As a group, we are deeply committed to supporting and nurturing the next generations of musicians. Over the last few years, we've worked with children and young people of all ages, from primary school children to undergraduate and conservatoire soloists, and recently we've been able to work with Samling Academy to give major solo opportunities to young singers from the North East.
This year, for Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, we're leaving the dazzlingly virtuosic and specialised solo singing to the experts in I Fagiolini, but the piece does give us a wonderful scope to involve some younger singers from Durham Johnston School Chamber Choir and the Durham County Youth Choir. The movement 'Sancta Maria, Ora pro nobis', in which a simple plainchant is set against a beautiful instrumental dance, is traditionally sung by a children's choir, so this will be sung by the girls. The boys will sing extra passages of plainchant chosen from the liturgy for the Feast of the Assumption, and all the young singers will be joining us in some of the larger-scale choral movements.
We know that working with I Fagiolini and Robert is going to be extremely exciting for all of us, and that we're also going to learn a fantastic amount; even after the first workshop with him, we were already able to benefit new ideas and techniques on tuning and diction, as well as being inspired by his infectious enthusiasm for Monteverdi. We're delighted to be able to share all this with the younger singers, as well as inviting them to join us in the sheer excitement of singing one of the most dazzling pieces of baroque choral music, accompanied by sackbuts, cornetts and other period instruments.
Much of our work with young singers is funded by the generosity of our patrons and friends. If you'd like to support what we do, please visit our patrons and friends page.
Durham Johnston School is a comprehensive school serving Durham City and a number of surrounding villages. It has a thriving music department, with many pupils having instrument/vocal lessons and taking part in extra-curricular activities. All year 7, 8 and 9 pupils receive a weekly music lesson and may then opt to take music as a GCSE and A Level subject.
Projects in the last few years have included; the annual school carol service in Durham Cathedral, One Sun One World together with St Leonard’s School and partner primaries, ‘Friends of Durham Cathedral’ Christmas concert, Choral Evensong in Durham Cathedral. The choir sang in the inaugural Durham Vocal Festival and has taken part in performances with The Durham Singers of Haydn's The Creation, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and the world premiere of The Great Charter by Timothy Craig Harrison.
Durham County Youth Choir is funded and run by Durham County Music Service, and serves to bridge the gap between school and adult choirs, and to introduce young people to the joy of ensemble singing and choir training, carried to the highest possible standard. Many choir members continue to enjoy singing as choristers long after their time in the choir, some have gone on to pursue professional careers, and one former member can be found among the ranks of the Durham Singers.
DCYC celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2014 with past and present members combining for a performance of Handel’s Messiah in Durham Cathedral, with sixteen soloists drawn from the current choir and its alumni, and with staff from Durham Music Service playing in the orchestra. The choir sings a wide variety of music and enjoys a concert tour every two or three years. The choir sang with the Durham Singers in a programme of coronation music by Handel and Purcell in 2014, accompanied by the period instrument orchestra, the Durham Singers Ensemble.
Durham Singers is a registered charity: 518274 /
Tel: 0191 386 6130 (general enquiries) or 0779 0148062 (tickets and publicity)