66th Festival of Male Voice Praise.
This year’s Festival marks our third year at St Michael’s Centre, having left the Colston Hall due not only to rising costs but also because of the uncertainty of its availability because of a planned refurbishment programme.
We have been made to feel most welcome at St Michael’s and we now plan to hold our annual Festival there as long as they will have us. During the past year a balcony has now been installed increasing the capacity to approximately 450. Once again, we have been able to keep our admission charge down at a level of £10 for all seats which are unreserved. There is an area set aside for those of our patrons who require the use of wheelchairs.
Please see our festivals page on this site for full details of our Festival.
OUR SPECIAL GUESTS:
We are grateful to Paul for accepting our invitation at short notice to be our guest speaker and chairman. Paul comes to us from Maesteg in South Wales and is well known not only to the choir and churches in the Swansea Area, but also to many churches around the Bristol Area and beyond. Married to Alison he was a school teacher but entered full-time ministry in 1981. He works particularly in South Wales, but also travels widely for ministry and has had extensive work with young people, camps, schools and children’s clubs. He also has been involved in radio work, Bible teaching and writing. He has been to many countries overseas for ministry.
We welcome Stephanie back for her second visit especially as she made such an impact with us last year along with her three delightful daughters Josie, Olivia and Molly who also enraptured us with their singing.
Stephanie trained at Birmingham Conservatoire for six years gaining a Bachelor of Music degree, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Music (Dist.) and a Master’s degree in Music (Dist.). Whilst at “the Conservatoire” Stephanie won numerous singing prizes and scholarships and represented the UK when she was invited to sing as a guest soloist with the European Youth Orchestra in Norway.
Having previously taught music and singing at Stafford Grammar and Stafford Prep schools and having performed as a Classical Singer Stephanie is now an Assistant Musical Director for Music and Creative Arts for the Salvation Army. She still has plenty of opportunities to perform, but also finds herself choreographing dances and writing scripts that can be used across the country to encourage Christian Creative Arts within the community.
Her three daughters are obviously following in Stephanie’s footsteps as they all enjoy singing and performing and are excited to be with us again. Josie, the eldest at 13, reached the final of Staffordshire younger singer of the year in June and has also gained her Grade 8 since their last visit to us. No doubt her sisters won’t be too far behind!
The constituent choirs of the Bristol & West of England Festivals of Male Voice Praise, namely the Bridgwater Gospel Singers, the Bristol Evangel Male Voice Choir and the Cheltenham & District Male Voice Praise are joined by visiting choirmen from other FMVP areas including Swansea, Exeter, Torquay, Saltash, Poole, St Ives, Purley and other locations from the Greater London Area. We are expecting a small contingent from the Chesterfield Christian Men’s Choir to be with us this evening for their first visit. We welcome these men and very much appreciate the support they are giving us. All choirmen travel considerable distances at their own expense to other Festivals like this around the country throughout the year.