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Young Singers from the North East to perform at BBC Proms

Posted on 20 July 2018

Over 50 young singers from the North East have been preparing for a once in a lifetime performance with a three-day residency at Sage Gateshead before heading to London to perform at this year’s world-famous BBC Proms.

The BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy, in partnership with Sage Gateshead and the North East Music Education Hubs invited young people aged 16-25 from the North East to join a huge choir of massed voices on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in July. Singers of all musical backgrounds were invited, they didn’t need to be able to read music or to have performed before, but just have a love of singing and a voice with potential.

Over the last three months, the young singers have been learning the basics of classical choral singing through a series of workshop sessions and rehearsals led by conductor Grace Rossiter, followed by a residency at Sage Gateshead this week, with conductor Simon Halsey. They will be performing one of the most iconic works from the Western classical canon and a new piece written especially for the Proms Youth Choir.

Oli Bales (18), a BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy 2018 member said:
“The BBC Proms Academy has been an excellent source of opportunities. The staff have been excellent; supporting me constantly through the process, teaching me the basic and intricate details of being in a high performing choir. As well as being a strong learning experience the Academy has brought a positive energy to every rehearsal that can then be translated into other areas of life, work and auditions. I can’t wait for the performance”

David Pickard, Director of the BBC Proms said:
“Performances by the Proms Youth Choir are one of the highlights of the BBC Proms each summer, and I am delighted that their residency this year has been at the Sage Gateshead. It has offered a chance for singers from the North East to take part in our Youth Choir Academy – an important initiative to expand the range of opportunities for young performers. I have no doubt that the Proms Youth Choir performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 at the Royal Albert Hall will be an unforgettable one for all for all involved.”

Wendy Smith, Director of Creative Learning at Sage Gateshead, says:
“We’re excited to be working in partnership with the BBC and the Music Education Hubs to welcome a new group of young people into the Proms Youth Choir. It is a fantastic opportunity for young singers from the North East from all musical backgrounds to perform at the BBC Proms, while developing their choral singing.”

In addition to the BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy, over 30 experienced young singers from the North East were also recruited to join the BBC Proms North East Youth Choir and have joined the Academy in residency at Sage Gateshead this week with the University of Birmingham Voices and University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir.

All the young singers will perform at the BBC Proms on Saturday 21 July.

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