About us

The Backworth Male Voice Choir was founded in 1951 by miners of the Backworth Colliery. Our first Musical Director was Joe King, the Colliery Manager, and although the Colliery is long since closed, there is still a close association and affection for our heritage.

The Choir performs extensively throughout the region and beyond, supporting charity initiatives as well as performing alongside some of the region's finest instrumental/choral ensembles and soloists.

The Choir have toured Europe on a number of occasions having visited Germany, France and Belgium as well as playing host to a number of European choirs on UK tours. In June the Choir travelled to Germany to meet up with old friends from the Bergischer Mannerchor, Solingen and to take part in a series of special concerts. Both choirs were asked to sing at the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Finkenweder Choir, Hamburg.

The Choir have been fortunate to have had a number of well established and distinguished conductors who have all brought their own unique styles and ideas. Today the choir are under the leadership of Andrew Clarence.

Today’s Choir is a seventy strong community choir, attracting members from all walks of life. We are proud to support the work of many regionally charities and organisations through our performances.

The North Shields Fishermen's Heritage Project

North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project (NSFHP) was launched in July 2016 with a plan to raise £75,000 for a memorial to fishermen lost at sea from North Shields.  When completed the installation will feature a two and a quarter times life size sculpture of “Fiddler’s Green” by Ray Lonsdale. It is hoped this will be installed during early autumn 2017.

Backworth Male Voice Choir recently held a fund raising concert for NSFHP. They were joined by members of Ratcliffe Ladies choir, who travelled from Nottingham to support the event. The wide ranging programme featured traditional English and Scottish folk songs, songs from the shows as well as classic male voice choir songs.

Keith Spedding NSFHP fundraiser said “We are now close to raising our target of £75000 for the memorial and this fundraising has taken us another step nearer. We are delighted that so many people from the local community turned out to support a wonderful evening”.

The top photograph shows the Chairman of Backworth MVC Joe Hewison and Committee members Brian Kerr and John Swinburne together with a cheque for £1127 which was presented to Keith and Alison Spedding of NSFHP.                                                                                                      In the bottom photograph Keith Spedding is seen with Brian Kerr.

Sixty Fifth Anniversary

2016 was the sixty fifth anniversary of the founding of the choir. As part of the celebrations the choir were invited to perform at Beamish Open Air Museum in the Masonic Hall, which is located in the village. The morning and afternoon performances included traditional songs such as “Bobby Shafto”, a selection of hymns and songs from the musicals. Peter Webb tried to appease those from both north and south of the Tyne by giving stirring renditions of the “Blaydon Races” and then the “Lambton Worm”. Also the musical director Andrew Mair performed a number of piano pieces.

Overall we had a fantastic day; the weather was kind, the audiences appreciative and the food from the café excellent. We would like to thank the management of Beamish for inviting us and also Dale Gravill for recording our performance. 

To listen to Backworth Male Voice Choir singing at Beamish please use on the following link.