Keeping it Yorkshire!
Honley Male Voice Choir Christmas concert with Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band was a reet grand treat! The Band who are ranked in the top 10 worldwide hail from South Emsall, Wakefield in West Yorkshire, have many connections with Huddersfield and Honley.
Leigh Baker MD of Carlton Main is also Head of Music at Honley High School. Many of the players were at Huddersfield University and soloist Anna Spedding comes from Honley too!!.
The concert was a gem with many comments for the audience commenting on how well the band blended with the choir in the joint pieces. Steven Roberts MD of Honley was delight how responsive and co-operative the band were with Honley voices and the sound they produced ticked all the boxes for a top class band. Accompanist Michelle Sutcliffe was superb on Piano and our very own George Marsden, Organist Emeritus and deputy accompanist entertained at the opening preconcert and during the interval.
Suzanne Smelt of Huddersfield Examiner wrote: “Keeping it Yorkshire!’ were Honley Male Voice Choir and Wakefield based Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Brass Band.
Adding to the Yorkshire mix was local lad George Marsden who expertly serenaded us at the mighty organ on arrival.
We were wowed by the cracking Christmas medleys, performed by all, yet it was in the songs without the backing of the band in which the choir itself shone.
In Psalm 126 the gentlemen sprang to life! A hearty sound erupted and, with excellent diction, they sounded as ‘one voice’, under the very able direction of Stephen Roberts. There was sensitive a capella singing in The White Rose, and in the seeming simplicity of a hymn-arrangement (Llanfair), and Silent Night, the choir showed their mettle, with a robust tone whatever the volume.
Pianist Michelle Sutcliffe provided superb support, especially in the fast and furious piano accompaniment to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. .
Favourites such as Sleigh Ride and Troika were performed by the award-winning band, under the brilliant direction of Huddersfield musician Leigh Baker, and we recognised Christmas melodies in the dramatic Festive Entrada (composer, Ben Hollins). Leigh Baker’s volcanic arrangement of Paint it Black brought the house down! We were further impressed with the band’s soloists. What a treat to hear the unmistakable star quality of Kirsty Abbotts’ solo cornet playing in Away In A Manger. Anna Spedding’s flugal horn sound was radiant.
The finale, Shneewaltzer, was a jolly ‘audience-swaying’ number that concluded this wonderful evening of music-making.
Music that was played, sung, conducted, and occasionally composed, by Yorkshire folk in Yorkshire’s musical capital, Huddersfield! Bravo!”
( Source: Huddersfield Daily Examiner http://www.examiner.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/christmas-honley-male-voice-choir-8288036 )