Local choirs collaborate for singing workshop

Carleton Community Chorus hosted a singing workshop on 24th February led by Matthew Thomas.
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Matthew is a very experienced choir leader and performer and was on the judging panel of the Lancashire Choir of the Year competition 2023, alongside the choir’s President, Jane Irwin. Matthew conducts the Rossendale Male Voice Choir, who won the Lancs Choir of the Year in 2022 and who were placed 3rd in the International MVC festival 2017, with Matthew taking the trophy for best conductor.

In addition to his work with men's choirs, he is the organist and choirmaster at St Cuthbert's, Darwen. Matthew also works with children in primary and secondary schools in Lancashire. The workshop was also attended by members of Over Wyre Community Choir and Coasters (mixed voice) Choir.

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The day’s repertoire included Harry Styles “As It Was”. Matthew’s experience and knowledge provided everyone with a fulfilling day of singing, as well as having lots of fun. Some of the participants commented: Yvonne Yates “A truly memorable day of joyful singing”. Marilyn Marshall “It was a brilliant day, my choir loved it”.

Brenda Bentley (Accompanist) Matthew Thomas, Andy Brooke (Musical Director), Jane Irwin (Patron)Brenda Bentley (Accompanist) Matthew Thomas, Andy Brooke (Musical Director), Jane Irwin (Patron)
Brenda Bentley (Accompanist) Matthew Thomas, Andy Brooke (Musical Director), Jane Irwin (Patron)

Carleton Community Music, which incorporates the chorus and band, have recently appointed Jane Irwin, Soprano, as their patron. Jane has also brought her experience to the choir by hosting workshops and originally got to know the music group when she was part of the band.

As a concert and recital singer Jane has appeared regularly in Britain, Europe and America. Highlights have included appearances at the Carnegie Hall, New York, the BBC Proms, the Wigmore Hall, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Berlin Festival, the Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony Hall, and the Musikverein, Vienna.

She has collaborated with the Deutsche Symphony Orchester, Orchestre de Paris, San Paolo Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle and many more, with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, Donald Runnicles, Antonio Pappano and Sir Mark Elder. Jane has given recitals at the Chatelet, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Geneva, Aix-en-Provence and Japan.

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Operatic appearances have included Ring Cycles at Bayreuth, ROH and Scottish Opera, and other leading roles with Deutsche Oper, Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and the major British companies. Jane also teaches singing at the RNCM.

Matthew ThomasMatthew Thomas
Matthew Thomas

Following her appointment as Patron, Jane said “I have been involved with Carleton Community Music for years. These wonderful people are my friends. You couldn't get a more welcoming and community spirited group of people, who meet up for the sheer joy of making music. Community music is so enriching and important for the well-being of the members and the community. It is with great pride and pleasure that I have been asked to be their patron”.

We are thrilled that she has joined our music community, and we look forward to working with her.

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