Eastwood Collieries’ Male Voice Choir launches its centenary celebrations

Members of Eastwood Collieries' Male Voice Choir recording their centenary album.
Members of Eastwood Collieries' Male Voice Choir recording their centenary album.

The centenary celebrations of Eastwood Collieries’ Male Voice Choir are to begin with a special concert next month.

Nottingham’s Albert Hall will be the venue for the concert, entitled ‘Every Man Was Singing’, on Saturday, September 28 from 7.30 pm.

The Eastwood group will join forces with similar male voice choirs at Mansfield and Pye Hill to form a massed ensemble of 100 voices.

Along with Newstead Brass band, they will stage a concert to commemorate the achievements not only of the Eastwood choir but also of the mining industry across the East Midlands.

The event will be compered by Dominic Heale, veteran presenter of BBC TV’s ‘East Midlands Today’ programme, and tickets, priced £15, are available now from the box office at Nottingham Tourism Centre or from the choir’s website at www.ecmvc.org.

It was way back in 1919, on an autumn evening, that a group of colliery officials sat around the fireside of a bar and hatched the idea of forming a male voice choir for employees of local colliery owners, Barber, Walker and Co Ltd.

Now, with a membership of more than 50 choristers, the organisation is gearing up for a 12-month long celebration of its centenary, with a range of events planned.

A week after the show at the Albert Hall, the choir will perform an exclusive concert in the Painted Hall of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.

More concerts are planned for 2020, with the full schedule set to be announced over the coming weeks. And a new, 15-track album, in CD and download format, and also entitled ‘Every Man Was Singing’, is to be released by Chorum Records at the end of September.

Musical director Liz Moulder said: “Being in charge of a male voice choir with such an incredible pedigree is extra special.

“The Eastwood choir is an amazing group of men who love singing, enjoy a challenge and want to move forward.”

During the centenary celebrations, the choir will also be raising funds for its chosen charity, Prostate Cancer UK.

Secretary Ian Webster said: “Several local businesses have made contributions to the choir to help maximise our ability to raise money at our launch concert and through sales of the new album, and we are grateful for that.

“It just shows that the choir is an important and respected part of the communities in the area.”