SOUTH Craven’s longest-established two choirs are preparing for high-profile concerts.

The Sutton-based KVU Singers will perform a major new choral work in Skipton with renowned soloists on Saturday, March 23.

Steeton Male Voice Choir will perform in Shipley alongside a Big Band during its first concert of the year on March 30.

The KVU Singers will present the northern premiere of Howard Goodall’s Invictus: A Passion as the centrepiece of their annual Spring Concert.

One soloist, Laurie Ashworth, has established herself as a sought-after concert artist, specialising in oratorio, recital and recording, which she combines with a busy teaching career.

She trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, winning its highest accolade for performance, RNCM Gold Medal.

Laurie has appeared regularly in broadcasts for BBC Radio 2 and 3, in a variety of repertoire ranging from opera arias to musical theatre and wartime songs made famous by Dame Vera Lynn.

The other soloist, Robert Thompson, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, singing in the choir of Saint Paul’s Cathedral as a Deputy before moving north to Yorkshire where he teaches when not travelling throughout the country to perform.

His oratorio experience is wide-ranging, recent engagements including works by Handel, Rossini, Dvořák and Britten. He has recorded Stainer’s “The Crucifixion” and Francis Jackson’s “A Time of Fire”.

Steeton Male Voice Choir with their musical director Cathy Sweet will perform at St Peter’s Church, Shipley, on March 30, in aid of the ReVive Home for young girls in Olinda, Brazil.

Guest performers will be the Sultans of Swing Band, playing classic songs including Chattanooga Choo Choo. The band is made up of musicians from across the area, each with a varied background from the worlds of brass bands, concert bands, music teachers, and musical instrument retailing and repairs.

The KVU Singers will perform at Christ Church in Skipton on Saturday March 23 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10, and free for under-16s. Call 01535 655417 to book tickets.

Call 01274 598221 or 00704 123176 or email to book tickets for the Shipley concert.