TWELVE years on from the inaugural Concert on the Hill, this was the one that YMCA officials had finally been hoping and praying for.
The sun blazed down all day and evening, until it disappeared over the back of the Lawrence Batley Stand at 8.30.
Lindley Band were in sparkling form, Lindley Junior School choir shone, soloist Julia Garbutt was stunning, and the two male voice choirs – Colne Valley and Honley – sang together in harmony.
And the crowds turned up in their hundreds to watch a spectacle of ‘home grown’ talent of which the Huddersfield public could be justifiably proud.
The colourful gazebos, tent and awnings bordering the field made for a superb amphitheatre.
And the middle of the field was covered in picnic tables, dining tables, every sort of seating imaginable, candles, candelabras and enough food and drink to rival Glastonbury.
And what a night’s entertainment!
Concert on the Hill is not a night for concert-pitch tuned harmonies and competition test pieces. It’s about entertaining the masses who have turned up for a night of music and merriment, and that was epitomised by Lindley Band’s hugely popular medley of music by the Beatles, Boney M and Abba.
Yes, they showed their best assets in numbers like the Cornish Cavalier, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dances with Wolves and Highland Cathedral, with flugelhorn player Nicola Sanderson soloing in Scarborough Fair.
Honley Male Voice Choir delivered a selection from West Side Story, Guys and Dolls and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Changes Everything.
Colne Valley were in excellent form with Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Enrico Morricone’s haunting Nella Fantasia.
Lindley Junior School showed just why they have been voted Junior Choir of the Year, as well as sweeping a van-load of awards at contests up and down the country.
Brilliantly drilled by musical director Alison North, and accompanied by Emma Binns, the Lindley choir delivered a five-number set in the first half, excelling with Chattanooga ChooChoo, This Is Our World and ending with Rhythm of Life, from the musical Sweet Charity.
Julia Garbutt demonstrated just why she is one of the most sought-after soprano soloists in the area with a showtime selection, Webber’s Unexpected Song, Art is Calling for Me, and the fabulous Time to Say Goodbye which she dedicated to her parents David and Barbara Mattin who were there in support, celebrating their golden wedding this weekend.
Of course there was time for some audience participation in the usual stirring proms finale, let by Julia in Jersusalem and Rule Britannia before the fireworks really flew in Land of Hope and Glory.
Altogether another fabulous evening.
And, as compere and co-organiser David Roebuck told the crowd, it was simply tremendous to see so much local talent gathered on one stage.