How sweet the sound of song contest

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A CHALLENGE has been issued to the north east’s musicians to come up with a song about a Grace Darling for a new show.

Up to six of the songs submitted will be played during the forthcoming three-week run of a play about the Northumberland heroine called Amazing Grace.

Written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, it will be performed at ten venues in the region in October and November including Blyth’s Phoenix Theatre and the Playhouse Whitley Bay.

Darling and her lighthouse keeper father William were living on Longstone in the Farne Islands when the paddle steamer the Forfarshire struck rocks during a storm in 1838.

Of the 63 people on board, nine managed to escape in a lifeboat heading for South Shields, and nine others stranded on the rocks were saved by Darling and her father.

Many of Darling’s letters and papers are housed at Ashington’s Woodhorn Museum as part of the collection of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and can be viewed in its study centre.

Liz Ritson, an events officer there, said: “We are delighted to be working with the playwrights on this.

“The music can take any style as long as it’s original and comes in at under four minutes.

“Amazing Grace tells the story of Grace Darling through the eyes of a modern-day writer called Grace who wants to make a film about her famous namesake, so the song can have a modern context.”

The competition’s closing date is Friday, September 14.

Woodhorn Museum will host a concert featuring the new songs on Friday, Saturday, October 6.

To enter, download a form from www.experiencewoodhorn.com/song-competition/ and send it with a CD of your song to: Grace Darling Song Competition, Woodhorn, QEII Country Park, Ashington, NE63 9YF.