TENTH BIRTHDAY IS CHOIR’S NEW DAWN
By JOSEPH TULIP
AS they prepare to mark
their tenth anniversary this weekend, the appointment of a new
conductor sees the dawn of a new era for Prudhoe Community
But the special concert which will celebrate the
decade tomorrow night will be tinged with sadness, as retiring
conductor Graeme Gilmore leads the choir for the last
The founder member has not missed many practise
sessions or concerts in the last 10 years, and admitted that he is
bowing out reluctantly.
“It has been fantastic and I have
loved every minute of it,” he said. “We have a very happy
“I feel very sad and I thought long and hard about
this, but my wife and I have a lot of family who live away from the
North-East, and I want to be able to visit them and go travelling
without having regular commitments.
“Musically, it has been
the most enjoyable time of my life, and the choir have become one
big happy family of more than 30 people.”
Mr Gilmore first
conducted a choir whilst still at school at the age of 17, but
Prudhoe marked the first time he took over on his own.
conductor Paul Davies will take over the baton in September
following the three month summer break, and Mr Gilmore believes the
professional musician will love the job.
“He could not wish
to inherit a happier and very talented bunch of singers, with
fabulous soloists from our very own ranks.
“We try to make
every choir practice hard work, but they are very enjoyable and we
have a laugh.”
Tickets have been in demand for tomorrow
night’s anniversary concert, which will see the choir sing a variety
of favourite songs from the past decade.
These will range
from Andrew Lloyd Webber, to the Vicar of Dibley’s theme tune – The
Lord is my Shepherd, and traditional local songs like Water of
And the choir’s soloists will also star at the big
Prudhoe High School’s art centre performance area will
host the concert which often attracts around 200
It is hoped that the concert will see the return
of many familiar faces from days gone by.
Mr Gilmore added:
“We have lost a number of members over the years and we have invited
them all back to join us for the concert, to meet the choir and
“Our supporters have been magnificent over the
years and to say thank you, tickets will be free and there will be a
Choir chairman Lyall Duffus is also
looking forward to the big night.
He said: “The concert will
mean a great deal.
“For one thing, Graeme is going much to
“But thankfully we have found a
replacement who will hopefully help the choir enjoy a prosperous
The tenth anniversary concert will begin at