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overgate hospice

Making music for Overgate Hospice

Overgate Hospice Choir was specially formed in 1991 to sing Haydn’s Creation as part of the National Voices for Hospices event which resulted in 113 simultaneous performances of the work throughout the United Kingdom.

The Choir was formed by Philip Taylor and Donald Maxwell-Timmins for the purpose of participating in the prototype event. The involvement of Halifax Choral Society at Wakefield Cathedral that year meant that Halifax, with a Hospice at Elland, would not be able to feature in the nation-wide event unless a choir was specifically formed for the purpose.

Local advertising and word of mouth quickly produced 100 singers from church choirs and other groups, mainly within Calderdale, but with some singers from Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds.

Taking part in that nationwide event in 1991 were 3500 musicians, 20,000 singers and audiences of 24,000 people. Overgate’s own performance in Halifax Parish Church, now Halifax Minster, attracted an audience of some 600 and was pronounced an outstanding success. The financial benefit was over £3000 and nationally the figure exceeded £400,000.

Since that inaugural concert, the members of Overgate Hospice Choir have continued to meet and now produce four concerts a year together with other smaller performances. As far as is known, Overgate was the first hospice to have its own choir formed specifically and solely for the purpose of raising money for the hospice. Other groups have followed but it is believed that Overgate was the very first in that particular field.

The total sum raised for Overgate by this choir now surpasses £370,000. The grateful thanks of all goes to many individuals, businesses and trusts who have generously sponsored, and who continue to sponsor, our concerts – ensuring maximum funding for the Hospice.