Welcome to the Teesside Apollo Choir website

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Award winning Apollo Choir in 1901

A Little History

The Past

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.

Festivals

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.

At the end of 2018 our Musical Director John Dixon decided to leave the choir.There were a number of reasons for his decision but primarily because he was having some health problems. We wish to thank John for his time with us, he was well liked by all choir members and for sure the choir improved during his tenure. Since his departure, however, we have persuaded David Beall to take the baton on a provisional basis. David is presently the resident conductor with the local Gilbert and Sullivan Society.During his first few weeks with us we have all been impressed at his management of the choir and hopefully he will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.               

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 2019 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.