Memory Cafe Christmas Singalong


   On the afternoon following, Thursday 15th December, the FOSS Concert, the choir reassembled; this time in Christmas jumpers and hats. We were privileged to lead a sing-along with the folks who meet regularly at the Carbis Bay Memorial Hall for the St Ives & Carbis Bay branch of Memory Café. Spouses, partners, friends and volunteers all helped those struggling with memory illnesses to enjoy and join in with some of their favourite songs of the season.


   In Cornwall we now have twenty-four Memory cafés where people with memory loss and their family or carers can socialise, take part in meaningful activities, and enjoy home made cakes and refreshments. The group meets every 1st & 3rd Thursday between 2:00-4:00p.m. and offers mutual support through shared understanding.


   It was a lovely time. The soul is heartened to see the patience and loving care given to all those who needed it. During the event a cheque for £157.00 was presented to The Memory Café to help with their work, and encourage them in what they do. The money was the result of the raffle held at the choir's annual dinner at West Cornwall Golf Club in November.


   The choir has a direct link with the Memory Café in that one of the regular users of the facility is Derek Churchward. He and his wife, Norma, are both former members of the choir. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this Christmas time.

   More images in the Gallery 2016 >>>

FOSS Christmas Concert


   Our busy schedule continued with the Friends of Stennack Surgery (FOSS) Christmas Concert on the evening of Wednesday 14th December. The waiting area was again reformed into a hall with a full audience and pretty full choir too. The programme for the choir was similar to the one used for the Carbis Bay concert the previous week.


   The choir pieces were interspersed with items of poetry or music from the staff at the surgery. A quartet with two violins, a recorder and guitar played some splendid folk style compositions and a beautiful violin solo from another who works in the physiotherapy reception department. What talent! All of the poems were just a little bit different to what one might usually hear, which made the occasion quite special. Our MD, William, was asked to stand in as MC at the last minute. He had a number of opportunities to share his particular brand of humour.


   It has to said that the audience participation for the 12 Days of Christmas was fantastic. The energy and vitality of the audience was in stark contrast to the norm in the surgery waiting room. Towards the conclusion of the evening, Anne Bassett presented a cheque for £100.00 to another choir member, Mary Whitemore. Mary received the cheque on behalf of the St Ives branch of the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline.  The money was the result of a promise made by Wild West Comms, who filmed and produced the Kelly's Ice Cream Christmas advert, in which the choir 'starred'.


   The choir received the following message via email:

On behalf of the FOSS Committee I would like to express our sincere thanks to you and all the members of the St Ives Community Choir for your excellent contribution to our Christmas Concert on Wednesday evening.


Our thanks to your keyboard player Alison Ashby for providing accompaniment to our Carol singing.

The Concert was a great success thanks to you and members of the Choir and we are very much in your debt.


The Concert raised £276.00 from ticket sales and the raffle on the night made an additional £138.00.


Please pass on our thanks to all who took part.




Len Etheridge  ( Chair of FOSS Committee )

St Erth Christmas Tree Festival Switch On


   Sunday 11th December came around soon enough. Once again the choir was engaged, this time as leaders in song for the Christmas Tree Festival. The concert come service, come nativity was chaired by Rev. Robert Amess, with Donna Birrell of Radio Cornwall participating as a reader. Early in the piece the tree lights were switched on and became more apparent as the afternoon moved towards twilight. The St Erth Concert Band also played a huge part with some heart warming compositions before and after entirely of a Christmas flavour. The fun was in recognising the well known carols and songs in the mix.


   The church was full downstairs and a number had to use the gallery, including the choir. We sang well, with just two sets of two songs, ending with Christmas Grace. Afterwards folk were blessed with refreshments in the form of, yes, you guessed it, mince pies. But, hey! There was no bah humbug here. This was a truly simple, straight forward celebration of the birth of Christ into His world as told by the children in their typically, 'There may be technical problems  and costume issues, but the play must go on'.


   Such a grand occasion in a village of this size is commendable in society's general departure from the real reason of the season.

More images in the Gallery 2016 >>>

Carbis Bay Christmas Lights Concert


With the choir holding their practices at the venue in recent years, it was quite natural for the choir to accept an invitation to sing at the switching on of the Christmas tree at Carbis Bay Methodist Church on Tuesday 6th December.  However, the weather was cold and inclement, so, after photos were taken, everyone moved indoors and waited in anticipation for the concert to be given.


As is often the case, most of the songs were performed better than we manage in our practices. Once again, The Twelve Days of Christmas was again a real winner, with much frivolity and mirth. This time, with accompanist Alison in situ the five gold rings were played slowly to allow a pause in proceedings in later verses.


A highlight was the melodic acappela voice of Roy Brookes, who sang the first verse of Stille Nacht in German. The choir sang a varied programme, covering most of their more recent Christmas music, including the local Cornish carol, Hellesveor.


A smidgen short of £170.00 was raised on the evening for The Shelter Box appeal. The Mayor had previously given a short talk about the work of this Cornish based charity. Thanks were given by Captain Eric Kemp, whose work for the church is unstinting. Kenny Bassett also attended and led the congregation in prayers.


A 'ansum cup of tea and mince pies were enjoyed at the close.

More photos in the gallery >>>

RBL Concert at the St Ives branch


   The start of our busiest time of the year began on Monday 5th December. Some members were already committed to other responsibilities. The rest of us enjoyed a pleasant and relatively informal time with a good sized audience.


   One of the highlights was the audience participation of 'The 12 Days of Christmas', which rather descended into a farce, but, of heart warming effect. The choir were singing to backing tracks as our accompanist, Alison, was other wise engaged. The track did not slow up for 'five gold rings', which resulted in the choir in one time zone and the determined audience in entirely another. Add to that the immobility, despite enthusiasm and few people, including MD, William, actually knew when to stand up or sit down.


   It was a warm venue with a low ceiling. We have sung better. Our voices need to last out for the whole of the season! However, the 'Legion' sells good beverage at very good prices and the pasties were geet beauties. £140.00 was raised from raffle proceeds towards the Royal Navy Association.

More photos in the gallery >>>

Annual Dinner


   On the evening of Friday 18th November, the choir held its third annual dinner at The West Cornwall Golf Club, Lelant. Partners, wives, family and friends, many of whom have supported the choir at its various concerts throughout the year, also attended.


   Proceedings began with a photo call for the choir. We were very pleased to have our sponsors with us for the evening; Charles Reynolds of CJ Medical, accompanied by his wife Louise and daughter Honey, donated an Ipad for use by our accompanist, Alison Ashby. After an excellent three course dinner, a raffle was drawn and several folks went away with hampers, wine and other 'wins'. It raised £157.00 in aid of the Memory Cafe, Carbis Bay, for Alzheimer sufferers.


   MD, William Thomas, gave a speech, with customary stories (where does he get them from)? Thanks were extended to the choir secretary, Lynda, and librarian, Anne, before William was on the receiving end of a private joke and the gift of a massive egg timer.


   This proved to be a very successful evening, just the thing prior to the start of a particularly busy time for the choir.


annual dinner 2016          More photos in the gallery >>>


Lowender Peran


   Many months had past since the choir were first introduced to the delights of the Cornish language. Invited during the depths of winter last, the choir were to lead the audience at the prestigious event kown as Lowender Peran. This music and dance cultural festival, held in November, encompasses all things Celtic.


   On the evening of Thursday 3rd November we coached off to Atlantic Hotel, Newquay, for another new experience in the life of our choir! Our brief was to bring several songs from our repetoire that would reflect our rich heritage; Hail to the Homeland, Song of Carbis Bay and Proper Job being the prime candidates. MD, William Thomas, led all in an action packed 'Flora Day', audience participation essential!


   Later, we returned to the stage to lead the audience in the singing of songs in the Cornish language. An audience and choir, enthusiastic all, produced stirring renditions of 'Rosen Wynn' (The White Rose), 'Bro goth agan tasow' (Old land of our fathers) and 'Kan Tus West' (Trelawney).


lowender peran 2016


A video taken by part of the Cornish language radio service 'Pellwolok an Gernewegva' is now edited with the Cornish language pieces separated and sub titles added. Check out the media page >>>


Kelly's Ice Cream Advert


   The first hour of our practice on the first night of November was somewhat different and rather novel. Kelly's Ice Cream recently produced a TV advert which included a snippet in the Cornish Language. Now, for this Christmas, they asked us to sing 'We wish you a merry Christmas' in the Cornish language, for their latest TV commercial. So, on the most calm and beautiful evening we met on Carbis Bay beach outside the restaurant, where there happens to be a Kelly's Ice Cream  kiosk. After a number of 'takes' the production team, using a Go-Pro camera and single microphone were satisfied that the finished article was possible. The choir, suitably dressed in festive wear, repaired to the Carbis Bay Methodist Church for the remainder of the practice.


   Kelly's handed out a voucher for each of the choir members and are going to donate £100 to Chernobyl Children's Lifeline (St Ives). The advert should appear on tv in 2-3 weeks.


More photos in the gallery >


Torbay Tour Friday 7th - Monday 10th October


   After the success of its first tour last year, twenty three members of the choir departed on Friday 7th October  for another weekend away. The destination was once again Torbay. There was a full itinerary organised by Maureen and Donald Stevens, members from the choir’s beginnings.


[more photos on the gallery page]


   The journey on Friday included stops at Trerulfoot and Buckfast, before  settling into the accommodation and an evening meal. The social side of the trip is seen as most valuable in bringing the members closer. On Saturday transport was provided for those who wished to spend the day in Torquay.


   In the evening the choir gave a concert at the Methodist Church in Palace Avenue, Paington, a beautiful building with excellent acoustics. This was the focus of the weekend, with over £300.00 raised for the Rowcroft Hospice, which  cares for people with life limiting illnesses across 300 square miles of South Devon and its nurses make 2,000 home visits annually . The concert had a varied programme, including audience participation in an Abba medley and the Floral Dance, plus two beautiful duets by William and Trish Thomas - 'Perhaps Love' and ' Love can Build a Bridge' .


   A trip to the lovely village of Cockington was organised for Sunday, which was all the better for the fair autumn weather. In the evening the choir gave an impromptu medley of songs from their concert for the guests at the hotel.


   A lunch stop at Strawberry Fields on the way home completed a very  successful and enjoyable time.


Letter of thanks:


       Dear William and all the St. Ives Choir Members


       I just had to write to let you know again how much your singing and company was enjoyed last Saturday.  

      As I said I was again privileged to be with you all again on the Sunday night.   The Hotel must have been      

      pleased to have such entertainment for their other guests.


      I do hope that your journey home went well and that you all felt it was really worth visiting this foreign land!

      If you ever find that you can stray 'over the border' again we would love to see you, but I realize we were

      only lucky to have the opportunity for Rowcroft Hospice because Rotary members took a trip away.


      Do wish the choir a rather early Happy Christmas and news of a much more peaceful New Year worldwide.


     Sending warm wishes 

 Pat Goss

Chairman of the Friends of Rowcroft Hospice


St Anta Carbis Bay Last Night of the Proms


   It is rare that the choir has two performances in the week, let alone on consecutive nights. However, the long standing engagement at the church of St Anta on Friday 16th September is always a favourite with the audience. As in previous years there was a very good number, who gave generously to the raffle, the wine and gifts to the tune of over £500. David Tremelling played the organ with aplomb, leading the congregational singing. MD and noted baritone, William Thomas, led the verses to 'Land of Hope & Glory' and 'Rule Britannia', with flags being waved all around the church.


   The choir performed another new peice for the fiirst time, 'Falling in Love Again', as well as a repeat of 'My Fair Lady'. The latter employed the services of tenor Mike Laramy for one of the solo parts, his first, which was sung melodically.


   Janette Eathorne, sister of MD, William, compered delightfully, with a comedic recitation of one of her poems and a beautiful rendition of a song of The Mermaid of Zennor, unaccompanied and in perfect pitch. A tasty buffet rounded off events with several choir members sneaking away with a slice of Judith Tremelling's coffee sponge!



St Ives Entertains in the September Festival


   The organisers of this year's September Festival decided to use the Guildhall for a concert that show pieced the various musical talent of the town. The evening of Thursday 15th September was advertised in the official festival website thus:


   "St Ives Entertains - St Ives September Festival 2016

   Bamaluz Bootleggers performing sea shanties and Cornish music,  award winning St Ives pianist Jez Kemp       with a lively blend of classical, jazz and blues music, well known local couple Dee & Dave Brotherton with         Allen Greenall performing songs in English and Cornish and St Ives Community Choir, now in it’s 12th

   year, bringing their particular style of music making."


   The choir took the stage as the final act and brought boisterous appluase from a packed audience. The concert gave the choir the opportunity to sing a 'My Fair Lady' medley, together with the usual blend of pieces.


   Trelawney was sung by all to round off an excellent evening.


Newlyn Fish Festival Last Night of the Cornish Proms


   A beautiful evening with Newlyn Harbour awaiting the crowds for the Fish Festival Bank Holiday Day set the scene for a wonderful time of music and singing on Sunday 28th August. This was the second successive year that the choir were asked to perform at the Methodist Trinity Centre part way up Newlyn Hill. With our MDs sister, Janette Eathorne, compering, there was a lovely family atmosphere.


choir_newlyn(for more images go to gallery page>)


   Once again the choir performed really well, rising to the occasion. MD, William Thomas, performed The Floral Dance with audience participation and also the community singing, with favourites, 'Jerusalem', 'Land of Hope & Glory' and 'Rule Brittania' (to Cornish lyrics). Several well known Cornish songs reminded folks of our own unique blend of musical talents. Perhaps we should have sung 'Goin' up Newlyn Hill' instead of 'Camborne'?


   Hannah Pascoe brought a particular quality with her fine soprano voice, especially with the encore of a rendering of the aria 'O mio babbino caro' by Puccini, surely one of the best known in opera.


   A special mention must go to our accompanist on the evening. David Tremelling stood in for Alison Ashby with excellent playing that showed a sensitivity to the choir behind him. The choir is full of appreciation and recognition of his time and talent.


    A Hamson's of Hayle pasty was a welcome way to round off the evening, where all proceeds go to the Seamen's Mission.


MD made Bard of Gorsedh Kernow

   Although always last to speak of his achievements, the choir is, nevertheless, delighted and proud to hear that our musical director, William Thomas, is to be made a bard on Saturday 3rd September.


   Gorsedh Kernow was established in 1928 with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall’s distinctive Celtic culture and the village of St Keverne provides the setting for this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival which includes the main bardic ceremony on Saturday 3rd  September at St Keverne Playing Field, right in the heart of the village.


   The high point of the ceremony, which starts at 2pm, will be the inauguration of the 19 new bards in recognition of their outstanding work in serving Cornwall and her distinctive Celtic identity. William is receiving the award for his work with Cornish music, the St John’s Ambulance Service and the Mission to Seamen.


FSMC Summer Concert

   On Wednesday 20th July the choir performed to a generous audience at Fore Street Methodist Church, where MD William Thomas and a number of choir members attend. The choir is grateful for the opportunity to use this venue. The concert raised the wonderful sum of £365.24 for Cornwall Hospice Care. The concert was in memory of two of our members who sadly passed away earlier this year, Rose Buckley and Lynda Morlaine.



Chacewater Summer Concert

   The choir was invited to the parish church for a second year on Friday 15th July to provide a summer concert. Former choir members and Carbis Bay residents, Terry and Maggie Lister, now living in Chacewater provided the opportunity. Although a small audience, the choir, with a few absences, produced a lovely evening of song. The photo includes David Tremelling at keyboard. He stepped in at the last minute for our usual accompanist, Alison Ashby. Without him being volunteered by his good lady, choir member, judith, the concert could not have gone ahead.


              More images in the gallery >


Towednack Garden Party

   The choir were looking forward to their latest assignment at the beautiful garden of Churchtown Cottage, the home of the Franklins. However, Saturday 9th July proved to be a rather inclement one. The choir were lodged between the conservatory and a thorny looking tree, where MD, William, nestled in. Alison, our worthy accompanist (with a flask of tea, apparently), was housed within the conservatory. Hardy souls listened in increasingly unsummery conditions. Two sessions were put into one; dresses were partly hidden by rain coats and anoraks; fascinators tried to look colourful; singers and listeners did their best to look full of summer joy. We even sang, "Great Day, the sun is shining on me!"

   In difficult conditions the choir produced a varied programme which was highly appreciated.

St Ives Food & Drink Festival

   On Saturday 14th May the choir gave it's first performance of the year, singing a number of well known songs from their repertoire. There was a biting easterly wind blowing across the beach at Porthminster for the first day of this, the 7th annual food and drink festival. The choir were one of a number of groups invited to do a slot. The cold meant that there were relatively few in the audience for our fairly early start. Several members were working or otherwise unable to attend, but, as is so often the case, when the choir perform, they seem to bring out their best efforts.

   Everyone enjoyed the singing, with solo sections from David Polkinghorne (Proper Job), Tricia Thomas (Thank you for the music) and Alan Thomas (Yesterday). Our pieces ranged from traditional Cornish to a medley from Abba (Mama Mia).

   Members were issued with vouchers for a drink from the St Ives Brewery tent. Not everyone wanted a cold drink so early in the day. Tea and coffee proved more popular. Everyone then ambled around the various stalls buying up bargains and tasting samples. Our photo, courtesy of Bill Thomas, shows the choir getting active during "Thank you for the music". What a bunch of movers! The are more photos in the gallery >