This is a Tale of Two Choirs.
The Vauxhall Male Voice Choir and the Luton Male Voice Choir are both Luton-based and have successfully operated in the same locale over many years.
They are now proud to announce they have amalgamated into a single entity – the Vauxhall Luton Male Voice Choir.
The formal date of the merger was 15 June 2022.
The photo shows the choristers on this historic evening as they met for the inaugural weekly practice session of the new choir.
Both choirs have a significant presence in the music scene of Luton and surrounding area.
Hundreds of concerts have been given by both over the years, many of which have been for charitable causes.
Between them, thousands of pounds have been raised for a variety of charity groups, both national and local.
What brought about the idea of amalgamation?
Firstly – CHORISTERS: As the choirs emerged from the two years plus of Covid restrictions, both found themselves well down on chorister numbers.
The reduction in size was not uniform across sections resulting in imbalance in the choir choral presentation.
Some songs, previously favourites of the choirs, did not sound as good and, sometimes, could not be offered at all.
Search for new members proved fairly fruitless – the few available singers were being shared with the many other types of choir.
Secondly – COST: Reductions in membership numbers, and hence subscriptions, cause significant monetary problems to the running of a choir.
Couple this with difficulties in re-starting the previous level of concert bookings after the long-enforced break have led both choirs to dwindling ready funds.
An ideal solution has been found by merging both choirs.
And the new choir has been enthusiasically supported.
There was no room for the suggestion of ‘us and them’ in the new choir.
It is all the ‘new us’ resulting in a forty-strong contented body of men fulfilled in singing together.
Those various and peculiar traditions that build up and make a choir over the years are there to be shared with your new comrades and the best retained for posterity.
The choir is currently preparing for its first concert at Limbury Baptist Church on 23 July.
2023 is particularly significant as the year represents the eightieth anniversary of the Vauxhall choir and the thirtieth anniversary of the Luton choir.
We all agree this must be a year in which to hold a celebration of these notable occasions of our respective choirs’ achievements.
An exciting problem to solve - planning has now started!
Finally, anyone reading this article that may have an interest in joining a male voice choir would be made most welcome.
Practice sessions are 7.30pm – 9.30pm each Wednesday evening at High Town Methodist Church, 49, High Town Road,, Luton LU2 0BW.
Just turn up or ring John Petrie on 01582 762830.