STEETON Male Voice Choir was founded in 1907, and in all that time there have only been four musical directors.

Last December Alan Clark stepped down after directing more than 600 concerts, and the management committee have now appointed Catherine Sweet as the fifth musical director.

Catherine, of Addingham, said: “I’m very flattered and have been made very welcome. Musical theatre has always been my great love. I’ve worked with some talented people and some very professional theatre companies - long gone is the ‘village hall’ standard of shows.”

Catherine’s latest success was as musical director of Ilkley Playhouse’s production of Kiss Me Kate at Cornwall’s Minack Theatre. “To be invited to take a show to the Minack was the icing on the cake,” she said. “It’s an open-air theatre on the Cornish coast, an awesome place. Only a handful of amateur theatre companies are invited to perform there, so it’s quite a feather in our cap to do so! They asked us to present a musical and we had to decide what would suit both Ilkley and the Minack Theatre. Kiss Me Kate couldn’t have been a better choice; the humorous play within a play, glorious costumes and Cole Porter’s wonderful songs all lent themselves perfectly to the venue.

From the Minack it was straight into rehearsing for Steeton’s autumn season.

“I’ve tried to mix the repertoire up a bit and modernise it where appropriate,” says Catherine. “There’s a fine line between too modern and too traditional. I love the traditional male voice choir music but in today’s world, many choirs are updating their repertoires and we need to keep pace with this to keep things fresh for the audiences and to attract new members. Trying to keep everyone happy can be a challenge but to make music together is a wonderful experience! If there are any gentlemen out there who would like to come and sing for an evening, we’re always looking for more members.

“We meet on Mondays at 7.30pm at Steeton Methodist Church. You can never have too big a choir!”

Cathy’s debut concert, at Keighley Shared Church on Saturday, September 16, is a joint concert with the Pontnewydd Male Choir from South Wales. Call (01943) 817341/07704.