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Massed choir of ten year olds from the region join soul queen for Sage Gateshead's 10th Birthday Party

Posted on 3 December 2014

This December Sage Gateshead turns ten and to celebrate this milestone birthday there will be a six-day long party and a host of fantastic events and concerts from 16 to 21 December. Kicking off the festivities in considerable style on 16 December will be soul queen, Beverley Knight. And, because turning ten is so brilliant, some very special guests have been invited to get in on the action. Beverley will be joined on stage for the finale of her 10th Birthday concert by a massed choir of ten year old children from across the region, convened just for this occasion.

Rehearsals for the concert have already started and the nearly 100 boys and girls all born in 2004 when the venue first opened are working with choir leader Sharon Durant from Sage Gateshead to ensure they put on a performance worthy of the West End star. Many primary schools are getting involved including Hadrian, Laygate, St John’s, Wingrove, Broadwood, Canning Street, Bridgewater, St Peter’s RC and Springwell Village.

It will be a real treat for the youngsters to take to the stage with three time MOBO Award winner Beverley. With several top ten albums including the platinum selling ‘Voice: The Best of Beverley Knight’ and critically acclaimed lead roles in hit West End musicals, The Bodyguard and Memphis, she has established herself as one of the greats of British soul music. She also has a legion of fans in the UK and Stateside, including Prince, Bowie, Chaka Khan and Take That.

“We all feel so privileged to be taking part in this prestigious event. Not every 10 year old gets this opportunity and I know the children from Laygate Commuinty School are very excited and are practicing hard. The first rehearsal with Sharon was amazing. It is the chance in a lifetime for our children and I am so proud of them.” Miss Michelle Lauder, Head of School

The massed choir of ten year olds will be singing just three songs, ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’, ‘Keep This Fire Burning’ and ‘Baby Please Come Home’. They have just a few more weeks to perfect their repertoire, with a final big rehearsal planned for 14 December.

With something for classical fans through to the all-night club crowd, there are plenty more treats in store as Sage Gateshead turns ten. To find out more or to get tickets go to or contact Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661.


For more information please contact: Michele McCallion 0191 443 4573


Opened in 2004, Sage Gateshead has established itself as an international home for music and musical discovery. Its concert programme runs throughout the year, attracting artists from across the world and incorporating all genres of music.

The venue, designed by Foster and Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia. This orchestra was founded in 1968 and received royal status from Queen Elizabeth II in June 2013. Sage Gateshead is also home to the North East’s longstanding Folkworks programme – formed in 1988 to promote and encourage the furtherance of folk music across the region. What’s more, Sage Gateshead runs many other musical education programmes, each enabling people of all ages and abilities to become involved in music. 70 per cent of the work of these programmes takes place outside of the venue and at the heart of local communities.

In June 2012, Arts Council England set Sage Gateshead the challenge of raising £4 million by July 2015 (in order to claim an additional £2 million in match-funding) to help secure the future of this important work. In December 2014, Sage Gateshead will celebrate its 10th Birthday, Its correspondent birthday appeal runs until the summer of 2015, and features a number of high profile concerts and celebrations. Each will help Sage Gateshead to meet the challenge set by Arts Council England and help to ensure that its work in the North East can continue.

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