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Saddleworth Male Voice Choir      

 

Brief History

 

Our ancestry dates from 1903 when Excelsior MVC was founded as the first male choir

in Saddleworth, succeeded by Delph MVC in the 1920's. After moving the short distance from

there to Uppermill in 1955, the choir became known by its present title.

This was sometimes referred to as a 'breakaway' from Delph MVC, but our earliest available records, dating from the 1930's, show that in March 1955 a General Meeting of Delph MVC held in Uppermill decided "that the choir shall hence-forward be named The Saddleworth Male Voice Choir".

We currently have around 50 members, mainly from the Saddleworth, Oldham, Rochdale, and Tameside areas.

 

There was a notable 'line of succession' from the earliest days, continuing into the present century.

Excelsior MVC was founded by Mr. Bright Hinchliffe in 1903. His son Sydney was a member of that choir and then of Delph MVC. He was latterly Delph's Chairman and then its President, and the first President of the 'SMVC' era from 1955 to 1960, until leaving and moving away on retirement.

Alan Hinchliffe followed his father Sydney into SMVC in 1957. He had various official roles over the years, latterly as Chairman until retiring and moving away from the local area in 1989/90.

He was also a Vice-President from 1970 until his passing in 2001. Alan once recalled that one reason for the move to Uppermill in 1955 and change of choir name to Saddleworth MVC, was that in those days only one choir member had a car, and as Uppermill was more centrally placed it had better public transport links which made it easier to get to rehearsals - a major factor back then!    

About Us

 

Concerts

 

Concerts are performed locally as well as further afield.  The Choir presents its own concerts twice yearly at Saddleworth (Uppermill) Civic Hall featuring a variety of guest artists with leading soloists, folk groups and brass bands, including some 'household names'.

Also, and possibly uniquely for a male voice choir, there is an annual performance of Handel's Messiah each December at the Civic Hall, with the men being joined by an augmented chorus of ladies, plus professional soloists and orchestra.

 

Other Events

 

In addition to a busy concert schedule, we regularly enter competitive Music Festivals.

Over the years since our first one in 1957, winners awards have included Hazel Grove, Huddersfield, Macclesfield, Blackpool, Blackburn, Biddulph, Penistone, Southport, Eskdale (Whitby), Don Valley (won for five successive years from 2004 to 2008 inclusive), and the Manchester Amateur Choral Competition.

The totals to date are 88 festival entries, with 34 first places and 25 'runners up' awards.

 

Exchange visits with other choirs have taken us to Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, North and East Yorkshire, Germany, Holland, Slovenia, Spain, Gibraltar, and Italy.

There have also been TV appearances, including the BBC's "Songs of Praise", recorded around Saddleworth in 2000 featuring the area's well known "Whit Friday" celebrations, radio broadcasts, notably one for the BBC’s "Sunday Half Hour" programme in 2003, and several CD recordings.