This is the MAY  2016 EDITION                                                                              To see this email at its best, click on: 
    for Members and 'Friends' of the Choir  
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                    And when you smile the world is brighter 
                      You touch my hand and I'm a king 
                      Your kiss to me is worth a fortune 
                      Your love for me is everything
                      I guess, I'll never know
                     The reason why you love me as you do
                     That's the wonder, the wonder of you


So sang Elvis in the spring of 1970.  "The Wonder of You" was one of his most successful records in the UK, topping the UK Singles Chart for six weeks. Click here to hear him sing.

And you can hear the men of the Colne Valley, in inimitable romantic mood, giving our version of this classic love song, complete with cool man Simon Durrans, baritone, playing the guitar interlude.  This song, another Elvis hit, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’ and other heart-tugging numbers all happen at the Carding Shed on June 12th.   And there’s a fair chance, that Thom Meredith, backed by the Choir will do his much-loved ballad, ‘You Raise Me Up’ too.

It’ll be a terrific way to spend a Sunday evening, with a pie and pea supper and fine musical entertainment from the Choir and our in-house soloists.

Access the Carding Shed’s excellent website and find out more about this forth-coming and not-to-be-missed event!   Tickets must be secured in advance to enable the caterers to prepare: so please contact the Carding Shed via the website or on (01484) 680400 or get in touch with Choir Secretary, Jenny, on 645192


New Members needed

Plans are afoot to bring in new members. 

Deputy Chairman, Rob Rosborough and Publicity Officer, Ken Parkin have been putting together a new strategy for recruitment.

What’s it about?

Says Rob, “Cut through all the details and basically we need to let people know we need some more singers. Anyone who comes along stands to have a good time and gain a lot of pleasure from singing and performing with us.  

I think some people are a bit scared they won’t be up to it and don’t bother. We need to let them know they would be welcome, that most of us felt that way once.  And we all get fabulous singing lessons from one of best and most patient choral tutors there is –Thom Meredith.”

We’ve got lots of plans brewing so watch out for them – but don’t wait – bring a friend along to a rehearsal soon.  They‘ll thank you for it!”


How To Build A Successful Choir: The Benefits Of Imaginative Programming

Choral Director and author Tim Knight explains that if you want long term results, you need to sometimes take a risk with your programming.

Click here or on the image for a fine example of choral singing 

We need bums on seats’ is the cry of many a choir, using this as a reason for sometimes frankly unimaginative programming, it is becoming quite clear that audiences are wanting more, becoming more knowledgeable, and we must cater for this otherwise those bums will remain firmly placed on the sofa at home!

Countless performances of the old favourites (and a very limited selection of those) sometimes by choirs singing within a few miles of each other, may well keep the singers happy but are we exciting our audiences, are we happier to sing what we know than venture into the great unknown – which may of course be harder work?

Recently as a judge at an international choral festival I heard choirs imitating forest sounds, using percussion in their music, going from standing to sitting cross legged on the floor and silently restanding – all to serve the composer’s intentions in a beautifully produced Latvian folk song, Es Gulu. The audience were captivated.

The range of music available to sing is enormous. By the time the standard orchestral repertoire was written some of our greatest choral composers had been dead 200 years. And what of supporting today’s composers, (remembering that every piece of music was new at some time)?

We live at an exciting musical point where there are composers writing in all sorts of styles.  We have access to recordings and YouTube performances of thousands of pieces of music from all over the world, (and so of course do our audiences). There are gems to be found for those prepared to look and these can and should be delivered to our audiences if we are to keep them interested and the choral art fresh and alive.

Personal favourites are subjective but I am as astounded by the beauty of some recent Baltic music as I am in the woeful neglect of some of our own lesser known composers.

For my choirs this week’s music has included Vivaldi and Scarlatti, Barton and  and Healey Willan, Weelkes and Vaughan Williams, Randall Thompson and  Esenvalds; (and a little bit of Knight!) some  sublime English Tudor music and some from  the Great American Songbook. Amongst these few examples are excitement and passion, melancholy and despair.

Yes – we need the seats at our concerts full, and since choral music has the power to thrill or entertain, to uplift or to thought provoke – the choir that seeks out fresh and interesting repertoire will go a long way to making that happen.

Tim Knight is a Composer, Choral Director and Best Selling Author of ‘365 Tips to a More Successful Choir’ 


Colne Valley Boys.

Colne Valley Boys joined in the fun at Golcar Lily Day on Saturday, May 14th, and gave a concert at St John’s Church, which pleased the audience of revellers, wanting a brief break from dancing in the streets.

The Boys are on a high at the moment, having got a repertoire of fine songs together. Their performance at the recent ‘Music for Youth’ auditions won them many accolades from the adjudicator – “Great to hear you working”.... “A warm and easy group sound that includes both broken and unbroken voices”.... “Wonderful to hear you” were just some of the positive comments. 

This summer the Boys are going to take over from the men; doing the schools tour in Kirklees to promote the Choir to other young male singers.  With Thom, they’ll be visiting half a dozen primary schools in the area, showing first hand that boys’ singing is a ‘cool’ thing to get involved with.

A wanderer returns

Choir members gave a welcome cheer to First Tenor, Ian Rex, as he wandered in to rehearsal the other night.  

What prompted this outburst of warm conviviality? 

Simple: Ian’s work had taken him away to foreign parts and this was his first Choir night for just over a year.

Ian tells Voice of the Valley what he’s been up to.

“I left the UK in May 2015 to spend a year in South Korea in a city called Busan.  It was an exchange with another employee of my company, Sulzer, an industrial pump manufacturer for the oil and gas industry.  I work in the Leeds factory, based in Beeston as a Project Manager and it’s my job to liaise between the client and factory, overseeing the design and build of the pump and skids to meet their requirements.

When I got the chance to go to Korea, it was too good an opportunity to miss. Sulzer Korea is a much smaller organisation then the UK factory and they can only package pumps made by the other Sulzer factories around the world. Most of my work entailed liaising with these factories in Germany, Brazil, Mexico and the UK. Due to the time differences this meant some unusual working hours.

South Korea is a pleasant country and Busan, its second city, is one of the largest ports in East Asia. The city was the only part of South Korea not to be overrun by the North in the Korean War and has many monuments to that period.  My home for the 12 months was an apartment on the 10th floor of a complex, situated in Jisa Dong, some 15 km from the city centre.

Unfortunately I never found any choirs in Korea to join, though Busan had many international links.  English is a popular second language and all pupils are taught English at school. In fact on the day of the national English aural exam, no planes fly for a period of one hour whilst that is underway. 

People are most tolerant of visitors who do not speak Korean!  Though I must confess I would not go to a Korean restaurant on my own.  The diet there has a lot of sea food, obscure parts of the pig and cow, and many vegetables and seaweed eaten raw or cooked or pickled. The main side dish is pickled cabbage, Kimchae.  

The year was most enjoyable and I learnt a lot about their culture, some of the history and their dynasties going back many hundreds of years. The trip to the capital, Seoul, and a visit to the Gyeongbokgung Palace was most interesting, especially the tale of the Ninja assassins who killed the Queen Mother and precipitated the Japanese takeover of the country in 1910. 

I returned and was back at choir practice on the 16th May.  It was like I had never been away, a warm welcome from the Choir members greeted me and the familiar music of, ‘When I fall in love’, ‘Yellow Bird,’ and  ‘The wonder of You’ were rehearsed.
Roll on the Carding Shed concert."

Yellow Birds Fly to Hepworth

Yes, on June 12th when we have our Supper Concert in Hepworth, there will be a hint of the Caribbean in the air.

Not from the ‘Pie and Pea Supper’ which is as ‘Yorkshire’ as you could wish for, but from the gentle Jamaican lilt of the song Yellow Bird.
Click here or on the image to listen to a fabulous reggae version.

As always, we expect the trilling of bird song to come from the talented lips of tenor Edward Asquith, backed up by the gentle percussive stylings of Barry Slater, who is planning to shake his maracas.

Definitely not an event to be missed!  So set your satnav for the Carding Shed, remembering, of course, to book in advance to secure a meal and a good night out..



It’s more interesting than the Brexit debate!

 Choir secretary, Jenny, reminded members of the need to put up nominations for the Management Committee in advance of the Choir’s Annual General Meeting coming up on Wednesday June 15th at 8:00pm in Slaithwaite.  This is not the first time she has referred to the Rules and Constitution.

“Your Membership Card is a precious document,” she said, not entirely tongue-in- cheek.   It seemed to the Editor that the general view of the members present was confusion – several confessing they had not seen their cards for years!

But all is not lost!  Now you can see the basis on which the Choir governs itself on the Choir’s marvellous website.  

Just click here or on the membership card picture to be instantly transported.  It’s worth checking the website on a regular basis anyway!  

and another thing  ...... just for fun...

Spend a couple of minutes watching this fabulous ‘mashup’ mix of current pop music with classic dance scenes from the middle of last century  - it’s well worth it!

Click here or on the picture



Have You got a Story to tell?

If you have something newsworthy about the Choir, its activities or its people  - or an interesting picture perhaps - don't be shy.  Send it to the Editor and he'll help you get it in shape for publication in a future Voice of the Valley.

Click on this blue text to send an email to the Editor

Voice of the Valley Editor
John C Clark
See our new website to get the full story .uk

And you might want to think about supporting the Choir via 'Give as you Live'
Here’s a scheme you might like to consider.  The Choir’s Management Committee recently endorsed the idea, which could help support the Choir financially in these tough times.  

Basically you buy online from companies, such as Amazon, in the usual way, except that you reach them via the ‘Give as you Live’ website. Then a fraction of the money you spend is forwarded by Amazon, through ‘Give as you Live’, to CVMVC.  Small amounts can add up to a very useful contribution to the Choir’s finances – and it doesn’t cost you a penny! 

Theoretically, we get £5 for each VotV reader who signs up and spends £5.  On top of that, the Choir will get a small percentage of their spend on all online purchases, made through the ‘Give as you live’ site.

Not clear yet: Click here or on the poster to see a brief video of how it works.

Click here to sign up, including nominating Colne Valley Male Voice Choir - Yorkshire as your charity and then just start shopping – as you usually do.

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