News 2017

Una Spa & Resort Christmas Concert


Our final concert of 2017 took place on Wednesday 20th December. This was a new venue for the choir and an unknown quantity in terms of the reception folks would give us. We took our place at the far end of the restuarant and entertained the revellers as they ate and drank. The choir, not to be left out, were offered mulled wine and pulled pork baps during a well earned break. 


A wide range of Christmas songs were sung from local Cornish carol, Hellesveor, to I'm Dreaming of a white Christmas. Audience participation for The 12 Days of Christmas demonstrated that we were definitely very well recieved by the growing number. It was certainly a very pleasant way to end a exhausting, but very favourable season of concerts.


Towednack Church Christmas Concert


Our penultimate concert of 2017 took place on Tuesday 19th December, which has become a regular for the choir in recent years. we were blessed with the company of Janette Eathorne for MC and had some vivid memories of Cock Robin choirs on Christmas Eve via one of her poems of the 'old' days. I for one, have personal memories a many stories I could tell.


The event saw the second performance by the newly formed hand bell ringers of St Ives Community choir. Sonny Donaldson and friends contributed delightfully and with great accomplishment.


The choir itself performed their full range of Christmas songs from their current portfolio.


The evening concluded with the choir and packed congregation enjoyed a feast of Christmas food.


St Erth Methodist Church Christmas Concert


The choir reconvened for another concert on the afternoon of Sunday 10th December. This time at St Erth Methodist Church. The occasion combined a number of facets. There was the turning on of the Christmas tree lights, the church being beautifully and creatively decorated, including throughout the balcony. Rev. Robert Amess, circuit minister, led proceedings, which allowed members of the congregation to select their favourite carol from the song sheet. The choir gave two pairs of Christmas songs and led the congregational singing. St Erth Concert Band, who made an excellent sound, provided the accompaniment and also some joyful Christmas pieces.


Children were involved in bringing a Christmas nativity and message in poetic form, while other folks read the Biblical passages of the Christmas story.


Those who did not have to dash off quickly to their own church services, stayed to enjoy, yes, more mince pies, to conclude another successful, well attended and pleasant concert. One of those who had to rush away was our accompanist, Alison. Spare a thought: leaving St Erth at 4:30p.m. she at FSMC playing for the Christingle service at 6:00p.m. in St Ives.


Carbis Bay Methodist Church Christmas Concert


No sooner we had returned to our homes and had another quenching cup of tea, the choir were regathering again, (Tuesday 5th December). Our third concert in two days was at the home of practices, Carbis Bay Methodist Church. It is perhaps a good time to state here how grateful the choir is to the stewards of the church for allowing us to use their facilities. Returning the favour we gave a varied concert which included new items, 'When I hear the sound of Christmas' and 'A wreath of carols'.


Prior to the concert, the choir gathered outside the church for the official switching on of the Christmas tree lights. St Ives' town mayor, councillor Suzanne Tanner, was in attendance and joined the audience, augmented by residents and carers of the Ar-Lyn Residential home.


A feature of the occasion was the playing of two carols by the newly formed St Ives Community Choir Hand Bell Group. One or two slight glitches added to the pleasant and warm nature of the event. Once again mince pies, sausage rolls and a cup of tea concluded the evening, but not before the announcement from Capt. Eric Kemp that a total of £203.00 was raised for Shelter Box, happily received by one of their representatives. Thanks should also be extended to Pastor Kenny Bassett for leading the prayers.


MND Memorial Service


Hot on the heels of yesterday's concert, the choir were invited to an entirely different engagement at Truro Cathedral on the afternoon of Tuesday 5th December. A coach was hired to transport the choir which saved a lot of stress on the crowded roads and parking difficulties. A number of the choir have loved ones or friends who have or are suffering from the awful disease that is Motor Neurons. There is little progress to date in finding a cure or even treatment that can manage the disease without continuous deterioration. The purpose of the concert was to facilitate the gathering of family and friends to remember those who have succumbed to the illness. In the congregation it was obvious that there were current sufferers. 


The choir were housed in the choir stalls and assembled under the dome on the steps in front of the transcript to sing. Unfortunately, Donald missed one of the steps and fell headlong. Bravely, he continued in spite of clearly being shaken up. Well done, Donald! The echo afforded by the acoustics meant we had to be sure to watch our MD, William, so that we kept time. This we did and the amazing echo at the end of key lines was almost palpable.


A poignant moment was the singing of the carol 'Silent Night' whilst folks came with a decoration to add to a Christmas tree with a message concerning their loved ones departed, or family left behind. There was also an emotional, but well delivered account of one person's experience, a daughter who had lost her Father to the disease.


Singing the carols with the immense sound of the cathedral organ was quite an awe inspiring memory. As the choir 'dismissed' for a well earned cuppa and mince pie, poor Marguerite found herself tripping on the same steps, receiving quite a wallop. Thankfully, there were no more mishaps as we returned to our coach and enjoyed a quiet trip home.


British Legion Christmas Concert


Our busy Christmas season began on Monday 4th December when we were invited to give a concert for the members of the Royal British Legion at St Ives. A good number had gathered and were quite willing to join in with an energetic 12 Days of Christmas. The choir were suitable clothed in festive wear, especially jumpers and hats. A very enjoyable evening was rounded off nicely with home made pasties.


Annual Dinner


On Friday 17th November members, and their partners enjoyed a wonderful evening at their annual dinner at West Cornwall  Golf Club, which Lynda Thomas and Anne Bassett worked very hard organising. All proceeds from the raffle went to the Stroke Association. £153 was raised from the raffle and this was made up to £200 by a generous donation from a couple who are both choir members.  


The Tour to Weston-super-Mare


On the weekend of Friday 29th September choir members, partners and friends left The Carbis Bay Methodist Church being our first pick up point for our third trip to England. After our final pick up in Hayle we headed for our first stop which was Strawberry Fields, Lifton for a light lunch, then onto the York Hotel, Weston Super Mare.

Saturday was a free day. In the evening we went to The Salvation Army Citadel, where the proceedings were introduced by Major Lindsey Toy. We played to a packed hall with the usual mixture of songs sung in English, Cornish and Zulu and also a duet sung by William and Trisha interspersed with William's "jokes". These were enthusiastically received with lots of groans about the jokes. The evening was finished off with the usual rousing rendition of Trelawny. A total of £400 was raised which was shared between the Weston Super Mare Rotary and The Salvation Army.


On Sunday, after a change of plan due to the half marathon in Cardiff, we went to Bristol where we had free time, some choosing to go into the town for shopping and others going to the docks for a tour of the SS Great Britain before making our way back to the hotel. After our evening meal we all convened in the lounge for a quiz compiled by Malcolm and a sing along.

Having had a brilliant stay, with lots of banter from the staff, we left the hotel on Monday morning and headed to Dart's Farm, Topsham for a comfort stop, refreshments and the usual photo call.
Nick, our driver, then took us across Dartmoor negotiating the narrow roads, sheep and a bull in the middle of the road which refused to move so Nick had to expertly manoeuvre around it. Back to Strawberry Fields again for lunch and then home after a very enjoyable weekend.

Here is an email from George Horsfield of The Rotary Club of Weston-super-Mare 

Dear St Ives Community Choir
We so enjoyed your wonderful voices from Cornwall in Weston-super-Mare on 30th September when the St Ives Community Choir visited the Salvation Army Citadel in Carlton Street to give us a rousing concert of music. William, Alison and the Choir entertained us with a terrifically varied programme ranging from the traditional to a very lively rendition of songs from Mama Mia.

Thank you for the money raised. We were delighted to share £400 with the Salvation Army.  Congratulations to you all from our President Marian and all at Weston Rotary Club.
Best wishes
George Horsfield


More photos in the gallery >>>

St Anta Carbis Bay Last Night of the Proms


Pictured is St.Ives Community Choir at their ' Last Night of the Proms ' concert at St.Anta Church, Carbis Bay, which took place on the evening of Friday 15th September. Seated is former Radio Cornwall presenter, Janette Eathorne, who was compère for the evening. Front row left in the Union Jack waistcoat is Janette's brother, William Thomas, who is the choir's musical director. Both Janette and William are bards of the Cornish Gorsedd. Front row right is Alison Ashby who is the choir's accompanist. Sitting next to Janette is 14 year old Sunny Donaldson who entertained the audience with two saxophone solos - 'Cantaloupe Island ' and 'Hit the road Jack '. All proceeds from the concert went to the Church decorating fund.


Newlyn Fish Festival Night of the Proms


The choir performed another varied and interesting programme at The Trinity Centre in Newlyn on Sunday 28th August. This has become a regular event for the choir in recent years. Dave & Dee Brotherton, both talented musicians, the former a choir member in the tenor section, selected beautiful and appropriate songs, which they wrote themselves. Their contribution during the first half of the evening neatly complemented the large choir of about thirty five.


During the interval there was a raffle draw, prior to the second part of the evening, which included audience participation. The usual national songs were sung; Jerusalem, Land of hope and glory, Rule Britannia. Union Jacks were held aloft and waved enthusiastically. Then came the Cornish songs, which included Camborne Hill, Hail to the Homeland and Trelawny.


A pasty and hot drink rounded off a successful evening and fund raiser.

MND Presentation


   Emma Bungay, the local MND representative, came to the choir practice on Tuesday 8th August, to be presented with a cheque for £1100.00, the final total for the fund raising done for this worthy cause.Emma informed us that she also sings in a choir and appreciates the effort and quality that was evident when she attended our recent concert.


MND cheque


   Read below for the article about the concert and the subsequent one that Emma wrote for the MND Cornwall website.

Summer Concert in aid of Motor Neuron Disease


   On the evening of Tuesday 18th July the choir gave a concert which will be remembered as an outstanding success.  The venue was Carbis Bay Methodist Church, where the choir practice each week.  The purpose, apart from offering the opportunity for the choir to perform, was to raise money for Motor Neuron Disease.



MND Concert July 17



   A full and varied programme was given, with well-known BBC Radio Cornwall presenter, Donna Birrell, compering.  All concerned were hoping for plenty of support for this worthy cause. However, we were quite overwhelmed as the seats filled up.  Rarely, if ever, have we had such a large audience.  When we had to fetch extra seating from the back of the church, we knew we would be raising a lot for MND.  Programmes were £5.00, which included a draw in the prize raffle.  A number of people who were not able to attend, purchased programmes anyway.  Tickets were drawn at the interval and prizes chosen.  And what excellent prizes they were; thanks to St Ives Harbour Hotel, Leddras Chemist, John Becks, West Cornwall Golf Club, Prime Time boat trips, The Co-op, Celtic Fish & Game, Isles of Scilly Steamship Co., Elle’s Salon (Hayle) and Gallery 38 (St Ives).


   The choir were ably supported by four very talented young people, all educated at St Ives Comprehensive.  Paul Couch (now at Penwith College) & Magdelene Berg played flute; Paul's sister, Rebekah, played clarinet. Together they provided an array of solos, duets and trios, played two sets of three pieces, notably a flute duet of Vivaldi's 'Flute Concerto' and a clarinet solo entitled 'Through the Woods'.   After the interval, Sonny Donaldson, grandson of Malcolm Donaldson in our bass section, delighted the packed venue with some quality saxophone playing, with an upbeat funky version of 'Cantaloupe Island'.


   In summing up the event, Donna was thrilled to inform everyone that £837.00 has been raised.  MD, William Thomas, pointed out that another £105.00 was donated when the choir recently sang at Fore Street Methodist Church.  It was intended to be an open air concert, but, being unsure of the weather, it was held indoors.  Since then the total raised is up to £1000.00. What a triumph of generosity! Most of the money will go towards helping sufferers of MND in Cornwall.  A percentage will go to the national association to fund research.


   Further photos can be viewed on the gallery page >>>>, thanks to Bill Thomas.


   Emma Bungay, writing on behalf of MND Cornwall posted a news article about the evening. Follow this link.... >>>>


Open Air Concert held Indoors


   The weather was a little 'iffy' on Saturday 1st July, so the choir's proposed outdoor concert on the plat by the lodge was held in Fore Street Methodist Church instead. Informally a group of about twenty five, several of whom were related to choir members, came in off the street to hear us. We were able to go through most of our current repertoire, there being no solos, deuts, poems, readings or chairman's remarks. William, our MD, did a fine job keeping everyone happy and entertained.


   The audience, who were invited through the doors by a couple of willing choir members, clearly enjoyed the evening of song. £105.00 was generously given in support of Motor Neuron Disease.


St Ives Food & Drink Festival


   The morning of Saturday 13th May proved to be a very pleasant late Spring day. The venue for this fast growing and well attended festival is Porthminster Beach. Last year the same engagement needed all its attractions to warm the visitors and performers alike, as a cold east wind blew across the beach.


   Although we were first on stage, an encouraging crowd were assembled ready to hear some easy listening, light hearted singing from the choir, who were in good voice. MD, William, had to double as page turner for accompanist, Alison, which challenged his conducting skills. However, it was obvious from the highly positive audience reaction that we had set the ball rolling for an excellent weekend.


May Day Celebrations


   St Ives Guildhall plat was the outdoor setting for the first choir performance of 2017, on Monday 1st May. On a chilly morning most of the choir were present to render several songs, all with a Cornish theme. It was probably the coolest day for weeks, but the rain held off and the choir sang most favourably. The gathered audience, many of whom came as family and friends of the school children who performed the May pole dance and were chosen as May Queen and King, or their attendants, were encouraged to join in with Trelawney to finish.


   It was a rousing start to the various events in store for the choir over the remainder of this year. Notably, we had more men, both tenor and bass than for several years. More are always welcome.