The International Touch

"Sweet are the pleasures that to verse belong, And doubly sweet a brotherhood in song"

Originally a small Northamptonshire village, the presence of ironstone led to the development of one of the UK’s largest steel producing centres. The “works” meant jobs, and people came to Corby from all parts of the British Isles and Europe. Although most of the Steel Works was dismantled some years ago, many of those who came to Corby to work have stayed.

The Choir has provided men who love to sing with an opportunity for fellowship, and our membership is drawn from Corby and the surrounding areas. The words of John Keats, written above, are most apt. Against the trends, numbers are increasing and have doubled in the last two years.

There is a fair distribution of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh members, all proud of their different ethnicity, especially when we sing songs from their homelands. We are also very pleased to have a member from the USA.

Last year the Choir started to take stock of its repertoire. Many brilliant new numbers have been added, which in addition to English songs, include pieces sung in, French, German, Italian, Latin, Maori, Welsh and Zulu.

Corby’s German Twin Town is Velbert, in the Ruhr Valley. Over the years, there have been concerts and exchanges with the Deutsche Eiche Chor and the Chorgemeinscahft Deilbachtal, from Velbert. The Choir toured Germany in 2000 and sang with the VEW Chor in their Millennium Concert in Dortmund. On that tour the Choir also gave a concert in the Bad Sassendorf spa.

The Choir sang again in Velbert, in October 2004 and in Andrésy, near Paris, in April 2005. In October 2006, in the Royal Albert Hall in London, we joined choirs from England, Scotland, Wales, Canada and Australia in the Festival of Male Choirs, organised by the London Welsh Male Voice Choir.

In October 2007, the Chorgemeinscahft Deilbachtal choir from Velbert brought with them to Corby a double quartet called "Ars Cantica" who performed both with the Chorgemeinscahft Deilbachtal and on their own and the concert finished with all three choirs on stage - a great evening.

Between the 10th and 14th of September 2009, the Choir visited Velbert in Germany . On the outward journey, the Choir had the privilege of singing at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres and also at the German cemetery at Langemark, the following morning. On Saturday the 12th the Choir joined with another German choir for a celebratory concert for the 125th anniversary of Chorgemeinschaft Deilbachtal. On Sunday the 13th, the Choir took part with 10 other choirs to continue the anniversary celebrations. In all, it was a fantastic trip.

In September 2011, the Choir welcomed Chorgemeinschaft Deilbachtal back to Corby together with a smaller German choir called Total Vocal.

Between the 12th and 16th of September 2013, the choir again visited Velbert in Germany. As in 2009, the choir was privileged to sing at the Last Post Ceremony in Ypres and at the German WW1 cemetery at Langemark. The choir also sang and laid a spray of poppies at a memorial to a Welsh wartime poet who was killed at a crossroads in the village of Langemark. All 3 were very moving occasions. The choir visited Wuppertal and took a ride on the hanging monorail train - a moving experience of a different type, as the carriages swing out as the train goes round the curves above the streets and the river! There were two public concerts on the Sunday at which the choir's performances were well appreciated by the congregation at the first and by the audience at the second.