2018 - Consolidation and Enjoying Another Year of Song...
The Phoenix Male Voice Choir was established at a public meeting in Norwich in February 2010 and gave its inaugural concerts later that year, so we will celebrate its 10th Birthday Anniversary Year in 2020. But our origins went back to the year before....
When the Norfolk Millennium Male Voice Choir disbanded in 2009, several of its past members decided to continue singing together in a new all-male group, so they took it upon themselves to set up a new choir! Our founding Musical Director, Sarah Sheldrake - now Sarah Grimes, was recruited and the search for new Chorister Members, an Accompanist and for venues where the choir might rehearse, began. After the initial meeting, the rehearsal base (the function room at the Methodist Church in Mile Cross, north of Norwich City Centre), the name of the new choir (... the Phoenix which rose from the ashes of the previous choir ...), its uniform (an accessible all-black, no blazer, with a long green tie), and its ethos (welcoming to all men as choristers without audition) were decided upon, a first Management Committee was elected and being delighted that local musician Neil Ricketts had accepted the important role of Accompanist, the rehearsals then began in earnest. Since our Inaugural Concert in July 2010, Norwich's Phoenix Male Voice Choir has gone from strength to strength with a hard-working Musical Team and Committee, and the enthusiasm of its Chorister Membership. In the latter half of that inaugural season, we gave two packed house performances at our newly appointed home base, receiving fantastic comments and feedback from its new-found audience on both occasions. In 2011, the Choir doubled its number of performances and has produced a regular programme of Spring, Summer and Christmas Concert events in the years since then and, more increasingly, in between. We have also been pleased to share the concert stage with guest talented local musical groups and ensembles and, in turn, to accept invitations from festival groups and churches to perform our songs.
In 2012, we were pleased to accept an invitation from rising soprano Rebecca Newman to guest with her in Norwich during her 2012 RNLI 'Coast to Coast' UK Tour. Rebecca is now better known as 'The People's Soprano', and supported well-known tenor Russell Watson on his 2015 UK Tour, among other eye-catching engagements for her. We were also equally delighted to appear during a return visit by Rebecca in February 2016 at the prestigious Norwich Assembly House on her mini-tour 'Romantica - the Love Songs', where the Choir, as her special guests, joined in the mood with five love songs of its own. During the last eight years, whilst Sarah has remained firmly at our musical helm with unwaivering approval, we wished a fond farewell as accompanist to the extraordinary Neil Ricketts in 2013 as he took up a new musical role, we warmly welcomed (and just as fondly later bade farewell to) Simon Ireson as he brought his cheerful personality and considerable musical talents to continue our success (but are delighted that Simon has been able to support us since behind - and on occasions in front of - the scenes!), and we now just as warmly have welcomed Jason Lambert to our midst as our accompanist. If his exceptional debut piano solo at our Christmas Concert 2016 is anything to go by, our audiences are in for continuing musical treats! With the obvious dedication of our talented Musical Team and the enthusiasm of its Choristers, Norwich's Phoenix Male Voice Choir continues building on its experiences and delivering a varied repertoire of male voice song in its concert appearances. In a more relaxed moment (well, more relaxed for those not involved, anyway!!!), our Quiz Team "Yes, Sarah!" challenged the Eggheads and proudly gave an excellent account of themselves then, and every time that episode is repeated! A firm highlight of Spring 2017 was being able to host a joint concert with the well-established Radcliffe-on-Trent Male Voice Choir on their tour to Norwich and we look forward to the opportunity to link up with them again in the future. Norwich's Phoenix Male Voice Choir is excited by its 9th singing programme in 2018, as it embarks on a programme of 3 of its own concert productions in Summer and Christmas, all preceded by sharing the stage in Sheringham's St Peter's Church as guests of the New Sheringham Singers in March 2018 and participating as one of the 'Four Choirs in Concert' with colleague songster members of the National Association of Choirs in East Anglia at Norwich's iconic Anglican Cathedral in April 2018. We look forward to seeing you and singing for you during the year!
2016 - With Rebecca Newman Photograph: Graham Gall
2016 - The People's Soprano Rebecca Newman (left), with our very own MD Sarah Grimes
The Norwich Phoenix Male Voice Choir, Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom