Don’t stand so close to me!

Haydock Male Voice Choir
Haydock Male Voice Choir

MIFFED choristers had to pull out of a council award bash - because there wasn’t enough room on stage for their 50-strong members!

The internationally-renowned Haydock Male Voice Choir was booked 12 months in advance to perform at the St Helens Cultural awards show.

But just five days before the event organisers realised a stage they’d specially constructed for the ceremony could only accommodate 10 people.

Council staff were keen for the performance to go ahead with a reduced line-up; a suggestion which was immediately declined by the choir.

As one of St Helens’ most renowned and recognisable cultural treasures, Haydock Male Voice was among the first names booked for the cultural awards, which took place at St Helens town hall on February 26.

The last-minute realisation that organisers could not accommodate their star guests was described as a ‘one of these things’ and a ‘technical hitch’ by choir secretary Alan Gaskell.

“We always perform or record as a full choir so it was out of the question for just some of us to go to the show,” he said.

“Just having that amount of voice would be a pale shadow of what we do and that doesn’t do the awards or us any favours.”

Formed in 1923, the choir is one of the oldest in the North West. They perform around 20 concerts a year and have made several recordings and television appearances.

Mr Gaskell added: “We were asked to sing about 12 months ago but only got the call on the Tuesday before we were due to perform.

“It’s just one of the those things. Apparently the stage itself looked very nice but obviously whoever designed doesn’t know a great deal about choirs.

“The different singers come together to make the sound. Ten people is nowhere enough to make the right sound.”

Deputy council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “Due to the nature of the event the stage was set out to cater for the various presentations and live performances.

“We look forward to working with them again.”