Mid Northumberland Chorus - History
|The Mid-Northumberland Chorus has its
origins in a choral group formed in the mid
1970's by Michael Doswell, formerly Head of
Music at King Edward VI School, Morpeth
known as The Mid-Northumberland Singers.
This small group specialized in part songs
and also performed smaller scale choral
works such as the Vivaldi "Gloria and the ,
Haydn "Te Deum" augmented by the choir of
KEVI School. The Mid-Northumberland Singers
remained in existence until late 1980.
Members then wished to continue choral
singing and invited Audrey Stimpson, Head of
Music at Ashington Hirst High School to
conduct. The Mid-Northumberland Chorus was
established in 1981 as a much larger
Audrey Stimpson conducted and ran the
choir until her untimely death in 1999.
Norma Jewitt, a member of both choirs and
former Music teacher at Chantry School, took
over as Musical Director and continued until
her retirement in 2009. During this period
an elected committee was formed to assist
the MD and on occasion guest conductors such
as Derek Hobbs and Robin Forbes were invited
to conduct. Paul Toward, our present Musical
Director, was appointed in January 2010.
Paul Toward, Musical Director
Norma Jewitt, former Musical
Robin Forbes, regular guest
Choirs cannot function without
accompanists and Mid-Northumberland Chorus
has been well served over the years.
Jennifer Taylor was followed by Marjorie
Neave who played for some 20 years up to her
retirement in 2006. Ken Irvine shared duties
with Marjorie and was a regular accompanist
from the mid 1980's until his recent
retirement. He was joined by Alyn Routledge
in 2009/10, Peter Waugh in 2011/13 and most
recently by Emma Straughan in 2014. Emma is
now our regular accompanist.
|Since its formation, the Chorus has
presented an average of five concerts a
year, some in local churches, some in larger
venues such as Newcastle Cathedral and
leisure centres in Ashington, Cramlington,
Hexham and Morpeth. Concerts are often
arranged in collaboration with other choral
groups and orchestras.
The Chorus currently has some 70 members and its ambition is to
continually improve the quality of its
A lottery grant in 1998 provided funds to
buy a portable, high quality, electronic
piano.This has enabled us to perform in
venues where no other instrument is
Concerts have taken place in locations such
as Acklington, Amble, Bamburgh, Blyth,
Brinkburn Priory, Chollerton, Felton,
Gibside Chapel, Longhirst, Norham, Rothbury,
Shilbottle, Stakeford, Stannington,
Tynemouth, Whalton, Warkworth and Wooler.