JUNE will see the culmination of the new Voices of Craven initiative to encourage and develop wider participation in music, especially singing.

Since April, choirs in Gargrave, Settle, Giggleswick, Rathmell, Coniston Cold, Bell Busk and Kirkby Malham have been rehearsing selected pieces of music, coached by Tom Leech, director of the Diocese of Leeds singing programme.

They will perform in their individual parishes, before coming together for a Grand Finale Celebration Concert at Giggleswick School on Saturday, June 25.

The opening concert will take place at St Andrew's Church, Gargrave, next Sunday, June 5, at 3pm when local singers will be joined by Giggleswick-born Sarah Fox, described as one of the leading English sopranos of her generation.

Sarah - who has worked with many of the world's leading orchestras - will also take part in a Last Night of the Proms-style concert celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday at St Alkelda’s Church, Giggleswick, on Monday, June 13, at 7pm.

Meanwhile, there will be jazz and folk concert, led by Anna and Andreas Andersson of the Scargill Community, at St Peter’s Church, Coniston Cold, on Wednesday, June 8, at 7.30pm and a musical evening, Prussia to Paris, featuring soprano Bibi Heal, violinist Harriet Mackenzie and accordionist Milos Milivojevic at The Coniston Hotel, Coniston Cold, on Friday, June 17, at 7pm.

Other events include choral services to celebrate the Queen's official birthday at local churches on Sunday, June 12, a Choral Evensong with the Ripon Cathedral Choir at St Michael’s Church, Kirkby Malham, on Sunday, June 19, at 3.30pm and An Evening of Community Singing with John Bell of the Iona Community at Holy Ascension Church, Settle, on Wednesday, June 22, at 7pm.

But the main event will be Grand Finale Festival Concert at Giggleswick School Chapel on Saturday, June 25, at 5pm.

Professional singers and musicians will join school choirs for the first part of the concert and adult choirs for the second half.

For tickets, contact Steph Bennett on 01756 748080 or email coniston@inbox.com