March 24th, 2015 by Julie Hollings


Our Musical Director is Paul Rhodes
Paul Rhodes, Musical Director
Our Assistant Musical Director: Stuart Whitwell
The Choir is pleased to welcome a new assistant musical director, Mr Stuart Whitwell. Stuart comes with a wealth of experience in music, light opera and male voice choirs. He began in the 1960’s, working with his church choir, at Ropewalk, Knottingley and until recently was musical director for the Castleford Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Stuart plays the piano and brings a keen musical appreciation and insight to our work, as well as singing in the first tenor section of the choir. Stuart is in his early seventies and is a retired Headteacher. He lives in Ferrybridge and his other interests are gardening and, of course, his family.
Accompanist: Elaine Oakley
Elaine is the choir accompanist and has played for us for eight years. She is an accomplished musician, playing both the piano and viola and works as a peripatetic pianist in schools. Elaine lives in Horbury and loves baking, driving, walking and anything to do with music.
Her favourite song to play is ‘Going Home’ but when listening to the choir, enjoys the Russian Hymn, ‘Tibyeh Pieom’. As a dedicated musician Elaine plays for a small group of singers, a panto society, and an operatic/musical theatre group. As she says, she just loves music.
An important part of Elaine’s life is her family. She has two grown up sons, one grandson and one granddaughter, and loves to spend time with them whenever possible.
Assistant Accompanist Mandy Jones joined us recently from Micklefield Choir. Mandy is playing piano for the choir on Wednesdays.
W.A. Shearings Featherstone Male Voice Choir is very lucky to be served by some excellent musicians. Many of our members play a musical instrument, even if only for their own pleasure. Although most of our members could not read music before they joined the choir, they support each other with new songs and soon become proficient – although modesty forbids them to say so!
David S.
My favourite concerts from 2014 were in St Edwards Church, Ypres, and Leeds Town Hall with the Russian Army Band. The highlight of the tear was touring around Lille on a coach, guided by  pizza delivery man on a moped!
Alan G.
At the end of my first year with FMVC I love everything that the choir stands for: concerts, music and charity work. I hope to be a member for a long time.
David B.
Second tenor
FMVC member for 40+ years
Hobbies: playing guitar, singing in a 60s band and painting in watercolour
I enjoy most of the songs we sing
Career: delivery driver and television extra
John B. B.
Second tenor
Joined FMVC in 2015 after more than 50 years with other male voice choirs
Favourite FMVC song so far : “Love, could I only tell thee”
Retired office clerk for an architectural ironmonger
2015 appearance at Royal Albert Hall will be fourth time with 3 different choirs.
Len B.
Local man with a long musical history including Featherstone Muiscal and Dramatic Society, Castleford Male Voice Choir, a local hand bell ringers and Kippax Amateur Operatic Society.
First tenor and soloist
FMVC member since 2007
Retired insurance broker
Hobbies include gardening and watching Fev Rovers rugby league. Member of Pontefract Probus Club.
Favourite choir song: I Dreamed a Dream or Take Me Home
Mervyn B.
Joined the choir in 2012
Favourite choir song – ‘Bring Him Home’
Hobbies: fishing, wine and beer brewing and acts as a national judge on the quality of home brewing
Retired civil servant in the Job Centre
Frank C.
Member since 1996
I live in Brotherton and work as an electrician
Favourite choir song: ‘Ti-Byem Pieom’ and I’m pleased that my family always enjoy the concerts we give.
Hobbies include crown green bowls and pigeon keeping and racing.
Les C.
First Tenori
Member since 1974
Favourite choir song: Speed Your Journey
I don’t read music but am trying to learn the guitar
Hobbies: quizzes, snooker, dominoes
Retired bus conductor/driver.
Gary D.
Baritone – frequent soloist at concerts
Retired professional singer and actor, and for many years worked in theatres, hotels and cruise ships.
Dick D.
Second tenor
Retired Principal of an Arts and Community College
In addition to singing, my hobbies include writing books and short stories, golf and swimming.
My wife and I are ‘tea shop’ addicts.
Favourite choir song: ‘Speed Your Journey’.
Paul F.
Second Bass
FMVC member since 2009
No favourite FMVC song – likes them all
Hobbies: metal detecting, fishing and rugby league
Formerly a turbine blader and a site cabin equipment controller
Stephen F.
Second Tenor
Joined the choir in spring 2015
Favourite choir song so far: “Bring him home.”
Hobbies: volunteer at Nostell Priory, travelling and gardening
Alan G.
Second tenor
Member since 2013
Favourite FMVC song – The Rose, and many others
Hobbies: caravanning, fishing and gardening
Retired club steward
Brian G.
Member since 2012 but have sung in male voice choirs for over forty years.
First tenor and soloist.
Favourite FMVC song: ‘American Trilogy’.
Works manager for an electroplating company
Hobbies include, cooking, making wine and reading.
Bernard H.
FMVC member since 2011
Favourite FMVC song: ‘With Cat Like Tread’
Hobbies: swimming, golf, water colour painting, keeping Koi Carp
Retired Human Resources Manager
Richard H.
First tenor
FMVC Treasurer
Favourite choir song – ‘Fly me to the Moon’.
Hobbies: sport – motor cycling, cycling and rugby league. Also I play piano
Career: engineer for Npower
Stan H.
Second tenor
FMVC member since 2011 – plays guitar, piano and ukulele for pleasure rather than performance
Favourite choir song – Take Me Home
Hobbies: long distance walking, gardening, Featherstone Rovers fan
Retired NHS driver
Dave J.
First tenor
Choir member since 2012
“I don’t have a favourite choir song since I enjoy all that we sing”
Hobbies: photography, walking and watching Featherstone Rovers
Retired glass production M/C operator
Peter J.
First tenor
FMVC member since 2008 – sang with other local choirs since 1963
Favourite choir song – American Trilogy
Hobbies: golf and gardening
Retired colliery fitter
Cecil L.
FMVC member since
Second tenor
Favourite songs: ‘Take me Home’, ‘She’ and ‘Somewhere’
Retired miner and training officer.
Main interests: TV, gardening and a little walking. At one time my only passion was tug-of-war and I travelled the country judging competitions.
Brian M.
I am am looking forward the concert at Wakefield Cathedral with Grimethorpe Brass Band and the Royal Albert Hall concert in November.
Peter M.
Second Tenor and a founding member of FMVC
Retired NHS administrator.
My main hobby these days is organising group holidays but music has always been a large part of my life.  I love Choral singing and music in general.
FMVC Secretary for over thirty-five years
Jack N.
First tenor and regular solost
Retired mechanical engineer
Joined FMVC in 2009, and couldn’t read music before I joined.
I have no favourite song from our repertoire.
I enjoy gardening and walking
David O.
Retired from LinPac Plastics
Music has been an important part of my life including playing the cornet in the Salvation Army Band, being a member of gospel and amateur dramatics groups.
Hobbies: I enjoy listening to choirs, brass bands and going to the theatre
Favourite choir song: ‘Morte Christe’
Barry O.
Baritone section
New FMVC member since 2013
Favourite FMVC song: ‘American Trilogy’
Hobbies include painting water colours, gardening and running  around after my granddaughter
Retired firefighter
Garnett O.
Joined FMVC from Castleford Choir and has enjoyed the concerts at Royal Albert Hall and in Ypres in particular.
Favourite song from the repertoire is The Lost Chord.
Garnett also sings with the Selebian Singers.
Jeffrey P.
Second Bass
FMVC member since 2013 – also plays piano and guitar
Favourite choir song – Morte Christe
Hobbies: indoor bowls, watching cricket, rugby league and football
Retired NCB blacksmith
“Being in the choir has made life more interesting for me and for my family”
John P.
Second tenor
FMVC member sing 2003
I enjoy singing and could read music before I joined the choir, although I don’t play a musical instrument.
Favourite FMVC songs: ‘Bring him Home’ and ‘What would I do without my Music’.
Hobbies include caravanning, golf, fishing and walking.
Served in the REME for twelve years, then the T/A. Retired maintenance technician at LIN-PAC Plastics
Martin P-W.
Member of FMVC since 2013 – also lapsed piano player
Retired aeronautical engineer. Methodist local preacher
Favourite song – Nessun Dorma
Hobbies: bell collecting and landscape painting
Brian R.
Second tenor
Member since 1995.
Retired professional civil servant.
Hobbies: gardening, DIY, watching sport on TV, dog walking and puzzles (crosswords & sudoku), reading non-fiction involving current affairs, politics and history
James R.
First tenor
Joined the choir in 2001
My favourite choir song is ‘Bring him home’
I worked in heavy engineering and now enjoy reading, gardening and sightseeing.
Derek S.
New member in 2014
Second Tenor
Favourite FMVC song: ‘The Rose’
Hobbies: swimming
Retired Prison Officer
David S.
Second tenor
Member since 1992
Retired school teacher
Hobbies: volunteer driver for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and also sing in a mixed choir in Thorpe Hesley
My favourite FMVC song: ‘The Lost Chord’.
Other interests: walking and reading. For thirty-eight years I owned a caravan.
Terry S.
Second tenor
Favourite FMVC song: ‘An American Trilogy’.
Self-employed HGV instructor.
Hobbies: background artist in television programmes such as Emmerdale and flying (I have a private pilot’s license.)
Jack S.
Second tenor and soloist
One of my favourite FMVC songs is ‘Take Me Home’
Hobbies: DIY and cooking.
Retired Heavy Goods Vehicle driver for M&S.
Harry T.
Joined the choir in early 2015
Favourite song so far: “Gonna Rise up Singing”
Retired accountant who likes golf, cooking and holidays.
Derek W.
Favourite song is the Russian hymn – ‘Ti-Byem Pieom.’
Hobbies: walking, camping, ornithology, making bird tables and boxes, and singing in my church choir.
Retired quarry manager
James W.
FMVC member since 2010.
Hobbies include gardening, reading and writing
Favourite FMVC song: ‘Calon Lan’
Retired mining electrician
Robert W.
Joined FMVC in summer 2015
Enjoys gardening, walking, church, and supporting people with mental health issues to find happiness in their life.
Gwahoddiad is Robert’s favourite song from the current repertoire.
“Music and singing are the world’s greatest gifts.”
Stuart W.
First Tenor
FMVC member since 2012
Favourite FMVC sing: ‘Morte Criste’
Hobbies: Walking, producing pantomimes, family.
Retired headteacher
Derek W.
FMVC member since 1998
Favourite FMVC song: ‘Deux Salutis’
Hobbies: listening to radio, attempting crosswords, singing in church choir.
Scott W.
Joined the choir after hearing them sing at a Christmas Concert with pupils from his daughter’s school. Hadn’t sung since his school days at Helford High in Cheshire, when he was a boy soprano – now he’s a bass!
Favourite choir song is ‘Roman War Song.’

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