Singer Joe McElderry delights Hartlepool at anniversary concert
Singing star Joe McElderry delighted spectators at a male voice choir’s diamond jubilee concert.
The 2009 winner of television’s X Factor talent show “had the audience in the palm of his hand” at Hartlepool Male Voice Choir’s 60th birthday performance on Saturday.
Speaking after the show at the Borough Hall, on the Headland, chairman Duncan Graham said: “What a lovely young man and a wonderful performer.
“He had the audience in the palm of his hand and people were saying afterwards it was one of the best shows they have seen from us.”
McElderry, from South Shields, joined an illustrious list of names to appear at the choir’s summer shows, including Russell Watson, Lesley Garrett and Aled Jones.
A near-capacity audience of 750 people were at the 60th anniversary concert.
McElderry himself took to social media to describe the event on Twitter as “a lovely show”.
Choir secretary Mick Waller said: “He was brilliant. We could not get him off the stage and he got the standing ovation he deserved.”
The songs 28-year-old McElderry performed included The Climb – the tune which helped him win X Factor – and Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Among the choir’s 65 members to join him on stage was its oldest singer, Stan Lindrige, 92.
The choir was originally called the Reg Guy Singers after its founding member, before changing its name around 20 years ago.
Asked for the secret of its continued success, Mr Waller said: “It is the enjoyment singing brings and the fact that we are like one big family.
“We make people welcome.”
Such is the choir’s reputation nationwide that it has been asked to perform at a Royal Signals veterans’ concert later this year.
“Its next major performance in Hartlepool is its Christmas concert on Friday, December 13, at the Borough Hall.
New members are always welcome to join its weekly practices at the Corner Flag, next to Hartlepool United Football Club, at 7.30pm on Fridays. Contact Mr Waller on (01429) 423063.