Durham Cathedral Choir Association

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Here we would like to present to you some news items from recent years that we felt might show what your membership and continued efforts has helped to support.

Past News

Past News

Cathedral Says Goodbye and Good Luck

On Sunday the 18th July Durham Cathedral said goodbye to another cohort of Choristers and choir men at the traditional dismissal service.  A fabulous and as always very emotional event saw the departure of Isaac Walton, Liam Jones, Matthew Kaley, Niall Bennison,  and for the first time a cohort of girl choristers were dismissed too in Catherine Pemberton, Francesca Brown, Laure De Longevialle, Apolline Jauffret, and Anna Roberts.  The departing choirmen were Alastair Kisby, Jonathan Geoghegan, Jonathan Lloyd and Michael Hickman.  

Following the traditional lunchtime picnic and speeches at which the leaving choristers sang ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ a lovely evensong service and formal dismissal included a superb rendition of Parry’s Blessed Pair of Sirens leaving few dry eyes in the Quire.  

At the same time the school and the choristers said goodbye to housemaster Tim Butcher who left to take up a deputy headship position at Winchester House. DCCA wishes them all good luck and hopes to see them all again.


Grand re-union of Durham Cathedral Musicians 17 July 2010

On 17 July 2010 the DCCA hosted a reunion for past members of the Cathedral Choir: Choristers; Choral Scholars; Lay Clerks; Organ Scholars; together with Precentors; Succentors; and Organists. All were invited to sing Evensong at 5.15pm with the Cathedral Choir, after an afternoon rehearsal.   After Evensong the assembled musicians and congregation gathered in the Chapter House, where we presented James Lancelot, who has just completed 25 years as Organist and Master of Choristers at Durham, with a bottle of 25 year-old malt whisky, and a generous cheque, collected from very many well-wishers, which we believe is going to be put towards a new sound system.  Later there was a dinner held in St Chad’s College, to which guests of past members of the Cathedral Choir were also invited. It was a wonderful occasion, and we hope to repeat the reunion in future years.

First performance of the commissioned mass by James MacMillan

As part of a sung Eucharist in the Cathedral at 11.15 on Sunday 27 February 2011 a newly-commissioned Mass setting by James MacMillan, Missa Dunelmi, will be performed for the first time.

This Mass setting has been commissioned from James MacMillan  by the University, the Cathedral Chapter, the Friends of Durham Cathedral and DCCA.

James MacMillan CBE is a leading modern composer who has written prolifically for the Church. Together with Sir John Tavener he is the most notable composer of music on religious themes in the UK. Brought to prominence with 'The Confession of Isobel Gowdie' at the BBC Proms in 1990, he has written a widely performed percussion concerto, 'Veni, Veni, Emmanuel' given its first performance by Evelyn Glennie, 'Seven Last Words from the Cross', 'Mass' and 'St John Passion'. He is a devout Roman Catholic, and was commissioned to compose the music for the recent papal visit – music which was much acclaimed. He still conducts his parish choir at the Dominican Church in Glasgow.


Our musicians are very much looking forward to working alongside him.

Choir tours

The girl Choristers and Gentlemen will visit Holland and Germany between 21 and 27 March 2011, singing concerts and services in Coevorden, Emlichheim (Germany), Hardenberg, Zwolle and Ommen.  


The boy Choristers and Gentlemen will once again visit Versailles between 13 and 20 June 2011, singing services and concerts in St-Jacques du Haut Pas, Paris; St-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts, Paris; Ste-Jeanne d'Arc, Versailles; Neauphle-le-Château; and Chartres Cathedral.  These tours, while excellent outreach for the Cathedral and experience for the choir, are expensive, and much fund-raising is taking place.

Concert with pieces by Bach, Franck, Bach-Gounod & Caccini

David Haslam, flute and Venera Bojkova, piano and harp

The Chapter House, Durham Cathedral

Saturday 1 October, 7.30 p.m.

The programme includes a Bach Sonata, Franck Sonata for Flute and Piano, some solo Flute pieces and two "Ave Maria" pieces for Flute and Harp - by Bach-Gounod and Caccini.

Tickets £12 (no concessions - schoolchildren admitted free)

Available from: Gala Theatre Box Office (0191 332 4041) or cheque and SAE to: DCCA, The Chapter Office, Durham DH1 3EH

In aid of DCCA

Please see the poster here, which has been created by Coronation Press, Coxhoe, DH6 4DE

Carols of Light

Durham Cathedral

Thursday 8 December 2011, 8.00 p.m.

A spectacular evening of music and readings with a host of celebrity guests including Sir Thomas Allen as well as the Cathedral Choristers.

Tickets from Sunderland Association Football Club’s ticket office from 26 September (0871 911 1973)

A joint fundraising event in aid of the Sunderland Association Football Club Foundation and the Cathedral’s Music Endowment Fund held at the County Durham Community Foundation.

Deep River - the Life and Songs of Paul Robeson

The time and date - 7.30 p.m.  Friday 25 February, 2011

The venue - The Prior's Hall, Durham Cathedral

The performers are Eddie Gratton - bass & George Hetherington - piano

Tickets are £10 each, which includes a glass of wine. Tickets will be available from the Gala Theatre Box Office; or from DCCA - order by sending a stamped addressed envelope to :

DCCA,  The Chapter Office, The College, Durham DH1 3EH

The Prior's Hall is a very beautiful medieval hall - a lovely setting for this concert, all the proceeds of which will go to support the Cathedral's music.

Please find a leaflet here.

Liam Jones wins Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2010

Wow!  What a performance.  Former Deputy Head Chorister Liam Jones pulled out a magnificent performance at the final of the BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year 2010 finals to win the title against stiff competition.  The Grand Final took place on Friday 29 October at St Paul's Cathedral in London, hosted by Aled Jones. The show was broadcast on Sunday 7 November on Radio 2 and anyone who listened in would know why Liam was chosen as the winner.   Liam now has a busy year ahead including appearances on radio and TV and singing in St Pauls Cathedral.  Liam will be returning to the Cathedral to sing with the choir in December (further information to follow).  Liam is seen here singing with the Durham Cathedral Choir in concert in Versailles 2009.

Liam Jones BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year 2010 in concert

Liam Jones has recently performed in the Albert Hall. We look forward to welcoming him back to Durham along with Ella Taylor, the BBC Girl Chorister of the year, for a magical Christmas concert.

Tickets are available through the Gala Theatre box office. Please see the leaflet for details & pricing.

Sung Eucharist with the Cathedral Choir and the choir of King’s College, Cambridge

A sung Eucharist in the Cathedral on Sunday 16 January, 2011 at 11.15 a.m. with Durham Cathedral Choir and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Rheinberger’s Mass in Eb.

 

This is a wonderful chance to hear the choir of King’s College alongside our own choir and is possible because the choir is performing at the Sage, Gateshead on the previous evening. There is a long history of personal contacts between the two choirs. Two of our organists were organ scholars at King’s College; several Durham choristers later became choral scholars there, and one an organ scholar; and at least one of our previous Choral Scholars had previously been a chorister there.


Celebratory Organ recital for 150 year of organ-building by Harrison & Harrison of Durham



James Lancelot gives a celebratory organ recital in Durham Cathedral

Wednesday 12 October at 7.30 p.m.

To celebrate 150 years of organ-building by Harrison & Harrison of Durham

Passacaglia BWV 582, Bach; Chorale Prelude Es ist ein’ Ros’ entsprungen, Brahms; Sonata in A, Opus 65 No 3, Mendelssohn; Five Short Pieces, Percy Whitlock; Symphony No 6 in B minor, Opus 59, Vierne

Gold ticket (including pre-recital buffet and pre-ordered interval drink) £25 / £23 concession


Silver ticket (including pre-ordered interval drink) £13 / £11 concession

Recital only £10 / £8 concession

Tickets from Gala Theatre box Office (0191 332 4041), or from Harrison & Harrison, St John’s Road Meadowfield , Durham DH1 8YH, with SAE and cheque made out to ‘Durham Cathedral’

The evening is supported by Harrison and Harrison in aid of the Cathedral’s Music Endowment Fund held at the County Durham Community Foundation.

Saturday 15 December 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cathedral


With special guest Sir Thomas Allen, CBE


Conducted by James Lancelot, Francesca Massey (organ) and joined by the Prince Bishops Brass


A candlelit concert to celebrate Christmas with an array of Christmas Carols and seasonal music.


This is a fundraising concert in support of music at Durham Cathedral


Tickets: £25, £20 & £10 (£20, £15, £8 concessions)

available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 0191 332 4041 or www.galadurham.co.uk


A special pre-concert supper (£25) is available in the Undercroft Restaurant at Durham Cathedral, as well as mulled wine (£3) in the interval served in the Cathedral Cloisters.

(Tickets from the Gala Theatre Box Office)

Christmas with Durham Cathedral Choir

The Bush Big Band

Friday 8 February 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cathedral


Playing Jazz & Swing Big Band Music


In aid of DCCA


Tickets: £8

Available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 0191 332 4041 or www.galadurham.co.uk


Please find a leaflet here

Durham University Chamber Choir Concert

Sunday 24 February 2013 at 5.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. in the Cathedral


Repertoire to include Britten: Ad majorem Dei Gloriam,

                                  Macmillian: Misere

                                  Charles Wood &

  other British  composers


Tickets: £12.- / £6.- Concessions / £5.- DUMS

 Available from the World Heritage Centre or on the door.

Benjamin Britten: Noye’s Fludde

Saturday 2 March 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cathedral


A fully-staged performance in the Cathedral by Durham Singers and Durham Cathedral Young Singers


Tickets: £18.- / £12.- students & children / children under 13 free

Available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 0191 332 4041 or www.galadurham.co.uk.

Michael Berkley’s ‘Easter Anthem’ premiered  during Evensong

Sunday 5 May 2013 at 3.30 p.m. in the cathedral


At today’s Evensong the ‘Easter Anthem’ by Michael Berkley, who was commissioned by DCCA, will be premiered.

Music by Brahms and Britten

Saturday 22 June 2013 at 2.30 p.m. in the Prior’s Hall


Bridget Hardy - mezzo-soprano

Isaac Nakhimovsky - viola

Ralph Woodward - piano


Free admission, with retiring paper collection in aid of DCCA


Click for a poster

Cambridge Taverner Choir

Saturday 20 July 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in the cathedral


Cambridge Taverner Choir sings a programme of Rennaissance polyphony, to include as the main work Monteverdi’s Mass in Illo Tempore (morning music for the 1610 Vespers


Tickets: £18.-/£14.- (Concessions £12.-/£8.-), Free for School-age children

Available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 0191 332 4041 or www.galadurham.co.uk.


In aid of DCCA


Please find a poster here

DCCA Members’ Concert

Sunday 14 July 2013 at 6.00 p.m. in the cathedral


Durham Cathedral Choir


Free concert for members, retiring collection for non-members


Please see a poster here

Durham Cathedral Choir / Lindisfarne Gospel Choir / North-East Youth Chorale / Orchestra North East

Saturday 28 September 2013 at 7.15 p.m. in the cathedral


Neil Combstock - Sound story

Tavener - Ikon of St Cuthbert

Messiaen - Les Anges

Will Todd - St Cuthbert Oratorio


Preceded by a spectacular Prelude to include the ringing of the bells on the St Cuthbert Banner

Sound Story by sound Engineer Neil Combstock

Durham Cathedral Choir singing John Tavener, Ikon of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, conducted by James Lancelot

Francesca Massey performing Messaien’s Les Anges

a procession of Cuthbert inspired children’s banners led by the St Cuthbert Banner, during the singing of Conrad Eden’s Hymn to St Cuthbert

and a performance of a new commission inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels, composed by Will Todd with words by Ben Dunwell, sung Durham Cathedral Choir and soloist Austin Gunn.


For the St Cuthbert Oratorio, Alistair Dawes conducts soloists Penny Randall-Davies, James Edwards and Roderick Michael Earle and the Orchestra of the North East with the Lindisfarne Gospel Choir; led by the Cathedral’s Director of Music Outreach joined by members of the North East Youth Chorale especially for the occasion (NEYC Director: John Forsyth) as well as other singers from around the region.


Martin Warden of Hi-Lights provides interpretative lighting to enhance the individual movements of the Oratorio.


Tickets: £25.- (Concessions £20.-)

Available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or www.galadurham.co.uk.

Saturday 14 December 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cathedral


A candlelit concert to celebrate Christmas with an array of Christmas Carols and seasonal music including Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols to mark the Britten 100 anniversary celebrations.


A unique opportunity to hear both the girls and the boy choristers sing together along with the men of the choir.


Joined by Prince Bishops Brass


Tickets: £25, £20, £18, £16 & £8 (£18, £16, £14, £12 & £6 concessions)

available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266600 or www.galadurham.co.uk

Christmas with Durham Cathedral Choir

Requiem with Durham Cathedral Choir

Saturday 8 March 2014 at 7.30 p.m. in the cathedral


Hear Durham Cathedral Choir perform two stalwarts of the choral music repertoire to commemorate the centenary of the First World War:

Johannes Brahms’ Requiem  and  Herbert Howells’ Requiem, modelled on Walford Davies’ A Short Requiem of 1915, written in memory of those killed in the First World War.


Tickets: £22.-, £20.-, £16.- (Concessions £18.-, £16.-, £12.-)

Available from the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or www.galadurham.co.uk.


A fundraising concert in support of music at Durham Cathedral


Please find a poster here

DCCA Members’ Concert

Sunday 13 July, 17.15, Durham Cathedral


Concert by Durham Cathedral Choir

Directed by James Lancelot

Francesca Massey - organ


The programme includes music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, William Walton, Cecilia McDowall, James MacMillan


Followed by refreshments and a chance to meet some of the performers


Admission free to DCCA members and school-age children

Donations welcome from non-members


Please find a poster here.

Friday 31 October 2014 at 19.30 in the Prior’s Hall


DCCA is pleased to announce that a wine-tasting event in aid of Chorister Bursaries will take place on Friday 31 October at 7.30p.m. in Prior’s Hall.


Dr Jamie Harrison will compère the event, and provide us with his vinological expertise,

and there will be a little musical entertainment.


Tickets: £15.- are obtainable by sending a cheque to DCCA, The Cathedral Office, The College, Durham DH1 3EH.


Please find a poster here.


Wines have been donated by courtesy of Marks and Spencer; nibbles by courtesy of Radisson Blu, Durham

DCCA Winetasting Event

Wednesday 21 January 2015, 7.30 p.m.


Hear Francesca Massey perform the great Christmas cycle by the French 20th-century composer Olivier Messiaen. The nine pieces each portray one aspect or another of Christ’s birth and coming among us. Proceeds from the recital will go to the Michael James Music Trust, a fund set up in memory of a former Organ Scholar of University College, Durham University, who died young. The Trust supports organ scholarships at many British Cathedrals, including Durham.


Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions) available from the Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre 0191 334 3805 or on the day at the Cathedral.

Organ Recital: La Nativité du Seigneur

Come and Be a Chorister for the Day at Durham Cathedral

Saturday 2 May 2015, 14:00 at The Chorister School


This is a fantastic opportunity for boys and girls aged 6 to 10 to have first-hand experience of being a Chorister, culminating in singing a short service in the church.


The children will enjoy meeting the current Cathedral Choristers, hearing them sing, and making music together. No previous experience is necessary, just a love of singing and an enthusiasm to be part of a successful team.


14:15 Registration at The Chorister School

14:30 Listen to the Choristers sing

          Learn about being a Chorister

          Rehearsal

15:30 Break

16:00 Walk to the Cathedral

16:15 Open rehearsal in the Cathedral

16:30 Tea in the school Library for parents

17:15 Evensong

Please wear school uniform.


If you would like to participate or find out more, please email music@durhamcathedral.co.uk or telephone 0191 374 4066


Please find a poster here.

Benjamin Britten’s ‘The Little Sweep - Let’s make an opera’

Thursday 7 May 2015, 14:00 at The Witham, Barnard Castle

Saturday 9 May 2015, 19:00 at The Witham, Barnard Castle


The Chorister School, Durham

The Miranda Wright Singers


Benjamin Britten’s The Little Sweep – Let’s Make an Opera was written to involve young people in opera.  It tells the story of Sammy, a chimney sweep’s boy, who has never been up a chimney; he is terrified. The nursery maid, Rowan, and the children of Iken Hall rescue Sammy and hide him from his cruel master. They hatch a plot to send him home to his parents…

The first performance of The Little Sweep was in June 1949 at the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh (Suffolk).  Britten wrote this opera for solo children and adult opera singers.  Our performance will be presented by pupils from The Chorister School at Durham Cathedral, who are joined in the adult roles by members of the Miranda Wright Singers, a group of talented young singers from the North East who are training towards careers in classical singing.

The Miranda Wright Singers staged Tell Me the Truth about Love at The Witham in 2014, a cabaret style performance with art song and poetry. The programme was The Guardian’s “cultural pick of the week” for the North.

Miranda Wright, who directed Tell Me the Truth about Love and will direct The Little Sweep, is the singing teacher at The Chorister School where she teaches the Cathedral Choristers, along with members of the Galilee Choir and other day pupils, as well as students at Durham and Newcastle Universities and local young singers.

The Little Sweep will be a fully staged production, accompanied by David Ratnanayagam, Assistant Director of Music at The Chorister School, and musically coordinated by James Randle, Director of Music at The Chorister School, and Miranda Wright.

The Chorister School has a splendid position in the middle of Durham, tucked away behind Durham Cathedral. As a fully co-educational Preparatory School, the School has an excellent academic record, with many pupils transferring to their chosen Senior Schools with Scholarship awards (academic, sport, music, art and drama).

There is a very vibrant music department and individual instrumental lessons are available for almost all instruments. In addition to the Cathedral Choristers and the Galilee Choir, there are training choirs and ensemble groups that rehearse throughout the week and perform in concerts or services regularly. Art and sport are also strong at The Chorister School, and there is a wide selection of after school activities each week.

The above has been quoted from The Witham website.


Tickets: £10.- (£6.- concessions) from The Witham website. Please find a poster here

Open Morning at The Chorister School

Saturday 9 May 2015, 10:00 - 12:00


Girls & Boys 3 -13 years


Chorister audition for girls and boys aged 7-9 by appointment.


To register your place or simply to find out more, please email enquiries@thechoristerschool.com, telephone 0191 384 2935 or visit www.thechoristerschool.com


Please find a poster here.

The Great Charter

Saturday 13 June 2015, 19:00 at Durham Cathedral

Saturday 20 June 2015, 19:00 at Middlesbrough Cathedral


Durham Singers

Durham Cathedral Young Singers


Commissioned by Durham Cathedral from local composer Tim Harrison to mark the 800th anniversary of signing of Magna Carta,

The Great Charter takes a high-spirited look at the story of Bad King John and his rebellious barons.

Performed by Durham Singers, Durham Cathedral Young Singers and other local young musicians.


This concert is funded by the David Boardman Trust, Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral.


Tickets £15, £10 & £8 (£13, £8 & £6 concessions) available from the Gala Theatre Box office 03000 266600 or www.galadurham.co.uk

DCCA Members’ Concert

Sunday 12 July 2015, 16:45 in the Cathedral


Durham Cathedral Choir

Directed by James Lancelot

Francesca Massey - organ

Jonathan Allsopp - organ


The programme includes music by William Byrd, Samuel Wesley, Henry Purcell and Hubert Parry.


Followed by refreshments and a chance to meet some of the performers.


Admission free to DCCA members and school-age children

Donations welcome from non-members.


Please find a poster here

Celebration party for Francesca Massey’s solo CD “Bravura”

Sunday 11 October 2015, 16:45 in the Cathedral


DCCA is planning a celebration party following the launch of Francesca Massey's first solo CD from Durham - "Bravura". This will be after Evensong on Sunday 11 October. At 4.45, in the Cathedral. Francesca will talk about the making of the CD and will play one or two tracks from it.


After this - starting between 5 to 5.15 p.m. - there will be a reception with wine and nibbles in the Chapter House for all those wishing to join us.


This is a free celebratory event, but we do ask anyone planning to attend the reception to e-mail dcca@durhamcathedral.co.uk  to let us know you plan to attend, so that we can make arrangements for catering.


CDs will be available for sale in the Chapter House.

DCCA at Durham Christmas Market

 Friday 4 - Sunday 6 December 2015 in the Cloisters


DCCA will again have a stall in the Christmas Market in the Cloisters on 4th to 6th December. Trading hours are:

 

Fri 4th - 10.00 - 17.00

Sat 5th - 9.00 -  17.00

Sun 6th - Noon - 15.30 (TBC)

  

As well as selling our CDs and books, we sell home-made jams, jellies and chutneys, home-made Christmas decorations and donated goods.


Do come along and visit our stall if you can.

Olivier Messiaen - La Nativité du Seigneur

 Wednesday 20 January 2016, 19:30 in the Cathedral


Jonathan Allsopp, Organ Scholar at Durham Cathedral


Hear the great Christmas cycle by the French 20th-century composer Olivier Messiaen. The nine pieces each portray one aspect or another of Christ’s birth and coming among us.


Proceeds from the recital will go to the Michael James Music Trust, a fund set up in memory of a former Organ Scholar of University College, Durham University, who died young. The Trust supports organ scholarships at many British Cathedrals, including Durham.


Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions) on the door

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