South Shields choir commissions its own song

Library Voices with choir leader Amy Leach, front left, and organiser Maureen Cairns, front right.
Library Voices with choir leader Amy Leach, front left, and organiser Maureen Cairns, front right.

A composer and songwriter is creating a new song to be performed by a South Shields choir.

Will Lang, a modern British folk musician and composer, is writing a song for Library Voices, a choir based at The Word, the National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields Market Place.

The choir, which has more than 30 members, began in the old Central Library in Prince Georg Square.

Community librarian Maureen Cairns said: “We started at the Central Library with some funding from Arts Council England and, since moving to The Word, have gone from strength to strength.

“This term we’re learning Will Lang’s song as well as looking at a Nina Simone song and the popular Auld Lang Syne.”

The choir was given fresh impetus by funding from ACE as part of South Tyneside.

Coun Alan Kerr, South Tyneside Council’s deputy leader, said: “Part of our ethos in the creation of The Word was that it should be a facility with widespread community appeal.

“This choir has grown in popularity and to have a special song commissioned for them is wonderful.”

Library Voices is led by Amy Leach.

She said: “We’ve a great bunch of people who enjoy their singing. We do a bit of everything, from pop, soul, folk to carols at Christmas.”

Will was chosen during a commission process jointly organised by the council and The Customs House.

He has recorded albums in the UK, Australia and Ireland and his music has received wide airplay and premiered works with Durham Choral Society at Durham Cathedral and Newcastle Choral Society. both to rave reviews.