YOU’VE heard of pop band Girls Aloud.
Well it was hundreds of boys aloud that were rocking Huddersfield Town Hall yesterday.
The concert hall was filled to the rafters with the rousing sound of several hundred male voices singing in unison.
The occasion was ‘Sing Up For The Boys’, a singing workshop involving 770 boys from 29 Kirklees primary schools, five local male voice choirs and the men of Huddersfield Choral Society.
The event is the first of six workshops involving the local community which are being held to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Huddersfield Choral Society.
It also marks the first day of the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival, whose organisers donated the venue. The festival runs until February 26.
The participating male voice choirs were Honley, Skelmanthorpe, New Mill, Gledholt and Colne Valley and they were joined on stage by Kirklees Mayor Clr Andrew Palfreeman, who was in fine voice.
Leader of the singing was Thom Meredith, principal at Kirklees Music Centre. Staff and officials from various organisations have been beavering away behind the scenes to make this grand event happen.
Two singing hubs were set up at Lindley and Staincliffe primary schools to teach 60 teachers the songs so they could give singing lessons to the boys, all aged between seven and 12, for their big day in the Town Hall.
Barbara Lawson, School Improvement Officer for Music in Kirklees, said: “It is wonderful the way everybody has come together to create this workshop.
“We are building on a rich tradition of singing in Kirklees and the reaction from schools has been tremendous.
“Initially we had hoped to get up to 400 boys involved, but we have almost doubled that.
“We wanted to develop boys’ singing in Kirklees and you only have to look at their faces to see they are loving it. ”
Nine-year-old Luke Fletcher from Kayes First and Nursery School, Clayton West, agreed: “It’s proper good,” he said.
“It’s exciting and it can do your voice good. I like watching the choir sing. They do expressions when they sing and their voices go high; when I sing high my voice goes all croaky.”
Two highlights for the youngsters were the showcase performances from Lindley Boys’ Choir and 35-strong rock band Only Boys Aloud from Scissett Middle School, complete with electric guitar. Their thumping rendition of Guns ’n’ Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine had 700-and-odd boys shaking their heads, tapping their hands and feet and generally wiggling about in time to the beat.
Band member Patrick Wood, aged 12, said: “This is the biggest crowd we have ever done, it’s amazing.”
Michael Hampshire, chairman of the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival, added: “Some boys are a bit shy about singing in front of girls, but you only have to hear and watch them today to see the almost physical thrill the boys get out if it. It becomes as exciting as playing football for them”
The next event in the series is Choral Explosion, when 900 boys and girls will sing in a concert at the Town Hall on March 23.