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Festive music live at Alnwick Garden

THE sound of 20,000 Voices will be spreading peace and goodwill at The Alnwick Garden today.

THE sound of 20,000 Voices will be spreading peace and goodwill at The Alnwick Garden today.

The county’s unique song company will present a programme of Christmas carols in the first of four performances over two weekends. They take place at intervals from noon to 2pm this weekend and next.

Visitors can also join in workshops and parades, then enjoy mulled wine and a mince pie while watching one of the festive films being screened throughout December.

The pioneering initiative 20,000 Voices develops and promotes singing across the North.

Today there’ll be the Voice Quad, a capella group performing French and Spanish carols and alternative versions of traditional Christmas songs; the Coquet Singers, with music from the North-East and Europe and Heaton Voices, a community choir whose repertoire ranges from rock to madrigal.

Tomorrow, there’ll be the Elizabethan Consort of Voices, specialising in madrigals; Antiphon, performing sacred choral music from Britain and Europe and Alnwick Playhouse Community Choir singing traditional ballads, gospel, show tunes and classical pieces.

Next Saturday will see performances from Merse Singers, with classical music and an orchestra playing period instruments and the Bailiffgate Singers who sing everything from Schubert to Sting.

Next Sunday, the choirs taking part will be Voicemale, a folk choir with a local emphasis; Alston Angeli, a capella women’s choir; New Voices, with a range from gospel and American traditional tunes to local songs and world music and Seaton Singers, a community group of people from all backgrounds.

This weekend sees some winter colour added to popular landmarks as part of a Guerrilla Lighting programme.

To round off the Northumberland Lights festival, which has included outdoor light and sound shows at locations such as Cragside Estate, Warkworth Castle and Walltown at Hadrian’s Wall, members of the public have nominated their own favourite building or monument to be illuminated

Today it’s the turn of Craster Harbour, to be followed by Cheviot Centre, Wooler, tomorrow.

The lights will fall on Brizlee Wood Radar Station, near Alnwick, on Tuesday; Moot Hall, Hexham, on Thursday, and Newbiggin sculpture The Couple a week tomorrow.

The following week’s final choices are Merck Sharp in Cramlington on December 17 and Ponteland Church on December 18.

On each night the lights will be turned on from 4pm until about 9pm. Visit www.northumberlandlights.com

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