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Choirs in good voice.

Byline: By Richard Yates

Rehearsals are well under way for the performance by the Brinkburn Festival Choir scheduled for the first Saturday of the festival at the historic Brinkburn Priory on July 1.

The choir, recruited from local talented amateur singers, will be directed by David Lawrence, one of Britain's most versatile conductors and a regular guest chorusmaster with the Netherlands Radio Choir.

His posts include artistic director of the Ulster Youth Choir and choir leader of the City of Birmingham Young Voices. He is regularly asked to devise teacher training days for schools, local authorities and music services.

The Brinkburn Festival Choir will be taking up the theme established the previous day by the Orlando Consort in their The Rose, the Lily & the Wortleberry programme, which celebrates floral and horticultural interpretations in music of courtly and sensual love.

David Lawrence says of his programme: "I've taken the floral theme and chosen music which I think will be attractive to both performer and listener alike.

"It includes Camille Saint-Sa'ns' Les Fleurs et les Arbres and Calme de Nuit. These two pieces, composed in 1882, are among the composer's most evocative compositions for small choir.

"Benjamin Britten's Five Flower Songs are part of the staple diet of chamber choirs throughout the UK. Written in 1950, they're based on texts by George Crabbe and, among others, celebrate daffodils, nightshade and green broom.

"Morten Laurdsen and Eric Whitacre are two composers with unique voices, writing music that will suit the priory's acoustic beautifully ( and with music by John Rutter too it's certain to be a delightful presentation."

Tickets for the Brinkburn Priory performance are pounds 5 and seating is unreserved. To book, call 01289 330 999.

Congratulations to another contemporary pioneer of musical education, John Treherne, who was this week awarded the MBE for his work with the Gateshead schools' music service.

Some of the results of his endeavours can be witnessed in Hall One of The Sage Gateshead next Wednesday at 7pm when the music service presents Blow the Wind Southerly.

A massed choir recruited from Gateshead primary schools will be joined by soprano Margarette Ashton for a series of well-loved Tyneside songs. In all, there will be 600 young singers and instrumentalists.

Treherne's own contribution will be his orchestral piece Peascod Time. See the classical listings.

The feast day of St John will be celebrated at the Newcastle church in his name this Sunday with a choral concert.

Musica Johannis, the eight-voice ensemble drawn from the choir of St John's in Grainger Street, will start the music there at 6.45pm with Schubert's setting of Psalm 23, Britten's five Flower Songs and Mozart's settings of Ave verum corpus and Laudate dominum. There will also be a selection of numbers from the swing repertoire, spirituals, madrigals and a couple of instrumental solos.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2006
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