Members' Information

Members' Diary

We hope to resume full indoor rehearsals in September and to perform the following programme. How exciting! 

Wed. 08 09 21         Term begins 7:15pm Finish 8:30pm

Wed. 13 10 21          7:00pm AGM followed by rehearsal

Wed. 27 10 21          Half-Term Holiday

10th & 12th Nov       Rehearsals in Church [times tbc]

Sat. 13th Nov 21      Remembrance Concert in St Paul’s                                        Church at 7:30pm

8th & 10th Dec 21    Rehearsals in Church [times tbc]

Sun. 12th Dec 21     Christmas Carols in St Paul’s at                                            3:00pm

Wed. 05 01 22         Term Begins

Wed. 23 02 22         Half-Term Holiday

Sat. 2nd April 22     Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in St Paul’s                                               [time tbc]

13th & 20th April    Easter Holiday

Wed. 27 04 22        Term Begins

Wed. 01 06 22        Half-Term Holiday

Sat. 18th June 22   ‘Come and Sing’ [Music tbc]

End of Term           [to be confirmed]

Covid-safe return to rehearsals

A comprehensive risk assessment has been carried out by the committee to enable Alnwick and District Choral Society to return to rehearsals. By following covid-safe best practice we hope to minimise the risk of contracting covid. Please open the pdf to the right to reassure yourself that we take the pandemic very seriously and are taking all steps necessary to keep you safe.

Committee Members

Chair: Karen Carlson

Vice Chair: Alison McKenna

Secretary: Jolanda Cartwright

Treasurer: Sally Onions

Librarian: Joyce Clayton

Social Secretary: Debbie Howey

Programmes, Posters & Publicity Rep: Brian Corbett

Sop. Line Rep: Felicity Edmunds

Sop. Line Rep: Vicky Johnson

Alto Line Rep: Cherry Hambrook

Bass Line Rep: Colin Lesser

Tenor Rep & Website: Ian C Brown

Friends’ Secretary: Doreen Davison

Data Protection Officer: Joyce Clayton

Contact Info:

If choir members would like to contact their line rep, please make use of the dedicated link below. We will try to respond as soon as possible. Thank you for getting in touch!

Alto Line Rep

Bass Line Rep

Soprano Line Reps

Tenor Line Rep

Latest Version of Handbook for Members

Click Here

2021 'In Remembrance'

Conductor: Peter Brown; Organist: Alan Gidney

After such a long time, after lockdown and restrictions it was amazing to sing in St Paul’s again. Remembrance is always a poignant time and this concert made our return to live performances really special. Despite numbers being down due to illness, the sound of the choir was well-balanced and conveyed the emotion within the lyrics well.

As St Paul’s is undergoing roof repairs, the choir and sanctuary are blocked off; seating followed covid-safe guidelines and the reduced space meant that most of the choir were in the aisles and the audience were also widely spaced out. With a dramatic poppy display in front of floor to ceiling plastic sheeting, not quite hiding the scaffolding, the atmosphere created within the church almost suggested it had survived being hit by bombs and was being renovated.

For the first half of the performance, Peter Brown’s two short Remembrance pieces sandwiched the Jenkins’ “Motets”. Opening with “In Flanders Fields”, the best we’ve ever sung it, set the musical tone for the evening. This powerful piece is so beautiful and undoubtedly deserves a much wider audience. Jenkins’ work is popular and has a lasting acoustic impact – layered repeated phrases weave their musical poetry but can be demanding on the vocal cords. Puccini’s “Messa di Gloria” completed the concert – what a delightful, early work.

Veronica Gilbert gave a glorious performance of the tenor solo in the Puccini; in fact, each of the voices had moments of beauty, but for me, the bass line stepped up the most, particularly the majestic and stirring “Qui tollis peccata mundi”.

Thank you to Alan Gidney for his excellent organ playing; his musicality and articulation always evoke strong emotional responses, and a huge thank you to the inspirational Peter Brown!

Our 2021 Remembrance concert was a solemn, moving occasion and allowed us, and all the other choirs this year to remember and not ‘break faith’ with the millions who kept us safe through their service and sacrifice.

Online Poster

Remembrance Concert - 13 11 21

The Concert Programme:

Please click on image for a better view

Flowers and thank yous but no goodbyes!

During the AGM this Wednesday the choir presented two members of the committee with beautiful flowers and said a huge thank you for their work and support. Alison, who has been Chair for over 25 years, has stood down but has agreed to act as Vice Chair in the short term. In recognition of her long service and continued support for ADCS, Alison has been invited to be the president of the Society, an honorary role created especially for her! Gillie, who has been our Secretary for 5 years & done an amazing job has also stood down and Jolanda has now agreed to take on this role. We are thrilled that our good friends, Alison and Gillie are staying in the choir and wish them many more happy years of singing.                                                                       [October 13th 2021]

Online Poster

A Celebration of Christmas - 15 12 19

A Celebration of Christmas:

Conductor: Peter Brown; Organist: Alan Gidney

We are well into Advent and after our carol concert I’d say it feels officially more like Christmas! For many people coming to a carol concert is a great way to celebrate Advent, so thank you for joining in and making it so enjoyable.

We really enjoyed singing a number of new carols and revisited some old favourites –  traditional carols with audience participation and that something extra from the ladies of the choir. It makes such an amazing difference to have a beautiful soprano descant floating above the melody!

What I love about carols is that you can always be surprised at how varied and wonderful they are! My favourite carol this year was David Willcocks’ “Birthday Carol”. This was simply joyous and a pleasure to sing, once I got the hang of echoing the sopranos ‘Gloria, Gloria in excelsis Deo’!

Afterwards we enjoyed mince pies, Stollen bites, mulled wine and juice & caught up with friends and their family news. Spending time with loved ones is so important at Christmas.

Thank you for the lovely solos Frances & Veronica and for Alan’s organ improvisation on ‘The First Nowell’, which was the concert highlight for some of our guests.  Peter was brilliant as always. Happy Christmas!

The Concert Programme:

Please click on image for a better view

Online Poster

Remembrance Concert - 09 11 19

Remembrance Concert:

Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Brown's Requiem & 4 Motets

On 9th November, 2019 the choir gave their Remembrance concert in the beautiful setting of St. Paul’s Church, Alnwick. We were singing Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms”, a world première of Peter Brown’s “Requiem” and four motets. I don’t suppose professional singers would admit to being a little bit anxious about singing Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms”, but if pressed, I imagine any of the choir would have freely confessed to being very apprehensive!

As usual we had three rehearsals in the week leading up to the concert, to enjoy the acoustics of the church and practise with the organ, and the percussion and harp soloists. Would we be able to rise to the challenge of the “Chichester Psalms” and do justice to the beautiful, new “Requiem” which Peter Brown wrote for us? Well, to be honest, each of the choir’s four sections had their moments in the “Chichester Psalms” but it didn’t lessen the impact this work had on its listeners. We loved singing Peter Brown’s “Requiem”: it is a beautiful piece, which deserves the praise so easily given to modern composers such as Anersen, Jenkins or Whitacre.

Though some came to experience Bernstein’s masterpiece, “Chichester Psalms”, the choir sang Peter Brown’s “Requiem” with awe: in both pieces, explosions of sound flow on to peaceful sections of lyrical beauty & rest. Thank you, Peter! Our own vocal soloists were excellent; I particularly enjoyed Vicky Johnson’s singing throughout and her duet with Frances Buckingham was simply perfect. Janet Bennett played the harp, the key instrument in Bernstein’s work with sheer class, enjoying the intricacy of the music and evoking a sense of wistful longing; Gerard Rundell triumphed on the percussion, giving us incredible layers of sound, from a single reverberating note on the triangle to an overwhelming wall of sound which closed the first movement of the “Psalms”; Alan Gidney showed his expertise again on the organ and Peter Brown kept us going and was just brilliant. The audience were really appreciative and some were very knowledgeable…..

Fear and faith ……. The music was powerful and deeply moving, a fitting way to honour the dead and comfort the grieving. A remembrance concert with a message of hope that people will dwell together in unity, Yaḥad – ‘together’, a plea for peace.

The Concert Programme:

Please click on image for a better view

A Song for Shelter - 'A Place to Call Home'

I am very pleased to upload our musical contribution for ‘Sing for Shelter’; Alex Woolf’s ambitious project which has encouraged so many choirs across the UK to highlight the plight of the homeless in 2019. The choir gave this informal performance of ‘A Place to Call Home’ at our usual rehearsal venue of Swansfield Park Primary School, at the end of year social on Wednesday 26th June, 2019.

A big thank you to Joyce Clayton who filmed and edited the recording and to Gillie Stapleton who brought the project to our attention and made it all possible. Thank you, also to the choir members who sang for a such a good cause and the expertise and infectious love of music of Peter Brown and Alan Gidney.

A cheque for £207.20 has been donated to Shelter.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed making it and eating the delicious buffet afterwards!

Play Video

Oops! I’ve moved some of the previous concert reviews to the Archives! Sorry….

Please use the button to visit the landing page if you want to explore further and bring back happy memories!

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