advice it seemed that Horsham would be my evening port of call with a Travelodge being recommended by him. We bid farewell at Christ Station for my short ride into Horsham. After tying up the steed it was into The Lodge. Room was available. Where could the bike go safely and secure? Around the back in our open but closed circuit TV car park was the answer. Having looked around I wasn’t too happy but looked in one darkened corner under the fire escape - would have to do. Everything off the bike, panniers, tool bags, drink bottles, saddle, front wheel, pump and all travelling kit. Around the front, two trips into Reception, Room 117. Get there - room not serviced. Back to Reception to inform Dianne that chambermaid needs sacking. She checks room. Change of room to 207 next floor up. Again two trips. Dianne informs me it is a disabled room. I can limp as good as the rest. Excellent, spacious. A sit down shower - Bliss. For my troubles she gave me two packed breakfasts.

Italian meal in town bella, bella. Made myself known to the night man before retiring.

Hamble Ferry

Name of dog unknown!


Early night and up before the lark, lots to pack before getting going. Arrive at Reception at 6-15am with all kit. I (Nightman) will let you down the lift and you can go out the other door to the car park. He is with me; the lift door opens into a store, holding linen, with spacious room for my bike. Bruv, why could Dianne not allow me to put bike in here? Told him to tell her; next bike person here: this is the store for bike. So, so Simple. LOGIC. This is all about knowing everything about where you work.

Made the decision to get the train back to Christ Station. It would get me back on track (excuse the pun) quite quickly. I was soon at the Station and low and behold a Premier Inn right there. Why oh why did not Charlie tell me about this one? I would have taken the short hop last night as well. People just do not think enough. The train would take me and my bike at 7-12am. So half an hour to spare. Breakfast in the panniers, coffee available on the platform. Found myself on the up line with many commuters on the opposite side. Decided I would give them a rendering of ‘Sitting at a railway station, got a ticket for my destination’. Train arrives on time, back on track. Despite all the strong winds of the week this was the first long period of rain for the entire journey. It rained constantly from 6 am until 11 am. But I was fully covered and on this unused rail line and was eating up the miles.

Going along at a good pace when just ahead it looked like it was veering off the line and as I slowly went up hill, down and to my right the signs of a fenced off tunnel appeared. So it was over the top we had to go. A big call of nature then started to rumble. I had already passed a lady walking her dog and a man appeared with his almost on the summit of this tunnel. It was close to the Surrey/Sussex border. But we were in secluded woods and plenty of leaves afoot. It is not something I do on a regular basis, well not outside, but when you have got to go, you have got to go. The serviettes from breakfast and the packed lunch bag from the previous day came in handy. Getting back to the bike just a short distance away I proceeded on and all of a sudden, where were my glasses? In all the excitement they had fallen off at the scene and I had to retrace my steps to gather them.

A lengthy stop in Cranleigh. Cycle shop sorted out my saddle that had somehow worked loose. Another change of top clothing at the coffee stop. More fallen trees had to be tackled before I got my self into Guilford. Another pleasant surprise with a street entertainer blasting out some rock and roll. Could not resist a bit of clapping and bopping along to him. Now onto route 223 to Woking and Chertsey. Not well signed out of Guilford but got out eventually. Woking proved difficult and then onto Chertsey to pick up route 4 into Richmond. This proved difficult as well as I found myself going up river when I should have been going down. Decided then to take the roads to Hounslow and rolled into The Master Robert Hotel at 5-45pm in the dim and dark.

THE MASTER ROBERT: A great entrance and met by Abdul on the desk. Room allocated for the weekend. Gill to join me on the Friday. Got to the room to be greeted by a warm blast of air, heating full on, TV on. Tried to change channel and lost the picture, bang went Deal or No Deal. Bike panniers, shoe covers, leggings and back of jacket had taken a pounding during the day and were covered in mud. Only one thing for it, chuck it all in the bath and hose it down with the shower cap. Hung out to dry and into the bath we go. Then noticed a noise coming from outside. A blast from one of Richard Branson Virgins had the room trembling and landing tyre marks on the roof. That “nice” Mr Nice had billeted us at the end of Heathrow Runway. A good night’s sleep NOT guaranteed.

Into reception to report to Abdul about the TV before proceeding for dinner. It was like walking into the restaurant of the Mary Celeste. One lone man reading a book and somebody else out of sight. The bar didn’t have anything suitable for my real ale palate and had to settle for a Guinness. We only have cans sir with a widget to give it a head. Selecting prawn cocktail, gigot of lamb and testing Gill’s sweet for the following evening Knockerbockerglory. The prawn cocktail was superb, loads of prawns and plenty of bread. I was let down by the Lamb. I should have complained at the time but the veg that went with it was very good. On reflection it tasted like an old ram or as I further thought it was a descendant of the Master Robert himself (A grand national winner 1924). The KBG came up to expectations. Having paid my bill I then proceeded to Reception where Abdul informed me that the TV was up and running. Explaining to me about the two remote controls. I do believe he told me the opposite way around and with my first push of a button I lost the picture yet again.

Only one thing for it, an early night. Branson had given up flying around midnight and somehow I drifted off only to wake up at 2 am with the room assembling a Swedish sauna. The control on the heater had been removed. I managed to turn it with a pair of pliers I had, only to make things worse. The control on the wall did not seem to have any dial to turn and very reluctantly I dialled 0 for reception at 3 am. After 5 or 6 goes I finally got an answer. Jeremy was trying to explain what I had to do but it was like talking to a brick wall. He finally came up with an answer, Shall I come around? Yes please. Jeremy duly arrived in whistle and flute and dickey bow. I thought a bit over the top for nights. Straight in and turned down a thermostat half way up the wall which I could not see. All was then well with the heat. While you are here sort out the TV. Finally got that going but hardly any sound. It is now pushing 3-30 am, the heater kicks in at a lower temperature but what a racket, it was like a tractor starting up. We drifted off again until 4-40 am when Branson decides to land his first Virgin of the day followed by one every 10 mins. Sleep baby sleep, no chance.

Eric arrives at destination

I could not fault the breakfast but felt I needed a change of room. Vishal had taken over from Jeremy and I made a simple request: Could I have a room where I could hear the TV and not the heater?

8-10 am - wanting for me to wait around until 9 am for Joanna. Not an option - I was wanting to get going for my final leg to the Albert Hall and be back for lunchtime and an afternoon of rest. Pack your kit Mr Pinch and we will see what we can do. 8-45 am - yes all sorted you will be in room 5 on your return.

Main roads to Royal Albert Hall just 8 miles. Got there around 10-30/11 after a coffee break. Big emotion on sighting the RAH. Bigger emotion on sighting fellow Chorister Huw Phillips and a slight one when talking to Tiffany Truscott of Radio Cornwall. Photo call, coffee and then to proceed back to the hotel via the river. Took a little navigating to get to the river but then lost bearings and found I was going up river when wanting to go down. The afternoon was progressing as I passed Fulham Football Ground in the correct direction to be greeted by a tree down and workman erecting a fence to physically stop everyone. But out of the blue a young thing with a fold up cycle was between the fences asking for help. I got the bike over, she somehow clambered over the fence. Well you will not be the last to do that. Transpires a car was close by, she was a physio on another appointment. I could have done with her at that moment. A little detour back onto roads, met up with a fellow cyclist who lived in London but hailed from Budleigh Salterton. Onwards back to Hounslow arriving just before 5pm and even then beating the bus by a whisker.

The new room was acres better than the old one, TV on the wall, High bed, newly fitted Shower. I was well pleased. Evening meal with the choir was very good. My curry was excellent; those who had the Gigot said no complaints. I must just have had a rogue Lamb. Then invited to make an after dinner speech about my ride (I still have not been paid).

Off to bed with another early morning call 4-40 am.

SATURDAY 2ND NOV - 400 yards +

On the bus at 10-30, bike in the boot, dropped off 400 yards 2ft and 3 inches for a short pedal to RAH, photo call, lunch, rehearsal, dinner down in Knightsbridge with Gill, Dave Draper and Gosha.

The Concert was Awesome.

I can only say that “Eric Pinch felt 10 feet tall in the Royal Albert Hall”.

Back to Master Robert at midnight, a drink then off to bed. A little lie-in on Sunday 4-20am. Tea in bed with Gill at 5. Only one thing for it, get out on the bike for an hour before breakfast viewing Heathrow from a shorter distance. On the bus at 10-15 am, arrived back home at 4 pm.

What a cycle journey, what a concert. It will long live in the memory.

Gra’massy,” Onen hag Oll” Tereba nessa
Thank you One and All Till the next time

Eric “The Singing Cyclist” Pinch

If you would like a printable copy of Eric's original report, click here Eric Pinch's Report.

Item posted 5 December 2013

(Men of Cornwall Sing)

A massed male voice choir charity concert in aid of the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal
2nd November 2013

After almost 3 years of planning and 2 years of rehearsals, a charity concert in aid of the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal took place in the Royal Albert Hall, London on 2nd November. A massed male voice choir of 600 voices drawn from 25 member choirs and 2 associate member choirs of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs, supported by Cornwall Cambiata, a 100 strong boys choir, the 70 strong Cornwall Youth Orchestra and an audience of over 4,000 raised the roof of the iconic venue on an evening that will live loud and long in the memories of all who were there.

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, this was the fourth time that The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs had organised and presented a massed male voice choir charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, the last time being in 2000 and in 1994 and 1988 before that. The Federation itself was formed after the pioneering initial concert held in 1983.

The Hall on the morning of 2 November
The first piano tuning of the day

Afternoon Rehearsal

Jonathan Delbridge at the Royal Albert Hall Organ
A comment, received from a member of the audience at the Royal Albert Hall, attempts to capture the essence of what was a truly remarkable evening of Cornish ‘hwyl’ and ‘hiraeth’ in a packed and pulsating venue:

“Saturday night was a triumph! The choirs looked and sounded splendid, the Bishop was in fine form and it was great to see young people involved in making music: a great showcase for them. I thought, too, the conductors were splendid. ... Choirs give a chance for people from all walks of life to be part of a greater whole. The dignity and sense of belonging they derive from that is invaluable."

The finale to the evening was, of course, the singing of Trelawny, when the massed choir, Cornwall Cambiata, the Cornwall Youth Orchestra and Jonathan Delbridge on the organ united with the audience in a wild and uninhibited celebration of Cornish passion and identity that even surprised the RAH staff present at the time. The Hall erupted in a flurry of Cornish flags and Cornish tartan as everyone stood to make their presence felt. However, this was just the icing on the cake of an evening that was full of highlights from beginning to end.

The programme presented by the massed male voice choir was divided into four sections with each section conducted by a local Cornish male voice choir musical director with their own accompanist. Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor each brought their own stamp and style to the pieces they had chosen producing a programme of great variety and vitality. ‘Big’ male voice choir pieces such as ‘A Roman War Song’ and ‘Let There be Light’ sat alongside more modern pieces such as ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’; songs from musical theatre such as ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘With Cat-like Tread’ found themselves next to familiar Cornish classics like ‘Hail to the Homeland’ and ‘The White Rose’; there were songs of the sea, rousing spirituals (including ‘Ride the Chariot’ with a solo from Ted Pinguey of Newquay Male Voice Choir) and wonderful arrangements of religious music, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and ‘Deus Salutis’. And no one will ever forget the performance of Nessun Dorma that closed the first half of the concert.

Within this there were first class performances from the Federation’s young guest artistes. Cornwall Cambiata, a choir for boys whose voices are changing and drawn form a range of Cornish Secondary Schools, led by Angela Renshaw and supported by well known Cornish instrumentalists, Dalla, sang 5 pieces ranging from the hauntingly evocative ‘Estren (The Stranger)/Belong to be’ to the well known folk ballad ‘Cousin Jack’. Their programme also included the premier of a piece composed by Russell Pascoe, ‘Kernow Bys Vikken. The enthusiasm and commitment of the boys, nurtured by the teachers who support Angela, bodes well for the future of male choral singing within the Duchy. Some mention should also be made of Angus Webster, the 14 year-old accompanist of Cornwall Cambiata. Angus is an exciting musical prospect who now holds the accolade of being the youngest person to be permitted to play the great Royal Albert Hall organ.

The second half of the concert began with a performance of Wagner’s ‘Meistersinger Overture’ by the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. This very appropriately titled piece was selected and conducted by Tim Boulton who also conducted the ‘Four Cornish Dances’ played by the orchestra later in the programme before bringing orchestra and choir together in a performance of Verdi’s ‘Speed Your Journey’ that proved to be something of a show stopper. A chorister commented afterwards, It will never quite be the same singing this with just a piano accompaniment in the future. The quality of the performance of the orchestra was something to take one’s breath away and belied the age of the musicians drawn from the schools of Cornwall. Their playing brought a different and exciting dimension to the evening that considerably enhanced the experience offered to the audience. As if all this was not enough, Jonathan Delbridge played the organ for a number of massed choir pieces and presented his own solo, ‘Theme and Variations on Trelawny’.

And what of the Bishop? The Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, compered the evening in what was a masterclass of how to engage with a large audience while maintaining interest and flow, especially during times of quite complex transition within the programme.

So, thank you to all those who supported the Federation in this adventure, whether participant or supporter. Without you it just would not have been the same! But now it is all over and the choristers have gone back to their individual choirs with memories that will last a life time and that will form the subject of much yarning as they meet one another in years to come. You see, for most choirs the Royal Albert Hall concert was part, albeit the central part, of a ‘weekend away’ with friends and supporters. Something summed up with the comments below:

"What can I say? A fantastic weekend of music, friendship and enjoyment! Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to such a wonderful and memorable weekend. Here's to the next time - if I'm not too old then!!"

“Thanks for including us in this wonderful weekend. Sitting outside the Coach and Horses on Sunday, caught up in the throng of singers, made me recall the pleasure I used to get from being in a choir. As soon as I retire ... I must get involved again: the experience is so uplifting and positive.”

The evening will be captured on a CD to be produced by PM Sound and available in the New Year (details are available on this website -go to the Home page) but nothing can substitute for what one supporter summed up as ‘the real thing’.

I leave the final word to one of the choristers who sang in the massed male voice choir:

"A year ago I could not have dreamt that I would be involved in that amazing concert at the Albert Hall. Everyone in the Choir has been so welcoming and supportive to me and I will never forget being part of that evening and at present I cannot get it out of my head. The sight of all those Cornish flags when we sang Trelawny was very moving. My wife knew it would be brilliant, but it far exceeded her expectations. She said the contrasts between the immense power through to really sweet sounding quieter bits were fantastic. Apparently she cried in about 4 of the songs, much to my daughter's embarrassment!"

What next for the Federation? Watch this space as we begin to make plans for a big event west of the Tamar in 2015!

Jim Christophers (Publicity Officer, Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs)

Item posted 13 November 2013

KERNOWYON A GAN (Men of Cornwall Sing!)

The Federation's fantastic weekend in London will live long in the memory of all those who were there. Already we are receiving people's enthusiastic messages after the concert, and also a few queries, such as 'Will there be a CD?' The answer is yes; see below.

Watch this space - more will be added to this section in the next few days. It will take a while before we know how much we have raised for our 3 concert charities, Cornwall Hospice Care, BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal and the RNLI - and we look forward to hearing from Eric Pinch, the Singing Cyclist! Information will be added to this site as it becomes available.

Terry Hodge, Chairman, gives a vote of thanks before the close of the concert.

A CD RECORDED AT THE CONCERT will become available in the New Year. Click on this box for an Order Form: CD Order Form

YOUTUBE CLIP of the glorious final moments of the concert, with Cornish flag waving, the great sound of the organ and the joyous singing of Trelawny by everyone in the house: Trelawny at the RAH Concert

YOUTUBE: Recording made by Allan Bishop (see Comments) of 'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables':
Bring Him Home at the RAH Concert


"I attended the Concert at the RAH this year to watch my father (Phil Bishop, Burraton MVC) sing. It was an amazing evening and the Massed Choirs knocked my socks off!!"
Allan Bishop

"I know that the Hall thoroughly enjoyed having the CFMVC here – the Duty Manager and Chief Steward commented how lovely and appreciative the audience were."
RAH Staff

"I know how much work the Committee put into the planning. I thought the massed choirs' management was excellent – they all knew what they were doing and when - and that takes something! I thoroughly enjoyed the bits of the concert I saw/heard on the monitors".
Shuki Sen – Senior manager RAH

"Many thanks for the wonderful weekend with the Choir. The trip went extremely well which was a testament to your thorough organisation - you did a fantastic job and we all enjoyed a brilliant concert at the RAH!"

"What can we say except huge thank you to all choirs and wives, great support - fantastic organisation and terrific company, great concert and hotel sing! Thanks. Take a bow!"

"Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend. I know from experience that for an event to go so well, it is as a result of the hard work and dedication of a few people! It was great to meet everyone, including some of the Trelawny contingent! From the accommodation to the Royal Albert Hall Concert and the trip down the Thames to Greenwich it was truly amazing and I will remember it for a long time. Best wishes to "One and All"!"

"Congratulations on the Printed programme. It really is excellent. At Federation meetings, etc, I noted your sincere acknowlegements to others - but somebody has to hold it all together. Brilliant. Well done!"

"Thanks for including us in this wonderful weekend. Sitting outside the Coach and Horses on Sunday, caught up in the throng of singers, made me recall the pleasure I used to get from being in a choir. As soon as I retire ... I must get involved again: the experience is so uplifting and positive.
Saturday night was a triumph! The choirs looked splendid, the bishop was in fine form and it was great to see young people involved in making music: a great showcase for them. I thought, too, the conductors were splendid. ... Choirs give a chance for people from all walks of life to be part of a greater whole. The dignity and sense of belonging they derive form that is invaluable."

"We would like to express our appreciation for all the hard work you put in to make the weekend the success it undoubtedly was. I understand the complexities perhaps more than most people. Thanks also for allowing us "furriners" onto your bus. Job well done!"

"Thank you for a great trip. It was great and Saturday evening was out of this world! The organisation was fantastic, as were the Buses and their drivers who both did a sterling job over the three days."

"Thank you for organising such a memorable weekend. Keep us posted on your concerts."

"What can I say? A fantastic weekend of music, friendship and enjoyment! Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to such a wonderful and memorable weekend. Here's to the next time - if I'm not too old then!!"

"Just a quick line to say how much we enjoyed the Cornish Male Voice Choir concert last week end; it was wonderful. We also very much enjoyed the boat trip up the Thames".

Items posted 06/11/2013

"What a fantastic weekend! Not sure who enjoyed it the most, us or the audience, when are we doing the next one?!"
David Draper, Tamar Valley MVC

"Thanks to all you wonderful people who worked so hard to create what I am sure you already know was a truly superb evening at the RAH on Saturday.
Quite remarkable - thank you all so very very much!"

"A year ago I could not have dreamt that I would be involved in that amazing concert at the Albert Hall. Everyone in the Choir has been so nice and supportive to me and I will never forget being part of that evening and at present I cannot get it out of my head. The sight of all those Cornish flags when we sang Trelawny was very moving.
My wife knew it would be brilliant, but it far exceeded her expectations. She said the contrasts between the immense power through to really sweet sounding quieter bits were fantastic. Apparently she cried in about 4 of the songs, much to my daughter's embarrassment!"

"Thank you to all the conducting and non-conducting teams for all they've done to give us such a memorable experience - over the year and yesterday. Greatly enjoyed - and a treasured memory."

"All ... who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Those [choristers] who had not done it before were, in the modern idiom, "blown away with the experience"! It was a magnificent evening. Well done for a great achievement!"
John Larke, City of Truro

"I do not think that I have come down to earth completely yet!"
Phil Taylor, MD for Burraton MVC and Conductor of final section of the RAH Concert

Comments posted 05/11/2013

Eric Pinch, Singing Cyclist, arrives at the RAH

Cornish flag waving!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD YOUR COMMENTS, MESSAGES OR PHOTOS for this webpage please send them to the Secretary, Linda Jones, at: linda@fed-cornishchoirs.org.uk , tel: 01726 61180.

Eric Pinch, the Singing Cyclist, with singers and supporters
outside the Royal Albert Hall

View from the Choir during Interval

Main Item first posted 05/11/2013


Massed male voice choir charity concert in aid of RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal
to be held at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 2nd November 2013, 7.30pm

Poster design created and kindly donated by Asami Matsufuji
After more than two years of planning and over twelve months of practices the date of this magnificent charity event is almost here.

The 600+ voices of the massed choir of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs meet for their final practice at 1.30pm in Redruth Methodist Church on 13th October. The atmosphere will be full of excitement and anticipation as MDs, Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor, with accompanists, Annette Turton, George Smith, Chris Bennett and Elizabeth Sidebotham, rehearse the full choir for one last time. In some pieces organist, Jonathan Delbridge, will add another dimension to the power of the wall of sound produced by the choir in what will be an experience that all present are sure to remember for years to come – and all this even before setting foot in the Royal Albert Hall itself.

This concert celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Federation and it is 13 years since the Federation last organised such an event. However, for some choir members it will be the fifth time that they have sung in a massed male voice choir at the Royal Albert Hall and it is true to say that they are as excited and enthusiastic now as they were when they first went there in 1983. Other choristers will be making their first appearance and, while many stories of previous concerts have been shared during practices, there is nothing that can really prepare anyone going for the first time for the experience that awaits them in a packed, pulsating Royal Albert Hall.

On this occasion the massed choir has as its guest artistes Cornwall Cambiata and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Angela Renshaw and Tim Boulton respectively. Also, well known Cornish group, Dala, will be bringing their own energy and musicianship to some of the Cambiata pieces.

One highlight of the evening will certainly be the performance of ‘Speed Your Journey’ (Verdi’s famous chorus from Nabucco), with the Cornwall Youth Orchestra accompanying the massed choir. However, there is no doubt that ‘Trelawny’ will bring the house down with all the performers and the audience of over 4,000 joining together in an emotional, full-blooded finale. This in itself will be something not to be missed.

All in all then one can quickly see that this concert is going to be something of a celebration of all that is good about the quality and passion of music in Cornwall, right in the middle of London! Youth and ‘experience’ will be brought together to present a programme of huge variety and vitality.

For most choirs and their SWAPs (supporters, wives and partners) the concert at the Royal Albert Hall forms part of a social ‘weekend away’ including concerts at venues on the way up and/or on the way back, shopping excursions, trips to historic landmarks and even evenings out at West End shows. Thousands will be travelling by coach to and from London so those on the M5 and M4 on either Friday or Sunday should look out for impromptu ‘flash’ performances in service stations as coach parties take a ‘comfort break’ and choirs find themselves at the same place at the same time.

For a number of weeks now the concert has been a sell-out with all the 3,500 tickets initially available to the Federation being sold. However, something over 500 stall and box seats are owned by debenture holders. While some owners of these seats will attend the concert, a number will return their tickets, thereby freeing up their seats. These seats are now becoming available to the public via the Royal Albert Hall box office (0845 401 5034 or via the RAH website). Some may be interested in upgrading the tickets they have already purchased. This can be done by contacting the box office and, subject to availability, can even be done on the day.

Sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer, CFMVC
Item posted 2/10/2013

on 2 November 2013

On Sunday 13 October the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs held their last rehearsal in the county in preparation for the massed choir concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 2 November. The Methodist Church at Redruth resounded with the voices of nearly 600 men, accompanied by the glorious sound of the church's organ, played by Jonathan Delbridge. All of the Federation choirs of Cornwall were represented, and the two Associate Members who are also taking part in this wonderful concert - Newton St Petrock MVC had travelled from Devon and Bois Goetre-hen a'r Cylch MC had journeyed from Wales. Each of the four Musical Directors took the massed choir through their parts of the programme - Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye and Judith Pinguey - the last section being taken by Phil Taylor who, with great gusto, rallied the men into giving their all for the final piece.

To see more photos click: ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Five additional rehearsals for the RAH Concert have been arranged. Any singers going to the Royal Albert Hall are very welcome to attend these additional rehearsals. Details given below:

The rehearsals will start at 7.30pm and run until 9.30pm

22 May - Launceston Methodist Church

14 June - Stithians Methodist Church
21 June - Stithians Methodist Church
28 June - Stithians Methodist Church
5 July - Stithians Methodist Church

Item posted 22/04/2013



What do the men of Cornwall’s male voice choirs have in common with Cliff Richard, Robbie Williams and even Kathryn Jenkins? The answer is that they can sell out the Royal Albert Hall.

The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs is delighted to announce that they have now sold most of the tickets for their massed male voice choir charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 2nd November 2013. Those now contacting the Royal Albert Hall Box Office for tickets are likely to be offered ‘restricted view’ tickets. However, in the Royal Albert hall this does not mean that you will be sitting behind a pillar or a lady in a large hat but that you will be sitting towards the front of the auditorium, looking across and down at the massed choir rather than directly at it. You will still be able to experience everything the evening has to offer and be as much a part of the evening as everyone else. So, the seats can be booked with some confidence that those sitting in them will have the most wonderful time. Later in the year (we think about June) a number of ‘debenture’ stalls seats and boxes may become available. Those booking the ‘restricted view’ seats might want to ask about the possibility of an upgrade if these seats become available.

Item sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer
posted 12/04/2013


Tim Hosken, MD of Marazion Apollo, has made Rehearsal CDs of each section for all the pieces for The Royal Albert Hall Concert. These cost £20 per set or £21.25 to include postage. A choir could purchase a set for their members and choristers could play them in their own time. To purchase a set, contact:

Tim Hosken, MD, Marazion Apollo MVC
16 Parc an Cady, St Buryan, Cornwall, TR19 6DD.
Tel: 01736 810349.
Email: timhosken@hotmail.co.uk

This news item posted 10 September 2012

Keep in touch with what's happening through your local media and Radio Cornwall

One of the Concert's charities supported by the concert will be Radio Cornwall's Charity Appeal. Listen out on Radio Cornwall who will be giving occasional updates about the Concert and related activities.

Rehearsal Dates and Venues

For the benefit of choristers taking part, click here for the list of Rehearsal dates and venues: Rehearsals


Cornwall Youth Orchestra was founded in 1968 and since that time thousands of young musicians have gained valuable orchestral experience and had much enjoyment in the process. While some past members of the orchestra have had distinguished musical careers including some of Britain’s leading performers and composers, the influence of the dedication, teamwork and discipline of orchestral playing has filtered down to all areas of Cornish life. The present members of CYO come from across the whole of the county and a little beyond, meeting for short residential or day courses from September to April each year. Before joining CYO most players have already gained orchestral experience in one of the many local ensembles also run by Music Cornwall. For 25 years the orchestra was conducted by David Frost, who inspired generations of young musicians before his retirement from the orchestra on its 40th anniversary in 2008. The orchestra tours abroad from time to time, most recently to Strasbourg and South East Poland.

Over the last few years, under the direction of Tim Boulton, the orchestra has been benefiting from several collaborations. In 2008/09, alongside the main repertoire, CYO were involved in a major creative project involving Tate St Ives, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and four Cornish composers. Included in the project was a performance at Tate St Ives of student devised small ensemble pieces, and the premiere of four new works for symphony orchestra by the composers, each using as their starting point musical material devised by the players themselves. Over the last few years the orchestra has been supported by violinist Hania Gmitruk, a long standing member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Building on this partnership, CYO were delighted to be invited to visit London in November 2010 to work side-by-side with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, rehearsing and recording Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony with Russian conductor Mikhail Agrest. The orchestra also has a close relationship with Cornish trumpeter Kate Moore, principal trumpet with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and two years ago performed Graham Fitkin’s work ‘PK’ in Truro Cathedral, alongside the Cornwall Family Orchestra who were directed by a team of BBC Concert Orchestra players. In June 2012 CYO were delighted to be invited to perform at the Music For Youth National Festival at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

A beautiful sound, unmistakeably both masculine and boyish. The Cambiata Choir is part of a project to develop the singing potential of boys in Cornwall. Thrown by the changes in their voices, boys entering their teenage years are often reluctant to sing. Cambiata means emerging voice and this project is all about showing young men the potential of their voices at this point in their lives.

Led by singing expert Angela Renshaw, the project has established local singing ‘hubs’ in Penryn, Callington, St Ives, Newquay and Bodmin. In 2012-2013 young men from the age of 13 to 25 can gather to sing and perform, supported by local and national expert singing leaders. The project is breaking new ground by involving composers and arrangers to create a bespoke repertoire for the cambiata voice. The project has many national links and the first performance of the Cambiata Choir was in April 2012 when they sang with the Cornwall Boys Choir at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The occasion was hosted by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Fifteen hundred young people from across the country were involved but the Cornish choir was the sole choir to perform on their own.

Terry Hodge, Chairman, signs the RAH Contract on behalf of the Federation
The culmination of many months of work and negotiation has resulted in the wonderful news that The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs will be going to London to sing at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, 2 November, 2013.

A massed choir of at least 650 voices drawn from the 25 member choirs of the Federation will be singing. As members say: "It will make 'some sound'"!

Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer, was interviewed by Tiffany Truscott on Radio Cornwall this afternoon. He stated that four very experienced and well respected Musical Directors of Cornish male voice choirs have already been elected by the Federation members to conduct the choir at the concert and each will lead one of the four sections of the programme. Those elected are:

Stephen Lawry, MD of Mousehole MVC
Judith Pinguey, MD of Newquay MVC
Elaine Tangye, MD of Nankersey MC
Phil Taylor, MD of Burraton MVC

Jonathan Delbridge will be playing the great Albert Hall organ. The programme will reflect both the traditions and heritage of male choral singing in the Duchy and will mix popular and well known male voice choir favourites with more modern pieces.

The Cornish choirs have presented concerts at the Royal Albert Hall on four previous occasions, 1983, 1988, 1994 and 2000, the last three of these being organised by the Federation, and the first initiating the forming of the Federation itself in 1983. On every occasion it has been a most remarkable event. Indeed, one chorister has commented: "What we put on at the Albert Hall is not so much a concert but an experience!"

Rehearsals start in September. Details re booking and obtaining tickets will be confirmed soon although tickets themselves are unlikely to be available until 1 December (just in time for Christmas!). Prices will range from about £20 to £55. The Federation has already been approached by travel agents putting packages together for groups wishing to travel together to the event.

Things to do:

If you are a member of a Federation choir, make sure that your name is on the list!

If you are a member of a properly constituted male choral group that is not a member of the Federation, make contact with us! Contact Us

If you have been thinking about joining a choir, join one now!

If you support a favourite choir, make contact with them and let them know that you would like to join them for the weekend.

If you have friends and relations living elsewhere in England, Europe, the world! - let them know that it is happening.

Put the date in your Calendar! Saturday, 2 November 2013.

This news item posted 5 May 2012

WATCH THIS SPACE! Regular updates about the concert at the Royal Albert Hall will be posted here.

How To Join Us

The members of the Federation of Male Voice Choirs are always delighted to greet new members. If you are interested, or would just like to know more, contact one of the Member Choirs and find out where they meet regularly. You will be given a warm welcome. There is a camaraderie and a pleasure in the sharing of music that is unique to male voice singing.

This page was last updated May 2014

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