The All Together Now choir celebrates after its musical director Chris Kemp won the arts and culture award at the Craven Community Champion Awards.
Chris was one of many winners at the ceremony held at the Coniston Hotel, Coniston Cold, last month. He was nominated by Nessa Chacksfield for his ‘outstanding contribution to the community through his work with the choir, during lockdown and beyond’.
Skipton Choir member Liz Robinson said the seven branches of the All Together Choir were very proud of Chris and thought he was a very worthy winner.
She said: “In 2020-21, when we couldn’t be together to sing, we existed on Zoom, hosting events such as parties with our cheerleading group, the Pamdemics. We stayed together as community in all of our branches in Baildon, Bingley, Skipton and Harrogate. We are all so proud of Chris.”
Chris Kemp said he was ‘honoured’ to have received one of the awards, organized by Craven District Council and possibly the last due to the local government reorganization, which will see the council of district abolished in 2023 to be replaced by the sole North Yorkshire Council.
He said: “It’s for everyone in All Together Now. What we have is not about individuals, it’s about community and family. The pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but collectively we’ve come together and we helped each other. I’m proud of who we are.”
Chris’ fiancée, Victoria Duley, said: “To say I’m proud of Chris is an understatement. I’ve seen first hand what he’s had to endure during the lockdowns and the emotions he’s been through. He worked tirelessly to support all members of his choir, always making sure everyone was well, everyone had company and had a purpose in their day, something to get up for A very deserving winner.
Chris leads seven branches of the All Together Choir, including the Skipton branch, which meets for rehearsals once a week at the town’s Methodist Church.
As well as leading the choirs, Chris was also instrumental in establishing the Charitable Trust, which supports five charities each year. As well as raising money for charities, members of the choir also support them in other ways and currently volunteer at the SELFA Community Fridge, which redistributes free food that would normally go to waste.
The Skipton ATN Choir, featuring Chris, rehearses weekly at Trinity Methodist Church, Newmarket Street, Skipton on Thursdays from 10am-11.30am. Welcome new members. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org