Welcome to the Teesside Apollo Choir website
Award winning Apollo Choir in 1901
A Little History
In the 1830’s ironstone was discovered in the Cleveland Hills leading to a rapid development of iron making around the town of Middlesbrough, which is situated on the banks of the Tees. As industry and the town expanded, so did the need for workers many them migrating from Wales. Tragically, following an accident at one of the steelworks, one of the Welsh workers was killed. A group of friends then decided to get together to arrange a social event at which they sang and raised money for the deceased’s family. As a consequence of this event they agreed to continue their group singing and hence the birth of The Apollo Male Voice Choir in 1887.
By 1890 the choir was competing and winning regularly at music festivals. In 1892 and 1896 membership had increased and because of its large number of Welsh singers
It was invited to take part in the Welsh National Eisteddfod. Many successful years ensued but after the second World there was a slow decline in the choir’s fortunes. Since 1955, however, when the late Gwyn Morris took up the baton the choir went from strength to strength having success in both National and International competitions and performing in many countries around the world.
Touring has always played a big part in the choir’s busy schedule with visits to all parts of the world. Countries visited included Holland (twice), Norway, Germany (four tours), Switzerland, France (twice), Ireland, Poland (twice), Czech Republic, USA, Yugoslavia and Jersey.
Probably the most prestigious tour, however was in 1986 when the choir had the honour of representing Great Britain at Expo ’86 in Vancouver, Canada.
The choir have appeared many times at Llangollen International Eisteddfod and at The Male Voice Choir championships in Huddersfield. They were winners of the Golden Rose Bowl at Blackpool and award winning performances at both Cork and Nis (Yugoslavia) International Music Festivals.It was the only British choir invited to the Warsaw Choral Festival and other successful appearances at British Choral Festivals included Harrogate, Perth and Edinburgh.
What about the future.
Since the passing of maestro Gwyn Morris we have experienced five Musical Directors and are now under the direction of the sixth, John Dixon. John started his tenure with us in September 2015, immediately taking us through two booked concerts, then conducting our Annual Concerts in November before finishing the year with us in a carol concert which was broadcast for BBC Tees. Since that fierce introduction John has taken us through some busy times and is still with us, hopefully for the foreseeable future. Our accompanist Jenny Hesford has also been with us for three years and as with John she seems to be happily settled. Letus hope the partnership continues.
We are also now established in St. Barnabas Church for our regular rehearsals which take place every Monday evening at 7.30pm. and although our membership is not what it was ten years we still have some forty singers at rehearsals and concerts. We would welcome anyone who likes to sing to come and join us at our rehearsals. There are no formal auditions, but if you like singing just come along, enjoy the camaraderie and we will find where your voice fits in the choir.
We continue to perform several concerts each year and for 2018 you can check our concert engagements on this web-site. We are continuing with our policy of not asking for an initial fee for concerts but would appreciate discussing a donation which would help us cover our own costs incurred in producing the concert. We have used this system for years now and it seems to suit all parties involved.