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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Northumbria Region U3A Choral Workshop

On Saturday 6th October 2007, the Northumbria Region held an all day choral workshop in St. Mary’s Church Hall, Ponteland.
The workshop was hosted by members of Ponteland Choral Group, and the tutor for the day was the national and international festival adjudicator and voice coach Vivien Pike. The event was attended by 55 members from 9 U3As from Northallerton in the south of the Region up to Morpeth in the northern half.
The day was broken up into four sessions, and the first session covered posture, breath control and a series of tongue twisters and exercises, for loosening up facially and physically to prepare the whole body for singing. This was followed up by simple singing exercises and rounds to warm up the voice.
After this, the singers tackled a variety of choral pieces, starting with unison singing, then two and three parts, and then moving to full four - part harmony. The pieces were in a variety of languages, folk songs in Hebrew and English, a medieval Polish hymn setting in Latin, a Dutch carol in English, and the event concluded with a sing through of all the pieces studied during the day including Sullivan’s A Long Day Closes – a very appropriate piece at the end of a day’s enthusiastic singing.
My grateful thanks go to Vivien Pike for all her hard work and inspiration, the 55 Regional members who attended and the Ponteland U3A members who looked after their guests in every way.
By Prian Prickett
Choral Director
Northumbria Region U3A