30 April 2021

Keeping music alive

Through the pandemic we chose not to furlough and have poured our energies into supporting young artists through online events. Now, as we cautiously emerge from lockdown, we are making plans to welcome new Samling Artists to our residential Artist Programme.

We’re thrilled that in July conductor Sir Mark Elder will be joining us for the first time to lead, alongside Sir Thomas Allen and Yvonne Kenny. As it is unlikely that we will be able to hold any public events, we are planning to capture some of the work during the week to share with you on film, so keep an eye on our website for details.

As the pandemic has robbed so many early career musicians of all opportunities to study and perform, we are also pleased to announce that we’re adding a third week to this year’s schedule with plans in place this November and in February next year with our new partner venue Marchmont House near Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Every year we say farewell to some of our Academy Singers as they move on to new musical adventures and we welcome new young singers who are starting to explore their potential. Our Samling Futures programme helps us to find the next generation of Academy Singers by bringing the world of classical singing to students at schools in the North East. Read more about this year’s Samling Futures events here.

This year our Samling Academy auditions were held online, with candidates singing live via Zoom to our panel. We are very grateful to all the young singers who braved the technological challenges to sing for us, and to their teachers for supporting them at what has been a very difficult and challenging time for schools and universities. We have chosen a new cohort of thirty singers and we look forward to meeting them – in person, we hope – for six intensive days of coaching and workshops in October.

Although schools and singing teachers have been working incredibly hard supporting students, online work is of course no substitute for the alchemy that happens when brilliant young people come together in a room with great artists. To help support young people in our region as they return to live music-making, we have selected a group of younger singers from North East schools who showed considerable promise at this year’s Samling Academy auditions for a special development weekend, at which they’ll be offered intensive coaching in performance skills.

There may still be challenges ahead but one thing is certain – with your support, Samling Institute will continue to play its part in nurturing the music creators of the future.

'It was a privilege to sing with Louise Alder, her input and advice was helpful and truly inspiring. Samling Institute has done a fantastic job at using technology so we can continue to sing and perform together.’

Samling Academy Singer Martha Cook