Saturday 29th April, 11am
Taunton Deane Male Voice Choir was formed in 1946, when it was known as the Wessex Male Singers. Since then, the choir has grown in numbers to around 70 choristers who sustain a busy schedule of quality performances, showcasing a large and varied repertoire.
Based in the county town of Somerset, they usually perform about 10 concerts each year in many beautiful locations around the area. The choir is a keen supporter of local charitable organisations, and every year they stage a concert in support of the charities chosen by the choir’s patron, the Mayor of Taunton Deane. Taunton is the home of the Royal Marines 40 Commando, and recently the choir sang there in aid of the Go Commando charity. And in 2017, they sang in the major Four Choirs Charity Concert staged in the majestic Wells Cathedral.
The men also enjoy performing further afield. They continue to participate in London’s Royal Albert Hall in the annual Festival of Brass and Voices, as well as the bi-annual Cornwall International Male Choral Festival. To celebrate their 70th anniversary, the choir travelled to Taunton’s twin town of Lisieux in France to sing in the magnificent Cathedral Saint Pierre de Lisieux. And in May 2019, they sang at the famous Menin Gate in Ypres, also performing at venues in Rotterdam and Delft.
Jeff Garland (Chairman)
A farmer in the parish of Orchard Portman until his recent retirement, Jeff has contributed his bass voice to the choir for 18 years. Under his genial chairmanship, the choir has weathered the storms of Covid, and is regaining strength and greater numbers.
Nick Thomas (Musical Director)
Nick is a talented and experienced musician, playing accordion and flute in a folk band and running a music teaching business along with his wife Elaine. He has performed with Orchestra West and worked as Head of Music at Kingsmead School. Previously serving as Musical Director of the West Somerset Singers and at St Georges Church, Taunton, he has also directed many stage musicals and performed with a large number of local operatic societies.
Mike Wager (Accompanist)
Mike was a music scholar in Bristol, studying both piano and organ. During a career as a teacher of foreign languages, he worked in various independent schools, where his keyboard and vocal skills were often in demand. Now retired, he keeps his fingers busy as one of the lead musicians at Taunton Baptist Church, and as accompanist for two local choirs.