A WORLD-famous choir is paying a special tribute to five members who have died during the pandemic.

Steeton Male Voice Choir is holding a memorial and thanksgiving concert in honour of the quintet.

Members in normal circumstances would have attended the funerals, but were unable to due to the restrictions designed to stop the spread of the virus.

Between them, the five choristers had devoted over 120 years' service to the choir.

A spokesperson said: "Normally we would have been at their funerals and given them a good send-off – this memorial concert is a way of honouring them for their contributions to the choir. Members of the families have been warmly invited to attend."

The concert takes place at Christ Church, Skipton, on Saturday, March 26, at 7.30pm.

Tickets aren't needed, but donations would be welcome.

Conductor will be the choir's musical director, Catherine Sweet, and accompanist is Elaine Dave.

The programme will reflect music inspired, or requested previously, by the five men being remembered.

Those being honoured include former president Len Wilson, who had served with the choir for 51 years and been active in most sections.

Also being remembered are Ron Crossley, who served for 43 years – often a soloist at concerts, he was well known in schools visited by the choir for his Hippopotamus song; John Kelly, who clocked-up 18 years and also raised money through a weekly Bonus Ball initiative; Terry Guest, who had been a member for eight years and sang with the choir's top tenors, and Martin Winterton, who resigned just before lockdown due to ill health after seven years' service. He sang in the bass section and was the choir archivist.

At the recent annual general meeting, tribute was paid to the committee for its work to help keep the choir functioning during the pandemic – with particular thanks going to secretary Ian MacDonald and chair Mike Grady.

The choir continued to rehearse during the pandemic, via Zoom initially and then at other venues until returning 'home' to Steeton Methodist Church around a month ago.

Four new recruits have joined since lockdown and more members are welcome – go along to Steeton Methodist Church at 7pm on a Monday or call 07949 626675.

The choir was formed in 1908, with Hume Wrathall conducting, and the baton has only been passed on four times since. The current musical director joined in 2017.