The 41st Brass in Concert Festival will take place at Sage Gateshead on Saturday, the 18th/Sunday, the 19th November at Sage Gateshead. From a one off occasion in 1977 to mark H.M. The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the event has become the leading entertainment festival of its kind in the world and is widely regarded as a North East success story.

The festival presentation comprises a Gala Concert, a Contest featuring 12 of the leading brass band in the world and a Youth and Education Programme, in addition to a concert by the reigning Youth Entertainment Champions of Great Britain, Wardle Academy Youth Brass from Rochdale and Taster Sessions for those wishing to have “a blow” on a brass instrument for the first time, the principal activity is focussed on Workshops.

Following a successful appearance of 12 elementary players in the Workshops from the Whitely Memorial Church of England First School, Bedlington in 2016, a partnership has been established between Music Partnership North (Northumberland) and Brass in Concert to open up tuition under the guidance of well respected players from brass bands for up to 125 young people.

On Tuesday, the 7th November, the young players from five schools assembled at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Bedlington for rehearsals. Whitely Memorial and West End First School in the morning and Ellington Primary School, Mowbray Primary School and Stead Lane Primary School in the afternoon.
The rehearsals were led by Laura Jackson, a baritone player who regularly teaches at workshops and master classes in North East England and Scotland augmented by players from Reg Vardy and NASUWT Riverside Bands together with Music Partnership North (Northumberland) Staff.

On Saturday, the 18th November the elementary players will rise early and will meet coaches to carry them to Sage Gateshead to join the Workshops. They will then rehearse music including Ode to Joy, Kalinka, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Old Macdonald and Happy as You Know It and meet up with Philip Harper and tutors from Cory Band, the No. 1 band in the world before their FREE concert at 2.30 pm on the Concourse.. A large following will be in attendance situated on all floors of the iconic surroundings.. And the reward, not only an opportunity to play in a marvellous venue, but a lunch ,“Goody” bag and a T-shirt !.

Hugh Stephenson, Chairman, 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 whilst making new friends and having fun at the same time.”

Fiona Johnstone, Business Development Officer, Music Partnership North (Northumberland) commented: “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 on the 18th and the workshop day on the 7th November. 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.

Leave A Comment