Hotter than July!

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Jul 102017

The Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir finished on a high on 30th June with fantastic Concert at the Cave – the Cueva de las Calevares just down the valley at Benidoleig. The 200 tickets were sold out 3 weeks before the night and we could have run a second concert! We thrilled the audience with a varied programme in a very special location with great acoustics and are already planning to repeat the concert next year.

At the beginning of July, a project I had been working on or some time with another Orba resident, Bob James, finally came to fruition with the launch of a very local radio station called Valley FM, broadcasting 24 hours a day. Using my experience with HRB, I have created a series of different 1-hour programmes that fill 14 hours a week. Initially the station only broadcast online but we now have one transmitter working on 94.5FM and are waiting for a second on the other side of the valley. Our aim is to broadcast to the expat population in a very limited area within the Orba valley and so the choice of music is aimed at an older population, comprising ’60s and 70’s music, specialist music like country and smooth jazz and a special Tales of the Costa Blanca – an hour of short stories written by a friend of mine who lives in a nearby village. You can find full details of the station, our programme schedule and even listen online here

More choir concerts

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Jun 072017

After the successful 10th Anniversary Concert for the Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir, things went from strength to strength for the choir, with a near capacity audience of 500 at the prestigious Auditori Teulada for the concert hosted by CBMVC with the 80-strong Pontarddulais Choir. Although the local boys were terrified after listening to their award-winning guests during the first half, they rose to the challenge and performed so well that they received a great reception from the audience, many of whom felt they were better and seemed to enjoy their different style more than the Welsh choir. The finale of 3 songs sung by the 2 choirs together – 120 male voices on stage at the same time – was very moving, especially when they sang the Welsh national anthem and a number of red dragon flags were unfurled in the auditorium! You can view a video of the CBMVC set here.

No sooner had the accolades stopped rolling in and the press coverage died down than the choir appeared at an international choir festival in Albir, near Benidorm. They were one of 4 choirs singing on the night and after listening in awe to a 62-stong Norwegian choir, the local boys rose once again to the challenge and were complimented by members of the other choirsand their MDs on the fact that we sang entirely without music, the only choir on the evening to do so.  At the 10th Anniversary dinner for choir members and their wives at the Restaurante Cumbre, overlooking the sea, Vernon was surprised to be awarded the honour of being selected choir Member of the Year for the contribution he has made this year to the publicity and marketing role and stepping in at the last minute as Vice President.


 The final concert of the season is an entirely new departure for the choir and will take place at the Cueva de las Calalveras (the Cave of Skulls) in Benidoleig. At the time of writing, with 3 weeks still to go, all seats have been sold!

Choir and radio activities

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May 012017

After returning from our wonderful Mekong Adventure, life on the sunny Costa Blanca quickly returned to normal and Vernon’s involvement with the Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir moved up a notch when he became Publicity Officer and very soon afterwards Vice President as well!

This is a particularly busy year for the choir which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and also playing host to a visit by the prestigious Pontarddulais Male Choir on May 6. Consequently, Vernon has been busy preparing press releases, designing posters and programmes for concerts. The 10th Anniversary Concert was played in front of a packed audience in the beautiful Benitachell church (photo left) and bookings are going well for the big concert with the Welsh choir in the 600-seat Auditori Teulada on May 6. You can watch videos of the 10th Anniversary Concert on the choir’s Facebook page.

Vernon is also involved with the imminent launch of a new local radio station called Valley FM and will be presenting programmes 14 hours per week. Fortunately, these programmes will all be pre-recorded and so won’t interfere with our gardening, walks in the mountains and many other activities we are enjoying in our retirement!