Durham Big Sing: Choirs 2019
We know that like us, you might be feeling disappointed that Durham Big Sing can't go ahead this year due to Coronavirus. Over the next 10 days, the festival would have brought together over two thousand people from across the North East and beyond to share their love of singing with one another. However, here at The Singing Elf, we didn't want to let the festival dates pass us by without doing something to celebrate community singing and share it with the world.
Here you will find a number of performances from choirs who took part in Durham Big Sing 2019. Between 8th - 17th May 2020, we will be sharing these and other performances from choirs and singing groups from across the North East on Facebook for everyone to enjoy.
North East Gospel Choir
The North East Gospel Choir sing a mixture of traditional and contemporary gospel, Motown and uplifting songs. They formed 13 years ago and have sung with a variety of celebrities including Leona Lewis, Peter Andre, Joe McElderry and Russell Watson as well as supporting The Blind Boys of Alabama in Hall 1 at Sage Gateshead. The choir often gets invited to sing at weddings around the North East which they love to do. They tell us they sing for the sheer enjoyment of singing – we can’t think of a better reason!
How many members: 50
Rehearsal details: Sunday, 4.30-6.30pm, Trinity Christian Community Centre
Repertoire: Traditional and contemporary gospel, Motown and uplifting songs
Choir Leader: Sharon Durant
Contact the Choir: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Caedmon Choir are a community choir who formed in 1987 and took their name from the Caedmon Hall in Gateshead Central Library where they rehearsed until 2005, before moving into The Sage Gateshead. Caedmon celebrated their 30th birthday in 2017 with a party in St Marys Heritage Centre, Gateshead. They were involved in the filming of 'A song for Marion', a feature film which starred Vanessa Regdrave and Terence Stamp. In 1996 the choir entered the BBC Choir of the year Competition. Every summer Caedmon hold a bring and share picnic in the grounds of the National Trust property Cherryburn where they sing to everyone who happens to be there.
How many members: 80
Rehearsal details: Tuesday 8pm, Sage Gateshead
Repertoire: Pop, Folk, World Music, Traditional, inspired by the international, the social and the charitable aspects of their singing
Choir Leader: Eleanor Mooney
(Led by Joe Johnston at Durham Big Sing 2019)
Contact the Choir: email@example.com
Singergy was a special choir that came together for Durham Big Sing 2019. The choir was made up of singers from One Voice Choir, Country Roads Choir, The Weardale Warblers, Choral Interlude and Sunderland Empire Community Chorus, all led by their wonderful singing leader Sinead Livingston. As well as sharing their music leader, all four choirs sing repertoire which is varied and fun, and don't take themselves too seriously. They all sing to lift the spirits, support each other and often sing at events and fundraisers to support charities.
One Voice Choir
How many members: 17
Rehearsal details: Tuesday, 5.30 - 7pm, Arts Centre Washington
Repertoire: Folk, world music, pop.... anything goes!
Country Roads Choir
How many members: 5
Rehearsal details: Wednesday evening, Debs house!
Repertoire: Anything fun!
Sunderland Empire Community Chorus
How many members: 35
Rehearsal details: Friday, 1-3pm, The Empire Theatre, Sunderland
Repertoire: Lots of things, from folk to pop.
Contact the Choir: Sunderlandeducation@theambassadors.com
Rehearsal details: Tuesday mornings at Wolsingham Town Hall in Weardale
Repertoire: All about fun, friendship, positive mental and physical health, and of course SINGING!
How many members: 20
Rehearsal details: Sunday 10.30am to 12.30pm, Greatham Community Hall
Repertoire: A mixture of songs but mainly easy listening, including rounds in three or four parts.
Contact the Choir: Susan820gooding@gmail.com
Choir Leader: Sinead Livingston
Durham Scratch Choir
Durham Scratch Choir is an inclusive, sociable group welcoming anyone who wants to find their voice. The choir’s informal, friendly setting caters for those who aren’t able to attend regulary but want to take part in some fun singing. The choir perform in public several times a year both in Durham City itself where they rehearse and further afield. Durham Scratch Choir sing a varied mixture of genre from medieval choral music to folk and world music, along with adaptations of popular songs.
How many members: 50
Rehearsal details: Wednesdays 7.30pm - 9.30pm, North Road Methodist Church, Durham City
Repertoire: A varied mixture of genre from medieval choral music to folk and world music and to our adaptations of popular songs
Choir Leader: Andy Jackson
Bella Canta Ladies Choir
Bella Canta Ladies Choir sing for their own enjoyment as well as the benefit of others. They have raised money for local charities and organisations, regularly performing in concerts throughout the year. Each concert has a unique theme which has resulted in some interesting additions to the choirs main repertoire. All of their concerts involve audience participation. The choir tell us they have a busy programme of charity work, performances and social time and are always on the lookout for something new to enjoy together.
How many members: 24
Rehearsal details: Thursday, 7.30 to 9.15 pm and some Sunday afternoons prior to concerts, St Paul's Church, Bishopton Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 4PD
Repertoire: Sacred, Secular, Choral, Light Pop & Folk and Musical Theatre
Choir Leader: Jeanette Martin
Contact the Choir: https://www.facebook.com/BellaCantaStockton/
Urban Chorus rehearse in the centre of Newcastle and sing fun pop songs arranged in 4 parts. Their super-cool repertoire includes songs like Jackson 5 'I Want You Back' and Elbow 'One Day Like This'. Urban Chorus tell us they love the music and how they feel when they sing together. “We like to have a laugh and don't take ourselves too seriously but we work hard when we need to and like to sound our best when we perform.” The choir support St Oswald's at their annual Christmas Light Up A Life event and love to join up with other choirs.
How many members: 40
Rehearsal details: Mondays 7-9pm, St James' URC Hall, Newcastle
Repertoire: Fun pop repertoire in 4 parts, mixed voices - songs like Jackson 5 'I Want You Back' and Elbow 'One Day Like This'
Choir Leader: Sharon Durant
Contact the Choir: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unity is a mixed voice community choir based in Hetton-le-Hole, 8 miles from Durham City. We are led by The Singing Elf, vocal tutor Rebecca McGarvie.
They sing a wide range of uplifting, feel-good music in a wide range of musical styles. Their weekly sessions let people learn about their voices, build their confidence and prepare to perform as a group. They usually perform a couple of times each term and often take part in local community events. They're a super friendly bunch of adults with around 35 members aged 18 - 90.
How many members: 35
Rehearsal details: Tuesdays 7-9pm, The Hetton Centre, Welfare Rd, Hetton-le-Hole, DH5 9NE
Repertoire: musical theatre, pop, rock, gospel, folk, traditional and contemporary music.
Choir Leader: Rebecca McGarvie
Contact the Choir: email@example.com
Heaton Voices was founded in January 2000 by Richard Scott. Beginning as a small group of around 20, the choir has now grown to almost 60. Many of the members have been in the choir for years, and the cohesion and warmth of their sound is something which can only be evoked by a true community choir.
Richard Scott remains musical director, and his skill for arranging music always keeps their audiences entertained. From traditional to modern, covering pop, soul, R&B, and world music, our eclectic mix of singing is something we pride ourselves on.
How many members: 60
Rehearsal details: Sunday evenings in Heaton
Repertoire: Songs from all genres and places, including contemporary, traditional and classical, folk, jazz and musicals, songs from the North-East, from Africa and the wider world, and of course, songs for Christmas.
Choir Leader: Richard Scott
Contact the Choir: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who took part?
Durham Big Sing welcomed singers of all abilities from across the North East. Most were already part of the 20 choirs who attended, but we also had a lot of individual singers take part too. 8 of the choirs performed as part of the event.
Durham Big Sing celebrated the vibrant mix of group singing in our region. Choirs of all shapes and sizes shared their passion with hundreds of others and took inspiration back home to their sessions.
The choirs who took part were:
Bella Canta Ladies Choir | Caedmon Choir | Choral Interlude | Durham Female Voices | Durham Harmonics | Durham Scratch Choir | Esh Gospel Choir | Heaton Voices | Linskill Community Choir | Newcastle City Council Choir | North East Gospel Choir | One Voice Choir | Sunderland Empire Community Chorus | The Country Roads Choir | The Low Fell Singers | Unity Choir | Urban Chorus | Weardale Warblers
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