In 1906 Tom Beveridge formed a quartet, which met at a house in Wellington St., Gorton. By the following year the quartet had grown into the Gorton Male Voice Choir and a room at the Co-operative Hall on Wellington St., was hired for rehearsals. Apart from a short period during the Second World War, the Co-operative Hall continued as the Choir's headquarters for more than fifty years. After leaving the Hall, it moved to the Labour Club in Cross Lane. Since 1970 the school room of Brookfield Church has been used.
In the early years there was a frequent change of conductor. Between the two wars the Choir found two outstanding conductors in Tom Corlett and William Mitchell, under whose guidance they became one of the leading male voice choirs in the country. They competed regularly at the Buxton Festival, where, in 1936, they were awarded the highest number of points. The adjudicators said that the Gorton Male Voice Choir's interpretation of Elgar's Reveille was the best that they had ever heard. Their performance moved Sir Granville Bantock, the composer, to make an offer to the conductor, William Mitchell, that he would set to music any poem by Robert Browning and dedicate it to the Choir. Mr. Mitchell chose A Grammarian's Funeral.
In an article in the Ashton Reporter (27.1.1956), the writer described the Gorton Male Voice Choir as essentially a festival choir and recorded that on eleven occasions they had won the Burbage Shield, awarded at the Buxton Festival. But, he added, the number of members now only forty. "Youngsters do not seem to have the same calling for choral work as their forefathers:"
On July 12th, 1964, at the King's hall, Belle Vue, the Choir performed in concert with the C.W.S. Male Voice Choir, Ryecroft Vocal Society, the Stalybridge Ladies Choir and the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1967 the Choir achieved a remarkable success at the Bromborough Festival of Music. After winning the competition for the 3rd successive year, they sang in the Bebington Corporation Trophy, winning with 99 points out of a possible 100. Their test piece was "I am a Roamer" by Mendelssohn. The adjudicator, who had done the arrangement, was particularly impressed by their interpretation.
There has been a long association with Brookfield Church. Besides rehearsing in the schoolroom since 1970, for a number of years the Gorton Male Voice Choir held a Spring concert there. In addition they have provided choral items for a special service in the Church.
The Choir have always given freely of their services for charity. For example in 1912 they joined with the Senior Gorton Brotherhood Orchestra to raise £30 to help the Summer Camp For Poor City Boys. They have sung at Broughton House, Salford, a home for severely wounded veterans of the Second World War, and also in the geriatric department of Withington Hospital.
In recent years recruitment to the Choir has fallen off, and today, with a membership of about twenty five, their efforts are devoted to charity and church concerts and participation in mass male voice choirs.
In the post-war period two conductors have had a long and distinguished association with the Corton Male Voice Choir: Joseph Dunn and Donald Weston. Mr. Weston died in April, 1986. (Both now deceased)
Todays officers are: William J.Hanson, chairman and treasurer (25 years service)
Derek Edwards, conductor (30 years service)
Mrs. Dorothy Fisher, pianist (30 years service)
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