2009 Archive

Gwent Police Choir is back in business after the summer break, the first half of the year saw them at seventeen different venues giving their usual polished performance, all for various charities.

This year they have gone from strength to strength gaining four new members bringing their number up to 45, but will always welcome anyone who wishes to come along to a practice night on Monday or Thursday. You don't have to be a member of the Police Force and experience is not necessary as they will enjoy encouragement and expert tuition from Musical Director Rodger Appleby.

The choir are well supported by wives and friends, many of whom travel to concerts both in Gwent and many other parts of the country. An annual 'rest and recuperation' weekend is also enjoyed, sometimes at home such as Tenby or Bournemouth, sometimes abroad. All are looking forward to the Annual Dinner Dance at The Commodore Hotel in Cwmbran later this month.

Look out for tickets for the Annual Concert held at St Julian's Methodist Church, Caerleon Road on 21st November, this venue is always well attended, last year all 288 seats available were sold out one month before the night.

There are a few vacant date for 2010, and if anyone wishes to book them please contact Bill Taylor on 01633 257601. All other enquiries ring Ron Comfort, Publicity Officer, 01633 667800. Out website is www.gwent-police-choir.co.uk.

Posted Sunday 4th October 2009

Charles Benjamin Cadogan

It is with deep regret that we have recently lost one of our newer, but highly thought of members, Charles Codogan. Charlie had only been with the Choir for about 3 years, but during that time endeared himself to all of us.

Charlie was a fun loving, gentle person, who although suffered from cancer, never let it stop him from enjoying life. We had a number of ‘after concert’ concerts with Charlie leading the singing whilst playing his guitar.

In the relatively short time I knew Charlie, I found him to be a man who cared greatly about others. Charlie raised thousands of pounds by writing poetry, which was published and sold, the proceeds going to charity.

Charlie was one of life’s ‘True Gentlemen’. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Phil Humphreys Chairman posted 11th August 2009

Events since last March

Two very successful fund raising concerts took place earlier this year, both Health Help International and The Parkinson’s Society were well attended and enjoyed by all.

In May the choir travelled to Bristol to join The Kidderminster Valentines, a ladies choir, for a concert at Knowle Methodist Church.

A warm welcome to two new members for the Bass section. Hugh Williams and Mike Thomas. A past member Richard Sinnett has rejoined. “Welcome Back”

Posted July 24th 2009

Wales and USA come together in song!

Saturday 11th July 2009, a very unseasonal summer evening with plenty of rain when the Police Choir and guests, the Oneida mixed Choir from New York State arrived for a combined concert at Beechwood Park Presbyterian Church, Newport, and we did wonder if the weather might put off some people from attending. By the time the concert began the church was almost full both downstairs and up in the gallery, Many faithful family and friends of the Choir were joined by an enthusiastic audience who braved the elements. The Oneida Area Civic Chorale, on a tour of Europe which took in a concert at Blaenavon the evening before, began the programme with a beautiful sacred song called Creation following with an American Tapestry, a selection of folk songs.

The police choir followed with An African Prayer, John Rutter’s setting of Down by the Salley Gardens and the Welsh hymn tune Rachie. Our guests then sang Amazing Grace and When the Saints Go Marching In, both different from the police choir’s versions, finishing this section with All that Jazz from Chicago and Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch, which drew warm applause.

The police choir then sang three songs from Les Miserables – I Dreamed a Dream, Bring him Home and Do you Hear the People Sing?

As there was no interval, it was over to the Oneida choir again for a lovely trio of songs from American musicals, a lovely arrangement of Lullaby of Broadway, The Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady and My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music.

The final three songs from the police choir were Nirvana, a song usually associated with a baritone soloist, then All for the Best from Godspell and finally the American Trilogy.

The Oneida choir ended the concert with Billy Joel’s song New York State of Mind, then a version of Alexander’s Ragtime Band and finally the haunting song by Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Waters., which brought the audience to their feet in a well deserved ovation.

The concert concluded with a presentation from the Chairman of the GPC to the Oneida choir of a love spoon carved in the shape of a treble clef, the president of the Oneida choir gave a lovely silver plate made in their home town, which is very famous for its silverware.

Finally to the delight of the audience, the Americans had taken the trouble to learn the Welsh National Anthem, and stood to sing it with the police choir and the audience. It made a fitting conclusion to the concert.

But no concert is complete without those who put everything together, and thanks must go to Rodger Appleby, musical director of the police choir and Kimberley Nethaway, musical director of the Oneida choir, Nicola Coker, accompanist of the police choir and a new pianist for the Oneida choir.

We could not let the evening go by without giving hearty thanks to Mike Gough who compered the whole concert in his usual witty and smooth way, even at one point taking the baton from Kim [after a lot of persuasion!] and acting as conductor. It was Mike who revealed that the Oneida choir had been formed in 1967, just two years before the police choir.

But even that wasn’t quite the end, because the two choirs and their supporters went downstairs to the schoolroom where a beautiful buffet had been prepared by the ladies of the police choir. After eating, drinking [tea and soft drinks!] and exchanging plenty of greetings and news, the Oneida choir gathered to sing as a farewell ‘God be with you till we meet again’ singing unaccompanied, to which the police choir and friends responded with ‘We’ll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside.’

There are also others who deserve our thanks also, and they are the elders and members of Beechwood Park Church who readily opened up the schoolroom and kitchen and prepared the worship area itself for the concert.

I think everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful evening, well worth braving the weather for!

View Wales and USA pictures Click Here

Submitted by Ann Sykes,Pictures by Anita Watts & Ann Sykes, posted 24th July 2009

Welcome New Choristers - Bryn Thomas (Bass) and John Taylor (Tenor)

Posted 18th March 2009

The choir's concert on 14th March at The Catholic Hall Cwmbran was a resounding success, these comments are from one of the choristers who helped organise the event.

I'd like to add my appreciation and thanks to those expressed by Parish Priest Father John Meredith, the plaudits I received from people who attended the concert made me really proud to be associated with the choir. I felt, although we were entertaining the audience, we too were enjoying the event.

Also a big thank you to my old friend Bryn Davies and his sons, otherwise known as the Bryn Davies Quartet, they were truly excellent, the audience warmed to them especially young Bryn who is already a talented musician at the tender age of 14.

It was a cold and damp evening, so it wasa pleasant surprise that so many had braved the weather, it made for a really warm and friendly atmosphere. The sum raised was £710. Many thanks for all help and contributions.

Charlie Cadogan On behalf of Our Lady & St. David;s RC Church Cwmbran.

It’s that time of the year, folks! The Gwent Police choir are off on their travels again – the weekend set aside for some R & R.

Our journey by ferry was uneventful until we landed, one of our new choristers Derek and his wife Dot spent a little too long on the top deck and didn’t make it back to the coach. Their faces were a picture as we drove off without them, needless to say we did pull in and wait till they caught us up, It will be a while before he’s allowed to forget it.

The venue chosen was the Isle of Wight, and we stayed at the Shanklin Beach Hotel. After all the dreadful weather we’d been having lately, we were delighted to find that the forecast was for sunny weather, it was glorious; sun shining down from a blue sky – but none of the party felt brave enough to venture into the sea.

While some of the more energetic decided to walk to Ventnor, the rest of us opted for a bus trip, which took us first to Newport and then on to Ryde for a look around and – dare I say it? – some shopping.

The hotel had planned entertainment for the two evenings, Our MC for the first evening came round to each person beforehand, asking us which of our favourite singing stars we would like to see and hear, many opted for the ‘golden oldies’ like Elvis and Frank Sinatra, while a few surprises crept in, like Frankie Laine. To our amazement, moments later, via a huge television screen, every single name mentioned was shown singing, with the compere holding the whole thing together smoothly and easily, it was all done there and then, and even those who might have gone to bed stayed till the end. We were taken back to many of the stars of the forties and fifties, with little snippets of information and humour linking each film clip.

The following evening we were treated to a Country and Western singer who invited those who felt energetic enough to join in a dance, which they did, with great enthusiasm.

We left the Shanklin Beach on the Sunday morning for the journey home broken by a lunch stop in Newbury.

Many thanks to Phil, our chairman, for organising everything, we were sorry he and Chris were unable to come at the last minute because Chris was unwell, but Alf and Bill stepped into the breach, armed with all Phil’s notes, including the now-famous quiz and the bonus ball competition. Only one question remains – where are we going next year?

Submitted by Ann Sykes posted 17th March 2009