Solent MVC: Charles McAndrew, RIP

Solent Male Voice Choir is mourning the man who became its heartbeat after joining as a teenager more than 50 years ago.

When his wife Maureen died in September last year, Charles “Mac” McAndrew, chairman of the choir, decided he needed time to mourn the woman who had been by his side for 56 years and the choir needed a leader who could concentrate on the job. Until then, as chairman, when speeches had to be made, he made them and his voice was so good he often took solo spots, too. Baritone David McVittie took over as chairman and Mac was able to give full attention to his singing.

Now though, life was quieter, as he enjoyed a new freedom… just singing, with the tenors. And missing Maureen, whom he met in the Sixties when both sang with the Drayton Choral Society. Over the years his daytime career had been hectic, running a successful joinery company called Solutions in Wood, based at Farlington. They’d enjoyed contracts all over the country, in Westminster and with local builders.

His daughter Kate reckons he was a country boy at heart – “He grew up in Denmead like a real farmer’s boy and if times had been different, might have been a farmer. Nonetheless, he was a skilled craftsman and enjoyed doing all sorts of contracts. I remember, for example, him getting one from a council for 600 doors!”

She recalls concert duets featuring her dad and another lead singer Colin Newman – “I can still hear The Pearl Fishers and Morte Christe being practised in our house when l was growing up.”

Mac had a heart attack a fortnight ago and was rushed to QA Hospital. Doctors and nurses fought, as always, but were unable to save him.

Solent MVC will sing at his funeral at St.Faith’s Church, where he was a chorister, on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 2.45 pm.

Mac’s daughters have chosen two charities for donations in his memory:

Nordoff Robbins : www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charlesmcandrewnordofftobbins – the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK.

RSPB : www.justgiving.com/charlesmcandrew

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