Haydock Male Voice Choir is one of the oldest choirs in North West England having been formed in 1923 in the former coal mining village of Haydock, known locally as “Yickerland”. This extended village is located roughly equidistant between St Helens, Wigan and Warrington. The choir now draws its membership from a wide area, with many members making a round trip of 50 miles to attend rehearsals and concerts.
We have recorded 10 albums since 1974. In the early days, the choir travelled “en
masse” to a recording studio to make vinyl LP records and audio cassettes. Although
these are now completely sold out, we have converted some of the recordings into
CDs to meet ongoing demand.
Since 2001, the recording studios have come to us in the form of computers, sophisticated
and expensive microphones together with skilled technicians. We normally record in
two sessions - Friday evening and most of Saturday by which time we and, especially
our Conductor, are quite tired! So much of the time is spent waiting for quality
checks and re-recording tracks or particular phrases. A few days later, our Conductor
is sent “proof” copies of the CD. He then spends a lot of time listening to each
track, before advising the studio of amendment before production. Several weeks later,
the pristine new stock of CDs is delivered, ready to be sold at concerts and over
Competitions and Festivals
Although choral competitions are very stressful and the results somewhat unpredictable,
they are useful in allowing us to compare our standards with other choirs. We have
over the years enjoyed a tremendous run of success in competitions taking first place
several times in both the Northern and later, the National Male Voice championships.
Since 2000, we have competed in the famous Elgar Festival held at Worcester Cathedral,
winning the Male Voice section; the Llangollen International Eisteddfod on two occasions,
achieving a creditable fourth place and twice at the International Male Voice Competition
in Cornwall - again gaining 4th place! We did however gain first place at the Isle
of Man Festival in 2007. the award. The following year we gained (yet another) 4th
place in the Golden Nightingale Competition, Bournemouth.
We perform up to two concerts a month in venues ranging from Churches to Concert
Halls to marquees. Our concert programmes normally consist of 17-18 pieces by the
choir, interspersed with solo spots provided by our own soloists, including our pianists
and our own barbershop quartet. The choir members sing from memory. Have a look at
our Repertoire page to get an idea of the sort of songs we sing. Also have a look
at our pages to see & hear us.