In the Studio

View from the Control Room

We are currently finalising the recording for our first CD in many years. The Choir spent three tiring but rewarding days in Manor Park Studios. The album will feature the favourite pieces from our Elvis programme that received such acclaim last term. We will launch the CD at a special Charity Concert at Castledawson Church Hall on the 9th of February so get your tickets booked for that! Visit the Facebook page for full details.


2018 Beckons!

2018 will see the 30th Anniversary of the Sperrin Choir name. We are hoping to have a truly great celebration of that landmark, with a great show looking back over some of the favourite pieces covered by the Choir in that time, but focussing on the theme of “The Great American Songbook”.

Christmas 2017 - 'tis the Season!

Concert Cancellation!

Sadly our now Annual Concert at First Magherafelt Presbyterian church had to be cancelled this year due to the snow fall. Apologies to all, and thanks to those who helped spread the word. See you there next year hopefully.

However our two Burnavon concerts were a great success, with Friday's show a full house. We presented a varied mix of traditional and unusual Christmas songs, including many beautiful arrangements of well known carols and Yuletide standards. We were delighted to welcome Gareth Brown, former choir stalwart, who was home from Edinburgh. He and caroline Jones performed a lovely duet on the Friday evening. On Thursday, the audience was treated to fabulous pieces by upcoming flautists the Houston Boys while The Sperrin Kidz again sang beautifully on the Friday evening.

Winter 2017 is already a busy term for the Sperrin Choir!

We were delighted to have been asked to take part in the re-dedication service at St. Swithin’s Church on 22nd October, where we reprised some of the Gospel songs that featured in our recent Elvis programme. Then on 27th October we were equally pleased to present our full Elvis programme at Woodschapel.

Sligo Trip

We had a wonderful trip to Sligo the weekend of 16th June, where we performed in the beautiful surroundings of St. John's Cathedral. A final outing - for the time being at least - for our Elvis programme and a chance to unwind before the summer break. A hugely enjoyable evening wth an appreciative audience. Sincere thanks to Rev. Arfon and the congregation for their welcome and hospitality. The evenings were long and winding. On Saturday night, with a few guitars, a tenor sax and Gail at the keyboard, there was a rousing sing-song, apparently appreciated by the other hotel guests. Even the odd impromptu solo performance too! Last man Standing award is still under Steward's enquiry, though, due to someone taking a long nap on Saturday afternoon.

There are photos and a couple of excellent videos from the weekend on our facebook page, and a couple of comments on twitter. I would give our rendition of Goodnight Sweetheart on Sunday morning a bit of a wide berth, though..

Did you Hear the People Sing?

Sam Cuddy and Clive Smith ready to conduct

pretending to relax

Still singing!

The joint concert with the Swift was hugely enjoyable, with, though we say it ourselves, great singing from the Essex girls and the Sperrin Choir. Hilary Pell treated us all to some beautiful solo singing, and a joint rendition of a medley from Les Mis nearly took the roof off!

We owe a great debt of gratitude to David Bell and all the staff at Desertcreat Hall who put on such a wonderful spread for us throughout the afternoon and evening. David, thanks a million for setting up the sound and managing it through the show. Delighted to know that the concert raised £900 for Church funds.

The wind-down at Glenavon Hotel went on until the small hours, with some more .. shall we say relaxed .. singing! The members of the two choirs got on brilliantly, with lots of laughs and stories shared. We're like old friends already.

We have really enjoyed having the Swift Singers with us and we look forward to a visit to the South of England in the not too distant future! Huge thanks to Barbara and Jean and everyone else who worked so hard to make this a successful and enjoyable weekend.

Long Live the King!

The spirit of Elvis Presley came to the Burnavon in a wonderfully enjoyable show on 28th April. It was a delight to play to a packed house that seemed to really enjoy the show. A standing ovation and an encore - two firsts I think for the choir!! And Big Davy stunned us all with a fantastic rendition of Who Am I. There was a great mix of bouncing rock, soulful ballads and a few of his magnificent Gospel songs.

And the Sperrin Kidz continue to wow the audiences with their performances. Well done again to Caroline and Gail for their terrific work with them.

We also had a full house for our performance at Tobermore Presbyterian Church on the 21st April, along with the Kidz, to help in their 280th Anniversary Celebrations. Thanks to Gareth for the invite and the welcome, as well as the too-tempting refreshments afterwards.

Here we look back at the reports of the Choir's activities of the last few years...

Happy New Year!

A look at our Events page will tell you that we had a really busy year, with concerts in six different towns, four different counties and two provinces. We will take a well earned break now to enjoy a restful and hopefully reflective Christmas before we start up again on 12th January with rehearsals for the Spring Concerts when we will be putting on a full programme of Elvis songs to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of his passing.

Christmas is Here!!

Final concert of 2016 at Burnavon Theatre

A great finale to the year’s concerts took place on the 15th December when we sang for a full house at the Burnavon Theatre. It’s so fulfilling to sing to a full theatre. We hope you enjoyed it. The reports suggest you did!! A huge thanks to Denver, Roy and all at Burnavon for making the show such a success and looking after us all so well. Great music from David Bell and a couple of lovely solo pieces from Caroline added to the evening. And of course the Sperrin Kidz brought a real sparkle to the show with their infectious enthusiasm. Well done them and Caroline and Gail!

Christmas is Coming!!

With Sandra Overend MLA at Stormont

What a great first concert of the season at Stormont with the Mid-Ulster Carols for Christmas. A big thrill for us to be involved. It was a really enjoyable day and evening. A trip round the Christmas Markets in Belfast and then the coach dropped us right at the doors of the Big House. The concert went superbly well with great performances from the local schools and 5 pieces from our Christmas programme, culminating in a rousing rendition of Swingin' with Santa. The Christmas Spirit is well and truly flowing now!

Then we moved on to Magherafelt for a full programme at 1st Magherafelt Presbyterian Church. Another very enjoyable night. We hope all who attended enjoyed it as much as we did. Now, finally, the Burnavon in Cookstown for the last Concerts of the Season.

Thanks to Barbara Anderson and Archie Thomson for their work and help in getting the Magherafelt show set up so well. Thanks also to Harold Duncan for helping get the staging there and set up.

Believe it or not the programme for next Spring is already in pre-planning.

Eagle-eyed programme watchers may have seen the theme in the recently released Burnavon programme. Dust off your Blue Suede Shoes and get Way Down to Burnavon next April! We will then be welcoming, for the first time, the Swift Singers from Essex next May so we look forward to a big turnout to hear them and we are looking forward to singing with them. The Concert with the Swift Singers will be at Desertcreat Church on Saturday 6th May.

Autumn is upon us!!

Now that the Summer is well and truly over The Sperrin Choir are back in training for the Christmas concerts. We are delighted to welcome some new members. They have added greatly to the balance of the choir. It looks like being a great set of concerts this year, with an excellent programme assembled again by Sam.

The dates for the Christmas concerts are now set - check the Events page for details. We are also finalising the dates for next year's programmes. We will be welcoming, for the first time, the Swift Singers from Essex next May so we look forward to a big turnout to hear them and we are looking forward to singing with them. The venue for this concert is yet to be decided.

Roscommon 2016

The 2016 trip to Roscommon was a great weekend, augmented by fabulous weather, with a very well attended concert in the beautiful St Coman's Church.

A delegation of some 25 of the hardiest members trepidated on board a luxury coach on Friday evening to be whisked in a mere four hours to the county that was the birthplace of the first President of Ireland and four recipients of the Victoria Cross, as well as the starting point for the legendary Táin Bó Cúailnge, but I digress..

Arriving late in the evening we had a welcome supper at Gleeson's Hotel. They looked after us superbly as always. A quiet drink afterwards to help us sleep.

Our Musical Director directed a 10am start for stage assembly and rehearsal. Despite lack of microphone stands, for some reason left behind in Magherafelt, the set up was completed and rehearsal proceeded. Thereafter the group divided into shoppers and sensible people to spend the afternoon as they pleased.

Athlone Town provided a backdrop for a pleasant coffee or two while Roscommon Castle was thought by Alec to be falling down - but 'twas only a football being kicked in the grounds.

Rehearsal before St. Coman's Concert

Gleesons served up a fitting meal before the gladrags were donned and the short walk made to the Church. Andrew and Denis had by this time arrived to save the day.

The concert was excellent, greatly enjoyed by choir and audience alike, ending with a lusty rendition by all of Ireland's Call.

What an evening of song and rendition followed at the hotel, lasting until the dawn was breaking. Newcomer Donal Convery managed to hold out until the resident Last Man Standing was ready to lie down.

We bade Gleeson's farewell with Goodnight Sweetheart, sung on the patio and enjoyed, we think, by other residents and passing pedestrians. A much viewed video recording of this impromptu performance is now on the Facebook page.

We thank Gleesons, St. Coman's Church and Rev Alastair for their wonderful welcome and hospitality, We will be back!! Thanks also to Maurice Corey, our driver for the weekend with Millennium Coaches.

April/May 2016

The Spring 2016 Concerts are Just about over! The last four months of rehearsal came to a head last week with a Night at the Musicals in Burnavon. We had a marvellous concert in front of a FULL HOUSE! - the first Spring Concert full house in a long time. A million thanks to everyone who came to hear us, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Especially noteworthy was the lone red Bow Tie that insinuated itself into the male voice section. This perhaps inspired the male voices to greater heights than usual.

We are delighted that Raymond Anderson has produced a DVD and CD recording of the Burnavon concert and this will shortly be available to purchase. Watch out for details of where to buy!

Three of the stars of a Night at the Musicals, Gail, Kirsty and Caroline

We were delighted to welcome Kim Ashton, the deputy Chair of Mid-Ulster Council, who took time out from her busy schedule to hear both the main choir and the Sperrin Kidz. The enthusiastic response of the full audience further added to our enjoyment of the event.

We also had a very enjoyable concert of secular and sacred music at Agherton in Portstewart on Sunday 2nd May. Sincere thanks to Peter Mitchell and all at Agherton Parish for their hospitality.

Plena Voce visit 2016

After their arrival on Thursday 5th May and a meal at their hosts homes, the Plerin visitors had a well needed restful night after their long journey over.

A trip to the Maiden City of Derry/Londonderry...

...on the warmest day of the year so far was enjoyed by all, with a tour of the Tower Museum and the City Walls, followed by a lovely meal at Timber Quay who looked after us wonderfully well.

On Friday night we had a wonderful evening at Parkanaur, where we held a joint Entente Chorale concert with the Plena Voce Chorale. The proceeds for this show went to the Smile Foundation, who organised ticket sales. They had a great response and we are delighted that the show raised a good deal of money for this worthwhile cause. Many thanks also to Marlene and her staff at Parkanaur for her help throughout the preparations for the show and on the night.

The Stage Hands Richard and Davy relax before the Parkanaur show

We would like to express our gratitude to Mid-Ulster Council for their generous financial support for the visit of Plena Voce Chorale.

  • Plena Voce on Derry's Walls

    The View from the Choir

    On Saturday the Coach carried us off the the Lakeland County to see the Belleek Pottery and the Marble Arch caves. The weather was a little less kind, but did not spoil the day.

    The Plerin visitors were our guests for a grand barbecue in Cookstown Hockey Club on Saturday night. Some Gusto filled singing ended the evening, with rapturous applause regardless of the quality of delivery

    Luckily the departing Plerinians did not have an early start for the airport on Sunday!

    The Singing that ended the evening..

    Busy 2016 Programme

    This Spring Programme has seen the choir take a great step forward, with a welcome influx of very good male voices, who have certainly added to the ‘beef’ in the bass.

    We welcome Plena Voce to Mid-Ulster this week, with a concert in Parkanaur Manor on Friday 6th May. We will be happy to see them again and show them a little more of our wonderful landscape and history.

    The Choir will then set off for Roscommon on the weekend of 13th May, where we will sing at St. Coman's Church before letting our hair down (those of us that can) to mark the end of a long Spring season.


    Christmas 2015 saw a momentous development for the choir. Caroline Jones took on the herculean task of devising, promoting and setting up a Sperrin Kidz group. The children who joined her put on a brilliant performance as part of the Sperrin Choir Concerts at 1st Magherafelt Presbyterian Church and Burnavon. Greatly helped by the tireless Gail Evans, Caroline drew a wonderful performance from the group after just one term of practice. Caroline and Gail are also educating the group in Kodaly Principles, a musicianship scheme. This project has great potential and will hopefully be the source of many fine members of the main choir in years to come.

    Thanks and Acknowledgements

    The Sperrin Choir gratefully acknowledges that their project has been supported by the Workspace Group through the Workspace Community Fund. May 2016

    Thursday 1st August, 2013

    The first weekend in June saw the locally-based Sperrin Choir pack bags and music and set off for their annual weekend away. This weekend has become something of an institution, representing the culmination of a year of successful concerts and affording members some essential 'down-time' together. Already well-established friendships are deepened, the 'craic' is mighty and, as a bonus, they perform a concert in their destination of choice. This June they wowed a most receptive audience in the town of Roscommon, their third visit to this particular venue. Last year the weekend was spent in Donegal and plans are already afoot for the 2014 trip which will be to Cookstown's twin-town of Plerin-sur-Mer in France. The choir has already travelled twice to France and has hosted the French choir here in Mid-Ulster, also on two occasions.

    So - if you are a singer, whether with experience of choir-singing or not, look through the rest of the site, or link to our Facebook page or Twitter page for more details of this vibrant local choir who aim to bring great enjoyment to their audiences, whilst simultaneously gaining much personal enjoyment from their music.