Joe McElderry Hartlepool concert tickets on sale as choir celebrates diamond anniversary

Hartlepool Male Voice Choir
Hartlepool Male Voice Choir

Hartlepool Male Voice Choir will celebrate six decades of entertaining the town and beyond this year.

This year marks the diamond anniversary of the men’s choir which started after a professional musician overheard a group of rugby players singing.

Joe McElderry.

Joe McElderry.

To mark the occasion, the choir will stage another of their popular celebrity concerts featuring special guest Joe McElderry of X Factor fame.

Tickets for the concert at the Borough Hall on Saturday, June 15, are now on general sale.

Duncan Graham, chairman of Hartlepool Male Voice Choir, said: “The anniversary why we are having another celebrity concert.

“We started having them in 2009 when we were 50 with Aled Jones.

“People enjoyed it and in between then and now we have had seven celebrity concerts.

“We have sold over 350 tickets through choir members before they went on general release so there is going to be a good audience regardless.

“We are hoping between now and June we will sell out.”

The choir started in 1959 after town violinist Reg Guy, who was also musical director of West Hartlepool Operatic and Dramatic Society, overheard a bunch of Hartlepool Old Boys rugby players having a sing-song after a match

He challenged Ralph Kidson, one of the group, to ‘fetch me 16 lads and I’ll teach you how to sing properly as a choir’.

Ralph turned up with 26 names and asked when they could start.

The choir was previously called The Hartlepool Old Boys Glee Club and The Reg Guy Singers until 1998.

Today the choir’s membership stands at a healthy 60-plus singers.

Their musical director David Gibson has been part of the choir for 43 years and Duncan said he is the glue that holds them together.

Previous celebrity concerts have welcomed Russell Watson and Lesley Garrett to Hartlepool.

Joe, from South Shields, won The X Factor in 2009 and also TV singing competition Pop Star to Opera Star.

“He is one of the most admired young singers in the country,” added Duncan.

Tickets for the concert are £25 are available from Hartlepool Tourist Information Centre at Hartlepool Art Gallery, Church Square, or by calling (01429) 869706.