The Red Dust Company Choir meets in Citizens House in Consett and it is going from strength to strength. From an idea voiced to her friends, after seeing a Whitney Houston tribute act in Consett Empire, Clare Suddes – who admits she has always loved singing – set about making her dream a reality.
After a posting on Facebook asking who in the area would be interested in joining a choir and receiving 130 positive comments, she contacted various venues. Settling on Citizens House, she met Teresa Danby who helped to guide her through the process, as she is a choir member in Heaton Voices.
Clare acknowledges that her enthusiasm far outweighed her knowledge or expertise in this area but with sheer determination and with the support of her friends, two of them willing to give their time to become Secretary and Treasurer of the new venture, her commitment has now paid off.
The first three introductory sessions were led by Rebecca, ‘The Singing Elf’ who runs Pop & Prosecco singing workshops across the area. Seeing the huge interest, enjoyment and response of local people, Clare and her friends took a leap of faith and decided to become independent and set about looking for a choir leader, designing a logo and choosing a name.
After online voting took place and Clare’s design was produced by Lauren Young a local graphic designer, the Red Dust Company Choir was launched on Friday 4th October 2019 with Bethany Elen Coyle, a local girl from Dipton leading the singing.
Deciding to run monthly sessions while raising money through raffles to support the new venture as well as applying for funds and sponsorship Clare, Geraldine and Sarah opened a bank account and registered with the area action partnership.
Alex Watson and Owen Temple have already supported this new venture by donating £200.00 between them from their local neighbourhood budget. And at the January session, John O’Connor from Project Genesis presented a cheque for £500.00.
Twenty-two new people joined the group in January and there are 117 people on the books to date.
The plans for the future include running weekly sessions from April as they continue to apply for funding from local businesses. They are also looking to recruit more men for membership.
I have attended a few sessions and would thoroughly recommend the choir. Not only is it a great source of enjoyment for the people of Consett and beyond but it promotes and provides a great sense of well-being, friendship and amazing community singing. All in all, it’s a great night out!