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Chronicle Live
Barbara Hodgson

Young North East singers offered chance to perform in live BBC Proms concert at Sage Gateshead this summer

Talented young singers across the region are being offered the chance to perform at a BBC Proms concert which will be broadcast live this summer.

In an unique - and free - opportunity, 16-year-olds and those up to the age of 30 can apply to join a new choir, called Voices of the River's Edge, whose first performance will be at the North East’s first BBC Proms concert, Folk Connections, at Sage Gateshead. The invitation applies to both those with experience of singing in a group as well as first-timers keen to give it a go.

The deadline date to show an interest is May 3; workshops will follow and those successful will ultimately take to the stage before an audience in the main hall of the Gateshead concert venue in July for a show which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The singers will perform alongside folk musicians from the Spell Songs ensemble and Sage's world-class orchestra Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Read more: North East attractions urge visitors 'come back to culture'

This year sees the return to form for the popular BBC Proms which will have a full repertoire not seen since 2019. There will be a total of 84 concerts - involving more than 3,000 musicians - over an eight-week run during what is also the centenary year of the BBC.

International orchestras will be back too, this year with a newly-formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra too. With more Proms than ever taking place across the UK, this year's partnership with Sage Gateshead is a welcome new addition.

Sage is aiming for a choir of 100 singers from across the North East and invites those interested to tell it about themselves and their singing by May 3 so that it can plan the first workshop. It says that limited drop-in places also will be available on May 7. The opportunity is open to those with a love of singing and interested in all kinds of music and successful applicants will learn to sing in a choir with the help of of a choir director Grace Rossiter.

They will be exploring new pieces of contemporary and classical music, working alongside professional musicians and developing their voices. All Proms concerts will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and available on BBC Sounds, and 22 of them also will be broadcast on TV, including the First Night and Last Night of the Proms.

Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3, Proms, orchestras and choirs, said: “Last year marked an early and significant coming-together for audiences and artists alike, despite uncertainty as to the continuing impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. This year we want audiences everywhere to know that the joy and communion of live music-making is back."

The Sage says that it can cover the cost of reasonable travel expenses for singers in need of financial help to attend rehearsal sessions. For more information contact and those interested in taking part can fill in the online application form here.

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