WHO hasn’t heard the success story of the Military Wives Choir?
Seen them on TV, heard their best selling single, wondered that it would be great to do something just like that.
Well hundreds of Huddersfield women have done more than just wondered. They’ve already signed up for the town’s equivalent and will get singing for the first time this weekend.
A massed choir of 250 women will sing on stage in Huddersfield Town Hall next spring in support of the Yorkshire Regiment.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for two years but I’ve probably never had the time or the guts to do it,” says Emily Reaves, musical director of Honley Ladies Choir, who is organising the massed choir.
“When the chance came up to sing with the Yorkshire Regiment Military Band, it seemed the perfect opportunity. And when the Mayor of Kirklees chose the Regiment’s Benevolent Association as his charity for the year, it made it all the more possible.
The choir swung into action holding a couple of flash-mob events in September when about 30 singers from Honley Ladies’ Choir sang You Raise Me Up in impromptu performances at the Piazza, Byram Arcade, Market Place and King Street, as well as Huddersfield bus and train stations.
The aim was to kick-start the campaign to recruit other women to sing alongside the Honley ladies in that Town Hall concert which will be held on March 16 next year.
“Singing as part of a huge choir in our magnificent Town Hall, accompanied by the Yorkshire Regiment Military Band, will be something to remember for a lifetime – and for such a good cause,” said Emily.
“If Military Wives can do it so can Yorkshire women.
“We hold our launch event this weekend at the Drill Hall in Huddersfield. All the places have gone so next March we should have 250 singers on stage, 50 from Honley Ladies and 200 other singers from around Kirklees.
“I would say that perhaps two thirds of the people who have signed up have sung before which leaves me on Sunday with having to decide which voice part the other third will sing,” said Emily.
“All the places now are full and we still have people wanting to be involved. When we started I did wonder if we were going to get 200 singers but sometimes they’ve been coming in in 10s.
“We think this will be an amazing night. We wanted people who perhaps hadn’t sung since they were at school or never sung before to come along and have a try. And they have.”
Emily, who has been musical director of Honley Ladies for more than 11 years, says she’s really nervous about taking on such a big choir.
“It will be the biggest choir I’ve ever conducted. I’m really excited.
“I’m really nervous about trying to talk over 250 women and trying to get them to do what I want. It will be quite a challenge but I’m really looking forward to it.
“Gareth Malone has been such a positive force for singing. He’s made it cool again. It’s brilliant for us.”
On Sunday afternoon, the massed choir will get together for the first time and rehearsals will start in earnest in the New Year.