The spirit, strength and talent of Barnsley are clearly embodied to me in the achievements of the Barnsley Youth Choir.
It brings together 200 young people, aged between 8 and 18 years old, from a variety of backgrounds, with different talents, musical tastes and aspirations – uniting them seamlessly in one inspirational, beautiful and melodic voice. The creativity and commitment of those involved is something for us all to be proud of.
That’s why I was keen to use my previous appointment, as Shadow Culture Minister responsible for the creative industries, to put them in touch with a world renowned music producer. Simon Humphrey has worked with many famous artists during his career – from the Clash and the Beach Boys, to Culture Club, Bros and Michael Crawford. He even made the Birdie Song!
The many people responsible for making the choir a success used this opportunity to get several tracks recorded. It gave the children the opportunity to experience the professional recording process for themselves, giving them a taste of an industry they may one day wish to join.
The end result is their fantastic Christmas single which was launched this week. The double A-side features the songs, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘O Holy Night’. It costs just £2, with all profits going directly to Barnsley Hospice. Many local people and businesses have pulled together to make this happen, resulting in an impressive £1.50 of every CD sold going direct to the Hospice!
It’s great, when many are ready to knock our town, that we showcase our local talent and help raise money for a cause which benefits our community.
I urge you to go out and buy the single – both for those you know in Barnsley but also to spread the word to people elsewhere. Let’s show the world the Barnsley we are proud of.
For details go to: www.barnsleyyouthchoir.org
This article was first published in the Barnsley Independent on 20th November 2013.