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Ilkley and Otley Choral Societies welcome new music director

AT the start of January’s rehearsals, Ilkley and Otley Choral Societies will welcome their new Music Director, Alex Kyle.

Alex was appointed to succeed Jennifer Sterling, who left Ilkley and Otley Choral Societies, to pursue further opportunities in London.

Alex Kyle, who lives in Leeds, is already a well established figure in Leeds and Bradford music circles. He is a well known conductor, solo singer and singing teacher. He is MD of the Harrogate based chamber choir Vocalis, a post he has held since 2013. From 2013-22 Alex was Choral Director for Leeds Diocese Music during which period he conducted Bradford Cathedral Youth Choir in prestigious venues such as the Papal Basilica of St Peter’s in the Vatican. He has also performed on BBC television and Radio 3 and 4.

He is also in demand as a solo singer and guest conductor , and has run workshops at regional music festivals. He has recently completed his Masters Degree in Solo Voice Ensemble Singing at the University of York.

Ilkley Choral Society start their new season of rehearsals on Monday, January 8, 2024, in Christchurch on The Grove, in Ilkley, at 7.30pm. They will rehearse J. S. Bach’s “St. John Passion” for the performance in Otley Parish Church on March 9.

Adrian Heeley, chair of Ilkley Choral Society said: “The choir is always welcoming new members, to rehearse and sing in our regular concerts in both St Margaret’s Church, Ilkley and Otley Parish Church. We welcome interested new singers to join us for the first two rehearsal sessions, for you to experience working with the choir and deciding whether this type of singing is for you. The “St. John Passion” is a glorious piece of choral music. If you decide to stay with us, we would ask you to become formal members of the society, which would involve paying a membership fee which would represent 50% of the annual subscription. The geographical areas of Bradford and Leeds are well endowed with amateur choirs of various sizes, all contributing to the rich choral history of this part of West Yorkshire. Ilkley Choral Society is based in the town. Our sister choir, Otley Choral Society, is based in Otley town, rehearsing in Prince Henry’s Grammar School on Tuesdays at 7pm, and performing their concerts in Otley Parish Church. On these dark evenings why travel further than you have to, to enjoy excellent quality choral singing. Both choirs join forces for all concerts, making a choir of 120 plus voices, surely one of the biggest in West Yorkshire. We are noted for our excellent performances and enjoy very positive reviews. We always perform with professional soloists accompanied by either an excellent professional ensemble or a professional organist. Geoffrey Mogridge, in his recent review of “Messiah” performed days before Christmas concluded ‘..the audience responded vociferously and rose to its feet in a standing ovation’.

“Our second Spring concert is on Saturday, June 22 in St.Margaret’s Church, Ilkley, when we will be performing Mozart’s “Great C minor Mass”.

“Please come and give us a try, you will be surprised. Please notify the Secretary, Sally Sumpter, on 07758 742831 or if you intend to take up this offer.

“Ilkley Choral Society wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year.”