Alnwick Sings at the Sage for concert

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Choirs from across Northumberland are teaming up to perform at a leading North East music venue.

The Alnwick and District Choral Society, the Playhouse Community Choir, Bailiffgate Singers and Rock Festival Choir are just four of the eight groups coming together for a special show at the Sage, Gateshead.

Entitled Feel the Spirit, the concert was inspired by a performance at Alnwick Playhouse in 2012 and a series called Alnwick Sings in 2009.

The concert organisers hope to have more than 200 singers at the venue on May 21, 2016.

Mick Lock, retired deputy headteacher and organiser, said that the show will be ‘an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’.

“A few years ago, a series of concerts at the Playhouse, Alnwick, brought together choirs and other vocal ensembles from around the district under the banner Alnwick Sings,” he said.

“Providing a showcase for local talent, the concerts proved to be both successful and popular and it’s now time to resurrect the project but to move up a gear.”

The concert will be split into two.

The first half will see four larger choirs present their own programme of music with the general theme of The Fight for Freedom.

The second half will see the massed choirs come together for John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit.

The suite of seven spirituals tell the story of the plight of thousands of black Africans transported and enslaved during the 18th and 19th centuries in America.

The Duchess’s High School choir sang the movements with world famous mezzo soprano Andrea Baker at a concert in the Playhouse in 2012.

In the concert next year, the high school choir will join the four main choirs, who will also be joined by groups such as the Silver Singers, Glendale Voices and Lionheart Harmony, for the massed choirs section of the show which will see more than 200 people on stage at the Sage – too many to fit in the Playhouse.

This exciting adventure won’t be easy for the choirs as the show will cost around £6,000 to put on.

The task for the choirs is now to start preparing for the concert and secure enough money to make sure it happens.

Despite the challenges, the organisers remain hopeful that the concert will be a massive success.

One of the organisers, Peter Brown, runs three of the main choirs that are due to perform.

The music mastermind directs Alnwick and District Choral Society, the Playhouse Community Choir and Rock Festival Choir who are leading the first half of the show.

Peter also runs the Duchess’s High School choir which will be joining in with the series of spirituals after the interval.

Rehearsals start in September and anyone who wants to get involved is asked to contact Mick Lock at and he will direct you to the appropriate choir.