A year of celebration in song is about to start for Ashington and District Male Voice Choir.
Formed in the depths of despair in 1916, midway through the First World War, the 27-strong choir is embarking on a programme of concerts celebrating its centenary.
Its first concert of the year is on Saturday at Stakeford and Bomarsund Sports and Social Welfare Centre at 7pm.
Tickets are available at the centre, in Stakeford’s Gordon Terrace West, for £6.
Another concert, at Ellington Welfare Social Centre, hosted by its Darby and Joan club, will follow, also at 7pm, on Tuesday, February 23.
On Saturday, April 9, choir members will join other singers at the Sage Gateshead for what is billed as a choral spectacular as part of the National Association of Choirs’ annual conference, and the choir’s own centenary celebration concert will take place on Saturday, May 14, at the Josephine Butler primary campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy in Ashington.
“Considerable support for this has been offered or is being considered by a number of agencies, and the choir is extremely appreciative of this because this will help in making the celebration an event to be remembered,” said group chairman Bob Brind. “Choral singing has regained some of its earlier popularity, and there is no reason why we can’t attract new members.”
“All that is required is an interest and enthusiasm, and there is no requirement to read music nor attend auditions.
“The choir’s website, www.ashingtonmalevoicechoir.org will give all the information needed, or just call into Stakeford and Bomarsund Sports and Social Welfare Centre on a Thursday evening. Just giving it a try may surprise you.
“Our centenary is an achievement which is a credit to the many members over the years and those who have made it possible as musical directors and accompanists.
“It is also something of which the town and a wide area around it can be proud.”