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Welcome Choir seeks help

Saturday, 3 December 2016

From Michael Prior

We are a group of people in the Calder Valley who recently organised a Welcome Festival in Hebden Bridge. This brought together refugees and asylum seekers from Rochdale and Halifax with local people from the Calder Valley to listen to an afternoon of entertainment mainly from refugees in choirs, drumming troupes and individual singers. It was a huge success with nearly 400 people coming including some 80 refugees and we were inspired to try and organise a similar choir in Halifax to the ones we had invited from Leeds and Sheffield.

Welcome choir

We have many choirs in the Valley and have gathered together a group from these. We have also made contact with St Augustines, the Halifax community centre which helps many of the refugees in the Valley, and with St Hildas, a local church, which has offered us use of their community centre for rehearsal and which wants to organise a community choir which will reach out to refugees, many of whom live in their neighbourhood.

We have also arranged for an experienced music director to help us through our early months and we will begin work in January. Our ambition is to develop a choir which can sing in the varied songs of different cultures and which can perform at events like the Welcome Festival and other community occasions.

We will rely upon volunteers for our singers but we do need some finance to pay something to our professional music director and other expenses such as some travel for refugee participants.

Initially we are asking for £900 which we believe should finance 10 fortnightly sessions by which time we will know if we have succeeded.

Donations can be made here.

See our Facebook page where we will post news of all our progress and we will keep all donors informed who wish to keep in touch.

Why help? These hard times for those who have fled war and terror in their countries and who seek our help. There are some who want to close our doors and turn our back on such people. We believe that it is necessary to show solidarity with them and that one way of doing this is by sharing our cultures through song.

See also:

HebWeb News: Welcome Festival a great success (1 Nov 2016)