The Luton Male Voice Choir was formed in 1993 by a small group of enthusiasts led by Musical Director Mr Ken Hone with the objective of promoting male voice singing for personal and public pleasure and benefit. Since that time thanks to the dedication of our members and Ken, it has gone from strength to strength, having grown into an entertaining and an accomplished choir. Throughout the years the choir has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities and promoted the good name of Luton throughout the country by supporting charitable events as far afield as Norfolk, Yorkshire and Eastbourne.
Musical Director (1993 - 2013)
Ken founded the Luton Male Voice Choir in 1993 with a small group of enthusiasts with the objective of promoting male voice singing for personal and public pleasure and benefit.
He was not only the Musical Director but also a dedicated organiser of almost everything that concerned the choir. With the aid of various committee members over the years Ken influenced everything from choosing appropriate music to organising choir uniforms and establishing connections with other choirs and choral institutions across the country. Through Ken’s influence the choir sang to multinational audiences at prestigious venues in London, including Hampton Court Palace, Grosvenor House, the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall.
His wife Maureen was an equally dedicated member of the ’Friends of LMVC’ committee which raised money through events such as quiz nights, canal trips and raffles which helped the Choir to pay for things such as coach hire to venues where they perform and so reducing the financial burden on individual members.
Through Ken the choir went from strength to strength and grew into the entertaining and accomplished choir that it is today. Over the years the choir has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities and promoted the good name of Luton throughout the country by supporting charitable events as far afield as Norfolk, Yorkshire, London and Eastbourne.
Musical directing and choir organisation aside Ken also had the remarkable ability of being genuinely concerned and interested in every choir member as an individual and would contact or visit them when any were ill or had other burdens that concerned them. Ken’s legacy to the choir is twofold:
We wish Ken all the very best in his retirement, his invaluable contribution to Luton MVC will always be remembered and honoured.
Deputy Musical Director and Accompanist (2004 - 2014)
Stuart was a valuable asset to Luton MVC for many years both as a Deputy MD and an accompanist. Stuart will be greatly missed by all members as he always combined constructive conducting with much unique humour even when explaining the more technical musical notations in a way all could easily understand. Concert audiences will miss his story telling in-between musical items as he somehow always managed to make them laugh – almost as good as a stand-up comic!
Stuart’s leaving was a consequence of him moving to Ireland to take up an exciting new job. Chairman Ieuan Bowen refused to say goodbye, preferring to say Au Revoir when he presented him with a gift from the choir and an Honorary Life Membership Certificate during a tribute evening in February 2014.
In addition to the Luton MVC Stuart has been accompanist for several Salvation Army Choruses and many vocal and instrumental soloists. As well as playing piano/keyboard he also plays the Eb Bass (Tuba) in a brass band and assists with local school orchestras and ensembles in the Hemel Hempstead area. We are sure they will miss his presence as much as we will.
Deputy Musical Director (2013 - 2014)
Deputy Musical Director, Ann-Marie Chessman grew up in Stevenage and was a regular performer in the town's bands and choirs before attending university in London where she gained a BA (Hons) in Music and a PGCE in Music teaching. She has previously studied conducting with Peter Stark, David Cole, Peter Broadbent and has worked with Gareth Malone. Ann-Marie has just finished studying for a Masters in Music Business alongside working as a Music teacher in Letchworth, playing clarinet and saxophone nationally and conducting local choral ensembles.
Ann-Marie can be contacted via her website: www.achessman.com
Musical Director (2014 - 2017)
Stuart grew up in the North East of England attending the Salvation Army from an early age. He played the cornet in youth brass bands and also sang in youth choirs. Stuart gained Grade 8 passes with the Royal College of Music examination board in both music theory and performance (Cornet 1).
Stuart learned the art of conducting bands and choirs under some of the best Salvation Army conductors. He has conducted several brass bands and choirs and played the Cornet and Flugel Horn in Salvation Army concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Stuart lead rehearsals in such a way as to get the very best out of everyone, both individually and collectively and really brought us forward. We wish Stuart all the very best and thank him for everything he has done for us.
The choir is regularly requested to perform for multinational audiences at prestigious venues in London, including Hampton Court Palace, Grosvenor House and the Natural History Museum.
Singing at The Hilton Hotel (above), Park Lane, London with the Band of the Grenadier Guards and the Scottish Pipe Band. We gave three performances to enthusiastic American visitors of more than 700 a time.
The Choir at Elstow Abbey (above) A wonderful, historical place to sing with a fantastic atmosphere.
Pleasure and enjoyment are the key words for the choir, this being enhanced by its regular participation and support of the National Association of Choirs (NAC). It leads to invitations to participate in others concerts also; for example in October 2003 we sang as guests at the 'Hundreds in Harmony' Concert at Birmingham's new Symphony Hall, and in 2007 as guests at a massed concert in Southend to raise money for the RNLI and Air Ambulance service.
100 Years of the Roman Catholic Church in Luton (above)
To celebrate 100 years of the Roman Catholic Church in Luton, the Choir was joined by guests Wolverhampton Orpheus Male Voice Choir.
It is through these activities that many friends have been made throughout the country, providing mutual support and enjoyment. Through this relationship we have many associate members from other choirs who join us regularly at our major concerts.