About Us

Northern Spirit Singers have, over the last 20 years, firmly established themselves as one of the country’s leading choirs. In 2014, they were rated as the best adult choir in the country, winning the national category final in the Royal Festival Hall in October and taking the title “Adult Choir of the Year 2014”. They also appeared in the Grand Final on 7 December 2014, at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. Extracts from the competition can be viewed on our YouTube channel: see the Hear Us Sing page.

They have been awarded “Choir of the Day” at all other Choir of the Year regional rounds that they have entered since 2002, and they were also category finalists in 2008, performing at the Royal Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. In October 2013 they featured on BBC Radio 3 “The Choir” programme broadcast from The Sage Gateshead, as part of a celebration of choral music in the North East. In March 2019 they took part in the Radio 3 Freethinking Festival.

As well as their regular programme of concerts in Durham, Northern Spirit Singers have performed as guests of other local groups including Cleveland Philharmonic Choir, Guisborough Choral Society and Durham County Youth Choir. The choir also enjoys short foreign tours each year, with visits to Greece, Belgium, Barcelona, Holland and Germany. In 2011 they took part in the “Venezia in Musica” International Choral Competition in Italy. They won first prize in the secular music category, came runners up in the sacred music category, and received the “Outstanding Performance” prize for Bogoroditsye Dyevo by Rachmaninov.

The choir has enjoyed some interesting and exciting opportunities, joining soprano Lesley Garrett on three UK tours as well as on her TV Christmas Special, appearing on Songs of Praise as Victorian carol singers and as the backing choir for Barry Manilow at the Newcastle Arena, and performing at one of the opening concerts of The Sage Gateshead, with Howard Goodall.

Over the last 20 years the choir has continued to draw students from Durham University, but has also included singers from a range of professional backgrounds, including doctors, barristers, and a large proportion of the region’s music teachers!

In 2015 the Choir released their first Digital Album, Cantus Mundi, recorded in Durham, and featuring a range of sacred and secular pieces from around the world.

Northern Spirit Singers was founded in September 2000 by graduates from Newcastle and Durham Universities, including the choir’s first musical director, Andy King. In June 2015, Andy conducted his final concert with the choir, swelled by a number of alumni members, at the choir’s 15th Birthday Celebration in St Oswald’s Church. He handed the baton over to Clare Lawrence-Wills, previously the choir’s assistant MD.

Adult Choir of the Year winners 2014



Performing in the Final of Choir of the Year 2014Performing in the Final of Choir of the Year 2014Performing in the Final of Choir of the Year 2014


%d bloggers like this: