Solway Singers perform six or more concerts each year
Solway Singers has its origins in a Further Education evening class set up in 1998 by Diana Carr, who has only just retired from the choir. Since that time, Solway Singers has grown both in numbers and in the quality of its singing and is fast gaining a reputation as one of the foremost choirs in northern Cumbria; we currently number some thirty five members. Since 2003 it has been directed by Anthony Peacock who, until he retired from singing, was a well known tenor soloist.
The choir is often complimented on its "lovely English sound and choral blend". Its repertoire is wide, interesting and, at times, for the singers at least, challenging. In addition to the works of our past masters, the choir tries to keep its repertoire up to date and regularly performs the compositions and arrangements of contemporary composers.
The years 2016/17 marked high-points in the choir's history. Against stiff competition, it won the open class in the Carlisle Music and Drama Festival with an "outstanding" performance which was awarded 90 marks by the adjudicator. This was followed by their first recording (CDs are available); and, later in the year, by a performance of J.S. Bach's St John Passion with English Touring Opera, the UK's leading touring opera company. This performance was described by ETO as "one of the highlights" of a tour which took in several major cathedrals and other prestigious venues throughout the country. In May of 2017 the choir embarked on its first tour; an extremely successful and enjoyable six days in the Netherlands, culminating in a lunchtime recital in Utrecht Cathedral. 2017 ended with a joint concert with the Abbey Singers, which included part one of Handel's Messiah.
Since then the choir has performed nearer home, with concerts in Patterdale, Canonbie, Carlisle and Annan, and has become a regular visitor at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at the Priory Church, Lanercost.
With a tour in Scotland in the planning stage, 2020 promises to be another busy year for this group of enthusiastic music makers.