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Birchcliffe Benefit for Olympic hopeful, Megan Shackleton

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Light blue touch paper . . .

. . . and welcome in the long winter nights with an evening of sparkling vocal music at the Birchcliffe Centre.

On Saturday 9th November upper voice ensemble Alyssium and friends will be filling the air with a vibrant array of musical delights springing from traditions new and old, including the premiere of two brand new works by Calderdale composer Alison West.

Joining Alyssium are mixed voice singers The 9 Bright Shiners who perform (with great panache) popular, poignant and beautifully arranged songs from the 1930s up to contemporary times.  Completing the lineup is all-male vocal group Menfolk Waits who fondly describe their eclectic repertoire as 'Folk, Pop, Georgian, Classical, Jazz and Extremely Silly'.  Together with Alyssium's atmospheric, evocative and often complex vocal rhythms and harmonies, this promises to be a truly memorable evening's music-making. 

Megan Shackleton

This special performance is in support of local young sportsperson Megan Shackleton, who is currently in Year 10 at Todmorden High School and already working towards representing Team GB in Table Tennis at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Having been trained by Shaun Alvey for the past 2 years, she has now been selected to spend one day per week in Sheffield working with the Team GB coaches.  She has her sights firmly set on Rio, having already competed in the UK school games in September of this year, where she won a bronze medal.  Further competition this year will see her in Belgium at the International Table Tennis competition.

Fitting all this alongside her GCSE programme is quite a challenge but one that Megan is determined to meet head on.  She says, 'I can balance my studies with any amount of training when I want to be in Rio this badly!'.

See this YouTube video to findout more about Megan's Olympic dream at

Tickets for this event are priced at £8/£6 (£2 under 18s), available on the door.  Doors open at 7pm and the performance starts at 7.30pm.  There will be a bar at the fully-accessible venue.  Wheelchair users are advised to park in the top car park as they can then go straight into the auditorium.