After a glorious year of celebrations for our 60th Anniversary, our Music Director, Stephen Davies, has requested to step down as the Choir’s Leader. As many of you may know, when Stephen stepped up and out of the bass section 5 years ago, the choir was in desperate need of new leadership to push us forward and ensure we continued to survive. Stephen was more than willing to get “stuck in” and has taken us on an amazing journey; reinvigorating the choir’s members and taking us back into the heart of the community through our fundraising efforts and free public events. The Crewe Male Voice Choir of today would not exist without his outstanding efforts. It is with a heavy heart that we see him step down from his post.
However, he has not gone far! Stephen has agreed to continue as the Choir’s secretary, moving back into the bass section (admitting he now has to learn to sing all this music!) and is a fountain of all knowledge for the new Music Director. So without further a do, it is a pleasure to announce that Treona Holden, will takeover the Music Director duties as of April 2019.
Treona has been our accompanist and the assistant to the Music Director since 2011 so most definitely a familiar face to the lads and our audiences! After a successful 1st term of concerts, Treona is looking forward to starting the new season, with lots of ideas on how our choir can continue to evolve on our journey.
I am delighted to have been appointed as MD for this wonderful choir. I’ve enjoyed the past 8 years of accompanying and look forward to many more, creating new memories and experiences for audiences as well as our members. I’d like to thank Stephen for being so helpful during our transition, I hope that I can continue to move the choir forward on the great path Stephen has started us on. The 2019-2020 season is shaping up to be one that I’m unlikely to forget, filled with wonderful opportunities and maybe the occasional song from the Muppets 🙂
On behalf of the choir, we wish Treona an excellent 1st season and look forward to what the next year will bring!
We are very privileged to have such a fantastic rehearsal space at the Cheshire Academy on Broad Street (Crewe) and are always looking for ways we can support the centre in their new ventures. This summer we were very excited to have been asked to take part in the recording of a charity single written by one of the founders of the Academy after we had initially premiered the piece in 2015. A short 3 years later and this song has been transformed to include a massed choir of 60+ people from community groups across Crewe and Cheshire and soloists Gail Stubbs and Little Wall.
The single is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Store, YouTube Music, Spotify, Deezer and many more. All proceeds will go to the Cheshire Academy to support them to continue providing excellent services for their students and the local community. We had a great time recording it and hope you have a great time listening to it!
We have had a fabulous couple of months celebrating our 60th Anniversary with our friends, supporters and formers. A formal reception was help on the 24th September in the Municipal Buildings of Crewe, the same spot where in February 1958 a meeting was held to inaugurate a ‘new male voice choir for Crewe and District’! In attendance were Mayor of Cheshire East, Cllr Lesley Smetham and consort Mr David Smetham, the Mayor of Crewe, Cllr Brian Roberts, the Mayor of Nantwich, Cllr David Marren and consort Mrs Belinda Marren and the Mayor of Sandbach Cllr Richard Hovey. The Choir then entertained their guests to an Evening of Music with songs from the earlier and current repertoires. Denise Leigh (soprano) and Stefan Andrusyschyn (accordion), who have performed with the Choir over many years, added their own delightful and unique blend of vocal and instrumental music. Denise joined the Choir for the final song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, sending a tingle down the spines of the audience.
over the course of my career as a local Government Officer, I’ve been in the Council Chamber, in the Municipal Buildings, many many times but tonight was by far the most enjoyable. The Choir sang a wonderful repertoire that had my leg tapping and I so much had this urge to join in. Denise Leigh has one of the finest voices I’ve ever heard and was very amusing and Stefan certainly showed his ability with the accordion; they were quite a double act. As a Liverpool fan, from boyhood, the final song was irresistible and I knew all of the words, and everyone joined in with that. It was a great atmosphere and I had a very enjoyable evening and I know the other Mayor’s also enjoyed the event. I hope the Choir has another 60 years…
The Mayor of Nantwich, Councillor David Marren
On the 15th October our celebrations came to a conclusion with the choir returning to the Lyceum Theatre for a Gala Concert with special guests Crewe Brass Band, Jane Johnson, Kevin Whitfield, Nadia James and the South Cheshire George Formby Ukulele Society.
Treona is a professional Accompanist, Musical Director and Private Teacher of Piano and Singing as well as a member of staff at the X Academy of Performing Arts School. Treona has worked with a variety of ensembles in both the classical and musical theatre fields. She was the resident accompanist for the Keele Philharmonic Choir from 2006-2010 and the Keele Bach Choir from 2007-2012 and included performances with the Orlando Consort, Manchester Camerata, Northern Chamber Orchestra and the Liverpool Philharmonic . Treona held the position of Assistant Music Director of the Keele Bach Choir between 2009-2012.
Treona has been the accompanist for the Crewe Male Voice Choir and Chetwynd Choral since 2011. Since then, she has worked with a number of international soloists, accompanied musical productions and opera performances as well as performing with Audlem Voices, the Keele Chapel Singers, and the Newcastle Ladies Choir.
Treona regularly performs at the Audlem Music Festival as well as the Stafford Music Festival and works as a Music Director for musical theatre productions across Cheshire. She has worked with AOS, CAMS, MCMTC, with productions receiving recognition for their ensemble and vocal work. Treona has also been a music associate for the ROSS Theatre Summer School based at Lancaster University for the last 4 years.
- January 1958: At a social gathering in Crewe, Cliff Hartley, Harold Speed and the Mayor of Crewe Eric Booth arranged a meeting to gain support to form a male voice choir. The ambition:
To create a male voice choir to perform through the North West region and Nationally and to compete against the best of the English and Welsh amateur male voice choirs.
- February 1958: The Crewe & District Male Voice Choir was formed at a meeting which took place at the Municipal Buildings Crewe. Eric Booth was elected the 1st Chairman.
March 1958: Members were recruited from Crewe and the surrounding areas. Roy Jennings was appointed the 1st Musical Director and rehearsals began in earnest.
- November 1958: The choir gives its 1st official public performance at the Corn Exchange in Crewe.
- 1959: The choir entered the Chester Music Festival and were section winners! They were also broadcast on BBC Radio for the 1st time.
- 1960: As the choir’s reputation grew, Edward Griffiths replaced Roy Jennings as Musical Director. Musical Accompanist Gillian Lomas was also appointed. This new team went on to lead the choir to great success over the next 17 years – until 1977.
- 1961-1965: Winners at the Chester Music Festival (61,62,63 & 65)and of the Alderley Edge Music Festival (62 & 64), 2nd BBC Radio broadcast
- 1965-68: Winners of the Biddulph Music Festival (65, 66 & 67), Wallasey Music Festival (66), Fleetwood Music Festival (66), Morecambe Music Festival (67). The 1st 10 years finished with a joint anniversary concert with the Ludford St Girls School.
Stephen has been involved with music from an early age. His early career included writing a spoof musical and becoming a fringe member of the Footlights Society.
As a teacher, Stephen gave of his time freely to school music activities and to church-based youth groups to encourage and inspire youngers generations to become involved in Music and Drama. In 1978, Stephen moved to Cheshire where his post as Deputy Head Teacher provided more opportunities such as assisting with the school’s Senior Choir, organising the school Jazz Group and arranging a production of “Oh, What a Lovely War”. Stephen also conducted the Holmes Chapel Chorus for twelve years before retiring.
Since retiring, Stephen has been more active than ever on the local music scene with a brief stint as the keyboard player for Wychcraft Big Band before joining the ranks of the Crewe Male Voice Choir.
We are very excited to unveil our new website with lots of pictures and memories and stories from the choir. Keep up to date with our news as well as features of the choir through our blog. A new blog will be posted every couple of weeks. Not enough news for you? Find us on Facebook!