‘Keeping it Yorkshire!’ were Honley Male Voice Choir and Wakefield based Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Brass Band.
Adding to the Yorkshire mix was local lad George Marsden who expertly serenaded us at the mighty organ on arrival.
We were wowed by the cracking Christmas medleys, performed by all, yet it was in the songs without the backing of the band in which the choir itself shone.
In Psalm 26 the gentlemen sprang to life! A hearty sound erupted and, with excellent diction, they sounded as ‘one voice’, under the very able direction of Stephen Roberts. There was sensitive a capella singing in The White Rose, and in the seeming simplicity of a hymn-arrangement (Llanfair), and Silent Night, the choir showed their mettle, with a robust tone whatever the volume.
Pianist Michelle Sutcliffe provided superb support, especially in the fast and furious piano accompaniment to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. .
Favourites such as Sleigh Ride and Troika were performed by the award-winning band, under the brilliant direction of Huddersfield musician Leigh Baker, and we recognised Christmas melodies in the dramatic Festive Entrada (composer, Ben Hollins). Leigh Baker’s volcanic arrangement of Paint it Black brought the house down! We were further impressed with the band’s soloists. What a treat to hear the unmistakable star quality of Kirsty Abbotts’ solo cornet playing in Away In A Manger. Anna Spedding’s flugal horn sound was radiant.
The finale, Shneewaltzer, was a jolly ‘audience-swaying’ number that concluded this wonderful evening of music-making.
Music that was played, sung, conducted, and occasionally composed, by Yorkshire folk in Yorkshire’s musical capital, Huddersfield! Bravo!