NCS joined forces with Newcastle Youth Choir Project 18.6.22


Newcastle Sings is a youth choir project for secondary-school aged young people at the heart of the activity programme. Running initially on a pilot basis, the choir came together for the first time in April 2022 and then participated in workshops and weekly rehearsals which led to this showcase event at Kings Hall at Newcastle University.

The concert featured the premiere of a new work by Joanna Ward (directed by Thomas Edney) and a performance of The Dream of the River by Will Todd.
This was originally commissioned by Newcastle Choral Society for their Jubilee Concert in Sage Gateshead in 2014.
Newcastle Choral Society with their Musical Director Mark Anyan were delighted to collaborate with NYCP, part of Newcastle Sings, in their Showcase Concert.

Mark Anyan in his role as General Manager of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
provided support in the setting up of this youth choir project.

The Newcastle Youth Choir Project (NYCP) is designed to be open-access and inclusive, with the central aim of offering high quality opportunities to young singers across the city and beyond. With Covid-recovery in mind, our aim is to get young people back to singing and making music together and to give them the opportunity to work with exciting and vibrant choral practitioners.

Members of the youth choir will be invited to work with Music Partnership North to shape the future direction of choral and vocal activities for children and young people in Newcastle.

Newcastle Sings has been created by Music Partnership North, Newcastle
in collaboration with Newcastle University Music Department.
Supported with Arts Council Funding

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A Sea Symphony and Codebreaker Success

Newcastle Choral Society, Conductor Mark Anyan, and Hertfordshire Chorus, with their Conductor David Temple, joined forces for an epic performance at Sage Gateshead on Sunday 1st May 2022 at 3pm. Postponed twice due to the pandemic, this was 3rd time lucky! The concert featured Vaughan Williams ‘A Sea Symphony’ conducted by David Temple, which we were delighted to perform in the year celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the composers birth. The concert also featured the northern premiere of the critically acclaimed ‘Codebreaker’ written by James McCarthy and commissioned by Hertfordshire Chorus and conducted by Mark Anyan. This charts the life of Alan Turing famous for breaking the German Enigma code during WW2

Soloists were

Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson soprano
Dominic Sedgwick baritone
Orchestra North East

James McCarthy takes a bow as composer of Codebreaker
alongside Mark Anyan and Soprano Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson with Orchestra North East
Hertfordshire Chorus and Newcastle Choral Society
Photography Steve Brock

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A Sea Symphony and Codebreaker

Newcastle Choral Society, Conductor Mark Anyan, and Hertfordshire Chorus, with their Conductor David Temple, are joining forces for an epic performance at Sage Gateshead on Sunday 1st May 2022 at 3pm. Postponed twice due to the pandemic, this is 3rd time lucky! The concert features Vaughan Williams ‘A Sea Symphony’ which we are delighted to perform in the year celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the composers birth. The concert also features the northern premiere of the critically acclaimed ‘Codebreaker’ written by James McCarthy and commissioned by Hertfordshire Chorus. This charts the life of Alan Turing famous for breaking the German Enigma code during WW2

Ruth Jenkins-Robertsson soprano

Dominic Sedgwick bass

Orchestra North East

Tickets £25, £20, £5 (under 18s and students)

Box Office 0191 4434661

boxoffice@gateshead.com

If you are a friend or supporter of Newcastle Choral Society, please choose the tickets with the NCS prefix when ordering online or mention NCS at the Box Office

We are grateful from support from Sir James Knott Trust and Hadrian Trust

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Xmas 2020 reflections

Our compilation of seasonal images and happier times singing together replaces what would usually flag up our upcoming concert. Not so, at least not in person, a YouTube virtual offering is in hand and Live streaming is on the cards for 2021.

What a year for NCS and so many other choirs! We were thrilled to resume live rehearsals in September and managed 7 sessions in accordance with the Government guidance, before restrictions set in and we reverted to weekly Zoom sessions. Nothing can compare to singing alongside others, even whilst wearing a face covering, so we hope for better things in 2021.

In the meantime NCS wishes our supporters as good a Festive time as is possible. Keep safe and we hope to see you in 2021.

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#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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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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