A POPULAR choir starts rehearsals for its new season next week.

The Durham Choral Society, the biggest choir in the Durham area with around 150 members, performs at Durham Cathedral twice each year, stages a Christmas concert and members sing Christmas carols in a hospital.

Rehearsals are held each Wednesday at 7.30pm at Durham Johnston School, Crossgate Moor, Durham, starting on Wednesday.

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The choir will be rehearsing Handel’s Messiah.

Two ‘come and sing’ evenings for potential new members will be held on October 8 and 15.

The society will be performing Messiah, one of the most popular pieces of classical music, in the cathedral in January and returning with Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, inspired by the death of the composer’s daughter Josefa, in May.

Its Christmas concert, An Evening of Festive Music, will be held at Elvet Methodist Church, Old Elvet, on Saturday, December 20.

This is the sixth such annual concert, will also feature other musicians and proceeds will go to charity.

Choir members will also tour the University Hospital of Durham before Christmas, singing carols.

The choir does not hold auditions. The ability to read music is helpful but not compulsory. Score hire is available for a small fee and practise recordings are available to buy.

For further details, visit durhamchoralsociety.org.uk

Tickets for its concerts will be available from the Gala Theatre box office, on 0191-332-4041 or online at galadurham.co.uk.

Alternatively, email tickets@durhamchoralsociety.org.uk or write to The Secretary, 9a Church Street, Durham, DH1 3DG.