Celebrating 10 years of Mixed Harmony at Almondbury Methodist Church
Mixed Harmony – Celebrating The First Ten Years!

This text has been reproduced from 'The Link - March 2006':

It’s ten years since Mixed Harmony first performed as a group at Almondbury Methodist Church. The event – the Ladies Weekend concert on 23 March 1996, where they performed twelve numbers.

At this first concert, Mixed Harmony had six members – Anne S, Anne W, John S, Peter C, Selwyn S and Richard W, but they grew to seven and became complete as an ensemble when Jo S joined in 1999.

Many of you will have bought copies of their CD ‘One Day, the Earth is the Lord’s’, copies of which make excellent presents and are still available, and all proceeds still go to the Grand Plan.

However, did you know that the origins of Mixed Harmony go back to the 1960’s when another massive fund-raising campaign was underway to raise money for the construction of our present church.

At that time a group of young teenagers associated with Almondbury Methodist Church, including originally Anne and Selwyn S, and later Anne (nee Greaves) and Richard W toured around the churches, old folks homes and concert venues of Huddersfield as ‘The New Bricks’, a musical concert party under the leadership of well known local comedian, painter and decorator, and church member, John S, helping to raise money to build our new church.

Those the top side of fifty may remember other New Bricks – Pauline G, Robert S, Margaret M, Maureen S, Linda & Shirley R, Jackie S, Christine L, Andy W, Margaret V, Liz A and helpers Doreen P (Costumes), Eddie B, Cyril A, and Marian W. (Please forgive any omissions - after 40 years the memory fades!).

The basic grounding and training gained in The New Bricks stood the members in good stead for many later appearances in church concerts, our annual pantomime, and the formation of Mixed Harmony.

But what do you actually know about Mixed Harmony? You know they perform the odd song or two at our own church services, you know they recently took the whole service on the subject Creation to Resurrection, and you know they occasionally take part in church concerts.

What you probably don’t know is that Mixed Harmony are regularly asked to perform all over the area. This can be singing just a handful of religious songs or hymns as part of a church service, or it can be taking the bulk or the whole of a church service – in the last year or two this has included services at Carr Lane Methodist Church in Slaithwaite, Dalton Methodist Church, Gatehead Methodist Church, Whitley Church and Wooldale Methodist Church. A return visit to sing at the Songs of Praise service at Gatehead Methodist Church is planned for this coming June.

More usually, Mixed Harmony go full circle back to their roots, and perform light hearted concerts ranging from a short half hour to a full two hour concert with comfort break and raffle! These concerts are a mixture of serious songs, comedy numbers, humorous musical sketches and light-hearted banter. A highlight of their show is a complete presentation of the pantomime ‘Cinderella’ – in just four minutes and twenty seconds! It’s hard to come up with a modern description of Mixed Harmony, but in old-fashioned terms, they’re a concert party.

Concerts are often for special events, anniversaries, old folks treats and fundraisers. Audiences don’t always know what they’re in for but are always pleasantly surprised, so much so that Mixed Harmony continually receive requests for repeat performances.

Past highlights have included a Hospice fund-raiser at Paddock Village Hall, a special show for Lepton Old Folks Treat, and a never to be forgotten show at Dodworth Working Men’s Club, where Peter quite literally brought the roof down.

In the last couple of year concerts have been staged for, amongst others, All Souls Amateur Operatic Society in Halifax, Kirkheaton URC Ladies Christmas Party, the RAF Association along with Sellers International Youth Band (held by coincidence at Almondbury), Whitley Church, Huddersfield Lions, Bradley Oddfellows, and Yorkshire Cancer Relief.

On each away trip, whether it be a church service or a concert, CD’s continue to be sold for the benefit of the Grand Plan at Almondbury.

Bookings are often made up to a year in advance, so if you’re associated with a special group and would like Mixed Harmony to do a concert for you, or take part in a special church service, please contact Selwyn Shaw on 01484 305177 or at ewartselwyn.shaw@ntlworld.com.

Congratulations to Mixed Harmony on their tenth anniversary. If you think you may like to book them for some event, get in quickly, they’re all getting older and another ten years might be just too much.

MHLinkArticle01- 3/2006

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