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Newcastle Choral Society will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special Diamond Jubilee Concert at Sage Gateshead on November 29.


The concert recognises the First World War with a performance of the notable work ‘The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace', by Karl Jenkins. Commissioned by the Royal Armouries it has a special link with Newcastle Choral, being given its North East premier by the society in 2004.

The concert will also include the world premier of a new choral suite: ‘The Dream of the River' - a musical portrait of the River Tyne - by the Durham-born composer Will Todd.

The choir commissioned ‘The Dream of the River' and introduced composer Will Todd to Port of Tyne's writer in residence Michael Chaplin, who worked on the concept together. In his book ‘Tyne View - a Walk Around the Port of Tyne', Chaplin goes on a journey along the banks of the tidal river encountering people, history, and lost dreams, a pilgrimage celebrating the region's past, present and future.

Port of Tyne is supporting the concert, together with headline sponsor Intu Metrocentre.

Will Todd said: "‘The Dream of The River' is partly inspired by the book. It draws on the theme of the river as a life-circle and a journey, and relates that to our own human lives and journeys.

"It is a choral work, which can't possibly contain the detail and references of Michael's beautiful book, but in its overall effect my hope is that we feel something of the timeless nature of the water as it flows by us - inspiringly and endlessly."

Chaplin, who will perform the introductions at the concert, also has strong links to WW1 as the co-writer of Tommies, Radio 4's epic drama series about the Great War.

Another North East link with the war is the stark and powerful image used on the concert publicity material: a sculpture by local artist Ray Lonsdale entitled Eleven ‘O' One (or Tommy as it is also known). It was designed to capture the first minute of peace in 1918 and relay the exhaustion and relief of that moment. The generosity of local people has ensured that Tommy stays on Seaham seafront where he has found a place in their hearts. Tommy is made of corten steel and is over nine feet tall.

Under the musical direction of Mark Anyan, the choir will be joined by Tees Valley Youth Choir (who feature on the BBC's new ‘Children in Need' single 'God Only Knows' and who appeared in the 3 minute star, studded video played to launch BBC Music), members of Mid Northumberland Chorus, and local members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain with ONE Orchestra North East.

The concert and commission are supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council.

Tickets £18 - £21(Under 18 without a paying adult:£5,with a paying adult:FREE)
Choir Ticket Office 0191 2854868 and 01207 560555

Ticket Office Sage Gateshead 0191 4434661

Contact : Charmian Marshall
Chair of Newcastle Choral Society

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