A Morpeth-based choir is celebrating its 21st birthday this year with a series of informal events.
New Voices was formed following a series of Find Your Voice courses run locally in 1996 and 1997 by 20,000 Voices, and in October 1997 the choir took part in a Lantern Procession.
The group became independent in 1999, and the name New Voices emerged as most of the singers who joined were either inexperienced or looking to join an informal choir.
Even the Director Anne Suggate was new. Anne had sung all her life in a variety of choirs so it seemed natural to her to try directing.
She said: “It was challenging, but gradually very rewarding and great fun”.
Anne has developed her own skills, method and style, and she continues to direct the choir to this day.
While the choir has a strong core of singers who have been members for many years, new members are always warmly welcomed.
Someone who recently joined the choir and described himself as a total novice, never having sung with a choir before, said he is really enjoying rehearsals and is looking forward to performing. His message, particularly to the men of Morpeth and beyond, is: “Come along and join in.”
The repertoire has become more challenging and the ability to learn has improved much since the early days.
The choir is planning a series of activities to celebrate the 21st anniversary.
The first is an informal concert at 11am on Saturday, April 21, at Morpeth Town Hall, entitled 21 Songs For 21 Years.
The choir will sing 21 songs — a song for every year — and there will also be a photographic exhibition by Morpeth Camera Club. Tickets are available at Rutherfords in Morpeth.
New Voices Community Choir meets every Tuesday in term time, from 7.45pm to 9.30pm at St Robert’s Church Hall, Oldgate. There are no auditions and no requirement to read music. New members are always welcome.