Double festival joy for Clitheroe singers

Brookside School Choir. (s)
Brookside School Choir. (s)
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The Clitheroe Pop Choir will be giving its biggest performance ever at this summer’s Beat-Herder festival.

But the amateur choristers have also landed a leading role at Clitheroe’s first Choirs For Peace Festival on the same day.

Because hours after sharing a stage with Boney M, who enjoyed worldwide fame with monster hits Daddy Cool, Ma Baker, and the Rivers of Babylon, the 80-strong choir will be lining up at the Trinity Methodist Church in town.

Sue Sykora, founder and musical director of the choir, said: “It is going to be a really special weekend, a lovely gathering, and a memorable one for all the people involved at the Choirs for Peace Festival.”

Clitheroe Pop Choir will be the first act on the main stage at Beat-Herder on Saturday, and Sue added: “It will be a really busy day but one, I think, that we will always remember.

“We’ve never sung two concerts in a day but I’m sure it will be fine. We can’t wait.”

The Festival of Peace, from July 13-15th, will feature a dozen choirs, with the Grand Choir and Octameron opening the festival at the Grand Theatre on Friday (July 13th).

Named after a Greek poet, The Nelson Arion Glee Union Male Voice Choir, have won prizes for their singing at the National Eisteddods of Wales and their concert at St Mary Magdalene’s Church will be sure to provide one of the highlights of the Peace Festival.

Youngsters from Clitheroe’s Brookside Primary School, the choir having performed at Blackburn Cathedral and Blackpool Tower Ballroom, will be on stage at St Leonard’s Church, Downham.

Poet and playwright Ian McMillan is the patron of Clitheroe’s Choirs for Peace Festival, and said: “In 2014 the choirs commemorated the start of the Great War with a concert in Clitheroe, and now we are approaching the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, the Armistice on November 11, it is a very poignant time for a Festival of Peace.

“Since the dawn of time, people have loved to sing, whether to keep themselves warm, to wish for safety, or mark a passing moment.

“I’ve written lots of words for choirs and I’m endlessly thrilled by the moment when the words first take to the air and settle on the ear with new meanings that I could never have thought of, conjured up by the meeting of language and music.”

He added: “So, at Clitheroe’s Festival of Peace, tap your feet, sing along, applaud wildly.

“And maybe, think about joining a choir yourself.”

Details of the Clitheroe Festival of Choirs: Festival of Peace, July 13-15th, Grand Theatre website – - or call 01200 421599 for details of concert venues and tickets.