Question: what do Barry Manilow, Ralph McTell, Aled Jones, Jimmy Nail, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Northern Sinfonia orchestra and Brian Johnson of AC:DC all have in common ?
Answer: they’ve all performed with the Swing Bridge Singers.
It is 30 years since this Tyneside teenage a cappella choir first wowed audiences with their gorgeous rich harmonies. They are a highly varied bunch, united only by their commitment to harmony-singing and their individuality, combining open access with high standards. Their repertoire ranges over seven centuries in a great many styles, seeking that special close-harmony tingle, and they have always been open to invitations into other people’s musical worlds: Elgar with two local choral societies, jazz with the Jazz Jamaica All Stars, folk with Folkworks, The Wizard of Oz with Royal Northern Sinfonia, music hall with the RSC, hymns with Tyne-Tees TV, calypso with steel bands, Carmina Burana with Young Sinfonia, Hit the Road, Jack for the Great North Run, River for Northumbrian Water, Meet Me on the Corner with members of Lindisfarne, performances for countless charities, and barbershop at the drop of a hat.
One spring weekend they backed Barry Manilow at the Newcastle Arena on the Saturday, then won the regional 'Choir of the Year' audition in Manchester on the Sunday.
Roughly a thousand teenagers have sung in the choir, including a number with special educational needs and nine children of ex-Swing Bridge Singers. At the 20th and 25th anniversary reunion concerts, ex-singers returned from South Carolina, Chicago, Ecuador, the Comoros Islands and Tasmania. 2017 saw the biggest reunion yet - their 30th anniversary.
The Swing Bridge Singers have sung:
before the Queen, behind Ralph McTell, above Jimmy Nail, beside Aled Jones, between Ant and Dec, inside Peter Beardsley and all round Barry Manilow;
on Tyne-Tees and BBC TV, three times at Sunday for Sammy and four times at Christmas in the Cathedral;
on Radio 3 at the opening of Sage Gateshead, on Radio 4's Today Programme for National Music Day and on Radio Newcastle for the last eleven Christmas Eves;
eight times at the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth;
in seven countries and Legoland;
to audiences of 10 and 10,000;
for 30 years to make the world a better place.
Sorry - you have missed the Swing Bridge Singers 30th Anniversary celebration concert and our performance at Sunday for Sammy 2018.
But you are not too late to buy one of our superb CDs.