News 2018

Combined Choirs Christmas Concert


The year and a very busy Christmas season, was brought to a most fitting end with a concert at Fore Street Methodist Church, St Ives on Saturday 29th December. As MD of both choirs, William brought together the combined talents of the St Ives Community Choir and FSMC Gospel Choir. Several are members of both.


A substantial audience was thrilled by the song selection, harmonies and quality in a very seasonal setting. Many of those attending were on holiday and came from places far and near. Each choir sang six pieces, while there was a special duo performing on the grand piano. Accompanist for both choirs, Alison Ashby, and the founder of St Ives Community Choir, Katrina Geraughty, played two most accomplished duets. FSMC are blessed to have them as pianists in their Sunday services.


To conclude the evening both choirs sang together the Cornish carols, What Melody and Hellesveor; a powerful climax to a very successful musical occasion.


A collection was taken in aid of Parkinson's Disease Association. The amazing total of £607.50 was raised and a flabbergasted Linda Timms, from the West Cornwall branch of the charity, gratefully accepted the cheque.

UNA Health Spa Carbis Bay


The choir made its final pre Christmas appearance with a well attended and pleasant concert on Wednesday 19th December. The audience participation of 12 Days of Christmas was tremendous. An extended interval allowed the serving of a beef stew for the choir members, before a powerful singing of Colan Williams' great carol, Hellesveor.


MD, William and accompanist, Alison, were given votes of thanks and a gift in recognition of all their incredible hard work.

RBL St Ives Christmas Carol Service


On Monday 17th December the choir had an engaging evening in a relaxed atmosphere, leading the carols and performing several pieces from our portfolio. The audience happily joined in with a number of well known Christmas songs.


The evening concluded with a raffle and 'ansum geet pasties from Rowes.

Tescos Carbis Bay


A large number of the choir gathered on the foyer of Tescos Carbis Bay on Saturday 15th December to sing Christmas songs and carols to the shoppers. The heavy morning rain did not stop anyone, but the heat in the entrance made it a little uncomfortable. Still, there was no lack of enthusiasm from singers or listeners, as William led us with the help of backing tracks to some of the most well known Christmas peices. We managed a very solid rendition of 'Swingin' Christmas without words or music. Judith Tremelling did a sterling job with a collecting bucket, the proceeds from which will go towards the choir's expenses.

Friends of Stennack Surgery Concert


The audience, choir and staff filled the waiting room and reception area for a pleasant and varied evening of music, poetry and fun on Wednesday 12th December, the latest engagement for the choir. With good acoustics, the large choir, almost forty in number, gave their best performance of the season so far.


MD, William Thomas, acted as compère for the evening, supplementing the programme with his usual selection of jokes and stories. For example, "I stayed awake all night waiting for the sun to rise, then it dawned on me." Or perhaps you prefer, "I decided to sell my Hoover on E bay as it was only gathering dust."


Staff of the surgery showed their undoubted talents; Ann Gerrish, Mike Beswick, Dan Rainbow and Kate Stuart read appropriately chosen rhyme for the Christmas season, from such as John Betjeman, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Wendy Cope. Kate Stuart's reading of The Christmas Truce, a beautiful reminder of the event on the Western Front on Christmas Day 1914 during WW1, by UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, ended with the carol Silent Night in German.


On the fun side Jane Cockerill and Jenna Oliver provided a wonderfully amusing '12 Days of Christmas, the set for which was most hurried due to the interval being disposed of. The understated but exceptional talent of Hannah Birt on the violin drew great applause, especially after her haunting and accurate playing of the sound track of the film, Schindler's List. For those wishing to hear it again, follow this link to Ann Fontanella's video on You Tube.


The evening closed with mince pies and cakes in the attic of the surgery to round off a very pleasant evening.

"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 the excellent contribution to our Christmas Concert on Wednesday evening.


The Concert was a great success thanks to you and members of the Choir.


The Concert raised £244.00 from ticket sales and the raffle on the night made an additional £92.59


Please pass on our thanks to all who took part."


Len Etheridge ( Chair of FOSS Committee )

St Erth Christmas Tree Carol Service


On the afternoon of Sunday 9th December the choir travelled to St Erth Methodist Church to augment the congregational singing and render four Christmas pieces. The St Erth Concert Band played the carols, chosen by the attendees, with Rev. Alistair Bolt presiding.


Once again, and why not, mince pies were available at the close of a very well attended service, during which the Christmas tree lights were switched on and a 'Christmas Tree' nativity given from the pews, there being no other available space. This has become a regular slot for the choir in recent years.


There was also a voluntary collection for Action for Children.

Carbis Bay Christmas Tree Lighting & Concert


After regular rehearsals for the busy Christmas season of concerts, the choir had its first engagement during Advent on Tuesday 4th December, the venue being its provider for practices. Considering the heavy rain on the evening, there was a very good audience. MD, William, said he was convinced that personal invitations as well as posters advertising the event helped ensure this positive outcome.


The audience included folks from Bristol, Germany, South Africa and New Zealand. However, it has to be noted that the South African input was the recently appointed Methodist minister, Edwin Myers, who introduced the concert and added poignant prayers and Bible readings. The New Zealander was actually Joy Williams, a St Ives girl back home for Christmas.


With the choir all seated and coats off, it was left to Rev. Myers and The Mayor, councillor Suzanne Tanner, to weather the storm outside and officially turn on the Carbis Bay Christmas tree lights, before dashing back inside for warm and dry surroundings, beautifully decorated by members of the choir; Anne, Lynda, Maureen, Angela, Tricia and Bill, the latter once again being on hand for photographs.


The choir gave a full itinerary of sacred and secular songs, followed by sausage rolls and mince pies. Accompanist, Alison Ashby, was playing the newly purchased piano for this occasion. Approximatley £250.00 was raised for The Cornwall Air Ambulance.


Annual Choir Dinner


The sixth annual dinner took place on Friday 30th November at our regular venue, West Cornwall Golf Club's resturant. Thirty members of the choir, together with partners and friends, enjoyed an excellent meal.


A raffle was held with bonteous hampers as prizes, the contents of which were largely donated by choir members. £320.00 was raised for The St. Ives Community Bus.There is a photo of the whole group in the gallery >>> (thanks to Bill Thomas).

Choir Tour to South Devon (Friday 5th to Monday 8th October)


For the fourth consecutive year, the St Ives Community Choir has crossed the Tamar and furthered its charitable work by way of a short autumn charity concert tour, this year to the delightful Devonshire coastal town of Exmouth.  As ever, all expenses were met by the choir members themselves.


The choir was hosted by Exmouth’s Tower Street Methodist Church and sang in aid of the independent Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare charity. Hospiscare raises funds to meet the cost of an extensive range of services supporting the needs of patients in the area who have been diagnosed with a progressive life limiting condition.


The choir of over 30 mixed voices, directed and supported by conductor William Thomas and accompanist Alison Ashby, delivered no less than 17 varied musical items during the concert.  The programme also featured pieces sung in African languages as well as “This is my home” arranged by Cornish musician and choir member Tricia Thomas.   Towards the end of the programme, the beautiful ‘Riversong’ was specially dedicated to all who live along the banks of the River Exe.


Tower Street Methodist Church committee member, Jean Holden, said "Beautiful singing, a lovely variety of songs, good fun, resulting in a really enjoyable evening, even with William's jokes!"


On the following day the choir visited picturesque Lyme Regis along the Jurassic Coast, before returning to the hotel at Exmouth, where six of the choir members performed a murder mystery written by choir member, Jenny Duda.


Returning home on Monday, the choir had a scenic tour of South Devon stopping off at Brixham before returning to Cornwall that evening.


St Austell Emmaus (Friday 12th October)


Later that week the choir travelled to St. Austell to perform at the Holy Trinity Church in aid of Emmaus, where they performed for an appreciative audience who had braved the elements. William Thomas, the choir’s musical director, also sang two solos and a duet with his wife, Tricia. Emmaus is a charity that supports homeless people. The wonderful total raised was £722.50.


      "Thank you so much for a lovely concert last evening.  Everyone who attended said it was brilliant".


Sue Trewella, Director of Emmaus Cornwall.

Treloyan Manor


The choir returned to the manor for a second time this summer season on the evening of Tuesday 25th September to render another concert. Due to the finish time of their meal, the guests arrived for an 8:15pm start. A warm autumnal evening made for an even warmer venue, especially for the male section of the choir, occupying the very rear of the entertainment room. Although voices were struggling towards the end, a very good sound was made for the delighted audience who were richly entertained. They came from all parts of England.


World Peace Day


Our busy September schedule continued with a slot at the World Peace Day event on the piazza at Truro on Saturday 22nd September. Songs especially chosen for the event were given, but the dreadful weather ensured that only a few hardy souls were there to listen to a very pleasing performance given the conditions.


The rain came down in torrents as we rendered 'The storm is passing over', but it wasn't!  The Cornish anthem 'This is my home' did raise a cheer amongst the organisers, several members of St Ives FSMC Gospel Choir (who had the slot previous to us) and a few who made up the legitimate audience. Two new songs were attempted for the first time, with accompanist, Alison, growing colder by the minute; 'Let there be peace' and 'The African Canticle' to conclude our short ensemble.


Wet through and yet happy to have delivered a pretty good performance, members soon dispersed for shops or homes and dryer conditions!


Open Air Concert on St Ives Wharf


The September Festival in St Ives has a long history and is full of musical talent from far and wide. SICC decided that their talents should also be displayed. The choir assembled on the afternoon of Saturday 15th September for an impromptu outdoor concert on The Wharf outside Gallery 38. It was a well taken opportunity to share and expose the delights of the original St Ives Community Choir.


Towednack Flower Festival


Towednack has become almost a second home for the choir. This concert took place on the afternoon of Friday 14th Spetember. Long time members Maureen and Donald have feet in both camps and enlist the support of the SICC as often as possible to help with the work of the parish.  On this occasion the church was decorated with a wonderful display of flower arrangements.  The choir sang from a huddled position in the corner of the church and received with the usual enthusiasm from a good audience.


A diverse programme with Alison accompanying with aplomb was given to an expectant audience, most of whom had heard the choir often.  There was a celebration of a couple's Golden Wedding anniversary, who are very much a part of the life of the church.


Afterwards the choir and audience were treated to a Cornish cream tea with splits, saffron and heavy cake. Proper job!

Open Air Concert


As an alternative to our usual practice, the choir decided to perform to a live audience on their last practice evening before a break during August. The venue, the platt beside the lodge above the Slipway in St Ives, proved an adequate spot for an imprompto open air concert on the evening of Tuesday 24th July. Those who could took seats by the railings to listen at length. Others stood either side of the Wharf Road, with sometimes noisy traffic hampering our performance. Why do motor bikes have to make such a noise?


The warm, calm evening was a splendid way to spend an evening in song. £50.00 was collected for the two fishermen's lodges.


Summer Evening Concert


On a balmy summer evening during our driest and warmest summer for many a year, the choir again used their normal practice night to hold a concert. This was to raise funds for the Cornwall branch of the Samaritans on Tuesday 17th July at Carbis Bay Wesley Church starting at 7.30pm.


Entrance was £5.00 by numbered programme on the door and throughout the evening music was interspersed with raffle draws with some super prizes generously donated by local businesses including Carbis Bay Hotel, Una, West Cornwall Golf Club, Tregenna Castle Hotel, Western Hotel and Tesco, Carbis Bay. There were also prizes donated by members of the choir, including Angela Charleston (Gallery 38), Rhiannon Williams, Judy Tremelling, Maureen Stevens, Heather & Stuart Greaves and a painting by 'Stevie B'. Bass Stephen Bassett has found and developed a new talent.


The choir rendered a varied repertoire from Abba's Mamma Mia to a song in Zulu, via Fields of Gold. Guest artiste was Hannah Birt on the violin. Her beautiful playing added a quality to the evening rarely on offer in our town.


A cheque was presented to Gill Pipkin, Director of Samaritans of Cornwall at Truro. Like all the Samaritans, she too is a volunteer and was clearly delighted with the donations. It costs some £50,000.00 a year to keep this wonderful charity running in Cornwall. Together with the Treloyhan Manor audience & management donations, £600.00 was raised for the Samaritans.


Gifts of orchids were presented to Hannah Birt for her brilliant contribution and also to recognise the unending and valuable work of accompanist, Alison Ashby, always reluctant to receive due praise. MD William Thomas and his wife, Tricia, were also thanked for all their hard work in making the choir an ongoing success.


Concert at Treloyan Manor


On what is usually our practice night, the choir held a concert for the residents of Treloyan Manor on the evening of Tuesday 10th July. While a number of members were unavailable, the singing was ideal for the venue and the numbers attending.


Both residents and management contributed to the cause for which the concert was given. The tragic situation in St Ives is that recently several people have taken their own lives. Therefore, it was agreed to raise money for and awareness of the work of the Samaritans, especially here in Cornwall.


As the photos in the gallery show, thanks to Bill Thomas, it was an enjoyable evening with light refreshments at the close.


St Ives Rotary Club Concert


On Tuesday 19th June the choir’s usual practice evening and venue was transformed into a full concert. One of our members, Joan Symons, the outgoing president of The St Ives Rotary Club, is able to select a charity to donate to for the year. Her choice is St Julia’s Hospice, Hayle and The Macmillan Nurses.


Her very successful idea was to sell concert tickets to raise funds for these very worthwhile causes. On a warm summer evening a large audience enjoyed a varied programme of songs from a thirty-eight strong choir. It was noted that not only did we sing well, but also showed that we were obviously enjoying it, which is encouraging feedback.


Musical Director, William Thomas, doubled as the MC, giving some of his finest humorous stories!


Notable soprano, Hannah Pascoe, gave several performances that provided a quality of entertainment not easily found in our locality. We were all enthralled with her choice of songs from opera and popular musicals, which used her incredible range to the full. Her accompanist, Clive Ellison, added to the pleasure of the performance. She received a large bouquet of flowers in thanks of her support.


Representatives of the two charities each received cheques for £1000 from The St Ives Rotary Club from Joan Symons; Sarah Newton on behalf of St Julia's Hospice and Suzanne Benney of MacmillanNurses. Both were surprised and delighted with the donations towards their ongoing work. We were reminded that the government fund a meagre 20% of their costs, so every effort to support these good causes is most welcome.


St Ives Food & Drink Festival


For the third year running The St. Ives Community Choir, conducted by their musical director William Thomas and accompanist Alison Ashby, were invited to sing at the annual Food & Drink Festival on Porthminster beach on Saturday 12th May.

The inclement weather held off for their performance, which was well received by an appreciative audience.


St Ives May Day Celebration


The Guildhall at St Ives was the venue for the first concert of the choir for this year, on Monday 7th May. After the success of last year, in spite of some inclement weather, we were once again invited to bring a strong Cornish flavour to our proceedings. At least thirty choir members were able to attend and the large crowd that gathered to witness the choosing of the May Queen, attendants and prince, were treated to songs well known (e.g.The White Rose), local (e.g. The Song of Carbis Bay) and in the Cornish language (e.g. Bro Goth Agan Tasow).


Perhaps our strongest performance came from singing 'This is my home- Cornwall', adapted from a Canadian song, which was fitting as the crowd included a gentleman from Canada. MD, William, was so carried away with the choir's first performance of this new comer to our portfolio that he was 'lost in the moment' and missed the finale, a repeat rendering of 'This is my home'. We must have sounded good for him to be so rapt! Comments from listeners were also glowing in their remarks.


Dancers from KidZ R Us and Nancledra School made the dancing around the Maypole look quite straight forward, something it definitely is not.

New Choir Photo (courtesy of Bill Thomas)


It is sometime since we had an official photo, so this week, Tuesday 20th February, we arrived at our practice all dressed in our uniform. There is a larger version in the gallery for 2018.


Annual General Meeting


Held on Tuesday 9th January, the meeting was well attented with few apologies for absence. The minutes of the meeting can be read by following the link. The last twelve months have provided a number of opportunities for the choir to impress and it promises to be another busy year for the choir.