New Dewsbury Community Choir aims to spread happiness through song

A new community choir is ready to spread a little happiness and togetherness through song.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:11 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:12 pm
Members of Dewsbury Community Choir at a rehearsal

Dewsbury Community Choir was set up at the end of September and already has around 20 members.

The choir – open to anyone over the age of 16 – welcomes people who have never sung before but who want to learn.

The choir was set up by previous members of the privately-run Magic Voices, which merged its Dewsbury choir with Wakefield in the wake of the pandemic.

One of the founders, Craig Widdop, said: “Everyone is welcome and we are a really friendly group.

"Anyone can join us, even those who haven’t sung before. There is no audition and no-one will be turned away.

“Everybody has been stuck at home for so long but now we can get out and come back together again.

“People who have come to our rehearsals say we have a real sense of community and it’s all about meeting new people and making new friends.”

The group meets every Thursday between 7pm and 9pm at Dewsbury Minster.

“We open for coffee or a tea at 7pm where people can chat and get to know each other and then rehearsals start at 7.30pm,” Craig said.

The choir’s music director is Matthew Lazenby, an accomplished pianist, organist and chorister who is an experienced musical teacher and choir trainer.

Matthew was previously music director with Magic Voices’ Dewsbury choir.

Everyone who joins starts with a free taster session and annual membership costs £330 a year. Discounts are available and fees can be paid weekly or monthly.

The choir is run on a not-for-profit basis and once all overheads have been covered the group will donate the remainder to its chosen local charity.

The charity that will benefit for the first year is Millington’s Magical Barn, an animal sanctuary that looks after 60 abused or neglected animals in Thornhill.

Committee member Craig, 45, who also lives in Thornhill, said there were currently more women than men in the choir and he urged more men to consider joining.

The choir’s first public performance is likely to be at the Dewsbury Christmas lights switch-on and there may be a concert for family and friends at Dewsbury Minster before Christmas.

For more information or to join, go to