‘We have invited different musical groups to come and perform in the town centre’
MUSIC makes a huge difference to many people’s lives.
And that is why there is such a buzz among the ranks of Gledholt Male Voice Choir who next week stage perhaps one of their biggest and most challenging events.
On Saturday, May 10, the choir will hold its annual gala concert in Huddersfield Town Hall where Gledholt and many of the town’s other leading choirs stage their major concerts.
But they won’t just be busy on Saturday night. The Gledholt men aim to get the whole town singing and making music with a series of events throughout the day in five different venues around the town centre.
“We plan to harness some of the local talent in Huddersfield and take music to the community,” said the choir’s new chairman, Mr Raj Beadle.
“We have invited different musical groups to come and perform in the town centre. There will be five venues: outside the library, on the piazza, outside the Lawrence Batley Theatre, the Parish Church and the Byram Arcade.
“About 10 different groups will be performing and doing different things. They include a brass band, two school choirs, a wind group – a real mix. We wanted to bring music into the town centre and we hope to collect donations to support Classic FM’s charity.,” said Mr Beadle.
The festival is supporting the Classic FM Music Makers charity which aims to fund music therapy and education projects which help needy children and vulnerable adults nationwide.
“Classic FM believe that by using the power of music, they can make a real difference to many lives, both young and old,” says the broadcaster.
It is a sentiment that the Gledholt men wholeheartedly agree with, none more so than their new chairman.
“I have been singing with Gledholt for the last nine years. I was born and bred in Sri Lanka. I used to sing at church and at school. ”
Mr Beadle’s work as an accountant brought him to the UK and though he continued attending church in this country, did not initially join a choir.
“I was singing very joyful in church and the accompanist said you must come along to the male voice choir.
“I enjoy the company and being part of the community is very important.
“This way gives me a lot of friends as well as enjoying the music. We go abroad, we go on trips and I enjoy it all. I’d recommend joining a male voice choir to anyone.”
Having now taken on the chairman’s job at Gledholt, Mr Beadle aims to continue to enjoy his singing and to try and help the choir strengthen still further its existing links with the community.
“The choir decided to run the festival in conjunction with the Classic FM Music Makers charity because they do a lot of work musically with disadvantaged people and we thought that was a good thing to work with.
“We want to raise awareness about music-making and try and help to bring music into the community.”
It’s a theme that was clearly in the Gledholt men’s minds when they planned the gala concert on May 10. Yes they will sing, but so will the Huddersfield Young Voices, the 70 strong choir of youngsters from Huddersfield Choral Society, under the direction of Susan Wilkinson.
And there will be music too from the musicians of Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra, directed by Thom Meredith.
Mr Beadle is not the only one keen to share with others the joy that he personally gets from singing. Choirs and other musical groups across the area would love to recruit more younger people.
“We are an ageing choir and we need to get younger people in to join us. But you have to be out in the community to get people interested.”
“We’ve already started trying to encourage more singers to join us. We’ve been out to different churches and invited the members there to come in and sing with us.
The choir rehearses at Lindley Methodist Church and so we did it there first and yes, we did get some new members as a result. We are doing the same thing again in June at New North Road Baptist Church.”
The singers are also organising a fund-raising dinner and are trying to get business involved in sponsoring their work which is all about getting music out into the community. And Mr Beadle for one, is more than happy to testify that sharing music with others is one of the good things in life.
Festival events will take place at the five venues throughout the day on May 10 and the gala concert is at Huddersfield Town Hall on the same evening at 7.15pm.