7 Items

HMVC – Newsletter 10 – 2nd June 2020

by Brian Holmes

Hello everybody and I trust you are keeping well.

This week I am going to dwell on more serious things than in recent weeks because I want to assure you that your Committee is not twiddling its thumbs during lockdown.

Many views have been expressed to committee members about how quickly we might start to rehearse again and so we have exchanged views on the options. On the one hand there are those that would be prepared to meet and practice as separate sections with social distancing. This would mean, for example, baritones meeting for an hour followed by basses for an hour. On the other hand there are those who are in the high risk category or live with someone at high risk who would be most reluctant to meet for fear of taking the virus home. Rehearsals would need the presence of at least an accompanist if not a conductor. With these difficulties in mind we will monitor the situation over the next three months and develop plans to suit the conditions that are most likely to prevail in September.

We have also had a look at on line practices but at the moment feel that without  an MD and a reliable app. we cannot embark on this just now. However, some members are keeping an eye on progress and as soon as we feel on line rehearsals are possible we will advise you about it and see if you want to join in.

We feel that we cannot arrange concerts in the foreseeable future. The possibility of the government allowing gatherings of 50 people or more seems far away and I suspect many venues, performers and audiences will be very cautious about this. Some may even wish to have a vaccine available before opening their doors. In addition we will not achieve concert standard after such a long break without an MD or interim conductor and that is not in sight at the moment. Nevertheless, we have retained the Christmas concert at Goldsbro’ and one other early in 2021 in the diary and will see how we go. The sooner we are safely out there the better.

Elwyn has advised us that our available funds are not yet placing us in a difficult financial position but we need to focus on future funding. In normal circumstances we would all be paying our subs in the autumn but we might not be meeting until 2021. I would hope that members will agree to pay their full subs for the coming year. That would go some way to securing our future. We have to bear in mind that Patrick cost us very little and a new MD may charge several thousand pounds. If so, this will create a funding gap. A team led by Lawrie is looking at how we promote and market ourselves and recruit. This will involve participating increasingly in social media. We already have a YouTube and Facebook presence but there is room for expansion. Any one with experience of operating on social media should contact Lawrie and offer their help. It may well be that a younger member of your family might be willing to help. Lawrie’s team will also expand its role in to fundraising as this is going to be very important in the coming years.

Both Davids have advised me that they will be pleased to continue as accompanists and I am sure that makes us all feel a step closer to singing again. But what are we going to sing. Views vary across the choir and so I intend to ask the committee to give some thought to the composition and purpose of the music sub committee with a view to reforming it in September.

I want to assure you that the committee is constantly talking about ways in which we all can meet the challenges ahead. We are too good to drift away. We will not do so. We will regroup, rehearse and be once again the best male voice choir in Yorkshire

Best wishes


HMVC – Members News – 2nd June 2020

by Brian Holmes

Notices about Members with Newsletter 10.

Hello everyone,

Thankfully, there appears to be a chink of light at the end of Lockdown tunnel!

From mid-June we will once again be allowed to do some of the things that, until recently, we all took for granted.  However, the Government has also successfully sown many seeds of fear about emerging into our new-normal environment.

I hope you and your families keep safe, whilst enjoying this socially- distanced freedom.

Mike Clipston.

Jonathan, his son, has been in touch with HMVC to thank us for the card I sent on behalf of us all and for our wish to be kept informed.

We will not be able to attend Mike’s funeral, on Thursday, June 4th due to the current regulations.  He is in discussion with the hospital’s Macmillan Centre about how we could make a donation, as Mike spoke highly of the care he received there.

Jonathan does intend to arrange a Commemorative Service when conditions permit. He expressed a wish that both HMVC and the Sea Cadets Band perform at the Service. Clearly it will be quite some time before this occurs, and I hope that by then we are in a position to accept.

Ernest Christie does not use his computer now, but his daughter Norma has been ensuring that he doesn’t miss this publication. She emailed recently to say that she visits him regularly and he really does enjoy her reading out our newsletter to him.

He is well, and is enjoying the sunshine, but like us all, he is missing the Choir and she says he is looking forward to the day we can meet all up again. In the meantime we will send his Newsletters etc. in the post. She also says that he spends quite some time listening to records and CD’s from his extensive collection. Also mentioned was how he keeps in touch with all things Scottish – by watching sport and light entertainment on  BBC Scotland.

As I have not received any other messages to the contrary, from individuals or Section Leaders, about the virus or otherwise – I think I’m safe in thinking that you are all OK at present!

Members living alone.

As mentioned in the last notice,  if anyone would like a chat anytime, just to keep in touch, don’t hesitate to ring me on 01423 547999.

Best wishes and keep safe.

John Smith

Members Rep.

Patrick’s 6 years with Harrogate Male Voice Choir.

by Brian Holmes


The day you receive this email attachment will be the sixth anniversary of the start of my tenure of the Musical Director position with HMVC. I had planned to say some or all of the following at my last rehearsal on 12th May 2020 but Coronavirus restrictions have put paid to that. Today seems like as good a day as any.

At the outset, I had no idea what to expect but, within a very few weeks, I was certain that we could achieve that indefinable but universally-well-known sound of a really good MVC. I also knew that I had to create a good working relationship with the pianist. Avril was, of course, very helpful and very committed to her position and she worked hard on rehearsing the piano parts at home. True to say that, in those first few months, the choir grew on me.

There have been many memorable moments during my six years at the helm but I would like to remind you of just a few (in no particular order). The lunchtime recital at Ripon Cathedral. The 50th Anniversary concert at the Royal Hall.  Awaydays. Sing Out. All the other performances have a place in the overflowing box of memorable moments; most of them for the right reasons and, just occasionally, for the wrong reasons.

I wanted to create a much more varied repertoire than had been the case before I took over and I think we have achieved that. As a choir, HMVC is now capable of performing to a much higher standard than was the case before 2014. The numbers of members in all sections are higher and we have been extremely fortunate to have both Davids to accompany us for the last few years. They have both displayed a fully professional attitude in both rehearsals and performances. It has been a great pleasure to work with them.

I am sure that you will find a good MD to take over from me in the next few months. Your Chairman and his committee are working very hard to make this happen. Do give them all the support you can.

I am hoping to remain connected to HMVC by being available to write any arrangements you might require in the next few years.

Thanks to you all for so much. It has been an unforgettable experience.

Best wishes,


March 2020.

Important Message from the Chairman.

by Brian Holmes

Covid 19 Virus

Due to the Covid 19 virus and government regulations the choir has suspended all rehearsals and concerts until further notice.
Members will be kept in touch with each other via a bi-weekly newsletter which the Committee will compile.
If you wish to make a contribution to the newsletter please send to me or any Committee member. Please send any personal news to John Smith. Contact details are in the Member’s section of the web site.
I wish you all a safe journey through the coming months and look forward to singing with you again as soon as possible.
Peter Allen

HMVC Concert Diary – Updated 19th March 2020.

by Brian Holmes

Due to the Covid 19 virus all HMVC rehearsals and concerts have been cancelled or suspended until further notice.

December 2020:

Saturday 12th December at 7.30pm.

Concert at St Mary the Virgin Church, Goldsborough, in aid of church funds.

January 2021:

Sunday 10th January at 2.30pm.

Concert at Starbeck Methodist Church HG2 7LH.  In aid of church funds and local charities.

HMVC Member Reviews

by Brian Holmes

We hold a number of ‘Member Reviews’ which can be found in the ‘Join Us’ Section in the main body of the website.  We urgently need some new reviews to replace the existing ones which have been on the site for a long time.  Please send your reviews to Brian Holmes via e-mail to be checked before being placed on the website.

Website News

by Brian Holmes

All future Concert dates and venues can be found in the main body of the website in the ‘Hear Us’ Section headed ‘Event Diary’ which is available to the general public.  Additional information relevant to members only e.g. pre-concert rehearsal times can be obtained by going to the ‘Members Only’ Section, Choir Diary and then clicking on the appropriate date for the concert eg 16th Dec:

For any faults or difficulties encountered whilst using the website, please E-mail ( you don’t need to wait for a Tuesday night (you may have forgotten your problem by then! or I may not be there) and we don’t want anyone to have an excuse for not doing their practise!!!



Sponsors of the 50th Anniversary Year of Harrogate Male Voice Choir