#BRING BACK MY CHOIR

#Bring back my Choir #Bring back my Band

This is a major campaign launched by Making Music. Working on behalf of amateur musicians in the UK, they are extremely proactive in representations to Government for a route back to performance.

‘Government guidance on reopening the performing arts published on 9 July has caused widespread disappointment, prohibiting amateur groups or groups with amateur participants – unlike professionals – to play or sing together, except in the numbers of people currently allowed to meet in public. 

It goes further to say that singing and playing wind and brass instruments isn’t even allowed in those numbers.

The guidance (England only) will only be reviewed when the results of just commissioned research into droplet and aerosol transmission of Covid-19 are available. The devolved administrations are expected to issue similar guidance shortly (Wales: this week, Scotland: next two weeks, NI: n/a).

Many groups, before the guidance came out, were looking forward to meeting again, even with strict risk management measures, and were already hard at work creating a new normal, just as pubs, hairdressers and gyms are doing – considering small sectionals outside, inventing new ways of making music together in socially distanced ways, planning some sort of future. Now, not even groups of 6 outside are permitted if you are singers or wind or brass players; and still only groups of 6 outside if you play anything else.

There is no explanation why amateurs are being treated differently to professionals in this guidance.’ Extract from Making Music’s campaign.

The music industry is currently being significantly supported by amateur musicians. Newcastle Choral Society along with many other local choirs, employs freelance professional music teachers, many professional singers, pays rent and purchases performance materials, as well as hiring concert halls and other venues. 

So until things change significantly, we must rely on our Zoom sessions on Monday nights. We had a surprise guest recently! Will Todd popped into give us a quick run through of Benedictus from his Mass In Blue. What a treat!

Our great achievement this year while in Lockdown was our 2 videos released on YouTube https://youtu.be/BWrFwA-0dEs and https://youtu.be/TxbOUeBSiGs Views exceeded 3000 over the 2 clips. Members of NCS and the Hertfordshire Chorus sang excerpts from James McCarthy’s Codebreaker which we would have sung in Sage Gateshead on 3.5.20 but now rescheduled for 16.5.21. All fingers crossed for that performance.

The second video released on the day of VE75, featured footage of the ‘Forces sweetheart’ Vera Lynn who died recently aged 103!  Poignant wartime images as a backdrop to the hauntingly beautiful ‘Sing me at Morn’.

Both videos featured recently on Star & Shadow Radio(https://www.starandshadow.org.uk) Star & Shadow Cinema is an entirely volunteer run community arts organisation supporting local artists, minority groups and disadvantaged people. It has recently moved online into the radio world.

One of our members is a volunteer there and recently co-presented a  programme called ‘Virtual Music-Making in a Virtual World’ about virtual music performances in the northeast. It featured NCS/HC performing Codebreaker and an interview with Mark Anyan our Musical Director.You can listen again here. It featured on 7th July 2020.
The programme also included contributions from several local bands and another choir, as well as interviews with Mark and other directors and performers.
Part of the purpose was to encourage other groups in the northeast to step into the virtual world themselves.
 
This may be the only choice while the guidance on Amateur performance is awaited!

 

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A Sea Symphony – New date

This NCS joint concert with Hertfordshire Chorus,conductor David Temple, planned for 3 May 2020 at Sage Gateshead, has been postponed as a result of the current coronavirus outbreak and Government guidance.

NCS acknowledges the continued support from the Hadrian Trust and the Sir James Knott Trust.

Good News: NEW DATE: SUNDAY 16TH MAY 2021 at 3pm

While the duration of the current coronavirus crisis remains uncertain, our Musical Director Mark Anyan has devised an exciting project to keep activities going and our members engaged.

Our two virtual choirs in lockdown have joined forces to celebrate the man who was once an outsider but now a hero, to be commemorated on the fifty-pound note in 2021. Not only is Alan Turing’s work in breaking the German Enigma Code thought to have saved 14 million lives and possibly have shortened WW2 by two years, but he is also recognised as the “father of computer science”. His input led to many of the technologies by which the world communicates today.

 Covid-19 brought everything to a grinding halt in March and with Sage closed and the concert cancelled, Musical Director  Mark Anyan, offered to put a long-distance virtual choir together to sing three pieces from Codebreaker. The resulting video will be released on You Tube on Sunday May 3rd at 3pm, the time the performance was due to take place

Link to Youtube https://youtu.be/BWrFwA-0dEs LIVE AT 3pm on Sunday 3rd May

A second video Codebreaker VE75 Celebrations – We’ll meet Again  As the Nation celebrates VE75 day, a second video is to be released on YouTube on 8th May 2020 at 3pm to coincide with the “Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2”. The video pays particular homage to Wilfred Owen, WW1 War Poet, whose poem ‘Song of Songs’ has been set to haunting music from Codebreaker.

The unaccompanied voices soar over images which capture the poignant moments of war, victory and celebration, paying tribute to all those who have lost their lives before their time.

Link to Youtube second video https://youtu.be/TxbOUeBSiGs LIVE AT 3pm on Friday 8th May 2020

With the blessing of the composer and publisher (Stainer and Bell Ltd),(https://stainer.co.uk/shop/d108/) and aided by modern technology, the singers worked in isolation at home, armed with laptops, headphones and scores.  Regular Zoom sessions kept both choirs engaged and on track. The project has turned the tide of gloom and worry of isolation into a positive experience which the choirs will remember with pride.

Once this crisis is over and the restrictions lifted on social gatherings, we will publish a revised programme of concerts for our loyal supporters and new audience members to enjoy.

AND we will be actively recruiting new members eager to perform with us and to enjoy all the benefits of being an NCS member!

 

 

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Mozart Requiem Concert Feb 1 2020

Newcastle Choral Society

Musical Director Mark Anyan

Mozart Requiem and Vivaldi Beatus Vir

Bethany Partridge: Soprano
Sarah Lucy Penny: Alto
Richard Pinkstone: Tenor
Greg Link: Bass

Orchestra North East

Saturday 1 February 2020, 7.30pm
BANQUETING SUITE, NEWCASTLE CIVIC CENTRE

We were very proud of this (almost) sell out concert! Super soloists, powerful Orchestra North East and masterful Mark Anyan driving us on to give a really exhilarating performance. Lots of great comments from the orchestra ‘brilliant’, our regular audience members ‘world class singing’,  and those new to NCS.

 

 

 

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Christmas at Home and Away

Our festive offering this year was in Trinity Church Gosforth on Saturday 7th December 2019:

Christmas at Home and Away

Musical Director Mark Anyan

Special Guests : Mouthful

The exciting 4-piece a Cappella vocal group who gave us 2 sets of really unusual and exciting singing!

Warren Smith accompanied us in style on the magnificent organ and piano. He had his own solo spot playing Toccata by Georgi Mushel

Lucy Anyan, the 8 year old daughter of Musical Director Mark Anyan, sang the treble solo for the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City. Lucy was very confident and sang beautifully!

Mark and Lucy Anyan with Warren Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FEEL THE SPIRIT

On SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2019, 7.30pm

TRINITY CHURCH GOSFORTH

NEWCASTLE CHORAL SOCIETY and NCS CHAMBER CHOIR

Musical Director MARK ANYAN

A bit of Awakening and Toe Tapping went on in our FEEL THE SPIRIT  concert last month, the final one of the 18-19 season!

RUTTER Feel the Spirit

TIPPETT Five Spirituals

BRITTEN Rejoice in the Lamb

 The audience enjoyed the varied programme and particularly the guest organist Louise Reid who accompanied the choir for the Britten piece  Rejoice in the Lamb. Louise’s son Christopher, a chorister at Newcastle Cathedral, sang the Treble in the same piece. Members of the choir took solo roles in the Britten and the Tippett and were declared a hit!

 Sara Louisa Parry mezzo soprano delighted us with 3 pieces by Harold Arlen. Sara, combines a professional singing career with a busy teaching practice. She is a member of vocal trio Closer performing mainly in Switzerland, and in the UK with the Neil Sedaka tribute show Oh! Carol

Our own Eileen Bown accompanied the choir and Sara on piano

NCS Chamber Choir had their own section in the concert singing Charles Wood’s Full Fathom Five and Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies.

 

 

 

 

 

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SING GOSPEL WORKSHOP

‘Sing Gospel’ workshop

Come find your joy with Sharon Durant at our ‘Sing Gospel’ workshop.

Join in with uplifting gospel songs, beautiful harmonies and John Rutter’s ‘Feel the Spirit’ for a great day of singing together.

Hosted by Newcastle Choral Society

Musical Director Mark Anyan

 Saturday 15th June 2019 10 till 3

St Lukes Church Hall, Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne

All voices welcome

Cost £10

Tea and coffee available – bring your own lunch or use food outlets nearby

Parking available on Claremont Road

Contact enquiries@newcastlechoralsociety.org.uk

Mobile 07980 484598 or 07707 621312

Sharon Durant is a freelance vocal teacher, performer, choir leader and composer. She works with singers of all ages leading workshops and singing projects within a wide variety of settings including schools, where she trains teachers on the use of singing in the classroom.

For many years, Sharon worked at Sage Gateshead as Vocal Strand leader, delivering a diverse collection of large-scale singing projects. She has also worked with organisations such as Music in Hospital and Care, British Lung Foundation (Singing for Lung Health), Sunderland Music Hub and Concordia.

Sharon directs, composes and arranges for several community choirs including Customs Voices, Urban Chorus and North East Gospel Choir and performs as part of Mouthful, a four piece ensemble who push the boundaries of vocal possibility and successfully devise new vocal material.

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Britten ‘War Requiem’

Roderick Williams Baritone

BRITTEN ‘WAR REQUIEM’

Newcastle Choral Society (NCS) was delighted to be the guest choir of Cleveland Philharmonic Choir (CPC), along with Northern Spirit Singers for this magnificent performance held in Sage One on Saturday 10th November 2018.

We joined the Choristers of Durham Cathedral and St Peter’s Church Stockton, Cleveland Philharmonic Junior Choir, and the Mowbray Orchestra. The acclaimed soloists were the magnificent baritone Roderick Williams, his voice deemed by an audience member to be ‘like melted chocolate’ wonderfully expressive tenor Mark Padmore and thrilling soprano Rachel Nicholls who sat amongst the choir. The Conductors were led by the commanding John Forsyth MBE, Gary Matthewman, and Daniel Cook, Master of the Choristers, Durham Cathedral. The details of the concert can be viewed here

A wonderful evening and a thrill to perform alongside CPC!

We sang to a hugely appreciative audience totalling 1111 and received rapturous applause as well as many post concert plaudits!

“fantastic, marvellous performance, most impressive, never boring. Well done!

...Astonishing’ ‘Astounding’’ A triumph’ ‘Magnificent’…

 

 

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Come and Sing Mozart Requiem

‘Come and Sing’ Mozart’s magnificent REQUIEM
with members of Newcastle Choral Society
Musical Director: Mark Anyan

SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2019 10 TILL 3
TRINITY CHURCH GOSFORTH

We had an amazing day on 14th September! Under our Musical Director Mark Anyan’s command, a choir of 104 singers in total, made up of guests and members of NCS, worked hard all day – the powerful attraction of Mozart’s Requiem without a doubt! Thank you to everyone who came and the appreciative audience of family and friends plus some passers by, who came in at the end of the afternoon for an informal performance! ” It really was a very good performance” from an audience member.

Warren Smith, Director of Music at St Mary’s Church Ponteland was our superb guest organist. Our guest soloists were a delight; Emma Anyan Mezzo, Nerys Angel Soprano, Luke Busbridge Bass and multi tasking Mark Anyan as Tenor and Conductor!

Trinity Church is a marvellous venue and our thanks go to the team of staff and volunteers who manage events such as ours so immaculately.

Rehearsals now continue for the Feb 1st 2020 performance of Mozart Requiem in the Banqueting Suite at Newcastle Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

We will also be squeezing in a festive concert on Sat Dec 7th 2019 at Trinity Church again.

Diary Date:

SUNDAY 3rd May 2020 at 3.00pm

SAGE ONE GATESHEAD

NCS are delighted to be collaborating with Hertfordshire Chorus and their Musical Director David Temple in a blockbuster concert in Hall One. https://www.hertfordshirechorus.org.uk/ They are a very impressive choir and it is a privilege to be joining forces with them!

In the first half, the combined choirs of around 200 voices will be performing the North east premiere of James McCarthy’s Codebreaker’– an oratorio about the life of Alan Turing, the “father of computer science”, commissioned by Hertfordshire Chorus in 2014. It’s a terrific piece!

This will be conducted by Mark Anyan

In the second half,  David Temple will conduct Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony

It’s all go at NCS! Come and join us!!

 

 

 

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