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A double dose of choral loveliness.

Choirs in Newcastle and Durham have chosen the same day and time to put on concerts of unaccompanied music. You can't hope to be in two places at once on February 8 at 7.30pm so you will have to take your pick. But disappointment is unlikely to be part of either package.

Guest conductor Clare Lawrence-Wills will present a programme of French and English unaccompanied music when she directs the Durham Singers for Winter Serenade at Elvet Methodist Church, Durham City.

The mood of the programme ranges from the serene sacred music of Messiaen and Poulenc to high-spirited madrigals and also includes part songs by Saint-Saens, Debussy, Elgar, Finzi and Holst.

Clare Lawrence-Wills, 27, now teaches music at Egglescliffe Comprehensive School in Stockton, as well as teaching Durham University oboe students. She recently conducted the Northern Spirit Singers in a performance of Finzi's My Spirit Sang All Day for a BBC Radio 3 live broadcast of The Choir.

The concert will begin at 7.30pm and tickets are PS12 (PS6 for students and under-25s). They are available from the Gala Theatre box office ( or call 03000 266600) or at the door.

Meanwhile, Newcastle choir Cappella Novocastriensis will perform music for Candlemas in a concert called Hail Gladdening Light! It will take place at the United Reformed Church on Burdon Terrace, Jesmond.Candlemas is said to mark the middle of winter, being half way between the year's shortest day and the spring equinox, but is also linked to the Christian story of Mary presenting the baby Jesus to elderly Simeon.

Cappella Novocastriensis's programme includes plainsong, settings of the Nunc Dimittis and works by composers from William Byrd and Thomas Tallis in the 16th century to Charles Wood and Eric Whitacre in the 20th.

Tickets are from PS6 to PS12 (under-18s free) from; JG Windows, Central Arcade, Newcastle, on 0191 232 1356 or at the door.
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Title Annotation:Features; Review
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 28, 2014
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