Home » Recent past events

Recent past events


Having survived the worst of the pandemic The Singers are looking forward to getting back into form and giving exciting performances again.

In June we made our first visit to the beautiful cathedral in Carlisle to sing Evensong. We sang an interesting selection of music including music by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, Byrd and the Ukrainian born composer Galina Grigorjeva (now based in Estonia). Carlisle Cathedral is celebrating its 900th anniversary this year so it was great to contribute to worship there in such an important year.

In August we sang for the wedding of one of our singers in Whickham with a substantial programme of choral music.

Carlisle Cathedral, founded 1122


Christmas with The Singers

It was great to be back singing again. We started just before Omicron started sweeping across the land. We managed to successfully fulfill our two traditional Christmas performances. The first was a successful Christmas with The Singers concert on 18 December 2021in St George’s Church in Jesmond. Despite COVID worries and precautions we had an appreciative and enthusiastic audience. We sang a full programme (programme is here) . Our guest artist was James Clark who played beautifully on the Northumbrian pipes. Mulled wine and mince pies were served by the Friends of St George’s. Family and friends of choir members brought along instruments and we formed an impromptu band to accompany everyone singing three traditional carols. By the end of the concert there was a great feeling of Christmas joy. We’re all looking forward to more again next year – hopefully without the masks.

Epiphany at Durham Cathedral

We were also able to resume our relationship with Durham cathedral for the Epiphany. We have sung for the Feast of the Epiphany Eucharist celebration for 19 consecutive years (except for 2021). This was a wonderful service. We sang Darke’s Collegium Regale and Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque. Our organist was the fantastic Joseph Beech. The service was live streamed and you may be able to catch up with it here on Facebook. The order of service is here.

The pictures show The Singers in the Chapter House after the service – before and after masks!

Of particular note is the Christmas crib at the top of the nave. This connects with the rich mining history of the area. The figures for the Crib were carved by Michael Doyle, a retired miner from Houghton-le-Spring during 1975 and 1976. They make reference to the mining industry. The donkey is a pit pony with all its harness and trappings, the crib is a ‘choppie box’ in which the ponies were given their feed underground and the Innkeeper, is dressed as a miner with a whippet at his side.


We were delighted to sing again for the special Epiphany Service in Durham Cathedral on January 6, 2020 at 7.30 pm. This was a very colourful, popular and meaningful service with gifts being presented at the special crib set up in the cathedral, lots of lovely Epiphany hymns, and glorious festive music from The Singers with guest organist, Kris Thomsett. We sang George Malcolm’s Missa ad Praesepe (Mass at the Crib) and Peter Naylor’s carol Eastern Monarchs.

Epiphany [or Twelfth Night] is the official end of the ’12 days of Christmas’ and commemorates the visit of the three wise men [or kings] to the stable. It is also the time that many Orthodox Christians celebrate the Nativity. A major festival then, and one which is celebrated world-wide.


Our annual Christmas with The Singers concert in St George’s Jesmond was a great success.

This year’s concert was one of our best – with lots of lovely seasonal music, candles, community carols and guest artists plus free programme and refreshments. We sang music written by some of our current singers – a premier of Go to the Child by Steve Locks, a carol by Lisa McMaster and an arrangement of Stille Nacht by Heather Harrison. We also sang traditional and new settings of carols. Our ‘scratch orchestra’ was bigger and better than ever – and the communal singing was a joy! The programme is available online. Here’s a photograph of the band working hard at rehearsal.

The Singers at Home – May 2019

The weather was beautiful and the St Mary Magdalene church was full. We sang a varied programme of pieces we’ve been recently rehearsing for our forthcoming concerts. It included music by Bruch, Bruckner, Guilmant, Stainer, and Fanny Hensel.

We also had some community singing, and, again, the result was amazing.

As always there were scrumptious cakes, tea and coffee provided by the congregation! Many thanks to Pat, the vicar, and all the volunteers who made the afternoon such a success.

The programme is available here .

Christmas 2018 and Epiphany 2019

We are now enjoying a break in our activities after a very busy Christmas season. Our Christmas with The Singers in St George’s Church, Jesmond, here in Newcastle upon Tyne, was a great success. We performed the premiere of Edmund Hunt’s Vita Hominum, the culmination of a year’s collaboration. This went very well indeed. An innovation this year was to start the concert at the back of the nave singing Bach’s harmonisation of O Little One Sweet in candlelight and then processing up the nave led by James Clark playing a beautiful Gaelic melody on the Northumbrian pipes. Very atmospheric! It was a super program, with mulled wine and mince pies served by The Friends of St George’s at the interval. A blast of grim weather just before the concert and a railway strike prevented some from being able to travel, but did not spoil the warm atmosphere or the sense of anticipation of Christmas. The concert was expertly recorded by BBC Radio 3 by engineer Sharon Hughes and producer Barnaby Gordon.

After Christmas we were off to Durham Cathedral where we sang all the services for the Epiphany weekend. With a Friday evening and Saturday morning rehearsal in Newcastle and rehearsals in Durham before the services plus a nave performance of Edmund’s Vita Hominum it was pretty much a non stop weekend. This really helps us appreciate how hard cathedral choirs work and how much music they get through! Both our evensongs were unaccompanied – challenging for the choir but a wonderful experience with the right music. Our other services (Matins and Eucharist) were beautifully accompanied by Francesca Massey.

At lunchtime we gave a special performance of Edmund’s Vita Hominum in Durham Cathedral. This started at the back of the nave, with us singing as we processed along all three aisles to the front of the nave where the main part of the piece was performed. Towards the end of the performance we processed out into the Galilee Chapel where we gathered round the tomb of Bede to finish the piece. It sounded great – a wonderful adventure in sound and a fantastic experience for us all.

The music list is available here.

The Singers at Durham Cathedral 2019

The Singers on Radio Three

A feature about our year long collaboration with composer Edmund Hunt was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 8 January about 9.15 pm after the evening concert (a Proms concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra).

The programme included a recording of our premiere performance of Edmund’s Vita Hominum made in St George’s, Jesmond on 15 December. There were also interviews with Edmund, Donald Halliday (conductor)
as well as Christopher Hunwick and Gaby Wright who translated the words by Bede into English and who sing with The Singers.

L to R: composer Edmund Hunt, conductor Donald Halliday and mentor Fraser Trainer