KIRSTY Haigh says when she was a toddler, her mum always knew where she was in the house because she was always singing.
And next Wednesday, Kirsty will be singing for a rather bigger audience than just her mum when she goes on stage at the Lawrence Batley Theatre as the soloist in a Last Night Of The Proms celebration concert.
Kirsty is delighted to have been asked to sing in this concert which is organised by the Friends of the LBT and has become a much-loved part of the autumn programme.
It’s a fundraiser and also a chance to showcase some of the young musical talent in the town and there’s a lot of it. Kirsty is a shining example.
Though she loved to sing, Kirsty admits that as a girl she was more a dancer than a singer.
“I was too shy to sing in public but would sing my heart out in my bedroom,” she said.
In her teens, Kirsty found she could put both those skills together in the world of amateur operatics.
“I found my confidence when as a girl of 15 I joined Slaithwaite Methodist Church Amateur Operatic Society and was part of the ladies’ chorus in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Brigadoon. From that moment I was hooked!
“I loved all things ‘theatre’ and soon built up enough skill and confidence to start auditioning for leading roles in musicals such as Calamity Jane and Oklahoma! Taking many lead roles in musicals (my first in 1998) and pantomimes (my first in 1994). Slaithwaite Amateurs gave me the opportunity to fulfil my dream of performing and singing on stage.
Kirsty started having singing lessons and joined Longwood Amateur Operatic Society which has seen her play on the main stage at the LBT many times.
Singing certainly keeps Kirsty busy. She sings with The Semitones, a group of entertainers who perform songs from musicals and raise money for local charities and also appears with two bands, The Red Wing Hawks and Whispering Jim performing songs by Adele, Katy Perry, The Beatles, Blondie, Alisha Keys, Maroon 5 and The Kinks.
But she’s not finished there. Kirsty has also performed as part of an ABBA tribute band on The Music Train travelling from Huddersfield to Sheffield on the Penistone Line which she says was a lot of fun!
She was 21 when she produced her first pantomime having enjoyed appearing in quite a number and she still produces and choreographs and produces shows with Slaithwaite Stage Company.
Kirsty recently appeared at Huddersfield Town Hall with Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Puccini’s Opera Tosca in association with Focus Opera. There is, it seems, no end to her talents.
As a link to the Jubilee/Olympic theme of the Wednesday’s big Proms night at the LBT, she has chosen to celebrate British songwriters and composers.
She will sing We’ll Gather Lilacs by Ivor Novello and The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.
Thom Meredith and his 65 strong Kirklees Music School Symphony Orchestra will be centre stage at the LBT providing a whole programme of Proms’ style music.
They will be fresh from the final of a national competition at the Albert Hall.
For the Colne Valley’s Vocal Academy, Wednesday will be a busy night.
They will appear first at Colne Valley Specialist Arts College’s Speech Day at the Town Hall before hurrying across the Piazza to the theatre to make their first appearance at the Proms.
The Vocal Academy was founded just under a year ago, and strives to bring the very best vocal talent from Colne Valley together.
Together with its sister companies, the Dance Academy and the Drama Academy, it showcases the best performing arts talents from pupils at the school.
The group look at a variety of styles from world music to gospel, and were recently asked to support Lady Maisery in concert. The group have performed at the Galpharm Stadium for the Stadium Spectacular earlier this year and various other school events.
The group is directed by Katy Field, head of performing arts at Colne Valley.
The other big draw of the night is sure to the young singers from Scholes Junior and Infant School who sing for fun.
They meet on Fridays after school and just enjoy themselves. But be warned! Their performance is brimming with the aah factor and you might just need a hankie!
Flag waving is encouraged and the night wouldn’t be complete without community singing.
Tickets from the LBT box office on 01484 430528