MORE than a thousand singers packed into Huddersfield Town Hall yesterday to warm up for a massive concert in London.

The amateur choirs held their final rehearsal in preparation for their big day at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

Members of 31 male voice choirs and 19 ladies choirs from across the north of England came together to practice for the National Festival of Brass and Voices on October 31.

A smaller rehearsal for choirs based in the south was held in Swindon last week.

In total more than 1,600 male and female voices from across the UK will sing together conducted by the Queensbury born former manager of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, William Relton.

The lucky choristers will be accompanied by the legendary Royal Albert Hall organ and champion bands Grimethorpe Colliery, stars of the film Brassed Off, and Brighouse and Rastrick. Choirs from the Huddersfield region travelling to the prestigious event include The Moorland Singers, U3A Huddersfield Ladies, Almondbury Ladies Choir, Gledholt Male Voice Choir, Elland Male Voice Choir, Denby Dale Ladies Choir, Millhouse Green Male Voice Choir and Penistone Ladies Choir.

The concert, which happens every third year, raises more than £100,000 for Cancer Research UK and was launched in Huddersfield in 1987 by former Examiner writer Ron Massey.

It was originally called ‘1,000 Yorkshire Voices’.

Festival chief Syd Harris, said the concert was expanded to the whole nation in 2006 in a bid to keep it alive.

He said: "This is the second time we’re doing it for Cancer Research UK.

"We try to reflect the atmosphere of the Last Night of the Proms.

"All the men sing together, then the ladies sing together and there’s some joint items."

Mr Harris said it would be a memorable day for the amateur choristers, many of whom had been rehearsing for almost two years.

He said: "It’s absolutely vibrant, it’s a wonderful place to sing and the acoustics are magnificent.

"For many of the performers it is like the local pub football team getting to play at Wembley.

"Most of them would never get anywhere near that in isolation of this big day."

Becky Elphick, from Cancer Research UK, said: "It’s going to be an amazing concert and they are raising a phenomenal amount of money."

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