“C’mon Baby Light My Choir!”
ENROL – EXPERIENCE – ENJOY
Membership of Carlton Male Voice Choir is made welcome to all who can hold a tune, can attend rehearsals and who are prepared to listen, challenge themselves and learn. It doesn’t matter if you live in Nottingham or not; as long as you can get to us you are very welcome to be part of the fabulous Carlton Male Voice Choir. If you love performing and singing whilst having fun and socialising then ‘Light My Choir’ and give us a try at Netherfield Baptist Church every Wednesday 7:30-9:30pm! Parking is available in adjacent streets or in the free carpark a few yards on from the church entrance. The choir enjoys a regular stream of new members to ensure its future.
Interested? Contact Us here!
“Alway Something Sings”
We are now actively recruiting, so if you were promising yourself to get involved with a choir following a difficult few years stuck indoors then please let it be us. We have been very lucky with a great influx of new members since the pandemic which proves that Carlton Male Voice Choir is alive and well, growing in 2022.
Joining a choir is a big thing to do, especially if you’ve not sung with others before, we know that as we have all gone through it, including me! But I can’t recommend it enough and those that give it a go reap the rewards in plenty singing with a great bunch of people, making new friends, having great fun and building new experiences together whilst performing some great and varied music at some wonderful and interesting venues for deserving causes. Carlton Male Voice Choir is a great place to start if you want to join a renowned and respected choir as an experience singer with existing ability or also if you are a total novice; we cater for all at all levels and will support your individual growth. The choir has the skills and people to be able to develop your singing, repertoire, confidence and stage-craft and provide you with experiences that some people only ever dream of! We are currently building for our future by encouraging new members and with a group of some 7 or 8 younger guys now well established, things are looking good! 2022/23 will continue as our ‘years of recruitment‘ for Carlton as we rebuild ourselves up again, we are performing in some key public places with the aim to get people to see us, join us and get involved; so look out for those opportunities in the Concerts & Events tab of this site and come give us a try – you won’t regret it.
Ian Watts (Musical Director)
We meet on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 pm at Netherfield Baptist Church, Netherfield, Nottingham NG4 2LE. Parking is available in adjacent streets or in the free carpark a few yards on from the church entrance.
Our lovely rehearsal venue – Netherfield Baptist Church
Whatever you think your ability may be, you are warmly invited to join us at Netherfield whether you would like to sing or just sit in to get an idea of how a choir works. You will find that we are a friendly and sociable bunch, so why not come along and see for yourself? Read down for more info and stories of joining us.
Here are 10 great reasons why YOU should Join Us…
- Contribute to the big sound and great history of a large premier level male voice choir
- Take part in something that benefits your health and recovery, through improved breathing, reduced stress and overall better well-being
- Sing on stage in high profile performances at famous venues, as well as intimate concerts for local audiences and in and outdoor public places
- Enjoy subsidised concert tours to places such as Germany, Canada, Holland, Ireland, Greece, Italy and the Czech Republic, as well as weekends away in various parts of the United Kingdom
- Help raise thousands of pounds for deserving causes – local, national and international
- Become part of our proud history for a choir that celebrated it’s Centenary in 2008
- Immortalise your voice as you sing with the choir on its next video or recording, distributed worldwide digitally in a choir with a record deal and chart success
- Enjoy new friendships with people who share a common interest – a love of singing – have fun
- Take part in the choir’s busy social life, including pub crawls and picnics, plus events organised by our Choir Support Group, who raise thousands of pounds for the choir, choir meals and outings
- Get involved in a pastime which can become seriously addictive – just ask any of our members who, once they started singing, simply could not stop! Here are some of their comments:
“I was made very welcome by everyone I met and things have not changed”
“The pleasure of singing and the challenge of new music”
“Everybody was friendly and encouraging”
“The first song made the hair stand up on the back of my neck!”
“I wished I’d joined years ago”
“I believe, to my great satisfaction, that my singing, has improved and I feel much more confident”
“I enjoy Choir tours which are very well organised”
“Carlton Male Voice Choir should be available on the NHS!”
Further Info on Joining Us
Prospective members join as ‘probationers’ and attend choir rehearsals until they feel sufficiently proficient in their voice and ability to take a short audition and become a full member, from there they can appear with the choir on stage.
The first visit of a prospective member is considered an introductory one. They will be warmly welcomed by our Membership Secretary, introduced to the Musical Director who will do an informal voice check and assign them to a section, introducing them to their Section Leader. The Section Leader will provide them a Welcome Pack which contains a letter from the Chairman, music and other essential choir details. In return, they are asked to provide contact details and return the pack at the end of rehearsal. On the next visit, it is assumed that they wish to join the Choir and the Welcome Pack is theirs to keep.
The Section Leader will assign an experienced ‘Mentor’ to help, support and guide the prospective member through their probationary period. Access to learning material for their voice part in the songs will also be provided. The mentor will help make things easy for you as you learn.
Life in the choir is not all work! Rehearsals and concerts, which are great fun, are usually followed by a voluntary visit to a local pub for much needed (and earned) refreshment and sometimes an informal sing. Our Choir Support Group organise a number of fundraising events throughout the year including a summer barbecue, cream tea and various quizzes. There is also a wonderful opportunity to tour with the choir annually.
The Choir seeks to put on professional and entertaining concerts to a high standard. This is achieved by attendance at Wednesday rehearsals throughout the year and Friday rehearsals from November to the end of April, regular attendance in excess of 70% is expected. We also ask that apologies be given for any none attendance to the Section Leader and that a professional attitude is shown at all times. Speak to us if your commitment levels differ from this expectation as we can often explore ways to make things work for both parties.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for Frequently Asked Questions.
Our Latest Members –
We are pleased to welcome probation members Graham Tonkin (Bass) and Barry Dryden (Baritone).
Congratulations to Paul Madeley (Bass and pictured below) and Harold Huxtable (Bass) for passing their auditions.
Congratulations to Chris Davison (Baritone) and Joe Bean (Bass) and a welcome back to Howard Lloyd (Bass) pictured below.
Welcome back to Steve Musgrove (ex Baritone now Second Tenor) and also John Shaw (Baritone), and welcome to new members Kevin Griffiths (First Tenor), Malcolm Fox (Bass) – Malcolm pictured below.
Congratulations to Philip Morgan (Second Tenor), Geoff Steele (Baritone) and Neil Mann (Top Tenor) who returns after moving back from the Shetland Islands, both pictured below. All have joined since lockdown – now is the time!
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Phil Morgan (left) and Geoff Steele (middle) to the choir
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Neil Mann back to the choir
Some recent new members stories:
Graham joined us very recently in the bass section, he immediately impressed the section with his music reading capability and although this is by no way a requirement of joining us it will certainly help speed up the process for him. We look forward to watching Grahams’ progress towards becoming a full member.
Barry came along to ‘Bring A Friend Friday’ and enjoyed the experience, he has joined us as a Baritone and currently is working towards taking an audition to get his choir stripes and join us in concerts. As the husband of renowned Mezzo Soprano and Guest of the Choir Katherine Dryden he is sure to be well supported and we wish him well as he grows in confidence.
Harold came along invited by another recent new member Phil. He is an experienced bass singer originally from Swansea and an ex. member of our friends at Mansfield MVC but wanted to try something new. Harold passed his audition efficiently with his Welsh blood and a version of Gwahoddiad. Welcome to Carlton MVC. Harolds’ first trip was to Great Yarmouth where he sang in the beautiful Yarmouth Minster with the choir and he also performed brilliantly at Nottinghams Albert Hall!
Paul was looking to use his voice in a choir and was introduced to us by his mother Jean who sings in our MD’s ladies choir – Lyrical SoNGbirds. He has joined us in the bass section, being mentored by Alistair and as a sight singer quickly showed us what he could do in learning the music and reaching some extremely low notes. He came to hear the choir at the Brackenhurst Campus in Feb 2022 and clearly enjoyed what he heard. Paul has now passed his audition, has performed in some high profile events and has even been heard singing solos at Festival Concerts!
Joe heard the choir perform at our Christmas Festival concert and was impressed enough to get in touch and come along to the early 2022 rehearsals as a bass, with glowing reports from his mentor Ian Gibson and as a sight singer he was soon passing his audition with a note perfect version of a new piece The Flower That Shattered The Stone. Joe has plenty of experience in singing with choirs from his days in choral societies and church choirs and we love having him performing with us, he has now become the choir’s Treasurer and continues to show a massive commitment to his singing with this wonderful choir.
Chris came along ‘out of the blue’, and ex Navy man who was used to singing Navy songs and wanted to become part of something special. He was mentored by our Baritone Section Leader Mick Walker and could immediately be seen enjoying his learning, he passed his audition first time demonstrating a lovely full toned baritone voice and sang with the choir live at Brackenhurst Campus only two weeks later where he got his first taste of a choir ‘afterglow’ in the pub. Chris keeps us entertained after rehearsals with his hilarious Navy stories. Chris has performed solos at some high profile concerts and has become a stable member of the baritones.
Howard has rejoined us since leaving the choir three years ago to join a mixed choir with his wife and our friends at South Notts Men’s Choir. We are so please that he has returned to us with his wonderful deep and accurate bass voice. He now sings in two male voice choirs and is our very own Gaston!
Steve has rejoined us since having to leave the Baritone Section through health issues affecting his voice, with time and support in recovery his voice has now started to come back although at a slightly higher register, hence rejoining as a Second Tenor. Steve is a real fixture in the choir and we are all so pleased to see him return to us and grow his ability back to singing solos.
Kevin is an experienced male voice singer having come to us recently from another local choir in Derby. He is taking a Uni course in Welsh in his spare time leaving a Wednesday the only night free. Fortuitously for us it is the night we rehearse and I am glad to say he is currently travelling from Derby and learning with us in the first tenors. His audition is sure to be very soon and will no doubt be a breeze for him. We hope that Carlton provides him a good home during his Uni course and hopefully even further into the future.
Malcolm was present in the crowd at Arnot Hill Park when the choir performed one of its ‘gets back to singing’ outdoor performances. We often invite men to come and have a sing with us on a few tunes which is always a real thrill to the choir. Malcolm was brave enough (or was pushed by his partner) to get up and have a go and he stood with our basses. He signed up there and then to come to a rehearsal and did not let us down, turning upon a couple of weeks later to give it a proper go. He was assigned to his new mates in the basses and is currently doing brilliantly. When some people first join it takes them a while to get used to singing in parts but we support and assist doing this and he has taken step after step into this new world. Malcolm attended our first formal indoor concert as an audience member and gave some glowing feedback, he recently passed his audition with ease and become one of the Carlton family formally singing with us live at Christmas 2021 and at the Brackenhurst Campus. A real success story.
Neil used to be in the choir some years ago but left to live in the Shetland Islands. He would on occasion visit the choir at performances and rehearsals and was always made a fuss of and made very welcome. On returning to the area recently he decided to quickly return to us and it was a great pleasure to have him back in the ranks of the Baritones! It didn’t take long until he was through his audition. Once a member – always a member!
Philip recently came along having checked out a few other choirs in the area. Philip was looking for something to replace his previous singing in the excellent Bournemouth MVC and spend a good deal of time making sure that Carlton MVC was the choir for him. We were of course willing him to join as his pedigree at Bournemouth would be a massive advantage for us and the members around him were all giving me the thumbs up, but this did not affect Phil. He need to be sure himself. I am glad to say that after giving us some brilliant compliments he joined up and passed his audition! He has now sung with us both outdoors and in and we are very glad to have him on board!
Geoff came along out of the blue one day and said he wanted to have a go, we duly placed him in the Baritone section and he has worked hard, gradually getting himself into a good position to perform as his newbie confidence grew. Just before the Covid lockdown in March 2020 Geoff passed his audition beautifully but had to wait to be officially welcomed to the choir until September 2021. No matter – he’s in now, he made it and what a dedicated chap he is too! If there is ever someone to ask about enjoying singing and performing just ask Geoff!
Andrew came along to the choir, joining as we started learning the repertoire for 2019, he quickly got himself established as a key top tenor to the future of the choir and auditioned his way to a uniform and a place in our 2019 Festival Concert at the Albert Hall (what a first gig!) where he excelled himself. Since then he has already sang at the Castle Rock Brewery, Newark Show, Dumfries and Newstead Abbey! Andrew has a fine voice with excellent control and pitching and his solo live performance of Eric Claptons’ Wonderful Tonight at Dumfries showed the choir his solo potential which he has put to good use with Carlton MVC on a couple of pieces already.
Gary passed his audition singing Stay With me ‘Til The Morning, Garry has been in the choir some years ago leaving due to work commitments and has now decided that he will join us once again as things have become easier at work, he sings beautifully and has now been heard singing the top tenor part in concert with the choir once again. As an Engineer Garry is a top hand at electrics and now helps with the choirs technical equipment, he also gets on the mic and sells joining our choir to the audience which is much appreciated. Garry had offered to do a solo in our Show Medley which he sings brilliantly and he also notably became Choir Secretary in 2020 – well done Garry!
John joined Carlton choir as a Second Tenor choosing Stay With me ‘Til The Morning as his audition piece, John is a great example of perseverance as he worked really hard and passed on his third attempt. The audition process can be a little nerve wracking but it is essential to ensure consistent quality in the choir – especially for the second tenors which is possibly the most challenging section, the Musical Director will often make suggestions for improvements of challenge singers to meet further expectations – not a problem to most including John – well done sir! John is a light aircraft pilot – we have all sorts of wonderful people with interesting backgrounds at Carlton. He now thoroughly enjoys his performing.
We hope to welcome more new members as soon as we can!
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Andrew Moffat to the choir.
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Garry Roberts to the choir (who soon becomes Choir Secretary!).
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes John Greasley to the choir.
Mr Charles Beaumont (Bass)
Charles passed his audition singing Gwahoddiad. Charles shows great potential as a deep bass with his low register, he will admit himself that he needs to grow his experience but so do we all! Charles has gone headfirst into doing just that singing his first concert at West Bridgford, then following it up with some great sings at Christmas 2018, Albert Hall 2019 and Dumfries on his first choir tour – well done mate!
Chairman Nigel Slater welcomes Charles Beaumont to the choir.
This has been a fruitful few months for the choir with an influx of new members joining: John Greasley (Second Tenors), Andrew Moffatt (First Tenor), Ian Gibson and Nigel Wildgust (First Tenor) – good luck gentlemen in your first few months with the choir! We also had two new prospective Baritones walk through our doors in the last weeks. Keep them coming…read on to discover more.
New members at their first Festival Concert (L-R) Charles Beaumont, Carl Spencer, Ian Gibson and Andrew Moffat
Q. Am I good enough?
A. You don’t need to be able to read music to sing with us. A core of members do read music and help and support the majority of us who don’t. Every newcomer sits alongside an experienced singer, to help and guide them during their early days in the choir and to make their joining as easy as possible.
As well as being provided with the score for each item of music, members also have recordings of the song parts for their particular voice to make the learning process very easy.
Prospective members can take as much time as they need and our aim is to give newcomers every assistance.
Rehearsals are really enjoyable – hard work and learning tempered with good humour, banter and reward. All that is asked is that individuals attend rehearsals regularly, be professional, are willing to learn and are prepared to put in a little time outside rehearsals to facilitate the learning process. ‘Little and often’ is an established formula for success in learning both music and words. You will be supported as you continue to develop your love of singing.
At the end of the day, the only real answer to this question is to ‘give it a try’, so why not come along and see us in rehearsal? You will find that we are a friendly bunch and very keen to help you enjoy your singing with us.
Q. How much time will the choir take up?
A. Most of the year (except for the summer break in August), we rehearse weekly for two hours on Wednesdays. During November (the lead-up to the Christmas season) and in January through to April (learning the new repertoire for the Festival concert) we rehearse on Fridays as well. It also helps if choristers can spend a little time between rehearsals by going over the song parts and again before concerts, learning tracks are provided to make this easy. Most songs are sung without music copies so these need to be known ‘off-by-heart’ and the the ability to do this only comes with practice. Music copies can be used in concert for the first six months only after becoming a full member. Choristers are expected to attend rehearsals on a regular basis.
Having learned the repertoire, we enjoy around 20-25 public performances a year, usually in the evening. Whilst most concerts are in the Nottingham area, some can be a little further afield. Our annual Festival Concert includes an afternoon rehearsal before the Saturday evening concert. Most concerts are followed by an optional ‘afterglow’, a visit to a local pub for refreshments and sometimes a fun and informal sing.
Q. How much will it cost me?
A. Choristers pay an annual membership subscription, this is a reasonable amount for a choir of decent repute. This covers essential running costs as well as paying the music team, purchasing music and subsidies for the likes of uniforms. The choir puts aside some funds for members who may have difficulties meeting costs, so finances need not deter those who want to sing with us. Details of the current subscription amount can be requested via the contact page.
While most items of the main uniform are provided, members are expected to have their own dinner suit, dress shirt and shows for formal occasions.
Members are usually expected to make their own way to concerts and other events, although there is a very active car-sharing scheme within the choir to offset costs. Let us know if transport is a problem and we will help.
From time to time, national or overseas tours are organised for the choir to sing with other choirs. The cost of such trips has to be borne by the individual members, but there is often a valuable subsidy from the funds raised by the Choir Support Group through various social activities. The trips are voluntary.
A small deposit is required prior to a music pack being given to you, but don’t worry; this is returned should you not wish to go forward and when you return the music, if you do join us then the deposit amount is deducted from your first year’s membership (in effect being returned to you on joining).
Q. How will I fit in?
A. Fitting-into the choir is very easy. Rest assured that regardless of your background, experience, ethnicity or age you will be warmly welcomed and supported. Encouraging new members is one of the ways in which our choir has maintained its numbers, standards and reputation over many years. The choir comprises of people from all walks of life, of all ages, some working, some retired, all coming together to create something that they really love and which our audiences will enjoy. Meeting likeminded people is something we think is a benefit of joining the choir. We enjoy social occasions together from formal tours or a planned event to an informal pint in the pub after rehearsal for those that want to.
Q. Will I like the music you sing?
A. Carlton Male Voice Choir prides itself on maintaining a large, wide and eclectic repertoire of music to suit ALL tastes and all audiences, you may not like everything of course, but you will certainly like much of it.
We are a ‘progressive’ choir who sing a mix of well known songs from films and shows such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a show medley from Joseph to Oklahoma to classical/operatic repertoire such as Nessun Dorma from Tourandot and Speed Your Journey from Nabucco to religious music such as Cwm Rhondda and Amazing Grace to contemporary pop music including Someone Like You by Adele, It’s All About You by McFly, Viva La Vida by Coldplay plus classics from past eras such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Blackbird, Bohemian Rhapsody, Delilah and Heart of Gold. We also enjoy performing fun genre songs such as A Medley of Sea Shanties and They Can’t Take That Away From Me and of course traditional classic Male Voice repertoire such as Gwahoddiad and Morte Criste.
Rest-assured that every newcomer is assigned to an experienced choir member and singer to help and guide them during their early days in the choir and to make their joining as comfortable, easy and as fun as possible. Why not give it a go?
Interested? Contact Us here!