Male voice choir’s new headquarters

Old grammar school is the headquarters of Tideswell Male Voice Choir.
Old grammar school is the headquarters of Tideswell Male Voice Choir.

The 60-strong Tideswell Male Voice Choir has enjoyed UK and international success in choral festivals and continues to go from strength to strength.

Its aspiration to acquire a long term “home” with rehearsal space, music library and wardrobe/equipment storage facilities has been realised by the Tideswell Male Voice Choir through the benevolence and generosity of its main sponsor M. Markovvitz Ltd.

M.Markovitz Ltd stepped in to renovate a 16th century school building in Tideswell which was on the point of being sold by the local church. The company directors committed themselves to returning the old school back into viable use. They agreed to oversee the renovation project and to provide financial support associated with the ensuing work.

Other sources of funding for the project include Tideswell Parochial Church Council, Tideswell Parish Council, Peak District National Park, Debyshire Dales District Council and Veneziana Fund. 

David Hopkins, managing director of M. Markovitz Ltd, commented “On behalf of our family and everyone at Markovitz we are delighted to have been proactive in the restoration of this beautiful building to its former glory whilst also ensuring that it remains within the ownership of the church to be enjoyed by future generations.

“In addition, we are thrilled to have been able to find a new home for our friends at Tideswell Male Voice Choir. We are most grateful to the choir members for their concerted efforts in the restoration and are very proud of our association with them as main sponsors.”

Choir members embraced the opportunity to develop an ideal “home” for the choir by using their technical and manual skills to complement the specialised tradesmen involved in the project. Members set about the task by gutting both floors of the building to allow key work to get underway. Ensuring a secure roof was an essential part of the project followed by rewiring, re-plumbing, new flooring, refurbishing toilet facilities, fitting a new kitchen and building storage facilities. To complete the renovation, work on internal and external painting, cleaning and polishing has been undertaken by choir members. The project has taken six months to complete.

By way of securing the longer term future of its new “home”, the choir has been given a ten-year lease on the building with the option to renew for a further ten years. Under the management of Tideswell Male Voice Choir, this wonderful facility will be sublet to other organisations and clubs for the wider benefit of the local community.

Dennis Kay, principal conductor and director of music of the male voice choir, said “I am delighted we have moved into our new headquarters, a beautiful building with so much history, it is fantastic, and I hope it will be home to the choir for many years to come.

 My greatest pleasure since taking over as musical director of the choir is looking at what we have achieved to date and this latest venture fills me with pride, excitement, and a knowledge that the future of the choir is safe.

My focus for the future is set on training this choir to be one of the best in the country. Having recently welcomed over twenty-five new men, (seven under the age of eighteen), I believe that we are building a legacy which one day we will all be able to look back on with pride.”

The refurbished Old Grammar School building, situated to the rear of St John’s Parish Church in Tideswell, will be officially opened on Sunday, September 4, with a special event from 1pm till 6pm. This will give everyone a fun afternoon out with access to the refurbished premises, a variety of stalls and an hour’s concert in St John’s Church featuring the choir and Guys “n” Dolls, a group of talented local youngsters. Refreshments will be available throughout.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Tideswell Medical Foundation.