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BBC-Programme (c1952)

Programme for FRIDAY NIGHT IS MUSIC NIGHT (c. 1952)

A Brief History.

In 2015 the BMVC celebrates its 89th Anniversary.
It was formed during the years following the depression of 1926. The members then were mainly recruited from the Welsh mining community who came to Brighton to work on the new Sea Defences between Black Rock and Rottingdean.
Records are few but it would appear that the choir reformed after the war in 1947, with weekly rehearsals held at Rosslyns Store, in London Rd. Brighton (An old established Drapers now long gone and the present site of what used to be Woolworth's). One of the original members who joined the choir at this time, Bill Verrier, is still singing with us.
The choir was conducted at this time by Mr Bartlett and during this period he led the BMVC when they appeared live at "The Dome" on the BBC radio programme "Friday Night is Music Night" also around this date they took part successfully in many of the musical competitions.
When Mr Bartlett retired, his place as musical director was taken by Mr Henry Garrett and rehearsals moved to Elm Grove Primary School. He was followed by Brian Wiggins.
In the Seventies Mr Roger Martin took over and was succeeded in the 1990's, initially by Dick Payne in 1991, and then by Mrs Maggie Lee.
Maggie introduced a little more modern music and some of the more traditional and classical male voice repertoire but, having successfully led the choir for a considerable period, she retired from the role and moved to France in 2007. She was succeeded by retired Police Officer, Deryck Hanchett, who had held a similar position with the Brighton Welsh Male Voice Choir for a number of years. Deryck remained with the BMVC until moving away from Brighton in 2013. By this time Maggie Lee had fortunately returned to UK and, once again, took charge as Musical Director until sadly having to resign in the new year of 2015 for family reasons.
The role of Musical Director has currently been filled by Andrew Beaizley, our accompanist, with choir member Paul Shelley assisting on keyboard.
For several years a small number of BMVC members, under the leadership of Mike Arthurs, have operated a very successful 'Mini Choir' running a separate programme of concerts at local Rest Homes.
Brighton Male Voice Choir, together with the considerable efforts of the 'Mini Choir' continues to raise funds for a whole list of local charities.