...in fact we're lovely (if we do say so ourselves!) and when you become part of our choir family you'll meet lots of interesting, friendly, welcoming people. Sometimes though it's nice to put a face to a name, so here are a few you might like to know. 

Pleased to meet you!

We’re a friendly bunch...
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Thiago Monteiro - Musical Director

Thiago has joint NPV as a tenor in 2018, and is now the choirs MD.

Born in a Christian family and having spent his entire childhood and adolescence going to church, Thiago started his musicality journey early. At the age of 12, he joined the musical team as keyboard player for the teens band, becoming main keyboard player / pianist at the age of 17, by when he had also had classes of guitar and drums. By the age of 18, as he started his graduation in Production Engineering at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, he joined Musicanto Music School in Niterói - RJ, Brazil, for formal singing lessons, and graduated as a singing teacher by the age of 20, following the exclusive school's methodology, which focused on vocal health. By the age of 22, Thiago had already worked as a singing teacher at the same school for 2 years, and acted as a focal point in development of out-of-tune students. At that same time, he took the role of musical leader at the church, being responsible for vocal and instrumental arrangements and rehearsals, music theory training and repertoire decisions, while still acting as keyboard player and soloist singer. By the age of 25, the church environment no longer made sense to him, as he came out as gay, and he focused on his Engineering career, though never leaving the appreciation and love for music behind.

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Andrew Richardson Accompanist

Northern Proud Voices had their first rehearsal on Friday 25th March 2011 and Andrew Richardson played piano for us. He's been with us from the very beginning and we're happy to tell you that eight years later he's still supporting choir as a singing tutor and accompanist. Andrew said, "I have very much enjoyed accompanying Northern Proud Voices and watching them grow and evolve as a choir." He lives in South Shields and works as a peripatetic pianist for many Primary Schools in the South Tyneside area. He has written several musicals for children which have been performed all around the borough. Andrew is also the resident pianist for popular singing group 'Encore' who perform at the Customs House twice a year. He loves all styles of music but admittedly his favourite genre is musical theatre.

The Committee

Our hard working committee are passionate about Northern Proud Voices and are dedicated to making sure we are a vibrant, sustainable community choir. The committee are very approachable and welcome anyone's input and suggestions from all.

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Kathleen MacDonald - Chair

Kath MacDonald, Alto, I have been in choir since 2011

Over the years I have been an ordinary committee member, secretary and Chair.  In September 2020 I was re-elected as the current Chair of NPV.

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?  

Because Sam (below) talked me into it, so glad I listened to her for once!

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices? 

There have been many, from Hand in Hand Festivals, Pride performances to collecting the Building a Stronger LGBT+ Community Award in 2017 at the North East LGBT Awards.

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?

'This is Me’ - The Greatest Showman, 'Born This Way' - Lady Gaga and 'Spice Girl Megamix' - Spice Girls/NPV

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?  

Go for it!!  You’ll love it!

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Andrea Routledge Colledge - Secretary

Hi, I’m Andrea. I sing in the Altos. I’m not sure how long I’ve been part of choir for, it’s a good few years.

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?  

A friend at work persuaded me to join. I have always loved music and singing so I agreed.  

I was really nervous and the first couple of weeks were nerve racking as I didn’t know what to do etc but I loved the singing immediately and I was soon hooked.

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices? 

During my time I’ve had many highlights but I guess Hand In Hand Festival has been my favourite experience as so many like minded people gathered together performing in tremendous buildings

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?

Of the songs we have sang it’s difficult to choose but 'Creep' - Radiohead was powerful. I didn’t know the song before we sang it, so it was a new discovery for me. That’s what is great about choir, the range of new music and songs that I have been introduced to.

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?  

If you are reading this and are undecided about joining, take a leap of faith….give it a go, what have you got to lose?

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John Neaven - Treasurer

Hi - I’m John (JP) proud member of the Tenor section and I have been an active member of Northern Proud Voices (NPV) since April 2018 and I truly love it!

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?  

I was asked to come along to NPV as part of a ‘bring a friend’ event, after being spotted on a facebook ‘live stream' singing ‘Something Beautiful’ by Robbie Williams on Karaoke. Although nervous, I went along, had an amazing rehearsal and never left!

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices? 

To perform at Northern, Durham and Sunderland Pride is extremely special as NPV usually start the celebration. To perform in front of friends, family and other members of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies is so very precious. But it’s NPV’s charity and community performances (such as North East Homeless and Newcastle Hospitals) that truly makes the choir shine, reaching audiences which are usually outside of the LGBTQ+ community, that are warm, friendly and extremely grateful for the support. It is truly humbling.!

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?

This is a difficult question as we perform some amazing music, however, 'This is Me’ - The Greatest Showman, 'Make Your Own Kind of Music' - Cast Elliot/Paloma Faith, 'Born This Way' - Lady Gaga and our very own 'Spice Girl Megamix' - Spice Girls/NPV are some of my favourites.

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?  

As you are already visiting NPV's website, you have made the first step! Go on, click the 'Let's Chat!' button below and send a message and join the family, you'll not regret it!

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Antonio M. Portas - General Committee Member

Hello folks, I’m Antonio and I’m a bass on the wonderful NPV choir which I joined about 5 years ago when I first relocated to Newcastle. 

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?  

I have had really positive experiences with LGBT community choirs before so this was the main driver for me to join NPV. I love singing, I love preforming but I enjoy the camaraderie and friendships created beyond the weekly rehearsal as well.

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices? 

One of my personal highlights since joining NPV was by far singing at Hand in Hand in Cardiff a few years ago.

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?

One of my favourite songs: our 'Spice Girl Megamix' - Spice Girls/NPV medley (I may get carried away a bit when we sing this).

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?  

So if you want to socialise with bunch of lovely people just come along on of our rehearsals.

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Mark Gibson - General Committee Member

Hi I’m Mark, one of the Basses and I’ve been part of NPV since it started in 2011.  

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?  

I’d always wanted to join a choir so when I read that a new LGBT+ choir was starting up in Newcastle I couldn’t wait to join. 

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices? 

There have been so many highlights over the years but the “Hand In Hand” choir festivals we’ve attended do stand out. Also singing at the many pride events are fun but quite emotional too. 

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?

My personal favourite songs we’ve sang are 'Creep' - Radiohead, 'He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother' - The Hollies and 'Happy' - Pharrell Williams.

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?  

If you are thinking of joining us on our fabulous choir journey I’d say do it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and has improved my life in so many ways,  just as a byproduct of loving and enjoying singing with a group of people.

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Richard Chan - General Committee Member

Hi there, I’m Richard (Dickie) and you will find me in the Bass section. I have been a member of Norther Proud Voices for 6 years now.

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?  

I joined Northern Proud Voices back in 2016 after a quick google search of “LGBTQ social groups in Newcastle upon Tyne”. 

What I wanted at the time was more for social interaction and to meet new people and make new friendships, so I really wasn’t looking at joining a choir really even though I love music but thought “why not give it a go, what’s the worse that could happen?”.

I’ve never looked back since attending my first rehearsal back in 2016 as apart from learning to sing in a choir I have also gained some very dear friendships.

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices? 

-There have been many highlights but a few personal dear ones worth a mention are walking my first ever Gay Pride march with Northern Proud Voices, my first performance (such a wonderful feeling) to performing at Hand in Hand LGBT Choir Festivals.

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?

Some favourite songs that I like performing in our catalogue so far are 'Heartbreak Medley', 'Spice Girls Megamix', 'Born This Way' - Lady Gaga, 'Creep' -Radiohead, '(Something Inside) So Strong' - Labi Siffre and 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)' - Eurthymics.

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?  

You’ve found us…take the next step and we look forward to meeting you.

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Samantha  Triggs - General Committee Member

Hi - I’m Sam and I’ve been in choir since it’s inception on 25th March 2011. I started off as an Alto but after low numbers in the Sops and continually singing melody I was moved to the Sopranos and that’s where I’m staying!

Why did you join Northern Proud Voices?

I used to be in Washington Operatic Society so have always loved singing and performing so when I heard there was a LGBT+ choir forming I was there!

What have been your personal highlights to date since being a member in Northern Proud Voices?

Performing at Prides and being able to meet famous performers back stage has been amazing. NPV once received a tweet from Sinitta and that was epic too. Attending the the Hand in Hand festivals in London, Brighton, Manchester & Cardiff with choir has been a real bonding experience. In fact I could go on and on because we always have the best time at choir!

What are your favourite songs to sing that are in Northern Proud Voices back catalogue?  

'Doll on a Music Box' - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 'Creep' - Radiohead, 'Super Trouper' - Abba and 'Don’t Stop Believin’ - Journey/Joe McElderry!

 

What would you say to someone who is reading this and thinking of joining Northern Proud Voices?

You are half way there - come along, you won’t regret it. NPV is much more than singing, we are like family and we have lots of fun together!