Music maestro wanted for Sunderland choir

Pennywell Community Choir.
Pennywell Community Choir.
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The search is on for a music maestro in the city to help a Wearside community choir keep on song.

The Pennywell Community Choir is looking for a new choirmaster to take over the reins and continue to help the group grow, develop singing skills and extend its repertoire.

None of the members of the choir have the musical background needed to do the job, so we would love for someone else to come forward.”

Jill Dawson, Academy 360

Set up last year, the choir has lost its existing choirmaster through work commitments and is keen to find a replacement as soon as possible.

Jill Dawson, adult, family and community learning manager at Academy 360, said the choir came together through the school’s Achievement Centre and has been very successful.

She said: “A few people said they would like the area to have a choir and although many of the people involved said they couldn’t sing, a lot were keen to learn.”

The academy is sponsored by housing group, Gentoo, and Jill asked the company if they could help.

Mel Cartledge, who was working for Gentoo and had a musical background, started working with the choir every Tuesday afternoon for an hour under the company’s community scheme.

However, Mel has now left Gentoo and her new job doesn’t allow her the time to carry on supporting the choir.

Jill said: “Mel was very, very upset and is still going to be involved with the choir, but she can no longer be the choirmaster. None of the members of the choir have the musical background needed to do the job, so we would love for someone else to come forward.”

Jill said starting the choir has proved a fantastic success in giving the members something they love being part of and they have even performed a few times.

She said: “It has had so many benefits for people. The members have told me they feel so much happier and better about themselves after they have been singing.

“I would hate to lose something that can have such a positive effect on well being.”

In order to expand, and be able to apply for more funding, the Pennywell Community Choir, which currently has ten members, is hoping to become a constituted group, which will lead to a change of name.

The choir meets at the A360 Achievement Centre, every Tuesday from 1pm to 2pm, and anyone who is willing to become the choirmaster, or who would like to join the group, should contact Jill at the academy on 0191 561 6832.