SMVC Logo

Saddleworth Male Voice Choir      

 

Brief History

 

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

in Saddleworth, which was 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 the earliest available records, dating from the 1930's, show that at a General Meeting of Delph MVC, held in Uppermill in March 1955, it was decided "that the choir shall henceforward be named The Saddleworth Male Voice Choir".

There are currently around 50 members, mainly from the Saddleworth, Oldham, 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 the choir 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 from local area in 1989/90.

He was also a Vice-President from 1970 until he passed away 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 Uppermill was more centrally placed, with better public transport links, making it easier to get to rehearsals - hardly a consideration nowadays !    

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 that have included leading soloists, folk groups and brass bands, some of whom were household names.  Also, and possibly uniquely for a male voice choir, there is an annual performance of Handel's Messiah each December, also 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 such event in 1957, first prizes 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 from 86 festival entries are 34 winners trophies, and 22 '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), radio broadcasts (notably one for the BBC’s Sunday Half Hour programme in 2003) plus several CD recordings.