May 28, 2022

Cayman Male Voice Choir celebrates 40 years

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IMG_1892Last Sunday (6) the Cayman Islands Male Voice Choir celebrated 40 years with a concert aptly titled “Down Memory Lane”.

It was a magnificent concert and a tribute to all the many persons who have sung with the choir over the past 40 years.

Elmslie United Memorial Church was packed for the event and they were not disappointed. The concert opened with the singing of the Cayman National Song “Beloved Isle Cayman”.  Many people have sung it and my personal favourite was when International Soprano Lisa Carlise performed it three years ago at The Wharf. It was until last Sunday. The full majesty and power of the men’s voices in harmony with one another gave me goosebumps.A choir of amateurs can outperform a professional internationally renowned soprano. Radio Cayman was taking the concert live and I hope they recorded it.

And the whole evening of singing continued in the same vein.Many times the audience rose to clap and murmur their appreciation to tboth the soft and the more rousing numbers.

The biggest applause of the evening was reserved for 99 year-old Wellesly Howell who was still able to have plenty of puff left in his body to play his saxophone on a solo.

Other memorable performances were from McDorn Frederick on his harmonica, Rudy Myles, who also acted as Master of Ceremonies, singing “The Lord is my Light”, Colson Daniels with “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”, Wardley Connolly with “Hallelujah Square” and the hymn “Only Remembered sung by four of the founding members, Louis Ebanks, Neils Godfrey, Ransford Terry and McDorn Frederick.

My personal favourite from the whole choir was “The Meeting in the Air” that had the appreciative audience swinging and almost rocking.

And ….Kenneth Melville and his saw!

One must not forget the man who started it all, the late Ferdinand Seymour, who in 1974, did the rounds of all of Cayman’s churches, to find men interested in singing God’s praises in an all male choir. He did and the first performance boasted 21 singers and three more joined before the year was out.

His surviving wife, Emily, was presented with a bouquet of flowers and she also gave a fitting speech about Ferdinand’s dedication and love of the choir.

Long may the choir go on to sing their hearts out with at least another 60 years to make the giant 100.

Alas, I won’t be around to hear them.

IMAGES: Colin Wilson

See below the attached list of all the choir members past and present. Note: one name is missing, Please add Bryan Wilson to the list. He is Colin Wilson’s son and he sang with the choir for 5 years and at that time was their youngest member. Ferdinand Seymour would personally pick him up in his car and take him to the rehearsals and safely bring him home. That was Ferdinand’s dedication.

CMVC

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