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Get in the swing of singing

HUNDREDS of singers are being sought for a huge concert on Tyneside later this year.

A North East singing group is on the lookout for new members. Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR has the details.

HUNDREDS of singers are being sought for a huge concert on Tyneside later this year.

Sing Live North East is recruiting 250 singers to perform in Sing Swing at The Sage Gateshead on November 25, with rehearsals about to start.

Heather Page, from North Shields, is just one of the members who have enjoyed some fantastic experiences with Sing Live North East – from performing at Newcastle’s City Hall to the Royal Albert Hall in London.

She said: “I cannot remember a time when I didn’t sing. My first memory is when I was about three years old, singing and dancing in the street for some workmen who were working on the road outside our house. I used my mum’s old apron as a cape, which I swirled around as I sang.

“I was always in the school choir and in my 20s joined the Tynemouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society and was a member for 28 years. I think I did every G&S operetta one at least twice. Later on I joined the Tyneside Ladies Barbershop Harmony Chorus, where I learnt a lot and our performances were extremely disciplined, it was quite an experience.

“I decided to have a break from singing for a while to do other things, however after a couple of years I started to miss it so I started to look round for another group to join. I was having lunch with a friend of mine and she told me about this fabulous choir she had joined and how it had changed her life. It sounded like just what I was looking for and she gave me the Sing Live North East phone number.

“Within a week of that conversation, I was a Sing Live North East member. I sang in my first concert at Newcastle City Hall three years ago. It was wonderful and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to sing in so many other fabulous places.

“Performing at the Royal Albert Hall (twice) has to be the highlight and actually coming face-to-face with Sir Cliff Richard at the Caron Keating concert was unbelievable!

“Being able to sing regularly in our home venue, the prestigious Sage in Gateshead, makes me very proud and I feel so lucky to be able to share the stage with magnificent orchestras and famous Broadway stars.”

Anne Lyon, from Ponteland, joined Sing Live North East when it first started back in 2002. “I was able to take part in the first Disney trip that Sing Live was invited to. It was a truly wonderful experience, a holiday I would never have taken if I had not been a member of Sing Live North East, and we got to perform at a special ceremony called the Disney Candlelight Procession.

“Unfortunately my husband Ray had a terminal illness and died in November last year. It was a great loss for me. I took comfort in the fact he always encouraged me to attend the choir rehearsals because he knew it lifted my spirits, so I have continued to sing with the company, and it has given me great solace.”

If you would like further details on joining Sing Live North East, call (01609) 780 315 or visit www.singliveuk.com . Rehearsals start tomorrow, but you can apply up until two weeks after this date.

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