This is the MARCH 2016 EDITION                                                                                    To see this email at its best, click on:

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Roy and Jean’s Diamond Wedding 

Second tenor, Roy Bennett, clocked up a special anniversary on March 17th. He and his wife, Jean, were married at Christ Church, Linthwaite in 1956 – some 60 years ago.

Roy and Jean have actually been together for 65 years, after they met at David Brown Gears; Roy in ‘Personnel’ and Jean in ‘Wages’. They have two daughters; Angela who lives in Sydney, Australia and Alison who lives in Houston, Texas. There are two grandsons in Canada and one in Houston so they have travelled extensively just keeping in touch with family. 

Roy worked at David Brown's for 20 years (including two years National Service in the RAF in Germany), before moving to Holset’s then to NuSwift International in Elland where he was Personnel and Industrial Relations Manager. Jean worked for the NHS for 36 years first at St Luke's Hospital and then at HRI, where Roy joined her for the last six years of his working life.

In his earlier years Roy played tennis and table-tennis in the First Division of the Huddersfield League and football for Milnsbridge YMCA.

Roy joined Colne Valley Male Voice Choir in 2000 and has sung in most concerts and on trips abroad. He distinctly remembers his first concert at Huddersfield Town Hall where he sang Jerusalem, sitting in the same seat he had sat on over 50 years earlier, singing the same song at the Huddersfield College Speech Day.

Since their retirement the couple have shared their love of cruising, combining it with visits to Australia, the US and Canada.

The couple are members of Blackley Baptist Church where they are on various fund-raising committees and help with catering at the Conference Centre. 

Their 60th Anniversary will be marked on Saint Patrick's Day by a celebratory lunch at the Blackley church.

Talking of Blackley Baptist Church ....

Colne Valley Male Voice Choir’s next gig is in aid of Blackley and its charities.  The fine old country church is, sadly, out of use for concerts as the ceiling fell in some weeks back – but the concert will go ahead as planned.  It’s just that it will be at Salendine Nook Baptist Church, instead.

The Choir - still pleased by our Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Music Competition success - will provide all the musical entertainment  for the evening, including soloists from our own ranks - and VotV expects - a slot from the very wonderful Keith Swallow on the pianoforte and that much-admired Baritone, Thom Meredith, too.
Mark your diary for Saturday April 23rd and set your sat-nav for:
Salendine Nook Baptist Church
Moor Hill Road
Salendine Nook


Check this out

One crazy guy and 2,000 marbles

Click here or on the picture to view this musical instrument in action  


“I nearly fell off my chair" says winner, Val.

"I always look forward to the Choir dinner and this is my fourth year” writes Choir supporter, Valerie Coles

"Barry encouraged me to join the 200 Club although I didn’t know much about it. I have two numbers and I don’t even know what they are. So you can imagine the suspense there was on our table when Stuart began his impersonation of the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ results. 

First he said. 'The winner is in the room.' - dramatic pause -  'On that  table.'  Then we got a little excited. 

The number 160 meant nothing to me. Barry (that’s Barry Slater, baritone, Choir Stage Manager,and Val’s partner) had got up and was walking towards the bar, and I thought it was his. You can imagine my surprise when Stuart said, 'It’s Val'. 

I nearly fell off my chair to have won, but even then, I thought it was probably just £45, as I have had one win previously. 

It didn’t actually sink in until the cheque was handed to me and I saw the noughts - £1,000  

I have never had such a win in my life. The evening was wonderful, the food, the company and the entertainment was excellent.

When you have three teenage grandchildren you never have to wonder what to do with a windfall and I’m sure Barry and I will also enjoy a midweek break in a plush hotel complete with spa." 

200 Club Organiser, Les Stones, tells VotV that there are a few numbers still available and urges friends and members to snap them up. 

As Les says, “You’ve got to be in it, to win it.”

Rising Stars: three young talents to look out for 

Piano Accompanist 

Chris is an experienced and versatile accompanist, playing for numerous soloists and musical ensembles around Yorkshire and beyond. He holds a Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (Dip ABRSM).

Currently, he is accompanist for Colne Valley Boys Choir and Holme Valley Singers, for Greenhead College and for Huddersfield Grammar School.  Additionally, he also plays piano for the Mrs Sunderland Competition, the Haydn Wood Festival, the Halifax Rotary Society Young Musician of the Year, as well as individual grade exams up to and beyond Grade 8. He accompanies beginners right up to professional instrumentalists and singers, and has performed with West End stars, and alumni of all the music colleges around the UK.  With strong sight-reading skills he works to provide performers with all the support and encouragement they need to ensure their best performance

Choral Directo

Christopher has been associated with Choirs since childhood and began accompanying the Junior Choirs of the Huddersfield Choral Society at the age of 15. He studied English and French Literature at York University, before moving to Japan for two years, where he studied piano with acclaimed Japanese chamber musician Hiroko Ono. He performed with a variety of ensembles and performers around Tokyo and gave a solo piano recital, broadcast on Japanese television.

In 2009, Christopher returned to his home town of Huddersfield where he once again quickly became sought after by vocal ensembles. He became Assistant Musical Director of Bradford Festival Choral Society in 2010. Since then, in addition to accompanying the choir, he also has regular opportunities to further develop his skills in choir direction and choral conducting.

Singer and Tenor Soloist 

More recently, Chris has been building a reputation as a singer.  He won the Tenor Solo and Vocal Recital prizes at the Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Music Festival.

He has performed recitals in Wakefield and Liverpool. and has recently sung tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

Many readers will remember him in duet with Thom Meredith at 'Harold's Do' 

Here he is seen performing at the Harrogate Festival Choral Course  at Ampleforth College.

Yes, one of these three will make it  -  just look out for the name. *

*      VotV Editor, John Clark, apologises for spelling Kris’s name wrong on several occasions – it’s definitely 'Pulleyn'.
Colne Valley Boys sing with Colne Valley Men

Music down the generations
CVMVC were the guests of Colne Valley Boys at a concert in Slaithwaite on Sunday 13th March. Compere, Matt Houston, had billed the event as the ‘Band of Brothers’ concert – partly because of the joint performance we made of the Michael Kamen song from the TV series and partly because there are several sets of brothers in the two choirs.

About 70 singers, from just eight years old to 83, took part.   So, apart from being Brothers in Music, you could also notice how singing in the Colne Valley goes down the generations.   Long may it continue!

Here we see First Tenor, Peter Stubbs with his sons; Benedict, on the right and brother Nathaniel on the left.

And it’s not only fathers and sons! This picture shows proud grandfather, first tenor, Rodney Richardson, with his grandson, Kane Berry.

The Boys get better with every performance.  As part of the concert, they gave their competition set for the Music for Youth Regional Heats at Colne Valley High School on Sunday 20th.  It was a very impressive performance.  We hope they will reach the ‘Nationals later in the year.

Incidentally, a VOTV reader has sent me a picture of the Colne Valley High School Boys Choir of circa 1959.


.... and another thing......
Had Harold Wilson still been alive he would have been 100 years old on the 11th of this month.

Various organisations in the Valley have been marking the centenary of Lord Wilson’s birth and his time spent - before politics and his duties as Prime Minister -  in Huddersfield and the Colne Valley.

The event was marked at Royd’s Hall High School in Paddock where Harold was once a pupil.

Of course, we in the Colne Valley Male Voice Choir had our own links with the great man.  In 1984 he joined us in singing, ‘Pratty Flowers’.

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Editor: John C Clark
Voice of the Valley Editor:
John C Clark

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