Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Still singing despite arts academy loss
A COMMUNITY choir that was part of an award-winning arts academy is going it alone after its parent group was put on indefinite hiatus following funding difficulties.
SING community choir was part of Darlington Arts Academy, which closed earlier this year.
The group is recruiting new members and will be holding weekly meetings in the coming months, with sessions led by musical director, professional singer Bridie Jackson.
The group welcomes people from all walks of life who come together each week to share their love of music, exploring many genres from light classical and traditional gospel to musical theatre and contemporary favourites.
SING membership officer Janet Roberts said: “We are delighted to be welcoming new people along to our free taster sessions throughout September.
“Lots of people think they can’t sing but we can prove you can, we really want to encourage everyone to give it a go.
“SING has gone from strength to strength since changing its venue, with more than 40 people in the group and a strong male section.
“We recorded our second album this summer and can’t wait to see what fun music Bridie has in store this term.”
Darlington Arts Academy was formed as a community interest company that offered weekly performing arts sessions for hundreds of people.
It won a Best of Darlington award in 2010, for its work with young people.
Earlier this year, co-directors Rebecca McGarvie and Geoff Oldham warned that those sessions would stop if further investment was not forthcoming.
Ms McGarvie expressed sadness that the weekly sessions had now ended, but said the academy was only “in hibernation” and that it may look to host one-off projects in future.
She said: “Although the academy has closed, it is not all doom and gloom, there is hope.
“A lot of the parents and children we worked with wanted to work with us to make sure there is some way forward for the academy.
“We have told the children we have sent it to sleep, that it is hibernating.”
SING meets at Cockerton Band and Musical Institute, in Woodlands Road, opposite Cockerton shops.
Sessions run on Wednesday evenings, from 7.15pm to 9.15pm. Doors open at 7pm.
Admission is £5, with the first week free. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07790-437-497.