to the web site of The
chamber choir based in Newcastle upon Tyne. We hope you enjoy
your visit and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our
concerts - or even as a Singer - in the near future.
Our next performances
are now enjoying a break in our activities after a very busy Christmas
season. Our Christmas with The Singers in St George's Church,
Jesmond, here in Newcastle upon Tyne, was a great success. We performed
the premiere of Edmund Hunt's Vita Hominum and this went
very well. An innovation this year was to start the concert at the back
of the nave singing Bach's harmonisation of O Little One Sweet in
candlelight and then process up the nave led by James Clark playing a
beautiful Gaelic melody on the Northumbrian pipes. It was a super
program, with mulled wine and mince pies served by The Friends of St
George's at the interval. Poor weather just before the concert and a
railway strike which prevented some from being able to travel did not
spoil the atmosphere or the sense of anticipation of Christmas. The
concert was expectly recorded by the BBC by engineer Sharon Hughes and
producer Barnaby Gordon.
Then we were off
to Durham Cathedral where we sang all the services for Epiphany. With a
Friday evening and Saturday morning rehearsal in Newcastle and
rehearsals before the services plus a nave performance of Edmund's Vita
Hominum it was pretty much a non stop weekend. This really helps us
appreciate how hard cathedral choirs work and how much music they get
through! Two of our evensongs were unaccompanied - difficult for the
choir but a wonderful experience with the right music. Our other two
services (Matins and Eucharist) were beautifully accompanied by
THE SINGERS ON BBC RADIO 3
A feature about our
year long collaboration with composer Edmund Hunt will be broadcast on
BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 8 January about 9.15 pm after the evening
concert (a Proms concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra).
programme will include a recording of our premiere performance of
Edmund's Vita Hominum made in St George's, Jesmond on 15 December.
There will also be interviews with Edmund, Donald Halliday (conductor)
as well as Christopher Hunwick and Gaby Wright who translated the words
by Bede into English and who sing with The Singers.
L to R: composer Edmund Hunt, conductor Donald Halliday and mentor Fraser Trainer
EPIPHANY IN DURHAM CATHEDRAL
Join us in Durham Cathedral over Epiphany
weekend where we will be singing for all the services as well as giving
a special luch-time performance of Edmund Hunt's Vita Hominum.
Our music list is:
Durham Cathedral, 5 and 6 January 2019
Saturday Evensong – 5:15 pm Responses: William Smith Psalm 97 (Stainer) Magnificat: Fauxbourdons, William Byrd Nunc Dimittis: Fauxbourdons, William Byrd Anthem: Lux Aurumque, Eric Whitacre
Sunday, Matins, 10 am Responses: William Smith Psalm 132 (Maunder, Massey) Te Deum – Stanford in B flat Benedictus - Stanford in B flat Anthem: Star in the South, arr. Malcolm Sargent (1895 – 1967) Hymns: 52, 48
Holy Communion 11:15 am Nicene Creed - Merbecke Darke in E (Collegium Regale) Anthem: Lo Star led Chiefs, William Crotch
Sunday at 1.30 pm in the nave VITA HOMINUM Sung in Latin, Words by Bede (672/3 – 26 May 735) Music by Edmund Hunt English translations by Christopher Hunwick and Gabriele Wright Soloists: Lindsey Nicholls (soprano) Martin Lay (tenor) The performance will last about 20 minutes
Sunday Evensong – 3:30 pm Responses - William Smith Psalm 98 (Randall), 100 (Day) Magnificat: Primi toni, Tomás Luis de Victoria Nunc Dimittis: Gustav Holst Anthem: Omnes de Saba, Jacob Handl
Christmas with The Singers 2018
are now on sale for our Christmas with The Singers Concert on 15
December 2018. This year's concert is being recorded by BBC 3 and
extracts will be broadcast in January 2019. Tickets are £12 each, but
there is a special early purchase price of £10.
If you would like to explore joining this
choir with its high musicality, distinctive sound and amazing repertoire
please contact the conductor.
The Singers is one of the best choirs in the North of England.
We rehearse once a month, usually the third Friday evening of each month and the following Saturday morning.
There is no subscription and music is supplied free (but must, of course, be returned).
Sometimes, accommodation can be provided free for singers from outwith the area. Singers cover their own travelling costs.
Coffee Concert in All Saints, Rothbury
2018 Annual Concert in St Mary Magdalene
We gave our annual
Afternoon Tea Concert in St Mary Magdalene, Longbenton on Saturday 12
May 2018. We always enjoy this concert. It's good to contribute
something musical to the church in which we rehearse, and great to meet
friends and the local community informally.
The weather was beautiful
and the church was full. We sang a varied programme of pieces from our
repertoire. Five of the pieces we sang were being sung by us for the
first time and included works by Kim André Arnesen and Heinrich von Herzogenberg.
You may not know the names - but the music is fantastic. We also
included a sneak preview of part of the new work being written for us
by our adopted composer Edmund Hunt - a stand alone section of the more
extended work we
will be premiering in December. Edmund was there to introduce his piece
and both he and the music were warmly received.
We also had some community singing following last year's innovation, and, again, the result was amazing.
always there were scrumptious cakes, tea and coffee provided by the
congregation! Many thanks to Pat, the vicar, and all the volunteers who made the
afternoon such a success.
April rehearsal weekend with our adopted composer
We had a great couple of rehearsals in our April
weekend. The beautiful sunshine and warmth was a very welcome break in
the long spell of cold weather we've been having. As part of our Adopt
a Composer project* our 'adopted composer' Edmund Hunt was with us and
brought another movement of his new work for us to start work on.
This is turning out to be a very enjoyable and rewarding partnership.
Edmund is completely dedicated to the project and is writing music of
high quality and interest. This is being reciprocated by massive
enthusiasm and commitment from The Singers. We'll have more news for
everyone in due course, and we're on schedule for a premiere in
Newcastle in December with the new work scheduled for broadcast on BBC
Radio Three in January 2019.
Here's a photo of Edmund enjoying the weekend.
Of course, no matter how hard we're rehearsing there's always time for some coffee and cake!
Coffee break on Saturday morning
As well as working on Edmund's music we looked at
some pieces by the 18th century Austrian composer Heinrich von
Herzogenberg and the contemporary Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen.
We'll be including some of this in our May 'at home' concert in St Mary
Magdalene at 2 pm.
* Adopt a
Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, in
association with BBC Radio 3, and funded by PRS Foundation and the
Philip and Dorothy Green Music Trust.
Wedding at Brinkburn Priory
were delighted to be asked to sing at Eve and Ed's wedding in Brinkburn
Priory in March. It turned out to be a very beautiful day in all
respects. The sun shone and the setting was stunning. Eve and Ed both looked radiant.
We sang music by
Batten, Tallis, Bach, Durufle and Whitacre as well as songs by Robert
Burns and Billy Joel. Many thanks to Marc Bryant who played the organ.
Here's a photo we took outside the Priory.
Epiphany at Durham Cathedral - 2018
Singers sang for the service for the Epiphany at Durham Cathedral on 6
January 2018. We have sung this service for the last 21 years now! We
were joined by Kris Thomsett who played the organ beautifully
throughout. We sang Darke's Communion Service (Collegium Regale) and
Poulenc's Videntes Stellam.
Christmas with The Singers - 2017
Singers presented a very successful Christmas Concert in St George's
Church, Jesmond on Saturday 16 December 2017. We were joined by Oscar
and Edgar Ho (classical guitar and piano respectively) from Morpeth and
by our adopted composer, Edmund Hunt. We sang a short piece by Edmund
and he accompanied us on the Northumbiran Pipes.
We are grateful to The Friends of St George's who organised the mulled wine and mince pies at the interval.
We've adopted a composer!
We're absolutely thrilled to announce that we have been selected for the 2017/2018 Adopt a Composer scheme run by Making Music.
a pairing between The Singers and Edmund Hunt, a young and up and
coming composer, for a year to produce a new work which will be
premiered on BBC Radio 3.
has musical connections with Newcastle. He did his MMus at Newcastle
University and has just completed his PhD at the Birmingham
Conservatoire. His composition 'Argatnél' was performed recently by the
London Philharmonic Orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and
was reviewed in the Telegraph as 'the most delicately beautiful piece
of the evening'.
Our mentor for the project will be Frazer Trainer, a composer who teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
a Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music,
in association with Radio 3, and funded by the PRS foundation and the
Philip and Dorothy Green Music Trust.
We're really looking forward to working with Edmund and Fraser.
photograph shows (left to right) Edmund Hunt, Donald Halliday (our
conductor), and Fraser Trainer at the Announcement Ceremony in London.
Fantastic review for our Blackburn Cathedral concert
are most grateful to John Bertalot for his great review of our
concert in Blackburn Cathedral 22 July 2017. This was published in
Music and More.
The Singers, from Newcastle upon Tyne, gave a fabulous concert in our
Cathedral in July - we were all blown away by their impeccable
exquisite tone, blend, balance, sheer professionalism and whole-hearted
dedication to the demanding music they sang.
Their conductor, Donald Halliday, is a distinguished Scottish musician
who knows how to create musical magic. They recently sang in St Giles
Cathedral, Edinburgh, Durham Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, and made a
return visit to Cologne Cathedral! They rehearse once a month in
Newcastle - 2 hours on a Friday evening and 3 hours on a Saturday
morning. They are very special.
The Singers (who include two former Blackburn musicians) were
introduced by Samuel Hudson and then they sang a most demanding
programme - a feature of which was being able to sing in many vocal
parts with mellifluous tone clusters, very high notes for the sopranos
(who all 'came in' absolutely together with apparent ease) - singing
forte and also being able to sing so quietly that the very air of our
cathedral was blest. It was a privilege to be there that evening.
They also sang two choral services for us the next day - our
congregations were similarly blown away by their amazing singing.
Please put us on your touring list, blessed Singers, with Cologne
The music we sang was:
Music for a
O sing joyfully - Adrian Batten
Non moriar sed vivam - Martin Luther
Richte mich, Gott - Mendelssohn
Ave Verum Corpus - Peter Philips
The Gallant Weaver - James MacMillan
My bonny lad (Northumbrian folksong)
Stars - Eriks Ešenvalds
Amazing Grace - arr. Eriks Ešenvalds
Kyrie and Gloria from Missa Rigensis (2003) - Ugis Praulinš
The Road Home - arr. Stephen Paulus
Sunday morning service Organist: Shaun Turnbull
Mass setting: Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei only from
Missa Rigensis (2003) - Ugis Praulinš (b. 17 June 1957)
Ave verum corpus - Peter Philips (c.1560 – 1628)
Panis Angelicus - César Franck (1822 - 1890)
Psalm 86 from verse 11 (chant H. Smart)
Evensong Organist: Shaun Turnbull
Introit: Open Thy Gates - Julius Harrison (1885 - 1963)
Preces and Responses: Kenneth Leighton (1929 - 1988)
Psalm 67 (chant J. Goss)
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis - Stanford in A
Anthem: Blessed be the God and Father - S S Wesley (1810 - 1876)
The Singers visit St Giles
Cathedral in Edinburgh
Singers made a successful visit to St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh to
sing the morning services while the resident choir, The St Giles
Singers, were on tour in the USA. The organist was Paul Stubbings,
Director of Music at St Mary's Music School.
The music sung is available in the Service Booklets which can be
downloaded using the following links:
celebrated the end of the Christmas season by singing for the
Annual Epiphany Service in Durham Cathedral, held on Friday 6 January
2017. This was a beautiful service
which was warm and intimate despite the vast building that is Durham
Cathedral. The service was very well attended and it was a real
privilege to be able to play a part in it.
music sung was:
Ugis Praulinš: Missa
Rigensis - Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei Crotch Lo! Star led
Organist: Kris Thomsett
Conductor: Donald Halliday
The Singers launch their 2016
Singers have launched their 2016 Christmas video - A
Christmas. We hope you enjoy our singing and the local
Newcastle gears itself up for the Christmas season, and the choir
prepares for its Christmas
with The Singers concert in St George's Jesmond on
Saturday 17 December. See the post below for more information. Enjoy!
with The Singers 2016
One of the highlights of our Christmas Season was Christmas
with the Singers on 17 December 2016 at 7
pm in St George's in Jesmond. There were festive carols, guest
instrumental soloists, a free prize draw and the mulled wine
Singers visit Cologne
Singers visited Cologne in Germany for the weekend of 9 and 10
April 2016. A highlight of the visit was singing Choral Vespers in
Cologne Cathedral. The choir also progressed its project of
singing in as many of Cologne's twelve Romanesque churches as it can -
now up to seven!.
This was the choir's third visit to Cologne.
Singers visited Liverpool on Sunday 6 September
2015 to sing the services in the magnificent Anglican Cathedral there.
The Singers were conducted by Donald Halliday and the organist was Nick
Singers at Southwark Cathedral
Singers, under conductor Donald Halliday, finished their 2013/2014
season with a visit to London to sing the choral services in Southwark
Cathedral over the 2014 August Bank Holiday weekend. Jemima Stephenson,
joined the choir as organist for the weekend. Jemima is Assistant
Director of Music and Sir George Thalben-Ball Memorial Organ Scholar at
St Michael’s Cornhill and a postgraduate student at the
Royal Academy of Music.
weekend was a
great success both musically and socially. The choir has visited
Southwark Cathedral several times in the past - but this was the
choir's first visit since 2009.
Singers at St Giles Cathedral,
Singers photographed after their concert in St Giles Cathedral,
The Singers gave a very
successful concert in Edinburgh's historic St Giles Cathedral
on Sunday 23 March 2014 at 6 pm. The concert was very well attended
and the audience was most appreciative.
The themes of the programme included Lent as a journey of
preparation, the Annunciation (25 March), and Sunset (the sun set
halfway through the concert!). The programme is
can be viewed or downloaded as a pdf.
The programme explored recent choral music from Norway and the
USA, and included standard choral favourites as well. James
Tradgett, cello, joined the choir in a performance
Ola Gjeilo's Serenity,
Director of Music, Michael
the fine Rieger organ to accompany Wood's View me Lord and
Mozart's Laudate Dominum
Lindsey Nicholls. Stephen Paulus's The
Road Home was performed as a
special tribute to the composer who suffered a stroke on 4 July
2013 and has been in a critical condition since*.
*UPDATE: Sadly, Stephen Paulus died on 19 October 2014.
Singers currently has vacancies for experienced
singers. We recruit quite widely and it may be possible to
provide lifts and/or accommodation if you live outside the North
of England. Please contact the conductor
if you are interested in joining the choir.
A photo of
Ola Gjeilo's Serenity with The Singers and Donald Robinson,
cello, 21 December 2013.
Here is a video of us singing
rehearsal the hymn By Cool Siloam's Shady