I love to arrange music for choirs, and I love to lead them. I currently have six of my own and you can find out more about them below.
I started training to lead choirs in 2006 during my final year of university when I completed a year long placement with Gilly Love and the Silver Programme at Sage Gateshead. This was hugely valuable and gave me all the foundations I needed to start leading my own choirs. Since then I’ve developed further to now have my own style, which I hope is inclusive, fun, energetic, musical, effective, and efficient. Now, 10 years later, I work with visual aids as well as vocal ones, and I try to arrange most of the music for the groups I work with, it’s one of the perks of the job!
A choir to me is a group of people with a common interest in collective singing. My choirs either sing a whole mixture of repertoire or they state the focus in the name. All of my choirs laugh almost as much as they sing and I believe it’s my job, perhaps even my duty, to ensure everyone has learnt something and they leave the group feeling better than they did when they came in.
I prefer to work with groups having no sheet music or lyrics but lots of people need the visual or struggle to remember words so I’m not that mean! I do try to get my groups to look up off the page, and to eventually put down the sheet and be brave, the sound is much brighter, more confident.
Whether you’ve sung for twenty years or you have never found your singing voice there’s a place in one of my choirs for you. I love supporting new singers and challenging confident ones. If you’d like anymore information about my choirs please see below and/or use the contact tab above.
Tarset Village Hall, NE48
£4 per session if you pay for the whole term, £5.50 if paid for individual sessions
Starting in 2008, Song Reivers are a day time rural community choir in Tarset Village Hall three miles north of Bellingham. The repertoire changes regularly but includes some folk songs, some pop, some arranged just for the choir, some gospel, and much more. We often have a cup of tea and a piece of cake to start the day and always feel better at the end of a session than at the beginning. All members agree its a good way to start the week. Just turn up around ten-to-ten and you’ll be warmly welcomed. If we do performances we try to make them be for the local community… our carols-by-car is now a Christmas fixture as we visit those isolated or living alone in a very rural community and sing to them in their homes. We’ve also sung at the Sky Space up at Kielder and sometimes hold coffee mornings. There are around 20 at each practise with around 30 people ‘on the books’. Northumberland National Park has an average population density of 4 people per square mile so 20-30 people is a huge achievement!!
If the weather is bad or you’re unsure if we’ll be on please give Jan a call to check: 01434 240281.
Tynedale Community Choir
St Aidan’s Church, Hencotes, Hexham
£15.00 per half-term or £4 per session. Concessions available for those on low wages or unemployed.
All singers welcome – no auditions, no previous experience needed – just turn up, join in, and have fun! Our repertoire is very eclectic – traditional folk tunes, world music, rounds, gospel, shanties, pop, a little bit of light classical – whatever we fancy! Tynedale Community Choir has around 75 regulars and sound wonderful. We often sing around the community and for local events… and sometimes even in the pub!
tynedaleCchoir@gmail.com for further information and to join our mailing list.
St James’ Community Centre, Morpeth
Sing Morpeth are a hundred strong four part choir whose intention is to sing well, make friends, enjoy a social and hearty sing. When we do events they are often local to Morpeth and close to our hearts.
The choir currently has a waiting list for sopranos and altos… but tenors and basses are always welcome! 😀 please email Liz via the choir email address if you’re interested.
West End Voices
St James’ Church, Benwell
Donation based choir; pay what you can.
West End Voices has been running since 2012 when Newcastle Council wanted to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the Blaydon Races Song (Geordie Ridley). Since then we’ve grown in size and enthusiasm. The choir has 35 ‘on the books’ with a regular session having 18-25 people at it. We sing heartily and confidently, we laugh, and we even find time for a cup of tea. The people in the choir are friendly and kind and it’s what people hoped for when they used the word Community Choir. The repertoire includes 60s pop and soul, folk songs, light classical, foreign language songs, gospel songs, and country songs. There’s something for everyone.
North Tyne Voices
Humshaugh Village Hall
£5 per session (preferably paid half termly)
firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or details
North Tyne Voices is my new choir that started in January 2018. I want the group to have an eye towards performances and I had no idea how many people we would get! there are now 27 on the mailing list which is amazing for a rural choir in the first term. Please note: none of the repertoire is the same as Tynedale, Hadrian, or Song Reivers. This means anyone from these choirs can come to the new one without duplication of repertoire.
Holy Cross Church, Haltwhistle
Hadrian Singers are a group of around 40 singers in Haltwhistle. They’re a really lovely jolly bunch who stop in the middle for a good cup of tea and a biscuit! We’re in four part harmony, work hard in rehearsals and like to do some performances throughout the year.
My vocal arrangements reflect the groups I work with. I’m happy arranging in three and in four parts, for mixed or single gender choirs.