Let All Men Sing!

How we started

New Mill Male Voice Choir has a tradition of writing, initiated by The Two Davids, Haigh and Illingworth, back in the early noughties. The 21st Birthday seemed the ideal opportunity to review this writing in some sort of anthology. Why not cover the whole of the choir history was the next question? Who would do it and how, soon followed. The editorial team picked itself. Ian Dey has been assembling an archive since choir inception. Doug Shuttleworth and Alan Hicks have toured extensively, delivering presentations about the choir and its history. Alan also has experience of proof-reading. Charlie Turner is an artist and teacher of art, with a pedigree of poster and programme design. Steve Flynn is the choir webmaster, well connected to the media world.

The finance came from a personal loan and from sponsorship.


Neil from Birks family funeral services


Steve, chair of New Mill Club

Steve from New Mill Club

Ronald from Bower-Roebuck


About the book

There are as many reasons for joining a choir as there are members. An affinity with music is a good start. Some singers enjoy a weekly two hours away from day-to-day pressure in the company of men who sing. Others thrive on the company and the camaraderie that spills over into social activities like cycling, crown-green bowling, clay-pigeon shooting and trips to the brewery. Whatever their starting ability and confidence, most singers improve and want to keep improving, striving for their personal best. These private meanings find their ultimate expression during rehearsal weekends away in Llandudno or Scarborough.

The short sharp bursts of action are the concerts where we entertain in public. Some are free, but many are not and attracting a paying audience can focus the mind. Receipts may go to local projects, charities or fund-raising for other choirs and musical ensembles. Our programme peaks at the Huddersfield Town Hall when we share the stage with a high profile guest (Willard White, Aled Jones, Morriston Male Orpheus Choir, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Alison Balsom). Singers, conductor and pianist are all on their musical mettle and the choir and supporters alike work hard to ensure a commercial success.ffcoverborder

Touring (Italy, Catalonia, Czech Republic, Poland) combines the best of the personal and the public, and we and our supporters also get to go on holiday.

We were not a competition choir until 2009 when we became South Yorkshire Champions at the Don Valley Festival held at the Elsecar Heritage Centre. We repeated the success in 2010 and came second in 2011. Performing with others helps to measure development, but being judged by a professional adjudicator is something else.

Along this jerky journey we hope the reader will appreciate how, since November 1991, the choir has improved, not only in technique and performance, but also in imaginative administration.

We are not sure how many founder/early members are still singing, but we think in double figures. We are open to men of all vocal abilities. We have a solid footing in the male voice repertoire (Welsh hymns, spirituals, operatic extracts etc) whilst taking on more modern material (Lennon and McCartney, Robbie Williams). We are loyal to our local supporters (Christ Church, New Mill; BASF in Low Moor; Huddersfield Town Hall) and yet we are willing to try some adventurous venues (Theatre Royal, Wakefield). We have also embraced the age of the computer (www.newmillmvc.org.uk) and made four CD recordings.

We were privileged to have Thom Meredith write the foreword.

Thom Meredith, Principal of Kirklees Music School

Thom Meredith, Principal of Kirklees Music School

Edited by Dave Walker

ISBN 978-0-9569814-1-7

£9.99  plus p&p

Available on Amazon, Waterstones and from this site

Please post a review


The social enterprise: Raising the profile of New Mill Male Voice Choir 

The profits from the books were initially allocated to an additional piece of choir uniform. That proved a tad controversial, so, given the choir’s constitution states we are community-facing, we arranged an open night.

Last Thursday, 27th July, at Holmfirth High School, representatives from Holmfirth Parish Council, Christ Church, New Mill, Bower-Roebuck, Birks, Holmfirth Arts Festival, Holmfirth Rotary and many others enjoyed a light-hearted presentation on 21 years of the life and times of the choir. Alan Hicks spoke and the projectionist was Doug Shuttleworth. Formed in 1991, inspired by ex-operatic tenor, Len Williams, the choir went on to sing at prestigious venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Cardiff Arms Park and Winter Gardens, Blackpool, and alongside the likes of Aled Jones, Sir Willard White and Julian Lloyd-Webber at our own Huddersfield Town Hall.

The school jazz band, musical director Jo Brear, entertained brilliantly at the start of the evening and during the interval.

The event concluded with a short set from the current choir repertoire, musical director Alan Brierley and pianist Emma Binns, including the hymn Eli Jenkins from Under Milkwood, sung by a small group of surviving founder members.

Special thanks to Holmfirth High School, Malcolm Galloway, Jo and the band, the kitchen staff for putting on supper and the parent-teachers’ association for running a bar.

Final thanks to Rupert Wilson for taking on the role of compere.





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