Hexham Male Voice Choir
- Thu, 08 SeptHexham
About Hexham Male Voice Choir
Who Are We?
The Choir was formed in May 1948 with the ethos to foster and encourage male voice singing. Seventy years later that core mission has not changed and we actively encourage men of all ages from all walks of life to come and sing with us.
The organisation is non-profit making and exists with the aid of members subscriptions and voluntary donations. We support a wide range of charitable causes throughout the North East, and are happy to help organisations to put on fund-raising concerts (we normally ask for a small fee to help choir funding).
New members are always welcome. Why not join us and discover the enjoyment of singing within our friendly group. We rehearse every Thursday night throughout the year (with the month of August off) from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. at West End Methodist Chapel, Shaftoe Leazes , Hexham, NE46 3DF
Stuart Stokell - Musical Director
Stuart first became involved with us in 2018, and made his performance debut with us at our 70th Anniversary concert in The Abbey. He took the role as one of our two accompanists and assistant musical director to Jim Laidlow. Despite our best efforts, Stuart’s still here!
Despite his apparent youth, Stuart’s musical career is long and goes back to him starting to learn piano at 6 through to playing church organ professionally from the age of 17.
For a couple of years, as a teenager, Stuart was the accompanist for the Male Voice Choir in his hometown of Hartlepool before he moved across to Cumbria. Stuart was lucky enough to have been surrounded by good musicians who were also friends and he considers himself forever grateful to his great pal and singing teacher, Atti Bianco for sharing his knowledge willingly. His generosity stood Stuart in great stead as singing became part of his career when he became a university lecturer in singing after completing his own degree in 2004.
In 2005, Stuart founded, and became Musical Director for Brampton and District Choir which is a community, four part choir. Stuart still holds that position and along with that, he’s also accompanist for the Ovingham and District Choir so he’s no stranger to driving along the A69 on a regular basis.
His performance commitments take him across the North of England and parts of South West Scotland. Stuart’s CV includes many solo organ and piano recitals, concerts as a singer as well as a stand-up comedian too – and he’s been known to direct and musically direct shows and even has written a panto or two.
Stuart carries out a lot of work as an organist in supporting worship despite not having faith himself. He plays all over North Cumbria for weddings and funerals in churches as well as the crematorium in Carlisle. Also, a major part of Stuart’s work is as a secular funeral celebrant; a job he loves.
In recent years, Stuart has worked hard to gain several diplomas including Licentiates from the Victoria College of Music and Trinity College London. He also holds Associate Diplomas from the London College of Music and Royal School of Music as well as holding fellowships with the Society of Crematorium Organists, Guild of Musicians and Singers and the Royal Society of the Arts. At the moment, he is also studying for further Diplomas from the Associated Board.
Stuart was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours List in 2021 for his work in the community of Brampton, Cumbria.
Stuart took over the baton after Jim Laidlow, our previous conductor of 11 years, retired at the end of 2021. Stuart has an infectious and inimitable enthusiasm about music and is always keen to encourage anyone, irrespective of ability or experience, to enjoy making music. He’s fully aware that lots of people may not have sung since their own school days and wants our members to feel that they really can sing loudly and proudly - and if they’re wrong, he’ll put them right!
Stuart and our accompanist Clair work together well and the sessions are always guaranteed to be entertaining, educational and enjoyable. They’re both keen that we increase our numbers, widen our repertoire and, most importantly, have a fun time while doing it.
Join the Choir
New Members Welcome
It’s true – joining a choir is good for the soul. Hexham Male Voice Choir is always on the lookout for new members of any ability; to bring their unique sound and fresh energies to the choir. If you would like to have a try, we’d love to hear from you.
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