Saddleworth Male Voice Choir honours long serving members

By Laura Day

SADDLEWORTH Male Voice Choir sang the praises of four members as it presented them with special awards.

Uppermill Conservative Club hosted the presentation to honour John Lapworth, Stuart Iles, John Redfearn and Choir President Malcolm Hill.

(Back L-R) Malcolm Hill (President), Dorian Kelly (MD), John Watts (Chairman); (Front L-R) Stuart Iles (50 yrs), John Redfearn (60 yrs), John Lapworth (40 yrs)

John Lapworth, who sings with the bass section, was honoured for his 40 years of service.

Walter Brisk, former Musical Director of the choir, invited John to join in 1979 and since then he has sung at countless events in the UK.

John was lucky enough to also travel with the choir to overseas concerts and festivals in countries including Germany, Holland, Italy and Slovenia.

There was also recognition for Stuart, who joined the first tenor section 50 years ago in 1969.

Since then, he has held several posts on the committee including; Choir Secretary, Membership Secretary and currently Choir Librarian, which has been his role since 2002.

Stuart Iles was made an Honorary Life Member of the SMVC in 2013 and has also sung with the Colne Valley Male Voice Choir for the past 33 years.

Another Honorary Life Member John Redfearn was next to be honoured for his 60 years of membership with the choir.

The choir holds many family memories for John as his father was a founding member and his father-in-law was founding musical director.

John reminisced: “I recall one particular performance of Messiah conducted by my father-in-law, when I, my father, brother, wife, her mother, uncle and cousin all took part in the chorus!”

The evening of awards concluded with a presentation to Malcolm Hill, who has completed 35 years as the Choir President.

Since being appointed in 1984, Malcolm and his wife Margaret have worked tirelessly, especially facilitating storage and transport of the tiered staging to and from Uppermill Civic Hall.

(Back L to R) John Redfearn (60 yrs), Malcolm Hill (President), Dorian Kelly (MD), John Watts (Chairman); (Front L-R) Stuart Iles (50 yrs), Brends Iles, Dilys Redfearn, Margaret Hill, John Lapworth (40 yrs)

• Saddleworth Male Voice Choir is holding an Open Rehearsal on Wednesday, September 11.

The rehearsal will be held from 7.30pm at The Old School, on the corner of Lee Street and Station Road, Uppermill.

It is open to men of all ages and singing abilities and you don’t need to be able to read music. Come along for an inspiring and fulfilling evening of singing. You are guaranteed a warm welcome.

To find out more about the choir go online: or contact Choir Chairman John Watts on 0161 620 3577.

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