Monty Python fans will instantly recognise the “Always look on the bright side of life” song from the film Life of Brian – and it’s a perfect illustration of how Cumbernauld Male Voice Choir is happy to tackle eclectic material alongside classics.
Over two memorable nights in the New Town Hall the choir performed songs ranging from Highland Cathedral to Panis Angelicus, Edelweiss, the Rhythm of Life and Amazing Grace.
This sort of variety will be no surprise to regular fans of the choir – who will be familiar with the sort of material they handle with apparently consummate ease at the Kildrum church concerts performed in association with local primary children.
It ensures not only that the widest possible audience will enjoy its work but also demonstrates great versatility – and a boundless enthusiasm for embracing music, popular and classical, in its many different forms.
Both nights attracted large audiences , for what amounts to a new chapter in the choir’s history.
The main change from previous years was that the choir now has a new conductor, Max Fane, and also a new accompanist, Esther Knight – both based at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.
Their arrival has marked the development of what amounts to a slightly different style from previous years.
This is particularly illustrated by the fact that both Max and Esther performed as soloists during breaks in the choir’s programme.
Max was featured singing a couple of Italian folk songs, as well as Ave Maria, in his fine teno voice, while Esther showed herself to be an accomplished solo flautist as well as a talented pianist – and these extra features to the programme were both hugely appreciated by the audience.
The town hall concerts are said to mark the completion of a season of hange, with the choir now said to be very optimistic for the future.
There are now around 30 members, and although that is fewer than in recent years (because some have retired) it’s hoped the choir will be able to recruit some new and younger members for the forthcoming season.
It starts in the autumn, and anyone who has an interest in singing should consider getting in touch to find out more.
Bass, baritone and tenor voices will all be welcome, and it’s stressed that previous experience of choral singing isn’t necessary.
The choir practises every week at Cumbernauld Village Hall in the Wynd between autumn and spring, and we’re assured potential new membersw will be made very welcome by what’s described as “this friendly group of male singers”.
Anyone wishing further information should contact the choir’s secretary, Kate Coletta, on 01236 721639.