doc

A MOVING tribute to the people of County Durham during the First World War is to be staged one last time as a regional tour comes to an end.

The Durham Hymns will be performed in the magnificent setting of the chapel of Ushaw College, near Durham, on 7.30pm on Saturday, April 29.

Conceived by The Northern Regional Brass Trust as a commemorative event to mark the beginning of the battle of the Somme, the work was commissioned by the trust from Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy with new original music from Orland Gough, Jessica Curry and Jonathan Bates.

Trust secretary Susan Hayton said: “We wanted to create something to remind people of the impact that had on our communities and as brass bands and choirs are deeply imbedded in the North-East, a suite of new hymns seemed the perfect approach.”

Members of the trust and the community choir worked with Durham Records Office to unearth the experiences of real people living in what was then County Durham, looking at press cuttings, official reports, memoirs, letters and contacting, where possible, descendants and family members.

From this material, the Poet Laureate wrote the lyrics to the new hymns and the linking narrative.

The hymns remind the audience not only of those who died on the battlefield, but also tells the stories of those left behind, their courage and resilience.

They will be performed by Reg Vardy Band, with narration from local actors Phillippa Wilson and Chris Connel.

They will be sung by The Centenary Choir, a community ensemble specially created for the project, and Voices of Hope, the region’s chamber choir that won the BBC’s National Choir of the Year 2016.

Tickets are £12 and are available from Ushaw College in person or contact 0191-565 4066.