Northumberland pupils tune up for Brass in Concert at the Sage

Pupils from Northumberland first and primary schools rehearse at St Cuthbert's Church, Bedlington, for the Brass in Concert event at the Sage, Gateshead, on Saturday, November 18.

More than 100 Northumberland school pupils, who have been learning a musical instrument as part of a celebration of brass, will be performing at Sage Gateshead later this month.

The 41st Brass in Concert Festival will take place at the iconic music centre on Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19.

Pupils from Stead Lane Primary School, Bedlington, at rehearsals.

Last year, workshops were held at Whitley Memorial Church of England First School in Bedlington, leading to 12 beginner players performing in the festival.

This year, thanks to a new collaboration with Music Partnership North (Northumberland), Brass in Concert has been able to expand the programme to five schools, giving 125 young people the opportunity to be part of the prestigious festival.

Players aged between six and eight from Whitley Memorial School, Bedlington; West End First School, Bedlington; Ellington Primary; Mowbray Primary, Choppington; and Stead Lane Primary, Bedlington, have all received tuition from professional brass band players.

The pupils rehearsed at St Cuthbert’s Church, Bedlington, on Tuesday.

Budding musicians from Mowbray Primary School, Choppington.

They were led by Laura Jackson, a baritone player who regularly teaches at workshops and master classes in the North East and Scotland.

She was joined by players from Reg Vardy and NASUWT Riverside Bands together with Music Partnership North (Northumberland) staff.

On Saturday, November 18, the young players will take part in workshops at the Sage.

Music will include Ode to Joy, Kalinka, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Old Macdonald and Happy As You Know It. They will also have the chance to meet members of the world’s best brass band – Cory Band – before performing a free concert at 2.30pm on the concourse.

Ellington Primary School pupils.

Hugh Stephenson, chairman of North of England Regional Brass Band Association and Brass in Concert management team member, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young elementary players to make progress in the art of brass-band music-making while making new friends and having fun at the same time.”

Fiona Johnstone, business development officer for Music Partnership North (Northumberland), said: “We would like to express our gratitude to Brass in Concert for this unique opportunity to be involved both in the event at Sage Gateshead and the workshop day.

“Providing these high -quality activities for young people is crucial to the success of re-engaging young people in the rich brass heritage. Following the feedback we received from the students involved in last year‘s event, we have worked together to broaden the involvement of Music Partnership North and provide an exceptional location for the students to perform.”

The Youth and Education Programme is supported by Arts Council England and through grants from North East England Trusts and Foundations.

Pupils from Whitley Memorial School and West End First School, both Bedlington, during rehearsals at St Cuthbert's Church, Bedlington.

Rehearsal time

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