IT’S the start of the festive concert season and one of the first to get its Christmas celebrations underway is Huddersfield Choral Society.
Its Christmas concert is at Huddersfield Town Hall next Friday and it promises to be a cracker.
For alongside this internationally renowned choir is its Junior Choirs plus one of the country’s top brass bands, Brighouse and Rastrick.
The Choral’s singers will be conducted by their chorusmaster Joseph Cullen who will also be taking on presenting duties.
The choir has a well earned reputation as the country’s leading Choral society and Joseph is the man who polishes those singing skills in rehearsals every week.
Joseph is a double Grammy award-winning conductor, composer and recitalist.
One of the country’s leading choral conductors, his work with both Huddersfield Choral Society and with the London Symphony Chorus has brought him much acclaim.
Anyone who has seen him at work with the choir or who was at last year’s Christmas concert will know that he’s also blessed with a wry Scottish humour. So expect fun with the festivities next Friday.
Joseph will hand over the baton for band items to Garry Cutt.
Garry has developed a reputation as one of the banding world’s most respected and successful conductors.
He certainly seems to have the magic touch.
His 17 year relationship with the village band of Marple, for example, was quite remarkable. He guided them from the third section to taking the top accolade of becoming British Open Champions.
Garry was also musical director of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band for 12 years and the phenomenal impact of the film Brassed Off saw him lead the band on three sell-out tours of Japan and Australia.
He has an enviable reputation on the concert platform enhanced by seven victories at Brass in Concert.
Garry spent five years as associate conductor to the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and in five years with Fodens Band won 11 major titles.
He is currently the professional conductor of Grimethorpe Colliery Band and associate conductor with Brighouse and Rastrick, a band which has 130 years of banding history.
Sharing the platform with the senior choir will be the Huddersfield Choral Society Junior Choirs.
The choirs rehearse and sing in three sections covering different age groups but they also perform altogether as one choir.
They sing in a wide range of styles. Songs from musical theatre, gospel, pop, folk and classical and have won many fans for their skill and energy.
In Friday’s concert, the seemingly endless talents of the Choral are underlined when you note the names of the arrangers of some of the pieces its singers will perform.
Much praised as a chorusmaster, Joseph Cullen is also a gifted arranger as is Darius Battiwalla the choir’s deputy chorusmaster.
Arrangements by both of them are included in a programme brimming with well-loved pieces such as Joy To The World, Love Came Down at Christmas and Ave Maria.
The choir will sing favourite carols and the band will show their skills in pieces such as Midnight Sleighride (Prokofiev arr. Farr) as well as having fun with festive items including The Snowman and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.