Kirklees Year of Music 2023 Announces its Exciting Summer Programme

Today, Kirklees Council is excited to announce its Summer programme (May – August) for Kirklees Year of Music 2023. There will be something for everyone in Kirklees, West Yorkshire and beyond. The vibrant and diverse calendar includes Let’s Sing!’, bringing together schools across Kirklees to perform ‘Into the Light’ – the song for Kirklees Year of Music. A spectacular public art event HERD. Free Bands in the Park concerts, and ‘From Pub to Pulpit’ a rousing musical experience for the 150th anniversary celebrations of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Plus, the world’s greatest classical music festival comes to Dewsbury with a very special BBC Prom.

KYOM23 is the first-ever year of culture told through music and the year-long programme has already seen successful events such as: Platform artist showcase, launching the careers of local musicians on a global scale. And the Music Changes Lives conference, which kicked off the year with a Keynote Speech from YolanDa Brown OBE in January.

KYOM23 aims to celebrate the area's musical identity and support music-making, festivals and event across the from towns and villages of the district. It includes multiple strands of programming including learning, health and wellbeing, opportunities for young people and music industry support.  KYOM23 is providing a 360-degree approach to music and its importance in everyday life throughout the summer months.

Summer highlights (May – August include):

  • 16 May: Let’s Sing! Finale– Taking place at Huddersfield Town Hall, the event will bring together all the schools that have taken part in Let’s Sing! Listen out for the song 'Into the Light' – a song for Kirklees Year of Music - sponsored by the National Lottery Community Fund and Musica Holme Valley.  This uplifting song was written at a two-day workshop with Henry Bateman, and students from All Saints Catholic College, Newsome Academy and Honley High.  The song has been professionally produced by Henry and gifted to primary schools to celebrate KYOM23. The finale concert will see hundreds of young people performing on-stage conducted by Musica Director Thom Meredith.
  • 8 June: From Pub To Pulpit – Featuring the Town Hall’s fantastic organ played by David Pipe this unique event combines classical, choral and folk music. David will be Joined by acapella folk group Broomdasher, instrumental trio Coracle – led by Paul Hutchinson of the legendary Belshazzar’s Feast, and Holmfirth Choral Society to celebrate the music of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.  There will be plenty of opportunities to sing along too.
  • 11 – 16 July: HERD - A genre-defying musical mash-up of epic proportions, HERD is a major new project devised by composer Orlando Gough and produced by Artichoke for Kirklees Year of Music. This vibrant, musical soundscape and major participatory project traces the cultural and industrial story of Kirklees, through its many musical traditions. From brass to boliyaan to choirs and more, there will be music for everyone taking over the district, broadcast by a specially-crafted flock of oversized sheep sculptures wired for sound.
    • Sounds artists announced taking part include: Chris Ruffoni, Jaydev Mistry, Jo Kennedy, Yorkshire Sound Women Network, Monty Adkins, Rob Crisp, HOOT, Sam Hodgson and Sunil Kalyan
  • 6 August:BBC Proms at Dewsbury with Laura van der Heijden and pianist Jâms Coleman – The world's greatest classical music festival comes to Dewsbury! Former BBC Young Musician of the Year Laura van der Heijden and pianist Jâms Coleman present a programme of 20th and 21st-century music for cello and piano at Dewsbury Town Hall 

Throughout the summer, Kirklees will also be home to a number of festivals exploring music and culture including &Piano Festival (May), Holmfirth Festival of Folk (May), Pride on St George’s Square in Huddersfield (17 June), Deighton Carnival (24 June) and Sangam Festival (July & August.  Plus the return of two much-loved events in Greenhead Park – Sangam Mela and Huddersfield Carnival on 7and 8 July.

Creative Minds, KYOM23 and Lawrence Batley Theatre are looking for local people to join South Asian Women’s choir Song Geet. Originally formed in Bradford, Song Geet are part of the Coronation Choir that will perform at the Kings’ coronation concert on the 7 May. Working with actor, singer and Theatre Community Ambassador, Madiha Ansari and food author and content creator, Sobia Bashir local women will be part of only the third choir of its kind in the UK. Free taster sessions will be held at community venues across Kirklees for women of Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim backgrounds to sing in Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Pashto and Bengali, working towards a performance in Huddersfield on 6 August.

Colin Parr, Strategic Director Environment and Climate Change at Kirklees Council said: “Moving into the Summer months, we hope to welcome even more people to Kirklees to experience the music and culture of the district. We are thrilled that – from the Coronation weekend we’ll be able to bring free music concerts to our beautiful parks and green spaces. We are also particularly delighted to welcome HERD, which will tell the musical story of Kirklees through an audio-visual spectacle.”

Other events taking place in May through August include:

  • 7 May – 27 August: Bands in the Park – In various venues across Kirklees, Summer Bands in the Park is back for 2023. Weekend concerts will take place from the Coronation weekend to end of August in a variety of locations across the district.
  • Various Dates: Music of Tomorrow – Managed by Yorkshire Youth & Music for KYOM23 the music industry strand of the programme is offering two free opportunities for young people aged 16 – 24 to develop experience in music production and creation. Weekly 2-hour sessions start 2 May followed by a 4-day programme from 17 – 20 July.
  • 11 May: Festival of Conversations:In Conversation with Dame Evelyn Glennie - In this very special launch event for Festival of Conversations, Supriya Nagarajan, Artistic Director of Manasamitra will be in conversation with Dame Evelyn Glennie. They will explore the wealth of Dame Evelyn’s experience as the first full-time solo percussionist in the world and her unique approach to sound at Dewsbury Town Hall.
  • 13 May: EurovisionParty – Join the Lawrence Batley Theatre to celebrate the night of music and throw a massive Euro-bonanza full of glitz and glamour without a “NIL-POINTS!” in sight! The watch-party is free but must be booked in advance.
  • 27 May:The Young 'Uns Cleckheaton Folk Festival Spring Concerts – As part of KYOM23, the team behind Cleckheaton Folk Festival present the second in its series of special concerts with The Young 'Uns as a part of their Tiny Notes tour taking  place at Dewsbury Town Hall.
  • 3 June: WOVEN IN KIRKLEES - STRUT: Fashion+Identity+Music – KYOM23 is bringing its music stage to the opening event of WOVEN in Kirklees. STRUT is a free family day of fashion, music and fun outside Dewsbury Town Hall.  Bands performing include alt-folk duo Before Breakfast and 8-piece Klonk mixing klezmer, Balkan, funk, jazz, metal and hip-hop.  
  • 12 June: Organic Doom Vol. 1 featuring Arð and Pantheist  – Fans of heavy metal and organ music are in for a unique, unforgettable experience as two doom metal bands join forces with a celebrated pipe organ for a live concert at Huddersfield Town hall.
  • 17 June: Pride – St George's Square, Huddersfield – Pride returns with performances on its music stage, stalls and much more.
  • 17 - 18 June: Grand Northern Ukulele Festival – This multi-award-winning event is quirky, bold, welcoming and back for 2023! GNUF is one-of-a-kind featuring ukuleles and so very much more! This extraordinary event features world-class live music, inspiring workshops, chances to sing & play along at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. 
  • 21 June: Make Music Day – KYOM23 will bring live music and workshops to schools across Kirklees during the whole month of June to tie in with Make Music Day.
  • Saturday 24 June: Deighton Carnival – Deighton Carnival is back for its 22nd anniversary edition hosted by Swaytel, this year’s theme is Deighton Celebrates Kirklees Year of Music. Featuring a colourful carnival procession, stage show, sports tournaments, stalls, funfair and much more at the Deighton Centre.
  • 7 July: Tongue Fu – A special Dewsbury edition of Tongue Fu, one of the UK’s leading spoken word and music events. Poets, writers and storytellers take to the stage amplified by the quick-witted improvisers of the Tongue Fu band. Part gig, part experiment; this is a high energy, big hearted show with wide appeal at Dewsbury Town Hall.
  • 8 July – Huddersfield Carnival, Greenhead Park – get into the carnival atmosphere with live music, headline performances, delicious food and family fun.
  • 9 July: Sangam Mela – Greenhead Park – celebrate the music and culture of South Asia at this one-day event
  • 17 July –18 August: Sangam Festival: A Celebration of South Asian Heritage  – Taking place during South Asian Heritage Month, Sangam Festival is a community event celebrating South Asian arts, culture and heritage. It brings people together in a spirit of celebration, positivity and harmony. Featuring children and family activities, music and dance, books and poetry, talks, workshops, heritage trails, exhibitions and more.  
  • 6 August:Prince Reimagined  – Prince, known for his incredible musicianship and flamboyant stage presence, influenced generations of musicians, singers and fans. Now Hardeep Singh Sahota reimagines Prince’s prolific and eclectic songbook for a very special event at Lawrence Batley Theatre. This will give a new experience to long-standing fans and introduce the music to inspire younger generations.  
  • Throughout the year:Kirklees Museums & Galleries Programme- Enjoy a series of special music events at Kirklees Museums & Galleries this summer. Follow a Year of Music trail at Bagshaw Museum, where you can discover and learn about the musical objects on display, experience Music in the Gardens at Tolson Memorial Gardens and pick up a map and explore the Orchestra Trail at Oakwell Hall.

Find out more:



Notes to editors

About Kirklees Year of Music 2023 (KYOMO23)

Kirklees Year of Music in 2023, is a unique, place-based, cultural change programme initiated and led by Kirklees Council, part of the wider cultural offer in the region of West Yorkshire over the coming three years.  2023 is designated as a Year of Music for the district and, through investment in the district’s diverse music talent, communities and businesses, the year-long programme of events and projects, will strengthen the music ecology of Kirklees from its roots.  

2023 will celebrate the richness and diversity of Kirklees music heritage, the music created and performed today, and the ambition for the future, inclusive of all music genres, all communities and in all forms. 

Kirklees is a place where everyone can hear world class music through festivals and programming; where children and young people have access to high quality musical experiences and education; and where the next generation of musicians and music professionals can build and sustain a high-quality career, with access to the very best industry advice, career opportunities and performance routes.

@musicinkirklees  | #kyom23 |

Creative Minds

Creative Minds is an award-winning NHS charity, based in Kirklees and hosted by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust that uses the arts to improve mental health and wellbeing.  Creative Minds is a charity that integrates creativity and the arts into mainstream health and wellbeing practice. Since its launch in November 2011, Creative Minds has enabled over 500 projects inside and outside of NHS services, and facilitated over 100 sports events. Creative Minds delivers and runs projects for local people, to develop individuals’ and communities’ mental, physical and psychological wellbeing.

As a key partner of KYOM23's Health & Wellbeing strand, Creative Minds has teamed up with KYOM23 to fund a range of musical projects, supporting sixteen local not-for-profit organizations to provide music-related activities in 2023.


Founded in 2005, Artichoke is one of the UK’s leading creative companies and a registered charity, and is part of Art Council England’s National Portfolio. The company’s aim is to work with artists to create unique, large-scale experiences that appeal to the widest possible audience and to use art to disrupt the everyday to create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in. They believe the arts should not take place behind the closed doors of theatres, concert halls or galleries. Instead, they work in the street, public squares, along the coast and in the countryside across the UK, bringing communities together through learning and participation work leaving a legacy of skills and new-found potential behind. | @artichoketrust |