By Andy Hirst

People have the chance to take part in a spectacular choral concert at Huddersfield Town Hall.

The ever-popular Mrs Sunderland Festival now gives people the opportunity to learn to sing a major musical piece and then perform it on the same day … and it’s open to absolutely anyone.

It’s seen as the curtain-raiser for the festival which starts a few days later.

This year the workshop is based on a choral masterpiece called The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace written by Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins to commemorate the Kosovo crisis in 1999.

The concert will also feature musicians from Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra and Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra along with soloists who have been past winners at the festival.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra describes The Armed Man as an “evocative work which combines the traditional Latin mass text with musical influences from both western and eastern traditions, ranging from serene reflection to the dramatic climax of battle while retaining the narrative that peace is always better than war.”

The event will be on Sunday, February 5 with the workshop to learn the music from 9am to 4.45pm and then the concert from 5.45pm to 7pm.

The whole day will be at Huddersfield Town Hall and will be led by highly acclaimed Huddersfield musician Thom Meredith.

Thom led a previous performance of The Armed Man in 2016 when the festival first introduced the workshop for adult singers. He is well known throughout the north of England as a conductor and baritone soloist and often leads singing workshops.

He is also the principal of music education hub Musica Kirklees and is ‘Musica’ orchestra’s regular conductor. He has also been musical director at Colne Valley Male Voice Choir since 1989.

It costs £25 to do the full day (£15 for students aged 16 to 18) and you can register at

Alternatively, contact Gareth Beaumont by email at or phone him on 01484 646441.

People are urged to apply early to avoid missing out.

Tickets for the concert are £10 for adults and free for children and are available at the Kirklees Box Office.

For more on the 2023 Mrs Sunderland Festival, which usually attracts more than 4,000 performers and runs from February 15 to February 25, go to

* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.