'Joyous' North Northamptonshire Music Festival sees choirs compete in Kettering

The event replaces the 109-year Kettering Eisteddfod that closed in 2018

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 4:11 pm

Choirs, singers, visitors and organisers have given the Kettering-based North Northamptonshire Music Festival a chorus of approval after its inaugural event.

Competing for a selection of honours, choirs from across the area sang their hearts out at the contest held at the Salvation Army citadel on June 11.

Guest adjudicator Irene Grant-Jones sang the festival’s praises saying it was one of the “most organised and inspirational events” she had ever been involved with.

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Josh Daniel with one of the winning choirs

Founder and president of North Northamptonshire Festival, Joshua Daniel said: “What a day! I was so proud to see all the choirs come together for what really was the most joyous of occasions, choirs laughing and singing all in the same room, competing against each other but happy for one another on their successes – the true meaning of a festival and the true spirit of the North Northamptonshire Music Festival.

"I would also like to take the opportunity in thank all the volunteers that helped on the day to ensure the smooth running of the day and we even finished early which is a very rare thing in Choral Competitions.”

Choirs included Northampton Male Voice Choir, The Decibelles, The Melody Choir, Allegra Singers. Rhapsody Chorus, Sound Sensation, Firebirds, Black Cat Harmony who all took him trophies throughout the day.

Mr Daniel said: “The atmosphere was electric and it was such a joy to see choirs and musicians alike supporting each other, cheering each other on after what has been not only a difficult time because of Covid but also since the demise of the 109 Year Old Kettering Eisteddfod.

Choirs competed against each other in different categories

"To witness the camaraderie and the support everyone was showing each other made it the most enjoyable event. This new festival will now become an annual fixture in the community’s calendar.”

Ms Grant-Jones said: “The musical buzz was in the air right from the start as the resident compere took to the stage to set the scene for the day.

"Although this event was in fact a competition, all competitors wished the very best for each group performance and exuded immense community spirit. We heard the most sensitive piano accompaniment contribution enabling groups to achieve their very best as their voices soared to unimaginable heights where the room was filled with X factor moments.

“The cross-generational aspect was vast where singers of all different levels contributed their wealth of experience to interpreting each composer’s musical intention. I observed the natural enthusiasm of singers sharing their connection with the lyrics and creating a joint, yet personal story through facial expression and sincerity from the heart.

Categories included male, female and mixed-voice choirs

“Every competition is different. I hope that on this occasion, each person present will have taken unique and special moments away with them to store in a treasure chest of beautiful memories.”

Mr Daniel added: “Next year is going to be even bigger and better and on Saturday, June 10 for the choral festival. We hope to encourage and invite youth choirs from schools and colleges to next year’s event.”

Irene Grant-Jones was guest judge