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Massed male voices raise £73,000 for charities at Royal Albert Hall concert

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

By Simon Parker, Living Cornwall Editor, Twitter: @simonparkerwmn

Mousehole Male Voice Choir musical director Stephen Lawry coaches the massed Cornish choir in St Austell ahead of their triumphant concert in the Royal Albert Hall PICTURE: EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS

Mousehole Male Voice Choir musical director Stephen Lawry coaches the massed Cornish choir in St Austell ahead of their triumphant concert in the Royal Albert Hall PICTURE: EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS

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A choir concert that delighted the audience of a sell-out concert in the Royal Albert Hall has netted more than £73,000 for three Cornish charities.

At a presentation evening in Lanhydrock Hotel, the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs distributed the proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity event to the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal, each charity receiving £24,475.

Handing over the cheques, federation chairman Terry Hodge said last November’s Kernowyon A Gan: Men of Cornwall Sing concert had been “a truly remarkable evening”. Thanking all those involved for their effort and support, he said: “It was beyond our wildest dreams that such a magnificent sum would be raised. There is no doubt that the funds 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, said the money would be used to help provide a new tractor for St Ives lifeboat. Cornwall Hospice Care facilities manager Kevin Marsh emphasised how important fundraising is for the work of the organisation and thanked those involved. Daphne Skinnard, assistant editor at BBC Radio Cornwall, said the gift would boost the station appeal’s support for community initiatives.

After almost three years in the planning and two years of rehearsals, Kernowyon A Gan saw men from 25 member choirs and two associate choirs of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs join forces for the massed celebration of song. They were supported by Cornwall Cambiata, a 100-strong boys choir, the 70-strong Cornwall Youth Orchestra and an audience of more than 4,000, most of whom travelled from Cornwall for the occasion. The Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton, acted as MC.

It was the fourth time since 1988 that a massed Cornish choir concert had been held in the Royal Albert Hall. Led by musical directors Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor, the performers worked their way through a repertoire that included Hail To The Homeland and The White Rose.

Summing up the spirit of the concert, Dave Williams of Loveny Male Voice Choir said: “I am still bursting with pride. Singing in the Royal Albert Hall ranks as one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I am very proud of the sound we all produced and extremely grateful to the four musical directors and to organist Jonathan Delbridge for creating such wonderful sounds. To stand in the choir stalls looking out over a full house and singing with 600 lads, will stay with me forever.”

Kernowyon A Gan was recorded by PM Sound and will be released as a CD early next year. For details visit fed-cornishchoirs.org.uk

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