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Review of choir visit to Wrexham May 2017 by chairman Trevor Forsthye

The choir and friends recently returned from its trip to Wrexham. The visit combined both singiing and recreational activities. The weather in the main was generally kind to us and the accommodation in the Ramada Plaza Hotel was excellent where the hospitality extended by members of staff was memorable.

On Saturday morning we went out to explore the town of Llangollen, a town internationally renowned for its support of music festivals. Some of us explored the town while others went to visit Plas Newydd House Museum & Gardens. It was fascinating to watch our coach driver Darren so skilfully navigate his way through the very narrow and busy streets.

In the evening the choir was the guest of the Rhos Male Choir in Rhosllanerchrugog. Formed in 1891 this successful choir was, and not for the first time the 2015 winner of the male choral section at the International Music Eisteddfod in Llangollen. Following a successful joint concert in Bethel Chapel in Ponciau both choirs and their friends enjoyed hospitality and fellowship in the local social club.

On Sunday we explored the historic town of Chester. We all had a chance to wander around this ancient city and in the afternoon we gave a recital in the parish church of St John the Baptist adjacent to the ancient Roman amphitheatre.

That evening we held a "Goodbye/Hello" party for our musical director Paul where presentations were made to him included a custom-made lobster pot. There are reports that this has been seen taking pride of place on a patio somewhere in Donaghadee. Various members entertained us demonstrating the breadth of talent amongst members with performances by young and old. We were also joined by members of the Rhos Choir who also showed off their musical talents.

The choir party returned safely home with many members commenting it was one of the best trips in recent times. Congratulations to Dick for organising it and to our Ulsterbus driver Darren for getting safely there and back.

Immediately on return from Wrexham the choir AGM was convened. At the beginning of proceeding two cheques for £630 each were presented to Allyson McClean representing Prostate Cancer Uk and to Janie Wallace representing Pretty'n Pink charities. The total amount was raised by choir members who made voluntary contributions at each and every Wednesday choir practice.

Some important changes were made in the composition of the choir committee. Trevor Forsthye remains as chairman with Neil Paget as vice chairman, Dick Grey retired after 10 excellent years as secretary with Hubert Greer elected in his place. Recently joined new members Gerry McCarry and Paul Mallon join Leslie Simms on committee.

Now is the time for any churches, or other organisations, considering future events in 2017/2018 and who may wish to engage the choir, to get in touch via the website with the secretary Hubert Greer or telephone 02893323696.



That will certainly be the case for the Ballyclare Male Choir. They will spend their winter evenings enjoying the health benefits of choral music.

Each Wednesday evening almost 50 men will indulge in deep breathing exercises and enjoy mental stimulation for a couple of hours. They call it singing and find the fun incredibly enjoyable and rewarding

They also offer the opportunity for some more men to trial the experience on any Wednesday evening at 7.30pm in Ballyclare High School.

In February 2018 the next two choir engagements are a 150th Anniversary Recital in Kilbride Parish Church at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7th February followed nine days later by a church fund raising concert in Whitehead Presbyterian Church at 7.00pm on Friday 16th February.

The choirs 84th Annual Concert will be held in the Theatre at the Mill Mossley Newtownabbey on Friday 27th April at 7.45pm. Special guest is Father Eugene O'Hagan, of The Priests fame. Father O’Hagan is a Vice President of the choir and is now Vicar General of The Diocese of Down and Connor and who was previously the local priest for Ballyclare and Ballygowan.

Tickets are on sale only at the theatre and can be purchased on line at or from the box office telephone 02890340202.

Call the choir secretary Hubert Greer on 028 9332 3696 to find out more but do yourself a favour and give it a go.