Born with a passion for music, our Assistant Director and Pianist, Jack, has been a natural musician since he was in primary school. Starting the piano at that age of 7, he picked up the flute 3 years later, nurturing his talent in various school orchestras and music groups, before studying A-Level music at Aldridge School, focusing on his instrument performance and theory knowledge.
Soon after starting university, Jack came on to our choir radar, impressing us with his keyboard skills, and vocals and in October 2012, he joined Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir as Assistant Pianist, becoming Assistant Conductor in 2014/5. He has since become a regular face at our Tuesday rehearsals, and concerts where he not only expertly conducts, but also shows off his singing prowess with solos too. His repertoire has included leading roles in everything from popular songs like Billy Joel's ‘Longest Time’ and ‘Let There be Peace on Earth’, to older pieces such as Gerald Finzi’s arrangement of ‘Who is Sylvia’ with words by William Shakespeare.
Jack is currently going into his final year at the prestigious Birmingham Conservatoire studying the harpsichord, and is a member of not only BIMVC, but also of St Chad’s Cathedral Choir with whom he has travelled internationally - to Rome to perform in the Pantheon, and to the Vatican City to sing mass in St Peter’s Basilica.
As well as being interested in choral tradition, Jack has also been a member of the West Midlands Barbershop Harmony Chorus , as well as The Top Theatre Company where he was Musical Director for their 2012 pantomime; Treasure Island.
Jack is an extremely valued member of our choir and, along with Musical Director, Steve Roche, works hard to get us polished and up to speed, ready for our concerts which take place regularly throughout the year – thanks Jack!
Steve Roche has lived and worked in Birmingham all his life. Finance executive by day, but music enthusiast at all other times!
We’re proud to have had him as part of Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir for 24 years now – with much of this time spent conducting our choir and taking it from strength to strength!
So a bit about Steve:
Starting the piano at seven years old, Steve quickly showed an aptitude for the instrument, and by 17 he was a bit of a pro, and was teaching it to others. He’s been leading people to enjoy music ever since.
His musical career of pianist, organist, arranger and conductor – particularly of male voice choirs spans some 37 years. All of this besides working a busy job sorting out the finances for the Archdiocese from offices behind St Chad’s cathedral in Birmingham.
Steve first joined Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir in 1979 as a chorister, swiftly becoming assistant conductor and pianist. With a short three year hiatus to be Musical Director of the Dunlop Operatic Society, he returned to BIMVC as the fully fledged conductor in 1992.
With an interest in music spanning the whole spectrum of styles and periods, Steve is especially keen to encourage young people to get stuck into music. These ideals are often reflected in his choice of programme items and the guest artists he invites to perform at our concerts.
It’s not only our choir that Steve has extensive experience keeping in line! He’s been called on to conduct numerous massed choirs and ensembles. The biggest of these was when he lead 80,000 people marching to Cannon Hill Park in support of the Rover workers in a chorus of You Will Never Walk Alone in 2000.
That year was also our centenary celebration held at Symphony Hall where Steve conducted a 350 choir, and with a reputation for producing great choral concerts, he was also called on to share the conducting for a 300 strong English Association of Male Voice Choir (EAMVC) concerts in 2007 and 2008 and will share the conducting again next month in Worcester Cathedral.
2010 saw Steve lead a 300 plus choir to celebrate the Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir’s 110th anniversary concert in Symphony Hall.
Having multiple strings to his bow, Steve has also been music director for a number of The Birmingham St George’s Day Association concerts - the most recent in 2012.
Not only on the stage, Steve has appeared on television and radio, with interviews recently for not only local broadcast channel, Big Centre TV, but also BBC WM – where he managed to get reporter Daz Hales to sing with the choir!
We sing a whole range of songs, so if you’re thinking of coming along to our choir rehearsals, here’s the kind of music you can expect in our repertoire (plus lots more of course!)
All the videos were recorded at our concert in April 2016 at The Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham.
With a Voice of Singing (by Martin Shaw)
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Eric Idle arr Mac Huff)
Captain's Song (Gilbert & Sullivan. Soloist Steve O'Malley)
The Rose (Amanda McBroom arr.Alwyn Hughes)
We celebrated another year of great singing at our annual dinner, held at the Edgbaston Golf Club on Saturday 30th April.
Sixty people came to enjoy a lovely meal, and family and friends were treated to a performance of songs from our repertoire including, a Beatles Medley, ‘The Hippopotamus Song’ and ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. There were even some impromptu solos!
A great night was had by all.