Like most choirs we have had a disturbingly empty couple of years. When we eventually got back together we decided that a good way forward, to give ourselves something to aim for, would be to enter the Cornwall Music Festival. Quite a few of our longstanding members had retired, others had reassessed their priorities and we were also blessed with some new members, so the change in the choir was considerable. So it was with great happiness that we entered the class for Ladies Choirs on Friday 18th March with only three choir members missing! Unfortunately we were the only entrants but the Ladies sang their little socks off and thoroughly deserved the Howard Griffin Shield. The adjudicator was fulsome in his praise likening the Ladies’ tone to melted chocolate and warm honey – we were quite hungry by the time he finished!
Our next challenge that evening was to go head to head with the winner of the Male Voice Choir class, City of Truro MVC, for the Choral Championship. This is a very grand title for what proved to be a friendly sing off between two excellent choirs with a lovely atmosphere of mutual admiration and respect. In the end we managed to pip them to the post by the narrowest of margins and came away with an awesome gold cup.
The Ladies were absolutely ecstatic that all their hard work, during very uncertain times, had paid off. Here is a photo of the choir showing the lovely ribbons that we wore to show support for the people of Ukraine.
So … it’s onwards and upwards for Stithians Ladies Choir. We have several concerts planned for later in the year and we will share the details when they are finalised. As with all groups of people there have been huge challenges for the members in the past couple of years but we feel positive and energetic about the future which is obviously GOLDEN!
Here at Stithians Ladies Choir we love celebrating good news – the arrival of new family members, new jobs and many of Life’s other milestones. Today is the birthday of esteemed and valued choir member Thelma Rolling. Nobody would believe it but she is 90 years old!
Thelma joined the Choir in 1996 and has thoroughly enjoyed her time as a mainstay of the second alto section. She really looks forward to her Thursday practice nights and is a seasoned performer at concerts – often regaling us with witty anecdotes, reflecting her wicked sense of humour. We believe that Thelma is the first Choir member to celebrate their 90th year with us – let’s hope we can all follow her shining example of drive, determination & dedication.
Every single member has been longing to get back to singing after so long apart. Obviously the welfare of everyone is paramount and we will be easing our way back. We are starting with …. A PARTY! 🎈 After all, we have all had at least one Birthday in the last 18 months, so tea, cake and a huge catch-up are essential. This is also an excellent opportunity for new members to join us. So why not come and see what Stithians Ladies Choir is all about?
We will be back to singing the following week, the 9th. Same place, same time.
Saturday 9th December was memorable because an icy Arctic blast brought freezing temperatures and snow to many parts of the UK. Luckily the snow did not reach Cornwall but Stithians Ladies needed all their resolve when they reached their concert venue … Budock Church, with all its ethereal beauty, had a heating malfunction! With enviable stoicism they tackled the first part of their programme wearing their fetching red and black uniform …but after a while, watching The Saxy Maids struggle with their very cold fingers … (but somehow making a gorgeous sound)
MD Bea, herself resorting to the trusty duffle coat …gave the order to don the coats and scarves. Relief!
Considering the conditions everyone did remarkably well – including the audience, all of whom stayed with us and enjoyed some truly fabulous music. The Saxy Maids swung some gorgeous arrangements, accompanist Rico introduced us to a new composer, President Thelma read a humorous poem
and Lee brought the house down with her Santa hat!
… you try singing whilst in fits of laughter! Actually it was just what we needed at that point and spirits were lifted as we approached the final song. Afterwards everyone was very glad of a nice cup of tea and some beautiful home made refreshments, really pleased that they had been able to support Children’s Hospice South West whose representative came along to explain how the donations make a huge difference to their work.
Thanks also to compere Andrew Thomas who was obviously tougher than everyone – note the lack of outer garments!
This concert was memorable in several ways, raising a significant sum for a truly worthy cause and raising the awareness of many people that Stithians Ladies always rise to a challenge and will not be defeated!
STITHIANS LADIES CHOIR. for the joy of music and friendship
A chilly November day saw the Ladies boarding a coach to give a concert in Northlew, Devon. An invitation had come via a long term friend of Chairman Peggy and the Ladies voted to include our long term friends The Glee Singers.
The village of Northlew is blessed with a wonderful community hall which has modern facilities and a lovely welcoming atmosphere. Equally welcoming were the hosts and the audience and our efforts were rewarded with a fabulous supper. Not a single person was hungry when we got back on the coach and we returned to Cornwall with a sense of achievement and broad smiles. We love doing what we do!
Scrummy Devon delights!
And here is a beautiful study of our amazing accompanist Rico Gerber taken by loyal supporter Peter Williams.
Undeterred by the disappointment of their cancelled concert last week – ( it was all Brian’s fault! ) the Ladies sallied forth on a cold Sunday evening to entertain the good folk of Edgecumbe Chapel. The weather may have been chilly but the atmosphere was warm as the Choir sang their hearts out to an appreciative audience.
Our wonderful accompanist, Rico, played a splendid solo piece as well as leaping up and down to the organ loft to play for the community hymns.
Sylvia entertained us with a couple of humorous poems and the Edgecumbe concert organisers provided some very delicious refreshments. All in all a fine evening’s entertainment. WELL DONE LADIES.
And since we are approaching the end of our 50th birthday celebrations here is a lovely study of what Stithians Ladies Choir represents ….
Sisters Marlene and Angeline ( wearing the special badges of honour ) along with several other founder members, have been in the choir since the beginning. That’s 50 years of dedication, commitment and loyalty, binding friendships and that unique feeling that comes with sharing wonderful music and a joint sense of purpose and belonging. With Ladies like these the choir continues to go from strength to strength – and don’t they look good on it?
The village of Stithians is remarkable in several ways – a lovely place to live with many amenities including a school, shops, pub, churches and a thriving community hall. But it is rare to find a village so well served with musical activities, in particular a Male Voice Choir, now celebrating 70 years, a silver band celebrating 90 years and our own Stithians Ladies Choir a mere 50 years old!
On Saturday 30th September the men’s choir hosted a lovely charity concert in the Methodist Church at Stithians involving all three musical groups and a magnificent £950 was raised to support the work of Motor Neurone Disease ( Cornwall ) With Adrian Wilton as compère and a wonderful audience the poor weather was forgotten and everyone had a thorough good time and we felt privileged to be part of such an uplifting evening.
We took part in a lovely summer concert at St Bartholomew’s, Lostwithiel to raise funds for Cornwall Hospice Care. The weather was clement, the audience numerous and enthusiastic and the musical programme, which we shared with Lostwithiel Town Band, interesting and varied. The Ladies sang their hearts out and sounded magnificent in the warm acoustic of the church. They were a perfect musical foil for the rousing tones of the band and mutual admiration was expressed during the interval when they shared some refreshments. Our President Thelma gave one of her humourous monologues with the help of the unflappable Rico, the compère Tamsin Thomas kept the pace flowing and everyone sang Trelawney at the end – a really good evening’s entertainment for a really worthy cause. The concert organisers tell us that over £800 was raised and we were delighted to be part of this sterling effort by so many.
Here are some mementos of a really happy occasion
Our next concert is to support the work of Penhaligon’s Friends. Saturday 22nd July 7.30 at Truro School Chapel.
President Thelma and deputy treasurer Connie hold aloft our Big Cheque surrounded by representatives from Marie Curie ( in yellow ) and choir members.
Of course the title of this article could apply to many of our dear lady choir members! ( we do love a cream tea! ) but in this instance it refers to the wonderful sum of money we were able to donate to Marie Curie Cornwall. For the third time in a row we raised an incredible £1000 at a concert, this latest one being the superb musical evening that we shared with Holman Climax MVC in May. Here is a slide show of the concert – a good time was had by all!