The year 2023 is to be designated a Year of Music in Kirklees where music of all kinds is celebrated by people from all communities and backgrounds.

Linking into Yorkshire’s plans for a Year of Culture in 2023, the aim is for Kirklees to shine a spotlight on the richness and diversity of music today, bringing in all communities, formats and genres.

In the post-pandemic world organisers want to welcome in visitors from near and far for a year-long celebration of music where everyone is encouraged to experiment, learn, listen and enjoy.

The plan, says Kath Wynne-Hague, strategic lead for cultural development at Kirklees Council, is to “create a vibrant sound track played in the hearts and homes in all our towns and villages.”

She added: “Kirklees is a district of world class music that stands proud on its rich and diverse musical heritage.

“Music is the beat of our heart. It is the sound of our communities and it is the pulse of our towns and villages.

“Kirklees is a place where everyone can hear world class music through our festivals and programming.

“It is a place where children and young people have access to world class musical experiences and education and where the next generation of musicians and music professionals can build and sustain a high-quality career, with access to the very best industry advice, career opportunities and performance routes.

“2023 will be a year where this vision comes to life, where residents are able to enjoy the richness and diversity of music today, inclusive of all genres, all communities and in all forms.

“Our Year of Music will give opportunity and space to encounter new and traditional music, where people will be invited to be part of a community that lives and loves music.”

Mrs Sunderland Festival at Huddersfield Town Hall

Planning for the Year of Music has been impacted by the pandemic and organisers are now revamping the website to build engagement and support.

A film-maker is also working on a promotional film. The intention last year was to film a ‘year in the life of music in Kirklees’ but filming only got as far as the Mrs Sunderland Festival at Huddersfield Town Hall in February.

Kath said it was hoped the new promotional film and the new-look website would launch at the end of April or early May.

She added: “We all have a soundtrack to our lives and this year long programme will showcase the collective soundtrack of Kirklees, together, in a shared playlist experienced through rhythm, song, and events.”

Working in partnership, the Year of Music 2023 aims to work across five strands: Children, Young People and Families; Aspiration and Skills; Industry Development; Community; and Health and Wellbeing.

Applications to join the partnership board of the Year of Music are currently being invited. Information on how to apply can be found here.