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Reg Charity No 1004202

  Read the latest news:


April  2014

We wish Jim Wrightson a happy retirement as he completes his period of office as Director of Hoylake Choral Society and moves on to other musical work across the water.  Please see this page for information about Jim's last concert with Hoylake.  Jim's successor is David Bebbington - Hoylake Choral Society proved the following infomation:

"David has worked across the musical spectrum as a professional soloist, accompanist, vocal coach, conductor, musical director and teacher. He gained a BMus (Hons) degree from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where his principal study was piano and second study voice. He was awarded a scholarship as Director of Music for Cardiff University Church Choir. His previous work includes artistic director of Cardiff Style Ladies Barbershop Chorus, conductor/accompanist of the Newport Chorale, and musical director of Cardiff Male Choir.   David is currently Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer for MA Popular Music at The University of Chester. "


Mar 2014

Our performance of the Messiah was a sellout with last minute ticket purchasers having to be squeezed in at the very back of the church!  The concert was well received with a standing ovation from a very appreciative audience.  Read some of their comments here.


Jan  2014

Charles Scarratt Music Award - anyone is  welcome to attend
this annual competition on Friday, 7th March, 2013, at 7:00pm at Birkenhead High School Academy. You are guaranteed an enjoyable evening of music from talented young musicians.  Proceeds go to support the Music Fund which encourages young local musicians and commemorates the name of our founder, Charles Scarratt.  You may pay at the door.

Jan  2014

We have just obtained photos from our "Singing in the Rain" at Oxton Secret Gardens in 2013 - see here!

Dec  2013

The choir were represented in force at the wedding of Jon and Jane Barton at Our Lady's Church, Birkenhead on Dec 7th 2013.  Congratulations Jon (our accompanist) and his wife and we wish them every blessing on their future together.



Jon and Jane

Outside

There are a number of informal pictures taken inside the church which give an idea of its grandeur.
Click here to see the slideshow

Nov  2013

We are pleased to have our first entry in the Cheshire Life magazine and you can see a flavour of our future plans here.

May  2013

We are sorry to hear
of the death of one of our long standing Friends, Mrs A Haywood, from Greasby. 
Our sympathy goes out to members of the family, including one of our choir members.  Her support  has been much appreciated.

May  2013

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Charles Scarratt Music Award - full details here -


2014 winners


Congratulations to Richard Blundell (bass) and his wife Julia (alto) on the birth of their daughter Silvia Beatriz.  
After nine months of hearing us rehearsing we hope she will join the choir in due course :-)

April
  2013

A very enjoyable chance to sing at the Oxton Secret Gardens Festival.  We aim to attend next year too - read the report.


April 2013

We were sorry to hear of the death of a local Thingwall resident Albert Dillow  who for many years was a member of Birkenhead Choral Society in it's early days.  His daughter, Deborah Yates, recalls
"Albert spent over 20 years as a tenor with the Eisteddfod-winning Birkenhead Choral Society, singing with them at the cathedrals of Liverpool, Chester, St Asaph and Manchester, and numerous parish churches.  One of his favourite choir anecdotes was when the council at Pwllheli rented the local Butlins holiday camp for their Eisteddfod.  Birkenhead Choral were on towards the end of the evening and he remembered them belting out Handel’s Zadok the Priest over the tannoys at midnight.  On the way back they pulled into a pub in a small Welsh village to find the back room full of locals.  They spent the rest of the night singing selections from the Messiah together, and got home in time for breakfast." 

We are fortunate to have been given a scrapbook which Albert had in his possession which contains cuttings and programmes from those early days.  Thank you to Deborah for thinking of us and also passing on some old music.  The scrapbook will be passed on to Kay Scarratt (our founder's daughter) but for interest here are a couple of photos from the book:

                                                   Llangollen 1958.jpg  and Llangollen 1962.jpg


March  2013

We were delighted to get some thank you letters from our guests at the Philharmonic Hall concert:

Dr Nicholas Jedynakiewicz, Deputy Lieutenant, Merseyside, said " . . . the care and attention to hospitality was splendid - it was an extraordinary privilege to have an internationally recognised cardiologist as our attendant for the evening! . . . " (Thank you Bob Arnold) . . .
" . . . The performances were truly outstanding.  The quality and ability of all the choirs was most professional and accomplished"

Mayor of Wirral, Gerry Ellis said " . . . It was a wonderful occasion which we enormously enjoyed and our companions in the box were delightful and interesting company."

Vic Edwards, Honorary Friend of BCS, said " . . .You were very brave to tackle Belshazzar but you made a right Feast of it . . . Andrew Greenan did a magnificent job in the solos.  The Armd Man was inspiring and uplifting with a sense of drama that drew us all into the emotion of the anti-war spirit.  Excellent, magnificent and thrilling . . . perhaps I should have forewarned the Lady Mayoress to expect the explosion from the bass drum . . . Thanks again and may God bless you all"

It is good to hear audience members enjoying the music as much as we enjoy singing it.


Jan 2013

We have had an invitation from Kay Scarratt to attend the annual competition for the Charles Scarratt Music Award, on Friday, 8th February, 2013, at 7:00pm at Birkenhead High School Academy.

You are guaranteed an enjoyable evening of music from talented young musicians.  Entrance £5 per Adult (schol age children free).  Proceeds go to support the Music Fund which encourages young local musicians and commemorates the name of our founder, Charles Scarratt.  You may pay at the door.

See the invitation



Dec 2012

Wirral Women and Children's Aid have written to express their thanks for the £250 cheque donated from the proceeds of our Carol Concert.  They have expressed the hope that it will help fund a Families outing during the February half term for those in need, possibly ice skating.


Wirral Women and Children's Aid
Helpline - 0151 643 9766

October 2012

At the Annual General Meeting on Oct 1st the choir thanked John Mansley for the year he had supported us standing in as Chairman.  Collette Byrne was elected to the Chair and made an encouraging statement of the way forward as she brought the meeting to a close.  We are all grateful to outgoing Committee Members for their hard work, for those elected for the coming season and to our Musical Director, David Holroyd, for his professional leadership supported by Jon Barton, our accompanist.


August 2012
We had a surprise contact via our website from a gentleman, Alexander Camilleri,  in Malta who had a badge from Birkenhead Welsh Choral in his collection.  Kay Scarratt tells us a bit more -

"The Birkenhead Welsh Choral Society is, I think, the choir where my parents first met in the 1920s when he was the accompanist and she was chief contralto.  The conductor then was Mr. D R Jones.  I don't know how long the choir lasted.  I know that they rehearsed in Beechcroft Hall in Whetstone Lane.  The Hall was on the opposite side from the YMCA, but a little further up the hill, just about on the first bend.  The badge is similar to the Birkenhead Coat of Arms which father started using in the Male Voice Choir, then later with the BCS so it's possible/probable that he got the idea from the Welsh Choral."


Birkenhead Welsh crest



July 2012

Superb news!  We are pleased to announce that Dame Lorna Muirhead, DBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside has agreed to be our Patron.  Many of you will have heard her supportive comments at our recent concert and we know that both choir and audience members will be pleased with this news
As the Queen's representative in the County it is an honour to have her as our Patron and we hope she will be able to attend some of our concerts in between her many other engagements.

Dame Lorna Muirhead

You can read a little of her background here.
and the article in the Wirral News here.

July 2012

Well done to everyone who has advertised our website and thanks to all our visitors.  Notice the counter has recently turned over to 10,000.

July 2012

Great news from Claire Willis that she has completed her Three Peaks challenge.  Claire writes:

 "Not sure how we did it, but all 5 of us completed it in 11 hours! I can also confirm that I have no blisters! As you can see extremely lucky with the weather - with only about 15 minutes of icy rain on the final peak. Although we couldn't see a thing from the top of the first peak, the rest of the time we were in cloudy sunshine - amazing given the weather warnings last week!

Claire Three Peaks
(click picture for a larger version)

"I've just updated the just giving website with pictures of the entire team on each peak - some of whom were crazily waving flags at our jubilee concert!  http://www.justgiving.com/5slts3peaks1day  Please can you pass on my thanks to the rest of the choir for their support and words of wisdom!  Have a wonderful summer and see you in September.  Claire"

. . . and it's not too late if anyone else wants to add to the sponsorship!  DH

July 2012

Further to a tidying up of the website please email me if you find problems.  No page names have been changed so any bookmarks / favourites you have stored should still work.  If you are looking for the Michael Hamm tribute pages please click here.  The other way of finding information is to look at the sitemap.

June 2012

Further to our highly successful Jubilee Concert I am pleased to report that the poster  and programme will be stored by the Bodleian Library, Oxford as part of their Jubilee archives.

June 2012

Congratulations to our accompanist from yesteryear, Ged Callacher, on his ordination to the priesthood: Friday 22nd June at St Monica’s, Bootle, at 7.00 p.m.  It's as pity we can't all be there! 

Pictures from his ordination last year as deacon appear here
ged ordination deacon
We are pleased to acknowledge St Faith's Crosby, where Ged was Director of Music,  as the source of this picture.

December 2011

As a result of the superb support we had for our carol concert we have been able to donate £200 to Children in Need

Children inNeed 

December 2011

We were delighted by the turnout at our Carol Concert on Dec 17th.  Thank you to all those who supported and to the children of Tafelmusik Young Voices who sang some of their Christmas music.  It was good to mix with the audience over refreshments and we were grateful to all those who supported in the background to make it possible.  In his supportive message our Chairman concludes - "I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year - John Mansley"

October 2011

We are very sorry that one of our long standing sopranos has had to withdraw due to her husband's illness.  Maura sends this message to all our members:

Dear all,
Thank you very much for the lovely card you sent to me.  I was very touched by all your little messages and am missing you all, and the singing.  I wish you all great success in the forthcoming concert and for the remainder of the season, with love, Maura


The entry form for the Charles Scarratt Music Competition for 2012 is available here.  The competition will take place on Friday 10th February 2012.

August 2011

The winners of the Charles Scarratt Music Award have issued a cd in aid of the fund - details here.

June 2011

Please visit the web page giving our concert details for the coming season which are now finalised

June 2011

Congratulations to 'Father Ged' on his Ordination as Deacon - Ushaw College 11th June 2011.  Ged Callacher was for several years our accompanist until he moved to Durham.  A full report appears here .  Wonderful pictures appear here with thanks to the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

June 2011

Our sympathies are extended to the family and friends of Brian West (tenor) who died after a short period of illness. His friendship and musical ability will be missed.

April 2011

We are saddened to hear of the death of Horace Hancock, a long standing singer and latterly supporter of the choir.  His funeral was at St James' Church, New Brighton, Thursday April 28th attended by many of his friends and colleagues. We extend our sympathy to his family.

April 2011

Liverpool Philharmonic  Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is facing dramatic cuts in funding.  See how you can help to support world class music here.

February 2011

Our concert at the Philharmonic Hall with Elin Manahan Thomas was a great success.  Thank you to everyone who supported it.

February 2011

Congratulations to the three winners of the competition for the Charles Scarratt Music Award

Kay Scarratt  is pictured with the Adjudicator, Gareth Green, and prizewinners Anna Nielsen-Scott, Martin Kupllas and Chris Sullivan.  Chris Watson is Director of Music at Birkenhead High School.

Charles Scarratt Award  winners

Click here for more pictures

February 2011

On Friday February 11th we joined with members of Hoylake Choral Society and family and  friends of the late Michael Hamm to celebrate his friendship and contribution to our musical life.  Thank you to all those who made it such a successful evening.  The full programme is available here.  A review of the evening appeared in the Wirral Champion for March 2011

January 10th 2011

We have just received news from Grace and David, members of our choir, of the birth of their son.  Our warmest congratulations.  We hope to reserve a place in the tenor or bass section for him to take up in due course.

December 11th 2010

Thanks to all those who attended our Carol Concert at St Saviour's Church.  It was a pleasure to welcome singers from St Saviour's CE Aided Primary School to take part.


St Saviour's Primary School

November 22nd 2010

We are delighted to have received a message from Zillah Beaumont in Greece, whose father and uncle were in the original Birkenhead Male Voice Choir.  The picture below shows Charles Scarratt rehearsing the choir during their lunch break in St Mary's Church, Birkenhead.

Charles Scarratt in St Mary's Church, Birkenhead

Detail on reverse of photo

November 7th 2010

Thanks to all for supporting our concert at St Hilary's Church Wallasey.  We were delighted to welcome back the two soloists - Jocelyn Somerville and Stuart O'Hara who gave a very impressive performance.

Nov 6th 2010

September 25th 2010

This week our website has been modified to incorporate a visitor counter.  This will allow us to discover how many people visit from different parts of the world and to find out which web pages are most helpful.  No personal data is collected and the information is limited to broad areas, for example 'Liverpool' or 'Mountain View, California'.  (Yes - we have already had 'hits' from California, Massachusetts and Mexico!!).  Welcome to all those unknown but interested people.  If you want to check the privacy policy or use the webcounter yourself please visit StatCounter.com.

Webstats by country

September 25th 2010 

As an experiment programme notes and Youtube (c) sample videos are being added to the 'future concerts' page.  This is to give you some background before the concert and to help make your experience more enjoyable.  Please note that the arrangements may differ in detail, for example the YouTube (c) video may show an orchestra where we are using the organ or vice versa..  In most cases the notes come from Wikipedia (c) so you get a variety of opinions.

September 2010

Michael Hamm  We are very sorry to hear of the death of Michael Hamm,  a committed past member, ex vice Chairman and supporter of the society.

  Click here for an appreciation of his life and music


July 2010

In case you missed the front page look at our concert programme for the coming season:

Elin Manahan Thomas Click here for news of our superb concert programme
including Soprano

ELIN MANAHAN THOMAS
Elin Manahan Thomas

January 2010

Congratulations to the three winners of the competition for the Charles Scarratt Music Award

First Prizewinner, Selim Ungut (Piano), with 2nd Christopher Sullivan (Alto Sax), and 3rd, Anna Nielsen-Scott (Piano), shown with Adjudicator Edward Warren and Kay Scarratt, daughter of Charles Scarratt.

Charles Scarratt Award  winners

Click here for more pictures

Dec 19th 2009

As a result of our Christmas Celebrations we have been able to send £110 to BBC Children in Need. 
Thank you to those who supported the raffle or made a donation instead of sending Christmas cards.

Nov 14th 2009

Jocelyn SomervilleWe had a great turnout for our performance of Rutter's Requiem and Hummel's Mass in B flat at St Saviour's Church, Oxton.  In addition we sang the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel and our soprano soloists, Jocelyn Somerville, sang an aria, also from the Messiah. 

As a result we were able to donate an extra £119 to the Children in Need Appeal.

 

 

Oct 10th 2009

The society were delighted with the turnout for the 'Come & Sing' Messiah in aid of the Charles Scarratt AppealEveryone had a very enjoyable afternoon and evening at St Saviour's Church, Oxton.  We were pleased with the performance which was enhanced by local soloists Jocelyn Somerville, Imogen Garner, Peter Bates and Stuart O'Hara, accompanied by Jon Barton on the organ and under the baton of David Holroyd.  All profits are to be donated to the Fund and so far we have given over £900.

Oct 5th 2009

At the AGM tonight Birkenhead Choral Society were pleased to elect their new Chairman, Brenda Losekoot.  We are also pleased that Jon Barton has accepted a permanent position as our rehearsal accompanist.  We hope you will hear him playing at many of our concerts.

Congratulations and thank you to all the people working on the new Committee.  Thank you too for all the support I have had as Chairman for the last 5 years - DH.

June 29th 2008

The performance of Vierne's Messe Solennelle and the plethora of other French music on June 29th was greatly enhanced by the hire of a digital organ from the Lancashire firm of

Phoenix Organs
www.phoenixorgans.co.uk

This was made possible by a grant from Wirral Borough Council’s ‘Culture for All’ fund.  As a result we had two organs and three organists which made for a lively and memorable evening. 

Wirral Culture for all
(Click for Wirral's website)

Read the review of the concert

May 2008

Charles Scarratt


Looking ahead to the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Charles Scarratt, founder of Birkenhead Choral Society, first details of the Charles Scarratt Music Award Fund have been announced.  This is intended to provide three prizes each year to young musicians from Wirral. 

Fuller details are available here.  We hope to have a special event next year in conjunction with this.

January 30th 2008

Shirley Potter (Chairman, Formby Choral Society) and David Horton
were welcomed at the Al-Ghazali Centre, Liverpool
by Farhan Abu Hassan.
Farhan intoned the Muslim Call to Prayer in our performance of "The Armed Man" in April 2008.

Al Ghazali Centre

January 2008

Thank you to all those who helped us to support the Children's hospice, Claire House:


Claire House


November 24th 2007

An excellent concert at St Saviours, Oxton using the new staging

Choir photo 2007

Read the review

Sept 8th 2007

More good news as we learnt that Wirral Borough Council, in their support of community initiatives, have granted us a significant sum towards the cost of our new staging.  We are grateful to the areas of Heswall / Pensby & Thingwall, Greasby, Frankby, Irby, Upton & Woodchurch, West Wirral and Oxton / Prenton, who all supported the donation in recognition of the number of singers and audience who come from those areas.

:Wirral Grant

Sept 1st 2007

We enjoyed sharing  in the celebration of David Williams' wedding to Ruth at Hoylake.  It was a tremendous occasion and 30 of us formed a small choir led by David Holroyd.

Ruth and David Williams.

June 2007:

On June 18th we were delighted to hear from Awards for All that we had been granted 50% funding for our new staging.  The current staging was well worn and may have been responsible for some unusual musical effects as we strove to balance on an increasing wobbly base.  It will be much safer and more versatile so that access for disabled people can be facilitated.  It is modular in construction so that we can have different arrangements in different churches to suit the situation.

A recent photograph shows how the back rows of the choir disappear from view and we hope you will find the new system a great improvement.

Choir phot 2006

We are pleased to acknowledge our gratitude.

Awards for All