Ouseburn Learning Trust Faure's Requiem


On Saturday 11th March, a group from across the Ouseburn Learning Trust came together to perform Faure’s Requiem at St George’s Church, Jesmond. Faure's Requiem is one of the most-loved choral works and is accessible to singers of all abilities. Participation in this performance was open to anyone with a link to the Ouseburn Learning Trust (study, work, family, geographical or emotional). The performance was conducted by Michael Lamb, Director of Music at Heaton Manor School. A small orchestra, drawn from across the Trust community, and organist Ian Roberts (Newcastle Cathedral) accompanied the singers. The solo parts were sung by Nick Forbes, leader of the City Council, and former West Jesmond pupil Rosie Kat. Former Hotspur pupil, Jack Courtney who is studying trumpet at Guildhall in London, performed alongside Adam Wood from the Royal College of Music.

The performance was enjoyed by all who attended and raised almost £500 to support the re-establishment of a youth choir in the Trust.

Here’s what one staff member from West Jesmond Primary School had to say about the experience and performance:

“A choir made up of people who had never sung together before, many of whom had never sung a choral piece, with only two rehearsals…how was this going to work?

When we met for our first rehearsal at the end of January some of us were slightly overwhelmed by the task ahead. Heaton Manor’s Director of Music Michael Lamb guided us through Faure’s Requiem and we went home that night with a full score, some trepidation and promises to get together to practise our parts (with a lot of help from the internet!) On the day of the performance we spent the afternoon rehearsing and enjoying the beautiful surroundings of St George’s Church. Ian Roberts, the Director of Music from Newcastle Cathedral, played the organ excellently and our small orchestra lifted the performance. We were all delighted to realise that we sounded rather professional and amazing!! There was a unique community aspect to the performance as we all worked together from across The Ouseburn Learning Trust to create a very special event. Many people who took part have already expressed the hope that we can hold further singing events in the future. Many thanks to Gary and Miles Wallis-Clarke for facilitating this opportunity and the wonderful musicians (and singers!) who came together for a memorable evening.”

The following comment was received from a parent who took part:

 “I would like you to pass on my very warm thanks to all those who led and participated to the Fauré's requiem yesterday. It was personally a wonderful experience, having always dreamt of singing and not having had any musical education; it allowed me to make new like-minded friend; my husband and children very much enjoyed the concert: the piece was the right length for a young audience- anything longer would have been a struggle. I have to add that the format was ideal for me as a working parents without family support. It was not too demanding and the occasional meetings with the fantastic small alto group brought a lot of joy to my day.”

We are delighted with the response to this event and hope that similar opportunities for participation will be available to our Trust community in the future.