Archive for March, 2024

May 18th 2024 – Come & Sing – Great American Songbook

An invitation to all enthusiastic amateur singers to join the choir for a Saturday afternoon session in Sunderland Minster from 2.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. to explore some of David Murray’s own settings for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses of the great popular songs from America (e.g. by Gershwin, Jerome Kern and the Carpenters) and indeed from the UK (Lennon & McCartney, Noel Coward), which emerged as our popular culture evolved in the latter part of the twentieth century.

The session will be led by David Murray, our Musical Director, and Anne Marie Owens, our President and one of Britain’s leading mezzo-sopranos. The charge for non-members of the choir is £10, to include score hire, and you can book a place by emailing for further details and application form.

Working hard in rehearsal

You will no doubt have noticed that during our Friday rehearsal there were photographs being taken. The photographer was Dave Foster – not unrelated to some members of the choir – who is much better known for his Fashion and Lifestyle work (see more at but very kindly added our choir to his portfolio. As you can see David Murray was also wondering what was going on.

75 years and counting …..

Bishopwearmouth Choral Society have been making music in Sunderland for 75 years and continue to do so, providing their genre of music to appreciative audiences. Saturday night was their one hundred and eighty first concert (plus many other contributions to other events) and was delivered with gusto as part of their 75th Anniversary season.

With a full orchestra, a renowned soloist in Sarah Pring, an enthusiastic choir, and all under the direction of David Murray, the Minster was filled with music of a very high standard. The concert opened with the majestic ‘I was Glad’ which filled the space and encouraged the soul and would be very familiar to anyone from successive coronations. The choir very much did it justice and left the audience wanting more.

The rest of the concert featured Sarah Price with her first piece – Edward Elgar’s ‘Sea Pictures’ fully orchestrated version of a set of songs on texts by different poets – showing off her fine mezzo-soprano voice and fulfilling the challenge of the piece with finesse, leaving the audience charmed. The main piece that followed – Elgar’s ‘The Music Makers’ – showed off the choir with Sarah. It was a deeply personal piece for Elgar and has a mixture of moods, mainly sad but with moments of enthusiasm and bursts of joy occasionally approaching frenzy but orchestra, choir and soloist coped with all of this mix and their delivery was splendid and echoed by the enthusiastic applause at the end.

The whole concert marked another milestone in the history of this choral society and was a suitable celebration of 75 years and counting…