Rachel is a leading soprano and an established concert performer in the North East.
Her oratorio performances have included Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, Brahm’s Requiem, Bach’s Christmas Oratorios, Mozart’s Requiem, Dvorak's Te Deum, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem and works by Schubert and Maunder.
While in opera she has sung Violetta in La Traviata, Adina in L’Elisir D’Amore, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Oscar in Un Ballo Maschera, Adele in Die Fledermaus and Marguerite in Northern Opera’s 50th Anniversary production of Faust by Gounod.
Shiney Row Male Voice was founded in 1959 from a small singing groupset up by "The Wilson Brothers" - at Trinity Methodist Church, Shiney Row, Houghton le Spring. Since it's inception the Choir has always been based for rehearsals at Trinity Methodist Church.
There have been four Conductors of the Choir :-Fred Wilson Brian McAree Joe Parker Stephen Wroe
Stephen was appointed Conductor and Musical Director in 1994.
As for Accompanists, there have really been only two appointed to the permanent position.The present Accompanist, Robert Chicken, was the Choir's first,but after a short time he moved away from the area. He returned to the Choir in 2006,following the death of George Gent who had been the Choir's Accompanist for 38 years.
The Choir's current active membership stands at 49 members,who come from the Tyneside and Wearside area,including Sunderland, South Shields, Houghton le Spring,Gateshead, Chester le Street and Durham
Ivor Novello throughout much of his colourful career, was as well known an actor as composer. As his legacy has emerged more clearly since his death, however, it is his contribution to composition, especially in the realm of the British musical theatre that carries greater artistic significance. Novello's musicals were generally rich in distinctive melody and had a conservative, operetta-like character.Novello was born in Cardiff, Wales, on January 15, 1893. He showed rare musical gifts in his childhood, exhibiting an exceptionally attractive boy soprano voice and a talent for creating original melodies. Noel Coward, playwright, director and actor as well as a songwriter, filmmaker and novelist, his witty, urbane stage productions forever altered the perceptions long inherent in theatre dialogue by shifting away from declamatory tones to a more natural, conversational approach, making them ideal for later film adaptations.Born December 16, 1899 in Middlesex, England, Coward was the product of a musical family; his grandfather was the organist at the Crystal Palace, while his father was a piano tuner.Fred Wharton will be holding a presentation evening on the 1st April 2008 where he will play some of their fabulous music and give an insight into the format the show will take, in what promises to be a wonderful celebration for our 100th anniversary year. Tickets will be in high demand for this unique show as there will be only 4 performances.
For its anniversary concert on Friday, May 23, at 7pm, the choir will be joined by soprano Rachel Orr, baritone Robert Seaton, and violinist Ben Armishaw, whose wife, Ruth, will accompany the three artists on the piano.
Tickets and further information are available from Mr Arthur on (01434) 600488.
FOR 60 years Hexham Male Voice Choir has enthralled its audiences the length and breadth of Tynedale and beyond.
Now, fittingly, members are preparing to mark their diamond anniversary in song with a special concert at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School next week. The evening will be a chance to look back on the choir’s illustrious history – from its inaugural meeting in Hexham’s Queen’s Hall cafe on May 26, 1948, to success at festivals in Tynedale, Blackpool Southport and Wansbeck, to name but a few. And it will be an opportunity to encourage new singers to join the choir’s happy band. Current chairman Tom Arthur, who joined the choir himself 57 years ago this coming November, said: “We have always done our best to reach the highest levels of singing we can “Sadly, many young men are not coming through these days because they have other interests, or are leaving for universities, or to work elsewhere. “But once in, new members would enjoy the camaraderie of the choir.” Today there are just 29 members, but Mr Arthur remains hopeful the choir’s ranks will, once again, top 40-45 – a level enjoyed during its earliest days. Following its inauguration, the choir held its first rehearsal in June 1948 at the Abbey Hotel (now the Beaumont Hotel), by which time it had grown to 36 members. It staged its first major concert in aid of Hexham’s Trinity Methodist Church and by May, 1950 had even recorded six of its favourite songs. During its 60-year history the choir has come under the baton of just five conductors. First was John Gilhespy, then Bill Highman, whose wife, Joan, was the daughter of Tom Mearis, the famed conductor of the Felling Male Voice Choir. Other conductors have been Bill Skelton, Allan Armstrong, who succeeded Bill in 1976, and Douglas Carrick, who later led the choir to success at the North of England Music Festival at Blackpool. Nine years ago Mr Armstrong, of Allendale, signed up for his second stint with the choir and he remains its conductor today.
‘As Time Goes By’ music from ‘The Great American Songbook’ Sunday 2 March at 7.30pm The years from 1920 - 1960 represent a unique period in the history of American popular music with a level of musical and lyrical sophistication that has yet to be equalled. Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, George and Ira Gershwin, Johnny Mercer – the list is endless. Join pianist George Hetherington and friends - Olly Burton, Eileen Glenton, Arthur Makepeace and Rachel Orr, with special guests The A.K. Chorale - for an unequalled Mothering Sunday treat. Tickets: £8.00
Last November I had the privilege of singing with Hetton Lyons Male Voice Choir. It was their 60th Anniversary. The evening was recorded and the choir have included a selection of my songs on the CD they are selling.
Songs:- Je Veux Vivre - Romeo and Juliet GOUNOD Porgi Amor - Marriage of Figaro MOZART O Mio Babbino Caro - Gianni Schicci PUCCINI Una Voce Poco Fa - Barber of Seville - ROSSINI Someone to Watch Over Me - GERSHWIN Till there Was You - WILSON Morte Criste
To purchase a CD contact Bryan Cooper at the following address or telephone 0191 548 5419.