This is the DECEMBER 2014 EDITION                                                    To see this email at its best, click on:
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Once again those members of the Choir who could make themselves available had the joy of visiting another handful of lovely primary schools in the area to promote the pleasures of singing in general and the Colne Valley Boys Choir in particular.   This time we were back at Nields’ in Slaithwaite before moving on to Marsden Juniors and then to Linthwaite, Ardron before lunch. The photo below was taken by one of the Ardron Year 6 children.  We are grateful to teacher, Carol Kitson, for sending it to Voice of the Valley.

After lunch we made our first visit to Wooldale Junior School and finished at Helme C of E Junior & Infants School.  We get to ‘do the actions’ in some of the songs in these shows and a good time is had by all.  The children of Class 7 at Wooldale sent us stars with lovely drawings and messages, thanking us for our visit – but really it is us who ought to thanking them!

Five reasons why you should sing
stylised treble CLEF.jpgAre you afraid to sing at a family gathering or in the privacy of your bedroom because you feel it won’t be music to people’s ears? Don’t sweat it. Bring out your inner Caruso because singing, especially in a choir, has been found to have multiple physical, mental and spiritual benefits. The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health has undertaken extensive research to support their aim of getting the National Health Service to provide “singing on prescription.” Here are their five reasons why you should sing. 


Boosts cardiovascular health:
Singing is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. It decreases risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.

two.jpgStimulates the brain:Singing requires memorising lyrics and following a melody as well as connecting words with emotion. Breathing while singing brings more oxygen to the brain, which results in neurons firing, enhancing mental awareness, concentration and memory.

three.jpgReduces stress:
When you sing, your brain releases feel-good chemicals including endorphins. This makes singing an effective mood lifter and a valuable tool in alleviating depression. Singing with a group develops a sense of community and belonging, thereby reducing anxiety. Singing is even used as therapy for people with cancer, dementia and for stroke survivors.

four.jpgNatural healer:
Other than time, music is a great healer. Singing has similar effects on the body and mind. It ensures physical, mental, psychological and social well-being. It also improves the posture and breathing, as it increases the capacity of the respiratory system.
Builds confidence:
Singing helps develop skills to speak in a natural, powerful and confident voice. It can improve your ability to use your speaking voice with more clarity and confidence. Singing releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps reduce anxiety, thus helping you overcome your fear of public speaking.  Oxytocin also increases feelings of trust, which strengthens confidence in not only yourself but also those around you.
Culled from article by UMNIA SHAHID
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Colne Valley Male Voice Choir Recruitment Officer, Matt Houston adds:.........
So, if you are not in a Choir, I know a good one!
Why not come along and join in?
The choir welcomes new members of all ages.  Don’t worry if you are not a trained music- reader or have not sung since school days! You’ll find many members who have joined from that background – read on to find out what they say.
“ Since I joined  I’ve sung from the stage of Huddersfield Town Hall to a capacity audience, been in the winning choir at the Cornish International Festival and been to lots of new venues” – a Bass
“ I wondered what to expect but I never thought  it would be such a friendly outfit – as pleasant as it is rewarding” – a Baritone
If you enjoy singing just come along to a Monday night rehearsal at Slaithwaite Conservative Club, Britannia Road, Slaithwaite (7.30 to 9.30pm), with the choice of listening or sitting in the ranks as one of 70+ enthusiasts.
After attending a few rehearsals you’ll be asked to take a simple audition to establish your vocal ability and placement in the section that best suits your voice. Once allocated to a part you will have a section leader to help you settle in.
You’ll have the pleasure of singing under one of the country’s finest conductors.  As Musical Director since 1989, Thom Meredith has further enhanced the standard and reputation of the choir, clearly borne out by a succession of competition achievements and concert engagements at prestigious venues.
The choir will be competing again at the Cornish International Male Voice Championship in May 2015 and would welcome new members to share the experience of a wonderful weekend and the opportunity to perhaps bring home the Championship Trophy again.
Please pass this recommendation on to men of your acquaintance – It could be a life-saver for them: literally!
For further information contact me, Matt Houston, Recruitment Officer 01484 658188

Big Winner: £1,000 prize goes to
Brian Hibbert
200 Club Supremo, Les Stones, reports that the £1,000 Jackpot was won by bass singer and semi -retired farmer, Brian Hibbert, of Outlane.
Voice of the Valley caught up with Brian to get the low down on what he’d done with the cash.
“Well, I spent about 300 quid on strong drink” says Brian.  “Then there was about 400 quid on lap-dancers.   And I guess I just squandered the rest” *
Brian, 34, certainly knows how to party.

* None of this is true!
Complaint to the Editor
A reader writes....
“Re your article, Voice of the Valley goes Global.....
I’ll have you know ‘Voice of the Valley’ is regularly read here in Bangkok but I notice it is not mentioned on your map of World Readers.  
Surely an oversight that will be corrected in the next edition!
I feel so strongly about this that I am flying over to discuss this in person. “
Yours etc.
VotV round the world- also in Thailand.jpg

Christmas Concerts
I’m told there may still be a few tickets left to see our Christmas Concert at the Town Hall with our wonderful guests, the Brighouse and Rastrick Band on Sunday 14th
But there’s another chance to see us:
The following Saturday, December 20th we’ll be the guests of the incomparible Marsden Silver Prize Band at the parish Church in Marsden in a concert much loved for its friendliness and festive atmosphere.

 Don't miss 'em!

And another thing.......
Kirklees Music School Face Funding

Crisis due to Kirklees Council Cuts

School Principal. Thom Meredith. said he could not rule out some of Kirklees Music School's centres being forced to close.

Fears have been raised for the future of Kirklees Music School in the face of council cuts. As Kirklees Council prepares its next wave of cuts worth £69 million, the music school is gearing up for another fight.

More than 7,000 students – both schoolchildren and adults – take lessons from 60 teachers.  Based in Huddersfield, the music school has centres at Netherhall Learning Campus in Huddersfield; Holmfirth High School; Colne Valley High School; Mirfield Free Grammar School; Shelley College; Whitcliffe Mount College, Cleckheaton; and Batley Salvation Army HQ.

It is not yet known where the axe will fall but school principal Thom Meredith said he could not rule out some of the centres being forced to close.

Mr Meredith’s fears were raised by a letter from the council saying grants to all arts organisations would be cut by 2017-18.

On top of that the council’s latest public consultation document includes a direct question over whether the council should continue to fund the music school.

The school, which offers lessons in brass, keyboard, percussion, string and woodwind instruments, currently receives £299,000 from the council.  A registered charity, it was set up in 1992 when Kirklees pulled out of full-time funding.

Mr Meredith, who has now written to all students, said he was “deeply saddened” by the threat and added: “I see the issue as gradually undermining the cultural and artistic identity of our area."

“Removing funding from such organisations cuts off the lifeblood. Music is extremely important to young people and gives such a positive drive and energy to those involved.

We were told that cuts to Kirklees Music School were very likely two years ago and we went through a period of consultation and looked at changes but due to a good deal of parental resistance in the end councillors decided not to cut funding.

Over recent years we have made our organisation as lean as possible but are once again looking at reviewing the whole structure in a cost saving exercise.”

Mr Meredith said that many elements of the service would be at risk if the funding axe fell.

He added: “This could include free access to tuition for ‘looked after children’, subsidising tuition for low-income families with a Kirklees Priority Passport and for families accessing minority instruments, a Gifted and Talented Scholarship programme, supporting live performances in schools and large scale concerts, networking meetings for school music teachers and administrative costs.”The annual council grant has remained the same since 2000. The initial start-up grant in 1992 was £925,000.  The service costs £1.7 million to run with £499,000 from the Arts Council. Parents and students also pay tuition fees.

Mr Meredith has urged students and parents to take part in the council’s consultation, which runs until December 5.

He insisted the service would not close completely and said: “Music is too important”.

Taken from the Huddersfield Examiner 17/11/2014
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