Launceston Male Voice Choir was formed in 1969, originally as Launceston Methodist Male Voice Choir. One of the original members, John Beare, was appointed deputy musical director in 1982 and has been principal musical director since 1986, now with Jonathan Mann as assistant musical director.
Carole Baker has been the accompanist since 1998.
The choir has a current membership of more than 50 choristers and a repertoire extending to over 50 pieces which cover a wide variety of material ranging from traditional to modern.
The choir performs around 20 concerts a year, mainly in West Devon and East Cornwall, as well as going away on an annual tour to other parts of the country, such as The Isle of Wight, Wales, Canterbury, Weymouth, Gloucester and Bristol.
The choir has also performed at private functions, such as wedding ceremonies, birthday and wedding anniversaries and private parties. The choir has also sung at the Eden Project and a book launch in Truro as well as taking part in the bi-annual Cornish International Male Voice Festival, where choirs from around the world come to celebrate male choral music over the May bank holiday weekend.
Several members also sang with the Trelawny Choir and with choristers from other choirs throughout Cornwall on tours of New Zealand in 2007 and Canada in 2011.
Saturday 2nd November 2013 was the climax of over fifteen months preparation for over 40 members of Launceston Male Voice Choir to The Royal Albert Hall in London. The concert which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Cornish Male Choir Federation has been described by some as the equivalent of climbing Everest ‘an experience of a lifetime’.
The choir sang with over 600 voices from 25 Cornish choirs, and an associate choir from Newton St Petrock. The ‘sell out’ audience of 5,500, including hundreds from NE Cornwall were enthralled by the three hour extravaganza which was wildly applauded and appreciated. Ending, of course with a very emotional rendition of Morte Cristie and ‘Trelawney’, after the audience had demanded an ‘encore’.
The Launceston contingent, 140 in all, needed three coaches to accommodate the choir and their supporters. Not only did the choir sing in London, but on the Sunday afternoon, they combined with Liskerret (Liskeard) and St Stithians choirs in another ‘sell-out’ concert at St Joseph’s Catholic church, Basingstoke, with Basingstoke Ladies Choir .
A CD made at the Royal Albert Hall will be available early next year, to enjoy the event again and savour the electric atmosphere at a cost of only £11.00. Order a copy by contacting LMVC direct.
Proceeds from the Concert and CD will support the RNLI, the Children’s Hospice South West, and the Radio Cornwall Appeal.
The choir would also like to thank all their sponsors and loyal followers for their enthusiastic support relating to this wonderful and unique event.
During the coming months the Choir will be fulfilling many local engagements but are already taking bookings for both 2016 and 2017. If you would like to book the choir, then do contact Tony Carter (01566 773314). Launceston MVC is always ready to support others in raising money for deserving causes – and to share the joy of their music at the same time.
Cornwall Federation of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall, London 2013