The Phoenix Male Voice Choir was established in Norwich in February 2010, so will celebrate its 10th year of song in 2019 and its 10th Birthday Year in 2020. When the Norfolk Millennium Male Voice Choir disbanded in 2009, several of its past members decided to continue singing together in a new all-male group, so they took it upon themselves to set up a new choir!
Our founding Musical Director, Sarah Grimes (Sheldrake), was recruited, and the search for members, and for venues where the choir might rehearse, began. After an initial meeting, the rehearsal base (the Methodist Church in Mile Cross, north of Norwich City Centre) and the name of the choir (... the Phoenix which rose from the ashes of the previous choir ...) were decided upon, a Committee was elected and rehearsals began in earnest.
Since its Inaugural Concert in July 2010, the Phoenix Male Voice Choir has gone from strength to strength with a hard-working Musical Team and Committee, and the enthusiasm of its chorister Membership.
In its first year, the Choir gave two packed house performances and received fantastic comments and feedback from the audience on both occasions. In 2011, the choir doubled its number of performances, and has produced regular Spring, Summer and Christmas Concert events in the years since then. It has also been pleased to share the concert stage with guest talented local musical groups and ensembles and, in turn, to accept invitations from festival groups and churches to perform its songs.
In 2012, we were pleased to accept an invitation from rising soprano Rebecca Newman to guest with her in Norwich during her 2012 RNLI 'Coast to Coast' UK Tour. Rebecca is now better known as 'The People's Soprano', supporting Russell Watson on his 2015 UK Tour, among other eye-catching engagements. We were also equally delighted to appear during a return visit by Rebecca in February 2016 at the prestigious Norwich Assembly House on her mini-tour 'Romantica - the Love Songs', where the Choir, as her special guests, joined in the mood with five love songs of its own.
During the last eight years, whilst Sarah has remained firmly at our musical helm with unwaivering approval, we wished a fond farewell as accompanist to the extraordinary Neil Ricketts in 2013 as he took up a new musical role, we warmly welcomed (and just as fondly later bade farewell to) Simon Ireson as he brought his cheerful personality and considerable musical talents to continue our success (but are delighted that Simon is still able to support us behind - and on occasions in front of - the scenes!), and we now just as warmly welcome Jason Lambert to our midst as accompanist. If his exceptional debut piano solo at our Christmas Concert 2016 is anything to go by, our audiences are in for many future musical treats! With the obvious dedication of our talented Musical Team and the enthusiasm of its male Choristers, Norwich's Phoenix Male Voice Choir continues building on its experiences and delivering a varied repertoire of male voice song in its concert appearances.
In a more relaxed moment (well, for those not on the Team, anyway!!!), our Quiz Team "Yes, Sarah!" challenged the Eggheads and proudly gave an excellent account of themselves! A highlight of Spring 2017 was being able to host a joint concert with the well-established Radcliffe-on-Trent Male Voice Choir on their tour to Norwich and we look forward to the chance to link up with them again in the future.
The Phoenix Male Voice Choir is excited by its 9th singing year in 2018, as it embarks on a programme of at least 3 of its own concert productions in Summer and Christmas, all preceded by sharing the stage with the New Sheringham Singers in March 2018 and with plans for taking part in a joint singing venture in April 2018 at an iconic Norwich venue progressing well. More details soon!!! We look forward to seeing you and singing for you during the year!