Honley Male Voice Choir to perform with Lesley Garrett at Huddersfield Town Hall

Honley Male Voice Choir conductor Steven Roberts

Honley Male Voice Choir conductor Steven Roberts - Credit: Archant

Directing one choir is challenging, but three? It’s all in a day’s work for conductor and musical director Steven Roberts.

He’s been in charge of raising the hearts, minds and voices of Honley Male Voice Choir for a little over a year, but they’re not his only charges. He also conducts Altrincham Choral Society and Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir. And, because that’s obviously not enough to keep him out of trouble, he’s also a leading light in Sing & Discover, which produces concert experiences and events around the country.

Steven took up the Honley reins in January last year and hasn’t looked back since: ‘The choir accepted that my appointment would be an unusual one, as I was already busy with my varied musical life. We established a rapport quite quickly, but our first major hurdle was our friends and patrons concert; would I pass the test? Thankfully it was a great success and our audience told us they could notice a difference in only a few short months.’

Their next challenge was the Cornwall International Choral Festival – a big ask, but the Honley chaps sang well against some very fine competition.

‘We didn’t win, but the ground that we covered and the bond we established set the tone for the remainder of the year,’ said Steven.

He had to miss a few rehearsals to adjudicate the British and International Federation of Festivals, but returned in style for some major summer concerts and several appearances at Huddersfield Town Hall, including the BBC Radio Leeds Children in Need Concert and the choir’s own Christmas concert with the Cory Band.

‘Honley is a friendly and welcoming choir, but one of the biggest draws is the wonderful town hall in Huddersfield,’ Steven continued. ‘It’s always a thrilling venue to sing in, and even more so when we return in May with soprano Lesley Garrett.

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‘I’m very excited about this concert. We’ve put together a programme of theatre-themed songs from the musicals, opera and operetta. Lesley has been great at accepting our ideas and we know we’ll have a very entertaining evening. In fact, we’re going to have a ball.’

The Children’s Choir of Barnsley Youth Choir will also be joining Lesley and the Honley singers on the night to provide yet another musical contrast.

‘I’m passionate about creating partnerships for young and more mature singers to work together and am delighted that this concert will give us another opportunity to do so,’ said Steven. ‘And of course singing with an artist of Lesley’s reputation means the choir will have to be on tip-top form.

‘I have had the opportunity to conduct in some wonderful places and with some wonderful people, but our concert with Lesley will certainly be one of my favourites.’

Honley Male Voice Choir and Lesley Garrett will be performing at Huddersfield Town Hall on May 31st. For ticket details, visit the box office at tickets.kirklees.gov.uk.