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An audience of more than 1,100 people enjoyed the excellent concert given by the Cathedral musicians in Hall One at The Sage Gateshead on Friday 5 June. Some of the music was sung by the Cathedral Choir, some by the Consort of Singers, and the two choirs totalling 50 voices joined forces for other pieces. They were conducted by James Lancelot and accompanied by Keith Wright on the continuo organ, Joseph Causby on the grand piano, and 14 instrumentalists in the Palatinate Ensemble. The concert was hosted by Bill Bryson who introduced groups of musical items.
The varied programme of music spanning the centuries included favourites by Schubert, Mozart, Bach, Handel and Purcell, and arrangements of well-known spirituals by Richard Lloyd and Michael Tippett. Jessica Holmes was soloist in Mozart’s ‘Laudate Dominum’ and Tom Glendinning joined the Palatinate Ensemble to play the trumpet for Bach’s ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring’. The Cathedral Choristers sang some pieces on their own, including Handel’s ‘How beautiful are the feet’ and Rutter’s ‘For the beauty of the earth’. They also brought smiles to people’s faces with their cheerful singing of Hart and Cooling’s ‘Welcome to Rustin’ Creek’. The Palatinate Ensemble gave a delightful performance of Warlock’s Capriol Suite. Both parts of the concert ended with prolonged applause from an appreciative audience.
After the interval Bill Bryson reminded us that the concert was in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. He invited on to the stage and talked to two young people who had recovered after treatment for cancer and the mother of a third who sadly did not survive. In the subsequent moving part of the concert, we were asked to remember former patients who were no longer with us as the Choristers sang the sublime ‘Pie Jesu’ from Fauré’s Requiem, which was preceded by Fauré’s lovely ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’, sung by the Consort of Singers.
A 20-page full-colour programme printed for the concert helped to raise the profiles of the Cathedral musicians and the DCCA, and also awareness of the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust. After costs have been met, the proceeds from the concert will be donated to the new TCT unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle.