Durham Vocal Festival is set to return to Durham City this winter.

The festival, which will take place from Saturday 27th January to Saturday 10th February, will see Durham play host to world famous vocalists, community choirs and some of the north east’s most promising young singers.

The fortnight-long festival will give 3,000 County Durham youngsters the chance to work with some of the UK’s leading singers and orchestras.

The festival will also see workshops for choirs, conductors and members of the public. These will include Roderick Williams’ Opera Masterclass and Breath in Choral Singing, in which the Durham Singers and conductor Julian Wright will give insights into the importance of breathing techniques.

Durham Vocal Festival

Durham Vocal Festival is organised by Durham County Council’s Durham Music Service, with support from Arts Council England.

Durham Music Service provides musical opportunities for thousands of County Durham children and runs over 40 music groups, ranging from folk ensembles to wind bands to choirs and orchestras.

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, Cllr Ossie Johnson, said, “Choral singing in Durham has a fantastically long and rich history – the Chorister School is over 600-years-old and there were monks singing daily in the cathedral before that.”

“This festival celebrates the finest vocal music locally, nationally and internationally, and I very much look forward to hearing performances by some of the fantastic young talent that we have here in our county and in the north east.”

Acapella evening
An acapella evening at Durham Vocal Festival

The director of the Durham Vocal Festival and manager of Durham Music Service, Michael Summers, said, “Now in its second year, the festival promises to be even more exciting than the last, celebrating the very best that vocal music has to offer.”

“Heritage and tradition sit side-by-side with exciting performances including Will Todd’s Mass in Blue, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s reworking of Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Mahogany Opera Group’s Snappy Operas.”

“We’ve also a beautiful Candlemass at Durham Cathedral and an acapella evening featuring Northern Lights from Durham University and Urban Voice from Egglescliffe School.”

“Our chamber choir evening will see The Durham Singers, Fenham Ensemble, Northern Spirit Singers and the Sage Chamber Choir fill St Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw College with song.”

“And this year, for the first time, we’ve 12 community choirs performing at Durham Cathedral with the outstanding acapella ensemble Apollo5.”

Tickets can be booked by going to www.durhamvocalfestival.co.uk or by telephoning the Durham Gala Theatre’s box office on 03000 266 600.

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