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Singing in Ukraine.

Byline: Susan Hampshire ,

A huddersfield ladies choir is off to Ukraine in the autumn to continue forging musical links.

Members of Vocal Expressions will be setting off for Ukraine on October 22 and are now looking to raise funds for the trip or for sponorship.

The choir, established for 10 years, will visit Lvov, to stage several concerts.

Choir chairwoman Dianne Robinson said the links with Ukraine began in 2002 when Vocal Expressions bought a new lilac and heather concert dress.

She said: "When we changed our concert dress, we were looking to pass on the old outfits to a needy choir."

An enterprising member of Vocal Expressions, Val Shuttleworth, asked whether the "old" dress could be sent to a needy choir in Ukraine rather than just be thrown away.

Through Val's church and connections with the local Ukranian community, the dark green concert dress was passed on.

As a result, members of MRIYA, the Ukranian national choir visited Huddersfield last year and staged a joint concert with Vocal Expressions. Strong bonds were formed between the two choirs as members of the Ukraine choir stayed with families of Vocal Expressions.

Dianne said: "Thirty-five members of our choir are having a return visit to Ukraine. Already we have held two curry nights at Meltham's Cinnamon Lodge, done cake stalls at Holmfirth Market and held a concert in Holmfirth Civic Hall to raise funds for the trip.

"Tickets are now available for a concert at St Paul's Hall in early October when we will share the stage with some Ukranian dancers."

Vocal Expressions also sing for weddings and events, and pride themselves on being able to deliver anything from Elvis to Elgar.

The choir can sing in Latin, Welsh, Ukrainian and Spanish.

Vocal Expressions had a wide age range of members from 19 to mid-60s and sings under the musical direction of Scottish-born Catherine Williams.

As a result of the 2004 concert,Vocal Expressions has been invited to perform for the Ukranian community in Manchester in January 2006.

The choir practices every Thursday evening at Holmbridge parish hall.

* Anyone who can help with fundraising or sponsorship should call 01484-643848.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2005
Words:357
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