Mansfield Freemason Gary Hallam whom is also a member of Bestwood Male Voice Choir was talking to another choir member Roy Brown about what they could do to help the stricken people of Ukraine,
Such selfless help is a sentiment very dear to Gary's heart as demonstrated by his significant commitment to charitable causes through Freemasonry
Gary Hallam was then instrumental in pushing the idea forwards to his own Choir's committee and before long the idea gained ground as other local Choirs came together to support the idea
On Sunday 1 May six East Midlands Male Voice Choirs made up a massed choir of 135 singers to perform a unique concert at St Paul’s Church, Daybrook in aid of the crisis in Ukraine.
Bestwood MVC were joined by Carlton MVC, Mansfield & District MVC, Radcliffe-on-Trent MVC, Sandiacre MVC and South Notts. Men’s Chorus, together with guest mezzo-soprano soloist Katherine Dryden for this extremely successful event.
However, unfortunately owing to a number of positive covid tests Eastwood Collieries MVC had to sadly withdraw from the event at the eleventh hour.
The concert got off to an emotional start with both the choirs and the audience joining together to sing the Ukrainian National Anthem and closed with our own National Anthem, followed by a blessing from the Revd Jacqueline Bull, Vicar of St Paul’s.
The concert programme included a number of audience participation pieces, including Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, I Vow to Thee My Country, On Danny Boy, Jerusalem, Imagine and How Great Thou Art O Lord My God.
The almost full house audience of around 170 showed their appreciation with extremely enthusiastic applause and donations, with the concert raising over £3,000 towards the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. Many of the audience complimented the professionalism of the choir for coming together as a massed choir at such short notice without prior joint rehearsals.
At the end of the evening Mirek Rus, Musical Director of the organising Bestwood MVC, thanked the other M D’s, soloist, accompanists, audience and in particular the team from St Paul’s Church for their wonderful hospitality and generous provision of interval refreshments.
For those unable to attend the concert, donations can still be made at the Just Giving page https://bit.ly/3Khvg8D
The Nottinghamshire Freemasons Provincial Photographer Paul Hancock supported Gary's efforts and attended the event and provided publicity photographs, and will also be producing a video celebrating the event and its very successful achievement of raising this substantial sum to help the Ukrainian refugees