Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

Let the Snowdown Male Voice choir bring you some festive cheer this year

16 December, 2020

Creating some Christmas magic in the middle of a pandemic has been no easy feat, but the Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir has managed it.

Lockdown and Covid restrictions have been difficult for many of the choir’s members who fall within the vulnerable category. The choir wanted to make sure that its members didn’t feel lonely or isolated and worked hard to ensure that everyone could meet up online.

Once everyone had mastered the technology, they attempted to do weekly choir rehearsals via Zoom which proved to be very solitary and impossible to produce good harmony because of choir members’ different internet download speeds.

After some thought, the Choir’s Concert Secretary, Peter Hare, came up with an alternative idea, with the main aim to keep members interested, give them a sense of purpose and belonging and to engage them in a technical challenge in this rapidly changing online world of the internet and social media.

He suggested producing a Virtual Performance recording. The Musical Directors decided that Bill Haley and His Comets song, “Rock Around the Clock” would be ideal to bring local residents some festive fun at Christmas. The planning for the project started in the summer months with every choir member agreeing to produce their own individual voice track against a backing track. They then produced their own individual videos and learnt some valuable technical skills during the process.

This was then submitted to a sound engineer to knit together paid for by a small grant given by Dover District Council. The end result can be viewed on YouTube https://youtu.be/EqyYnJT3u8k

Peter Whibley, Publicity Officer for the Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir, said: “This was the first time in the Choir’s history that we have embarked on such a project, which has brought some good cheer to all in these really challenging times. We hope you enjoy watching the video clip as much as we did making it!”

Cllr Nigel Collor, cabinet member for transport, licensing and community, said: “We are pleased to help the Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir deliver this exciting project.  It’s good to see that the pandemic didn’t stop the stalwarts of Snowdown Male Voice Choir from singing, and that they were also able to acquire new skills so they could share an uplifting video at Christmas.”

 

Notes to editors:

The Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir was formed in 1929 by miners travelling from South Wales to work in the Kent pits.

Each step was produced in the privacy of all participant’s homes, garden or in one case Walmer beach. Social distancing and protection of their vulnerable members was the overriding priority.

Dover District Council gave the choir £212.50 for professional sound engineer fees for the project from the winter round of its Community Grants Scheme.

Contact: Peter Whibley, Publicity Officer, Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir email: peterwhibley@icloud.com