About Us

ENROL – EXPERIENCE – ENJOY

Nottingham’s Carlton Male Voice Choir maintains a large and varied ‘progressive’ repertoire from sacred to secular (non church music), spirituals to show songs, classical to pop, serious to light-hearted, ancient to modern music, jazz to sea shanties all designed to suit wide variety of tastes and a flexible concert requirement. Each year the choir renews its repertoire completely, rejuvenating its sound and keeping our audiences constantly thrilled. The full repertoire can be seen below.

The choir performs around 20-25 times per year featuring two festival concerts; one in the April at Nottingham’s finest classical venue The Albert Hall and another at Christmas usually held in a large church in Carlton where our repertoire is Christmas based. The choir performs high profile indoor events as well as outdoors in public places such as stately home gardens, outdoor shows and festivals and other open spaces. Additionally, the choir tours once per year having visited some wonderful places across Europe to include Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland or in the UK and also receives high profile choirs having hosted the world famous Treorchy Male Choir in 2022. The choir is a registered charity itself (No. 516024) and often performs for excellent charitable causes, it is well supported by our Choir Support Group and Friends of Carlton Male Voice Choir Group and holds its own renowned and fiercely fought Music Competition “The Music Makers” recognising exceptional young musical talent from the Nottingham area.

The choir has a strong and energetic elected committee that manages its day-to-day workings and a passionate, robust and capable Music Team including Musical Director Ian Watts, Assistant Musical Director Andrew Atkinson, Principal Accompanist Roger Holland and Deputy Accompanists Anne Hall and John Sellers.

With a profile of around 65 singing members of all ages the choir attracts new members safeguarding its future and ensuring its ongoing longevity. The choir is over 100 years old (having started in 1908) and boasts an outstanding history. The choir has four sections: First Tenor, Second Tenor, Baritone and Bass (TTBB).

The choir prides itself on performing a wide range of repertoire at a high quality level consistently, continually challenging its own standards with professional management which embraces change, being supportive and inclusive to singers from all walks of life and backgrounds whilst thriving on a solid social culture for all its members.

Most of all the choir is about having fun, enjoying our singing in both learning and performing, challenging ourselves to consistent and improving standards and then enjoying a social gathering afterwards.

The choir is proud to be one of the only choirs in the region with an official record deal. It has a number of albums on sale on digital platforms and one such track ‘Amazing Grace’ recorded live at Karlsrhue, Germany in 2018 charted at number 67 in the iTunes digital charts!

Please visit our Join Us Information Page to join our wonderful choir and be part of something very special.

 

The choir is registered charity No. 516024

See our Choirs Structure

 

CONCERT REPERTOIRE 2021-2022

ABERYSTWYTH – a stunning arrangement of Joseph Parry’s beautiful hymn in the minor key ‘Jesus Lover Of My Soul’ lyrics by Charles Wesley, arranged for male voices by Alwyn Humphreys. The piece is in the key of G Minor and is incredibly powerful with its luscious phrasing and dynamics.

AFRICAN TRILOGY – feel the rhythms of a three song medley of South African music arranged by Gwyn Arch sung with gusto and passion – Siyahamba – Shosholoza – National anthem of South Africa. Our soloists leads the choir.

ALWAY SOMETHING SINGS – A contemporary classical piece by American Composer Dan Forrest stating that not only in the old or young, fair or foul but in everything around us something is always singing! Featuring a beautiful antiphonal solo part. One of two pieces sung by this brilliant composer.

ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE – Words and music by Python and comedian Eric Idle, arranged for male voices by Mac Huff. This brilliant piece of genius by Idle works fabulously in concerts both formal and informal. Our soloists act out the parts beautifully and with its singalong chorus and whistling it is sure to bring a smile to the listeners face!

AN AMERICAN TRILOGY – a traditional trilogy of songs Dixie, Battle Hymn of the Republic and All my Trials made famous by Elvis Presley in 1971. A well know Male Voice arrangement by Alwyn Humphreys that is always a joy to sing as a choir or with other MV Choirs.

AND CAN IT BE? – a new and fabulous melody written by American composer Dan Forrest to Charles Wesleys famous hymn lyrics. The lyrics are usually sung to the lively and loud hymn tune Sagina but here, Dan Forrest quietens down the sentiment bringing a new sense of awe to Wesleys words asking if it can be that one should gain from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This piece with our MD’s interpretation has become a firm favourite of CMVC and is sung regularly in concerts where it has both impressed and even turned audience member to tear with its immense passion.

AVE VERUM CORPUS – A challenging piece for male voice based upon the latin words of the rite of communion meaning ‘Hail True Body’. This version of these famous words is by the early composer William Byrd, arranged for male voices by Hilda Morgan.

BENEDICTUS – Robert Arwyn’s take on the canticle Benedictus – the song of thanksgiving by the father of John The Baptist. This smooth arrangement work beautifully with these latin words and the choir holds back the temptation to sing loudly until the very end of the middle section ‘Hosanna in excess’ where we let rip!

BLACKBIRD – A 2 part male arrangement of Sir Paul McCartneys 1968 Beatle song from The White Album. The song was inspired by racial problems in the USA in the mid 60’s, particularly around the troubles shown on the news which was watched by a young McCartney of two girls being taunted on their way to school, the writer met the two girls now in their latter years many years later. A simple, but extraordinary piece of music which works perfectly for our wonderful choir.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Carlton MVC were the first male choir to sing this arrangement of Freddie Mercury’s brilliant operatic hit song from Queen’s 1975 album ‘A Night at the Opera”. The choir enjoy performing the theatrics of this piece with its intense dynamics and surprising introduction. A wonderful song that fits brilliantly into any set list.

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER – The genius that is Paul Simon shines through our rendition of this brilliant ballad with it’s gospel piano accompaniment and gorgeous harmonies. Arranged for MVC by Alan Simmons.

BRING HIM HOME – our version of this song from the hit musical show and subsequent film Les Miserables arranged for MVC by John Leavitt opens with a baritone solo and talks about a friend in to the French revolution, save him and not me is perhaps the sentiment and Carlton hope to deliver that sentiment beautifully in our performance of this song by Claude-Michel Schoenberg.

CANON IN D – a beautiful arrangement by Noel Goemanne of Johann Pachelbel’s famous piece which can often be heard at wedding ceremonies. With it’s repeating canon sung to ‘oh’ by the various four part of the choir and beautiful piano accompaniment the piece gradually grows throughout to its final call of “Sing, alleluia!”

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG – we sing an arrangement for Pendyrus Male Choir from January 2021 by there then MD Stewart Roberts. The piece is a medley of the title song, Hush-a-bye Mountain, Truly Scrumptious, Doll on a Music Box with a return to the title track as the piece gradually accelerates to its conclusion.

CLOSE TO YOU – David and Bacharachs’ beautiful love song made famous by The Carpenters and sung to great effect by our choir with its mock brass middle eight.

CWM RHONDDA – the tune to a famous Welsh hymn ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah meaning ‘Rhondda Valley’ with English words by William Williams and music by John Hughes written to consecrate the pipe organ in a little chapel in Hopkinstown in the Rhondda Valleys. We hope that our choir does this massive piece justice and we even add a little bit of Welsh towards the end!

DEEP HARMONY – this little hymn written by Handel Parker has long become Carlton’s anthem.

DOWN AMOUNG THE DEADMEN – a piece that makes a rare appearance in our set. The song which uses an old english folk melody to great effect refers to ‘dead men’ which in this instances means empty beer glasses.

FROM FAR INSIDE THE SHRINE – The duet from The Pearl Fishers’ by Bizet, this massive operatic piece is sure to thrill with its duet of brothers leading the choir chorus. The piece revolves around the love triangle of Zurga who is the leader of the fishing village, his old friend Nadir and the priestess Liela. During the piece they pledge to never let their friendship be threatened again. Our soloists for this piece range from Geoff Brooks and Colin Baird to John Sellers and John Duffy.

GASTON – This piece from the contemporary Disney film and show Beauty and the Beast celebrates the villain of the story – Gaston – a French beef cake of a man who everyone is inspired to aspire to, with antlers in his decorating and who has biceps to spare. The song is intended to be tongue in cheek and poke fun at our burley villain. The piece includes various soloists and immensely fun to perform with our comedy approach.

GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR – part of an 1883 poem inspired by Colussus of Rhodes and by Emma Lazarus etched upon the bronze pedestal of the statue of liberty set to music by Irving Berlin, this piece is a big sing for the choir. The poem was asked for by an arts festival that helped raise money for the statues’ base.

GOD AND GOD ALONE – a gigantic arrangement by Dutchman Anton Stulp of an interpretation of the words from the bible Colossians 1:24 – all glory and praise forever, He is the one we proclaim to the music of Fill McHugh.

GOODNIGHT (NOS DA) – a gentle and pretty lullaby by welsh lady composer Mai Jones 1899-1960 daily sung by Carlton MVC in English with a splattering of Welsh for effect.

GOOD VIBRATIONS – This mid 60’s popular song from the summer of love by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys lends itself wonderfully to male voice singing although it is incredibly difficult to perform and feature lots of falsetto tenor range singing.

GWAHODDIAD – a piece by Lewis Hartsough arranged by John Tudor Davies for Male Voice Choirs, the piece is a real beauty with lyrics that tell the Lord that ‘I am coming’ and to wash me in Thy blood as I enter heaven.

HALLELUJAH – Leonard Cohens’ classic hit brought to the voices of men via the arranger Johnathan Wikeley. This rendition selects 3 verses from the many verses of the original and demonstrates the effectiveness of Carlton MVC’s tone and ability to sing quietly.

HEART OF GOLD – this new piece for the choir written by Neil Young has quickly become a favourite for the singers and audiences with its catchy refrain and mid sections that show off the choirs vowel tones and singing.

HELP ME RHONDA – this bouncy piece written by Beach Boys Brain Wilson and Mike Love can lift any concert with thoughts of the summer and perhaps even surfing for those more daring!

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU – A modern song from the band McFly where the choir sing this all out unapologetic and upbeat love song.

LET IT BE ME – a standard for the choir, often brought out to entertain in concerts and in the pub afterwards! This French lullaby was written by Gilbert Becaud and made famous by The Everley Brothers in 1957.

LET THERE BE LIGHT – the famous hymn tune Moscow is arranged beautifully by Goff Richards from an adaption of the tune by Felice de Giardini with lyrics by John Marriott, better known by its title Thou Whose Almighty Word. This arrangement knits together the verses of the hymn on the arrangement of the tune via piano interludes.

LLANFAIR – An arrangement by Mansell Thomas on the welsh hymn tune to the lyrics Praise the Lord his glories show with its resounding Alleluias and final Amens.

MORTE CRISTE – Carlton MVC love performing this well known male voice piece written specifically for the genre by Emrys Jones to Issac Watts’ infamous hymn lyrics of the passion tide ‘When I Survey The Wondrous Cross’.

NESSUN DORMA – Puccinis’ massive piece from the opera Tourandot will lift your spirits when sung part Italian, part English by the choir.

OUR HOUSE – A brand new piece for the choir with the melody led by our basses, enjoy the relaxed melody of the song from Graham Nash with its lazy tongue in cheek ‘la la la’ middle section.

SEA SHANTIES – A medley of famous sea shanties sung in a fun way with lots of choir soloists taking part, feel the swell of the waves, experience the spray of the sea as the choir hauls ropes and sings tales of the ocean.

SHOW MEDLEY – an eclectic medley of songs from the shows and films all cleverly laced together by our music team. The songs which range from Any Dream Will Do to Oklahoma! are sung by various soloists and the full choir all neatly fitted together with some handy accompaniment taking us a tremendous journey through theatre and film scenes to remind us of the brilliance of the shows.

SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE – The famous nursery rhyme lyrics set to music unapologetically in the style of Handel by J. Michael Diack. The piece comes in two halves, a majestic (Hallelujah Chorus esque) opening which soon changes into the more playful Allegro section. Great fun to sing, great fun to listen to.

SOMEONE LIKE YOU – written by the contemporary artist ‘Adele’ Adkins and Daniel Wilson this piece cleverly speaks about a love lost and looks from a distance at what they are doing now, exclaiming that they will find someone very similar to try to fill the gap.

SOMETHING – this song captures the brilliance of Beatle George Harrison as he finally flourished as a composer from under the shadow of Lennon & McCartney. The song is an all out love song to his then wife Pattie Boyd. The arrangement by Mac Huff works works brilliantly for our choir and is an excellent audience pleaser.

SONNET 116 – A piece commissioned in 2022 specifically for our Musical Director and for the choir by local composer David Machell with lyrics from William Shakespeare’s beautiful love poem number 116. The piece is in 4 parts with some outstanding harmonies, severe dynamics and tricky modulations. The piece was composed to highlight the beauty of each of the four sections of Carlton Male Voice Choir and also involves various soloists.

SPEED YOUR JOURNEY (CHORUS OF THE HEBREW SLAVES) – this piece by Giuseppe Verdi from the Opera ‘Nabucco’ highlights the ability of Carlton Male Voice Choir to deliver a song in style. Its opening piano section sets the scene for choral wonder that follows as the choir gently sing the chorus of the slaves as it gradually and steadily rises to its glorious climax as they ask Jehovah for courage, the piece finally dyeing away to a whisper as the slaves ‘endure to the last’.

THE FLOWER THAT SHATTERED THE STONE – a contemporary piece made famous by John Denver. our version features an opening top tenor solo followed by passionate four part harmony and outstanding dynamics.

THE ROSE – a beautiful song made famous by Bet Middler and slightly modernised by our MD to keep it right up to date. A fabulous song to sing and perform.

THE WONDER OF YOU – written by Baker Knight and arranged for MVC by Alwyn Humphreys this piece always works well for Carlton MVC. An Elvis Presley classic of course, which we like to dedicate to our partners!

THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME – the choir takes on a bit of swung jazz with this new piece from Ira and George Gershwin. Feel the intimacy of the jazz clubs as the choir sings the song about the memory of a one night stand! Includes some incredible brass like sforzandos and even has well timed movement from the choir as they swing.

TOM JONES! – A threesome of hits from the big Welsh Man from Pontypridd; It’s not Unusual, Green Grass of Home and Delilah all strung together in a fabulous medley.

TWO FOLK SONGS FOR MALE VOICES – John Rutter, the contemporary classical and choral composer arranges these two very different old English folk songs specifically for the male voice choir. The first piece is DOWN BY THE SALLY GARDENS which tells the story of lovers walking under the willow trees, the man takes things too quickly upsetting his love interest. The second piece is THE MILLER OF DEE and takes the form of a story about a miller told from the perspective a group of young men who are enjoying a drink together. The piece has sublime accompaniment so it’s no wonder it was introduced to the choir by our accompanist.

VIVA LA VIDA – the Coldplay classic hit sung ala Male Voice Choir; a brand new piece for Carlton to be learnt during 2022.

WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT MY MUSIC? – A male voice choir favourite but sung with a difference! Carlton like to do this in the style of a ‘power ballad’ which to our ears brings this piece alive brilliantly.

WOODEN HEART – a fabulous concert opener, the choir enjoy walking through and amongst the audience as they perform this Elvis classic arranged by Alwyn Humphreys. The song, based upon a German Folk Tune was performed by Elvis Presley in the 1960 film ‘G.I. Blues’.

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – the most famous Rodgers and Hammerstein song from the show ‘Carousel’ made even more famous by Mersey Beat Liverpudlians ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers’ in the 1960’s. Our version features a baritone solo backed by the choir and is arranged by Alwyn Humphreys.

 

CHRISTMAS REPERTOIRE 2021

A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS – is a medley of delightful Christmas favourites arranged with intricacy around a stunning accompaniment. We hear the choir sing Jingle Bells with intense dynamics into a smooth Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas into Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! over White Christmas, finally returning to a briskly paced Jingle Bells in waltz time to finish off. See if you can spot the hint of O Come All Ye Faithful and Deck the Hall within the piano accompaniment too!

CHRIST CHILD IN THE MANGER – a piece by Kenneth Rothery, adapted by Malcolm Fairless for four part male voices. This piece brings us directly to the nativity scene of the Christ Child in a place where he could ‘lay his head’ when no other place was available, surrounded by angels who sing of ‘peace on earth’. The song surmises that at this time nobody could have guessed the importance of this baby. The song features Carlton MVC’s basses as they plod playfully like a double bass through the final verse.

DECK THE HALL – our rendition of this traditional welsh carol works equally well opening a set as it does closing it. Its rising bright and quick piano introduction allows the choir to literally burst into song as it enters and sings out the lovely Christmas call ‘Fa la la la la!” as the piano runs away beneath us with gusto. A woozy middle section with a key change brings the pace down for a short while before arranger Alan Simmons changes the key once more into the final rousing chorus once more.

O HOLY NIGHT! – the most favoured Christmas carol ever, sung delightfully by our own tenor Terry Grey with understudy Andrew Moffatt standing by. This arrangement is to be savoured and not rushed and the power of the choir must be impactful and astounding when the lyrics demand but yet diminishing to a whisper when we hear the words ‘Christ is born’.

RISE UP SHEPHERD AND FOLLER – this little spiritual is underlaid by the baritones and basses rising up and down in thirds whilst our tenors provide the traditional melody. It tracks the shepherds as they are encouraged by the angels to follow or ‘folder’ the star in the East, the choir takes the voice of the angels.

SUSSEX CAROL (ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT) – a joyful 6/8 traditional carol in the feel of two beats, the lyrics describes Christians singing on the news of the holy birth. This piece employs a beautifully flowing accompaniment of fast right hand movement over chords and verse 3 counterpoints two melodies and lyrics together with sheer delight.

THE VERY BEST TIME OF YEAR – a relaxed, smooth piece with luscious and intricate harmonies by John Rutter (arranged by Alwyn Humphreys) who is synonymous for his Christmas repertoire. The song sets the scenes that make up this ‘very best’ time of year – Christmas!

WHEN A CHILD IS BORN – Alan Simmons’ arrangement of this famous Christmas song by Zacar/Fred Jay provides the wonder of the season although it never mentions Jesus it hints massively at the story of Christmas.

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