ALL aboard the tour bus for another successful cross-border trip with the Sperrin Choir!
The first weekend in June saw the Sperrin Choir pack their bags and music and set off on their annual weekend away.
This weekend, something of an institution, represents the culmination of a year’s successful concerts.
Already well-established friendships are deepened, the ‘craic’ is mighty, and, as a bonus, they perform a concert in their destination of choice.
This June they wowed a most receptive audience in Roscommon town, on their third visit to the venue.
Last year the weekend was spent in Donegal and plans are already afoot for the 2014 trip which will be to Cookstown’s twin-town of Plerin-sur-Mer in France.
The choir have already travelled twice to France and have hosted a French choir here in Mid-Ulster, on two occasions.
So - if you are a singer, with experience of choir-singing or not, read on for more details of this vibrant local choir who aim to bring great enjoyment to their audiences, whilst gaining much personal enjoyment from their music.
The choir is a mixed cross-community group of around 35 members who perform in four-part harmony.
And the age-ranges from 17 to its opposite!!
The choir performs twice yearly in the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown.
Other venues include Magherafelt, Dungannon, Portstewart and Portadown as well as many smaller villages in the Mid-Ulster area.
The range of music performed is extensive, as our librarian will attest!
Extracts from major Broadway shows, compilations like James Bond themes, and the greatest hits of particular artists, folk music from around the world, pop and jazz, spiritual songs and Christmas music, both sacred and light-hearted.
Our musical director, Sam Cuddy, is well-versed in sourcing music and compiling programmes which delight local audiences.
For example, Christmas 2013 will see two performances in the Burnavon Theatre, as well as a Dunganon venue.
The May 2014 concert series will take “Made in Northern Ireland” as its theme, with arrangements of music by greats like Van Morrison, Snow Patrol and Phil Coulter.
But what really sets this choir apart is the camaraderie.
Sam conducts weekly practices in a light-hearted atmosphere with plenty of banter.
Alongside Sam, as conductor/arranger, the choir is most fortunate to have retained Gail Evans as accompanist, despite her employment with the Belfast Philharmonic. Gail, like many other members, retains an allegiance to the choir she first performed with.
There has never been a better time to think about joining a choir.
Gareth Malone has popularised this hobby through TV programmes, working with groups of people in their workplace to create a choir.
Who can forget the success he achieved with his Military Wives choir?
The Sperrin Choir could adopt the title of his latest project: “Your choirmaster needs you!”
To quote Gareth: “regardless of background, if you have the voice and the vision, I want you.”
So - if you fell inspired, but would like some local practice before hitting the ‘big time’ with Gareth, contact the Sperrin Choir!
After the summer break, choir rehearsals re-commence on Thursday 12th September and continue weekly from September until May, each Thursday from 8pm until 10pm.
You will be assured of a very warm welcome and, if you want to find out more beforehand, please visit the website www.sperrinchoir.com or call 028 8676 4235 or 07968 741439 for a chat with Denis, our chairperson.