Choir tunes up for Great North Passion

MAKING MUSIC &. hundreds of Great North Passion choristers with conductor Paul Leddington-Wright at their first rehearsal.

MAKING MUSIC &. hundreds of Great North Passion choristers with conductor Paul Leddington-Wright at their first rehearsal.

HUNDREDS of singers have answered the call to join a massed choir for a TV spectacular being filmed in South Tyneside – but more are still needed.

The first rehearsal for the Great North Passion (GNP) choir attracted more than 200 singers.

The choir will play a leading role in the GNP, a contemporary re-telling of Christ’s last hours, featuring an exciting combination of live performance, music and art, which will be broadcast live on BBC One on Good Friday from Bents Park in South Shields.

Assistant producer Lindsey Hammond, who is pulling together the choir, said she was delighted at the numbers who attended the rehearsal at South Shields Community School, adding: “It was great to see so many turn up, and to hear so many fantastic voices. There was real talent in the room, and conductor Paul Leddington-Wright said the potential is there for something really special.

“But we could do with more singers and we’d like to invite folk from throughout the region to attend the next rehearsal, which will be on Sunday, April 13, again at South Shields Community School in Nevinson Avenue, between 3pm and 6pm.

“The singers will also need to attend a dress rehearsal on Thursday, April 17, the day before the live broadcast on Good Friday.

“We are looking for experienced four-part harmony singers, or enthusiastic but less-experienced singers to join our unison choir.

“It will play a pivotal role in the live event, singing choral music and hymns, as well as contemporary and spiritual songs, and performing with well-known soloists, in an open-air setting.”

Mr Leddington-Wright is one of the most UK’s most respected musicians – working as a conductor, organist, composer and arranger.

Choir directors can apply on behalf of their choir, or choir members can apply individually or in small groups.

Participants must be 10 or over on April 18,, and members aged 10 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

The GNP is a joint collaboration between the BBC and the Cultural Spring, a £2m three-year Arts Council-funded project which will work with five wards in Sunderland and five in South Tyneside.

The project involves 70 shipping containers being housed in local communities across the north east.

Each container has an associated artist working with the local community to transform the giant steel box into a work of art representing one of the Stations of the Cross.

If you would like to be part of the massed choir, email Lindsey at thegreatnorthpassion@bbc.co.uk or call 0161 335 8408.

Twitter @shieldsgazpaul




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