A TALENTED young North-East conductor has been invited to lead one of the region’s longest established chamber choirs for their next concert.
Clare Lawrence-Wills, who is assistant conductor of Durham Choral Society and Northern Spirit Singers, will direct the Durham Singers in her own choice of unaccompanied music by French and English composers, under the title Winter Serenade.
The concert will be held at Durham City's Elvet Methodist Church, at 7.30pm on Saturday, February 8.
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Mrs Lawrence-Wills was a member of the Durham Singers for several years, and also took several large solo parts with the choir, before leaving to pursue her interests in choral directing and conducting.
She recently appeared on Radio 3’s choral music The Choir, conducting the Northern Spirit Singers in My spirit sang all day by Gerald Finzi, a work that she has also included in her programme for the Durham Singers.
Durham Singers musical director Dr Julian Wright said “Clare is a fantastically talented musician, and we were delighted that she has been able to come back to work with us for this concert.
“It’s been very a good learning experience for the choir to work with a different conductor and I think everyone has been refreshed and invigorated by Clare’s approach”.
The music chosen by her for the concert is a pot-pourri of wintery magic, fairy-tales, love songs, and sacred music from renaissance madrigals to twentieth-century part-songs.
The programme includes works by Poulenc, Debussy, Passerau, Messaien’s, Holst, Finzi and Elgar.
Mrs Lawrence-Wills, of Durham City, said: “I’m very grateful to Julian and the Durham Singers for this invitation to work with them again in programming and conducting their winter concert.
“They’ve put a lot of work into learning some challenging new works that I’ve chosen for them, and they’re sounding fantastic."
Tickets are £12 for adults, £6 for students/under-25s, and children under 13 free. From The Gala Theatre Box Office (03000 26660), at the choir’s website www.durham-singers.org or on the door.