Colne Valley Male Voice Choir launched the idea of a boys’ choir in October 2009 and since then has worked with schools, Head Teachers, Kirklees Council’s Vocal Strategy Group and the community. Our time line was ambitious, visiting 18 schools in one week in March and singing to 2,000 children. The boys had their first rehearsal on the 19th April 2010 and their first public performance on 19th June alongside Colne Valley Male Voice Choir.
One Week in March
And what a week it was !
In 5 days an average of 38 members and helpers of Colne Valley Male Voice Choir visited a total of 18 primary schools in our area, to recruit members for Colne Valley Boys. A new choir for boys, aged from 8 to 12 years, but hopefully increasing year on year until we have an age group of 8 to 18 year olds.
Most of the men taking part were some of the more mature members, as the younger men had to be at work -what a shame- they missed a treat! The weather was very kind to us all week, going from raincoats to shirt sleeves.
With a strict timetable we started at Golcar first thing on Monday morning and finished at Crosland Moor on Friday afternoon. In between the men sang for almost 2000 children. All the schools were different, some very large with an audience of 400+ junior children, one with just 45 in the whole school!
Many of the schools performed for us, one boys’ choir sang ‘You Are Not Alone’ beautifully, - very moving.
Another had a Japanese drumming group – excellent, but very loud!
We took part in school assemblies, birthday celebrations, the enthusiasm was infectious and the children and the men really enjoyed themselves.
By the end of the week, the men were tired, but elated, they had learnt sign language, renewed friendships, some had visited their old schools, it had restored their faith in the youth of today. It will be remembered by all those involved, young and old.
My lasting memory was watching the children wave as they filed out of the school hall to the men singing the Irish Blessing.
The result was that we had 24 boys with their parents attending the inaugural meeting the following Monday evening.