A Short History of the Frampton Cotterell Male Voice Choir
Had there been no strike at the Coalpit Heath Colliery in 1921, it is debatable whether this Choir would ever have existed.
In April 1921 some of the striking miners asked Mark Duffield to form a Male Voice Choir so that they could sing to raise money for their out of work colleagues. This choir rapidly grew in numbers and sang a major Concert on 21st December 1921 with 70 voices taking part. However, the Conductor of this choir died in 1923 and with no leader, the choir members dispersed. In 1925 a small group of men from the previous choir found another Conductor, Charles Smith, who was to remain in office for the next 50 years. The newly formed choir of about 40 members was called The Frampton Cotterell Male Voice Choir.
In the 1990s the membership fell to around 20 and the choir was in danger of having to close. It is now back to around 40 strong. It is true that the majority of the choir are retired men but it is attracting a growing number of younger men.
Charles Smith was followed by Brian Asprey who after 22 years as Conductor moved to Cornwall. He was succeeded by Ruth Hunt, as our Musical Director, with Mary Darby, our Accompanist. When Ruth retired after 14 years, Tim Warren was appointed as our Musical Director, with Mary Darby continuing as our Accompanist.
We give around 15 concerts each year at various venues, including Churches, Senior Citizen Clubs, Nursing and Care Homes and other Organisations, mainly within the South Gloucestershire area.
Our year culminates in April with an Annual Concert at Zion United Church, Frampton Cotterell to a packed audience.
The profits of the Annual Concert have for many years been totally dedicated to Cancer Research UK.
2015 was a special year - Our 90th Annual Concert was in the newly refurbished Zion United Church on Saturday, 25 April.
The Choir is proud of its heritage and the members are determined to ensure that the choir reaches its Centenary in 2025.