Choir on song for charity performance in Melrose

A contingent of Berwick Male Voice Choir preparing to sing at St Mary's Church, Burgh-by-Sands
A contingent of Berwick Male Voice Choir preparing to sing at St Mary's Church, Burgh-by-Sands

Music lovers in the Borders are in for a treat on Saturday, February 21, when the Berwick Male Voice Choir (BMVC) perform at Melrose for the first time, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Founded in 1964, the choir has more than 50 choral members drawn from all over north Northumberland and the Borders, and has attained both a national and international reputation as one of the finest male voice choirs in the country.

Under the musical direction of former military bandsman Robin Cheer, supported by his wife, Isobel, as accompanist, the choir has developed a repertoire of more than 60 songs, ranging from traditional Welsh favourites such as Calon Lan and Cwm Rhondda, to more contemporary tunes from modern musicals and popular folk songs.

This variety is reflected in each concert, and as a result audiences return time and again with little expectation of repetitive performances. Many arrangements sung by the choir have been written by Robin, therefore making the harmonies quite unique.

A male voice choir in full song stirs the blood and BMVC is no exception. “Hairs standing up on the back of the neck” is an oft-heard phrase.

As well as delivering around a dozen UK concerts every year, the choir also performs overseas, with the most recent occasion being in Germany in 2012. Norway in 2016 is next on the schedule.

This May, choirs from Berwick’s twin towns in Germany and Norway will be visiting the seaside town as guests of BMVC, when combined performances will be delivered at Berwick and Norham.

The Melrose event takes place in the town’s parish church. Doors open at 7pm, with the concert beginning 30 minutes later.

Tickets, costing £10, can be purchased in advance from The Pharmacy, Mason’s Grocer and Millar’s Fruit and Veg in Lauder; Edelweiss in Galashiels; Stow Post Office; Henderson’s Garden Shop and Spar in Melrose. Tickets can also be bought at the door or by phoning 01578 750289.