East Leeds: Singers in tune at 2015 Garforth Arts Festival

Garforth Arts Festival director Dave Evans.

Garforth Arts Festival director Dave Evans.

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A COMMUNITY choir is aiming to hit the high notes at this year’s Garforth Arts Festival.

The Harmony choir will be performing Zimbé – a set of 12 African songs arranged by jazz composer Alexander L’Estrange – at the summertime festival.

And the project has clearly caught the imagination of residents near its Burmantofts base and across the rest of east Leeds.

More than 40 people interested in singing with the choir at the festival turned out for an open night last Thursday.

Choir leader Frances Bernstein told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The response has been fantastic – I’ve been walking on air all week! We normally have around 15 regular members so for that many people to be there was really great.

“The choir aims to bring together the many diverse communities of east Leeds.

“Last Thursday certainly did that – it seemed like every country from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe was represented.”

Harmony’s members will be joined at their festival appearance by a children’s choir made up of pupils from Garforth’s Green Lane Primary School.

For the performance the choir will also be supported by the vocal talents of Huddersfield-based Zulu singers with jazz backing group, Ubunye-Unity. People keen to get involved with the Zimbé project or the choir’s activities in general can just go along to one of its weekly Thursday sessions at the Anglers Club on Stoney Rock Lane in Burmantofts, starting at 6pm.

Attendance costs £4 or whatever the individual can afford. For further information, visit the www.harmonychoir.org.uk website.

l Garforth Arts Festival will take place this year for the 11th time. Music stars who have graced the event in previous years include Richard Hawley, Billy Bragg, Buzzcocks and Courtney Pine.

Hundreds of local youngsters also take part in festival-related educational activities.