Sponsorship hits right note for youth choir
A harmonious partnership with the north east's leading science and business park has given some welcome new backing to a group of young singers. The Wilton Centre, based just outside Middlesbrough, has agreed a sponsorship deal with the Tees Valley Voices, a children's choir for boys and girls from 7-14 years of age.
As part of the agreement the centre is funding an honorarium for one of the choir’s musical directors, Katie Hibbard.
Along with her fellow musical director, Kate Robinson, Katie leads the choir, which has at its heart promoting excellence in singing and aims to give children a lifetime of enjoyment in singing of all kinds.
Joan Carter, Chair of Tees Valley Voices is thrilled with the Wilton Centre’s pledge of support.
"Tees Valley Voices very much values the sponsorship and looks forward to a continuing relationship with this great new partner," she added.
"When the choir was set up in 2006 it had local authority support but when this funding came to an end, no-one wanted the choir to stop!" Joan explained.
"We are now in our first year of independence, run by a small committee, and membership has steadily increased to 24. Success in obtaining business sponsorship, like the Wilton Centre's, and several grants has boosted our income from membership and concerts and helped to secure the choir's future and give the leaders confidence in planning exciting future projects.
"Our wonderful musical directors, who are skilled musicians and singers with excellent qualifications and plenty of experience of working with young people, have worked with the choir on a number of projects recently and it is gaining a reputation for lively concerts with a mixture of singing styles, and is always keen to perform in public."
The Wilton Centre Manager Dave Willis is pleased to be able to help a thriving cultural endeavour for youngsters in the region.
He said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for us to support an impressive initiative that encourages young people to get involved in something that is so positive. The enthusiasm of the choir is very evident and we are very proud to now have an association with them as a sponsor."
Tees Valley Voices has already taken part in an opera, in partnership with Middlesbrough College. The performance, which also included the boys' choir Locomotion, was conducted and directed by John Forsyth, Music Director of Tees Valley Youth Choir, who has advised Tees Valley Voices and mentored its leaders from the beginning.
The choir then took part in two Christmas Concerts, one in Middlesbrough alongside Tees Valley Youth Choir, and one to support Darlington Hospice which involved many choirs and an orchestra. The most recent event was a 'Baroque to Beatles' concert in March with 18-30 choir, Vox.
Currently the choir is preparing for participation in the Hartlepool Music and Arts Festival in May, a summer concert in July inspired by the Tall Ships Races and is looking forward to another children’s opera in the Autumn Term.
Tees Valley Voices welcomes new members from any part of the area. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings in term time from 7.15-8.15pm at Mill Lane Primary School, Wellington Street, Stockton. Further information is available at www.teesvalleyvoices.org.uk from Joan Carter on 01642 656273 or by visiting a rehearsal.