As they say 'Methodism was born in song' and the choral tradition has always been strong in the area. This was particularly strong at Lindwell, one of the churches which came together in 2002. Lindwell was able to draw on a history of FRCO organists, opera trained leadership, an orchestra and the heady days of Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation.
The Cross Hills Choir is a relatively small but dedicated bunch of people, which is augmented on special occasions. They make a beautiful sound together and sing contemporary songs mixed in with the traditional.
The Church is blessed in having Janet Revill, a writer and composer, who has produced several choral works which have been presented by the choir.
The choir has recently presented her Advent choral piece 'The Promise'. It has several pieces for the choir including a particularly memorable 'My Heart Glorifies The Lord', which is a solo for Mary who is accompanied by the choir. There are several other choral items which reflect the various aspects of Advent.
The musical pieces are interspersed with readings and prayers and there is a humourous scene when the Angel Gabriel comes to Zechariah to advise him of his impending fatherhood.
Janet has also written her oratorio. This is called 'Love so Amazing' and it gathers together all aspects of the Easter story including the crucifixion. It concludes with the choir singing 'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross' to music that has been composed and arranged by Janet.
There are solos for tenor and baritone in the work; for some years the baritone part was sung by David Owen Lewis, of Opera North.
Also in the last year, in October at the Choir Sunday, the Elland Male Voice choir took up our invitation to sing with us and we had a service full to the brim with music and worship that was both rousing and moving; as was the Sankey service in November. We were glad to welcome a few visitors from other churches to join us in paying tribute to Sankey and Moody and also celebrating something that has featured strongly in the tradition at Lindwell over the years.
We had special music at our S.S Anniversary in May, welcoming back Rev Paul Clapham to preach, and teaming up with the young people and their ‘band’ for a few numbers.
In July at our final services, the Flower Service and Well Service, the choir, again alongside the young people, provided music for remembrance and reflection in celebration and thanks for the life, ministry and witness there.
This year the choir once again teamed up with the folk from Southgate and the SonRise group for an inspirational and moving presentation of “The Promise”, music for advent, at Southgate.
Even though the choir is worked hard by their musical director, there is still time for fellowship, to develop friendships and support each other and we annually have a meal together, usually at Ryburn Golf club in October.
It was good to meet up again as a choir at Southgate to rehearse for The Promse. We will continue to meet after Christmas but as yet we don't know where or when.