On Friday March 4th 2022, the amazing Kit Hillbillies played at Calstock Arts, at the Old Chapel, Calstock.
A great time was had by all, and a generous collection for the UK Red Cross Ukraine appeal raised £1500.
How to describe the Kit Hillbillies?
Old-timey, good-timey bluegrass! With rousing vocal harmonies that smuggle in occasional quirky local references.
Instrumental tasting notes: Banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar. Irresistibly tappy on the toes, with a crisp percussive finish.
Think Betty Stogs, rather than Harvey’s Bristol Cream!
In their words: “We throw in some original bluesy songs with many a knowing nod to the backwoods and badlands of Devon & Cornwall. These *usually* avoid causing offence (happily people don’t always listen to the words!). We always do some 20thC classics by the likes of Johnny Cash & Steve Earle. And like Hayseed Dixie we throw in songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Clash and even Radiohead – all delivered in good-time string band style. In short, it’s the makings of a rousing, stomping night of tunes.”
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On Saturday 25th April, the Callington Singers will be giving a free concert in Stoke Climsland Church. The concert will incorporate lots of joyful music under the general theme of the coming of summer. The programme will include Vivaldi’s Magnificat, along with some madrigals, the Hallelujah Chorus and an original setting of the Jubilate, composed by our new Musical Director, Andrew Wilson. The Callington Singers has a long tradition of making music freely accessible to the community. It is our policy to strive, wherever possible, to give concerts completely free of charge. This is not always practical, as there are many expenses to cover, such as venue hire, publicity and the fees of hired musicians. The choir rely on a retiring collection after each concert to cover these costs. We are very pleased to be working again with Stoke Climsland Parish Church. The Callington Cluster (incorporating churches in Stoke Climsland, Linkinhorne, Callington and South Hill) have the admirable policy of hiring out these churches free of charge, which makes our job of providing free music very much easier.
The free venue and delightful surroundings are not the only reason we are pleased to be performing in Stoke Climsland church again. We also enjoy performing there as an unofficial honour to an important character from Stoke Climsland’s past, who strived as we do, to provide music in his community and who would be familiar with most of the music we are to perform on this occasion; namely Thomas Calvert, gentleman of Stoke Climsland. The impressive memorial to Thomas Calvert appears prominently in the foyer of Stoke Climsland Church: In Memory of Mr Thomas Calvert Late of this parish who in the year 1746 First introduced into this Church four part Psalmody and with Indefatigable Pains and perseverance not only encouraged but in a great measure supported it with great Reputation upwards of 30 years He Was an Honest Man a Kind Master a Sincere Friend And a good Christian He departed this life at Plymouth on June 3rd 1781 in the 71st year of his Age. Although described as being ‘of the parish of Stoke Climsland’, Thomas Calvert was born in Moor Monkton, just outside of York. He was the firstborn son of Joseph and Elizabeth Calvert (née Hunter) and was baptised on the 18th August 1710. How he came to be a pillar of the Stoke Climsland community is a complete mystery. He married a local girl, but had no children. He was employed as Coroner for Cornwall in 1756 and retired from this post in 1776. He spent his last months living in St. Germans (where he made his will) and he was buried in Stoke Climsland churchyard.
His contribution to village life is undeniable. Mr. Calvert’s promotion of four part psalmody singing reflects the growing popularity, at this period, of incorporating music into church services and we owe him a debt of gratitude for the continuing tradition of choral singing which is enjoyed in this country. The ‘Indefatigable Pains and Perseverance’ which are quoted on Thomas Calvert’s memorial stone are aptly illustrated here in a transcript of an extract from the Vestry minutes of Stoke Climsland. Any modern Musical Director will doubtless recognise the inherent challenges facing him. Vestry Minutes from 28th of November 1773: A Letter was read from Mr Thomas Calvert, setting forth the disappointments he has meet [sic] with in his frequent Attendance on the Singing owing to irregularity & Refractioness of many of the numbers, and Declaring that he wou’d not think of Attending many more unless the whole Body wou’d enter into an Obligation Consisting of Several Conditions which he propos’d for the better keeping up & bringing to perfec[ti]on & carrying on with Psalmody to the promotion of Religion and Harmony [in] the Performers; Observing at the same time however that the Parishioners who were the Singers had been at much trouble in Learning & many of them were put to Inconvenience by their Attendance & moreover that few or none has Books & others in general very bad; Proposing therefore as an Encouragement & Countenance to those who wou’d enter into & sign an Association to continue & practice the singing for three years, that the Parish at Large should contribute something towards purchasing proper Books, & defraying other Expenses, in which He, Mr Calvert wou’d also contribute & Mr & Mrs Call had also promis’d. The Members of the Vestry taking the premises with Consideration & being sensible of Mr Calverts Obliging Attendance & Trouble for many years, in promoting & assisting the singing & in doing many other Beneficial Acts to the Church, Do unanimously Agree, that the sum of Six Guineas out of the Church Rates be allow’d from Xmas 1773 to Xmas 1774 to be paid to Mr Calvert by the Churchwardens & laid out by him as he judges may best promote the good order, regularity & continuation of Psalmody, provided that the singers will all enter into such a Bond as he proposes, this contribution to be for one year only at this expiration of which the Parishioners will Continue or revoke it as they See it has Promoted, or Disappointed the End Propos’d.
We sincerely hope that Thomas Calvert would approve and enjoy this upcoming concert, as we also hope you will. Stoke Climsland church will shortly undergo a major refurbishment of the church roof, which we hope will go forward without a hitch. Come and help us raise the roof before it is repaired by joining us for a splendid evening of music on 25th April at 7pm.
Callington Town Band, in association with Callington Community College and the People of Callington & District, presented AND SOME CAME HOME.
Conceived and written by Shirley Morse and originally staged in 2014, this production has been made possible by a grant from Tesco “Bags of Help” scheme.
The First World War claimed the lives of William John Smith the Town Band’s principal cornet player, who was born and lived at St. Mellion. He joined the 1st Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps and was 19 when killed in action on the Western Front on 14th Sept. 1914, just a few weeks after the war had begun. Also Robert Hicks Pike, born in Callington in 1878, he ran his late father’s drapers shop in Fore St. before he was conscripted during 1916 into 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards. He died in action on 6th July 1917 aged 39. Continue reading →
Esme and Seth Blaze show their support for Callington Town Band’s Community project, ‘And Some Came Home’, when they put their tokens in the Town Band ‘Bags of Help’ slot at Callington Tesco. With just a week or so to go they are hoping that the Town Band, in which both their parents play, will be a worthy winner.
And remember that you can support the project in other ways by coming along to the first Singing Workshop in Callington Town Hall at 10am on July 21st or by volunteering to act. Contact Shirley Morse (01579 360336 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
This is the first event in the re-running of ‘And Some Came Home’, the successful community commemoration of WW1 that was first performed in 2014.
With a cast of local singers, actors and musicians the 2018 performances will take place in the Town Hall on October 26th and 27th with free admission.
If you can’t make it to the first session and would like to take part in any capacity then please contact Shirley Morse now on 01579 350336 or email@example.com