Civic reception for choir singers

Pictured during the reception at the Civic Centre are (left to right) Duncan Graham, Mary Watling, Coun Sheila Griffin, Julia Waller, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, Mick Waller, Sue Stead and John Rutherford

Pictured during the reception at the Civic Centre are (left to right) Duncan Graham, Mary Watling, Coun Sheila Griffin, Julia Waller, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, Mick Waller, Sue Stead and John Rutherford

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CHOIR singers who performed at one of the country’s most prestigious venues were congratulated at a civic reception.

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council, invited members of Hartlepool Male Voice Choir and Hartlepool Ladies Voice Choir, to the Civic Centre this week following both choirs starring at London’s Royal Albert Hall last year.

Both choirs joined almost 2,000 voices on stage at the famous venue in the capital at the Festival of Brass and Voices concert, helping to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

Coun Akers-Belcher wanted to say a big well done to both of the choirs for helping to put the town on the map, so invited all of the members to the civic centre where he spoke to them individually and gave them a guided tour.

Duncan Graham, chairman of Hartlepool Male Voice Choir, thanked the Hartlepool Borough Council chair and said all of the choir members thoroughly enjoyed the reception.

He said: “It was a special occasion, it was high profile and Coun Akers-Belcher spoke very positively about both choirs and what we are doing for the town.

“It was a really relaxed atmosphere and I think the best thing about it was the fact it was completely non-political, it was just about Coun Akers-Belcher wanting to congratulate us for what we have done.

“Everyone really enjoyed themselves and Coun Akers-Belcher was fantastic, he made the effort to go round the tables and speak to us all.”

As well as thanking Coun Akers-Belcher, Duncan also praised David Gibson, the musical director for both choirs.

He said: “David deserves so much credit.

“He has been running the Male Voice Choir for more than 30 years and he took over the Ladies Choir a few years ago and they have gone from strength to strength.”

The choirs are now preparing to help support Coun Akers-Belcher’s charities at an event at the Borough Hall, on the Headland, on April 20.