By Holmfirth writer David Walker
Spring Bank 2013 was a high point for New Mill Male Voice Choir. Great venues, great singing and great craic. We may not have won any prizes, but how else could we have performed at the Eden Project or Tate St Ives?
The Cornish Male Voice Choral Festival; over 60 choirs, 4 of them from Huddersfield, 3000 singers in 50 events at 40 locations across Cornwall. The unusual fine and sunny Bank Holiday weather helped.
Summer tends to be quiet, preparing for the annual Huddersfield Town Hall concert. This year our guests were Young Opera Venture (see photo right) a troupe of talented youngsters performing excerpts from Carmen and The Magic Flute. Bags of bubbly stage presence as well as beautiful singing.
Our regular Christmas commitments, BASF (Low Moor) and Christ Church (New Mill), will be supplemented by a concert in aid of Denby Dale Rotary at Penistone Paramount, alongside Skelmanthorpe Brass Band. The mix of carols, hymns and usual repertoire fits the festive mood. The New Mill event will be followed by our Christmas party at New Mill Club. Whilst it is our celebration, it is also part of the New Mill calendar. Everyone is welcome; please visit our website for further details (www.newmillmvc.org.uk).
In between these fixed points, we’ve performed with Vocal Expressions (St John’s, Upperthong), LB Brass (Upper Denby) and visited London, singing at Southwark Cathedral and Greenwich.
It will soon be our Scarborough rehearsal weekend, grandly referred to as a workshop, when new repertoire will be unveiled. We may also dust off and bring back some old favourites. There’s a bit of music theory and singing basics. And there’s lots of fun. Our weekly rehearsal is at New Mill Club on Tuesday evenings, 7.30 for 7.45pm.
Concerts at Holmfirth High School and the Salvation Army Hall, Scarborough will bring the year since Cornwall to a close. Spring Bank 2014 could see us on a short tour of Ghent, Belgium.
Over the last 12 months a healthy number of new singers have joined. The once new Musical Director, Alan Brierley, and Pianist, Emma Binns, are now established. Alan was a boy chorister at Huddersfield Parish Church. Following Huddersfield New College he studied at Huddersfield Polytechnic School of Music and finished as Head of Music at Moor End High School. Alan joined us from Huddersfield Voices who gave him a full send off from Trinity Church, New North Road.
Emma gained a B.Mus(Hons) from University of Huddersfield and a PGCE teaching qualification from Bretton College. She is currently Deputy Head of Lindley Junior School where she has helped build the reputation of the Lindley Junior Choir.
The choir is thriving so the answer is yes, there is plenty of life left after Cornwall. Check out and see for yourselves at www.facebook.com/pages/New-Mill-Male-Voice-Choir/157673517627192. There is also a short video about the choir’s history – see http://youtu.be/QJQsgswdg4k.