The internationally renowned Mansfield Male Voice Choir has been granted the Freedom of the District by councillors.
At an extraordinary meeting of Mansfield District Council on March 5, members agreed unanimously to bestow the honorary title on the choir which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
The choir was also presented with a framed letter received from the Queen’s office after the Mayor wrote to the Queen to tell her of their great achievement in reaching this milestone.
Geoff Mansfield, Ian Grice, Gordon Blanc and David Marriott received the award and letter on behalf of the choir.
The letter said: “The Queen has asked me to thank you for the kind letter on behalf of the members of the Mansfield Male Voice Choir, sent on the occasion of their Seventy-Fifth Anniversary, which is being marked at their council meeting on March 5 and a celebratory anniversary concert on March 8.
“Her Majesty appreciated your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and in return, has asked me to send her warm good wishes to all concerned for a most memorable anniversary.”
Kate Allsop, Mansfield mayor, said: “This is the council’s top civic honour and is completely deserved for both the choir’s success and longevity.
“Their talent has long been admired and they fly the flag for Mansfield wherever they go. This award marries perfectly with the council’s vision of creating a more positive image of of this district and creating community pride.”
Councillors heard that the choir, whose members are all from Mansfield, had an exemplary history of success at events and competitions at home and abroad.
It has received many accolades at high profile musical festivals, including the English Championships, and regularly showcases its talent at local celebrations and events.
The choir received a standing ovation twice as they sang two songs - Let It Be Me, by the Everly Brothers, and a new song, We Rise Again, at the presentation in the council chamber.
Ian Grice, musical director, who has been a member of the choir for more than 30 years, said: “It was a total surprise to be given this honour. We were amazed. Our jaws literally hit the floor!
“I would like to thank councillors for the honour and privilege of being granted this title.”
The choir joins an illustrious list of other winners of the honour, including Olympic swimming champions Rebecca Adlington, world side car racing champions Tom and Ben Birchall, Paralympic medallists Ollie and Sam Hynd, and Charlotte Henshaw, and Mansfield’s famous female choir Cantamus.