Members' Information

Members' Diary

The new term was due to begin in September 2020.  The committee are really sorry that we are still unable to meet for rehearsal owing to the Covid restrictions and that we also do not have performance dates at present.

As you know from Gillie’s updates, which she will keep on sending you during this very difficult time, we have chosen to defer the AGM which should be taking place in October. We continue to follow discussions / advice regarding amateur music groups and are looking into the Northumberland Hall as a possible venue as no singing can take place in St Paul’s Church.

We hope to start live rehearsals asap and are exploring how we might be able to do so, perhaps in a safe and limited way.

Please could you send any changes of contact details to Gillie. Joyce has made arrangements for outstanding music to be returned.

Stay safe and well. Be kind to yourselves.

Committee Members

Chair: Alison McKenna

Vice Chair: Karen Carlson

Secretary: Gillie Stapleton

Treasurer: Sally Onions

Librarian: Joyce Clayton

Social Secretary: Debbie Howey

Programmes, Posters & Publicity Rep: Brian Corbett

Sop. Line Rep: Felicity Edmunds

Sop. Line Rep: Vicky Johnson

Alto Line Rep: Cherry Hambrook

Men’s Line Rep & Website: Ian C Brown

Friends’ Secretary: Doreen Davison

Data Protection Officer: Joyce Clayton

Latest Version of Handbook for Members

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A Celebration of Christmas - 15 12 19

A Celebration of Christmas:

Conductor: Peter Brown; Organist: Alan Gidney

We are well into Advent and after our carol concert I’d say it feels officially more like Christmas! For many people coming to a carol concert is a great way to celebrate Advent, so thank you for joining in and making it so enjoyable.

We really enjoyed singing a number of new carols and revisited some old favourites –  traditional carols with audience participation and that something extra from the ladies of the choir. It makes such an amazing difference to have a beautiful soprano descant floating above the melody!

What I love about carols is that you can always be surprised at how varied and wonderful they are! My favourite carol this year was David Willcocks’ “Birthday Carol”. This was simply joyous and a pleasure to sing, once I got the hang of echoing the sopranos ‘Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo’!

Afterwards we enjoyed mince pies, Stollen bites, mulled wine and juice & caught up with friends and their family news. Spending time with loved ones is so important at Christmas.

Thank you for the lovely solos Frances & Veronica and for Alan’s organ improvisation on ‘The First Nowell’, which was the concert highlight for some of our guests.  Peter was brilliant as always. Happy Christmas!

The Concert Programme:

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Online Poster

Remembrance Concert - 09 11 19

Remembrance Concert:

Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Brown's Requiem & 4 Motets

On 9th November, 2019 the choir gave their Remembrance concert in the beautiful setting of St. Paul’s Church, Alnwick. We were singing Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms”, a world première of Peter Brown’s “Requiem” and four motets. I don’t suppose professional singers would admit to being a little bit anxious about singing Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms”, but if pressed, I imagine any of the choir would have freely confessed to being very apprehensive!

As usual we had three rehearsals in the week leading up to the concert, to enjoy the acoustics of the church and practise with the organ, and the percussion and harp soloists. Would we be able to rise to the challenge of the “Chichester Psalms” and do justice to the beautiful, new “Requiem” which Peter Brown wrote for us? Well, to be honest, each of the choir’s four sections had their moments in the “Chichester Psalms” but it didn’t lessen the impact this work had on its listeners. We loved singing Peter Brown’s “Requiem”: it is a beautiful piece, which deserves the praise so easily given to modern composers such as Anersen, Jenkins or Whitacre.

Though some came to experience Bernstein’s masterpiece, “Chichester Psalms”, the choir sang Peter Brown’s “Requiem” with awe: in both pieces, explosions of sound flow on to peaceful sections of lyrical beauty & rest. Thank you, Peter! Our own vocal soloists were excellent; I particularly enjoyed Vicky Johnson’s singing throughout and her duet with Frances Buckingham was simply perfect. Janet Bennett played the harp, the key instrument in Bernstein’s work with sheer class, enjoying the intricacy of the music and evoking a sense of wistful longing; Gerard Rundell triumphed on the percussion, giving us incredible layers of sound, from a single reverberating note on the triangle to an overwhelming wall of sound which closed the first movement of the “Psalms”; Alan Gidney showed his expertise again on the organ and Peter Brown kept us going and was just brilliant. The audience were really appreciative and some were very knowledgeable…..

Fear and faith ……. The music was powerful and deeply moving, a fitting way to honour the dead and comfort the grieving. A remembrance concert with a message of hope that people will dwell together in unity, Yaḥad – ‘together’, a plea for peace.

The Concert Programme:

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A Song for Shelter - 'A Place to Call Home'

I am very pleased to upload our musical contribution for ‘Sing for Shelter’; Alex Woolf’s ambitious project which has encouraged so many choirs across the UK to highlight the plight of the homeless in 2019. The choir gave this informal performance of ‘A Place to Call Home’ at our usual rehearsal venue of Swansfield Park Primary School, at the end of year social on Wednesday 26th June, 2019.

A big thank you to Joyce Clayton who filmed and edited the recording and to Gillie Stapleton who brought the project to our attention and made it all possible. Thank you, also to the choir members who sang for a such a good cause and the expertise and infectious love of music of Peter Brown and Alan Gidney.

A cheque for £207.20 has been donated to Shelter.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed making it and eating the delicious buffet afterwards!

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Online Poster:

Spring Concert 09 11 19

A German Requiem : Johannes Brahms

On April 6th, 2019 the choir sang Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” with some trepidation, following some shaky rehearsals as coughs and colds & more serious illnesses had seriously reduced choir numbers.  Yet the audience were in for a treat…..

Choral 01
Choral 04

What a fabulous concert! The choir sang with passionate intensity and the music at times had a beautiful and raw edge of power, with shouts of eternal joy & victory over death. Paul Gibson’s baritone powerful solos were awesome & Veronica Gilbert sang with controlled tenderness.  Peter Brown & Alan Gidney excelled and the audience were very appreciative.

Choral 06

The Concert Programme:

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Oops! I’ve moved some of the previous concert reviews to the Archives! Sorry….

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