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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#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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Land of Singing Waters – Words and Music from Northumbria and Beyond

Our summer concert this year was held on Saturday 11 June 2016 in the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Westgate Road; a new venue for the choir.
We were joined by some North East celebrities in an event featuring music, words, and even some dancing, from the local area and beyond.

Kevin Whately
Kitty Whately
Madelaine Newton
Will Lang and Guests
Pianist Joseph Middleton
Music by Will Todd and Will Lang along with more traditional folk music

REVIEW: The Chronicle and Journal published this fantastic review by David Whetstone: click here for review

Prior to the concert, the Chronicle and Journal also published this article with more information about the Whatelys, and the link which was uncovered between the Tyne Theatre and our Chairman! – Chronicle Live Article

Thank you to everyone involved in making this event a great success, and if you came along we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Land of Singing Waters 2

 

 

 

 

 

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The Creation – Joseph Haydn

Our concert on Saturday 19 March 2016 featured The Creation by Haydn, and was held in the Banqueting Suite of Newcastle Civic Centre.

These fabulous soloists joined us:
Angela Hicks, Soprano
Ben Thapa, Tenor
Dominic Barberi, Bass

We were supported by our friends Orchestra North East, and our Musical Director Mark Anyan conducted.

This concert was dedicated to the memory of John Parker, loyal member of the choir who died in November 2015.  A closing collection was held in aid of the Hadrian Trust, and raised over £730.  The Trust is a registered charitable trust allocating grants to charities and groups working for the benefit of the people and the environment of Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham, including Hartlepool, for which John acted as solicitor, trustee, correspondent and administrator for almost 40 years.

Creation sides

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Carol Singing

In the run up to Christmas, we enjoyed some carol singing:-

On 12 December we sang in Eldon Square on behalf of the Samaritans, and helped to raise an amazing £1253.  Thank you to everyone who came along to support us.

On 19 December we were pleased to have 2 slots singing in The Alnwick Garden.

We also helped provide some festive cheer for the residents of a care home in Newcastle.

Looking forward to next year……….!

 

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