We have made some changes to our weekly timetable, including the merger of our previous Whickham Strings and 2 Note Band ensembles, and the creation of a new Community Orchestra on a Monday evening. This new orchestra is intended for any member of the community who wants to join in with music making on a local level. See our groups page for more information.
Our hand-bell ringing group Bells Up have been awarded a grant of £1,000 from Comic Relief for the purchase of three new hand bells. Fantastic news!
Comic Relief spends money raised by its fundraising campaigns: Sport Relief & Red Nose Day Comic Relief.
Registered charity 326568 (England and Wales)
Councillor Peter Craig opened our 2017 William Shield Festival with a wonderful address. We liked it so much we thought you might like to read it in full:
"I’m delighted to be asked back to give my support to the William Shield Festival.
I often feel that William Shield is Tyneside’s neglected musical genius, and the 2017 Festival once more aims to bring him to a wider audience through a series of musical events.
I opened the event last year, which was a fantastic success, seeing over 1000 performers and listeners taking part in 12 eye catching events over 5 venues.
It was wonderful to see the work of Community Music Whickham and Swalwell in our communities as they put on a full week of performances across Whickham, Swalwell, Gateshead and Newcastle.
I didn’t think I could be more impressed by the group, but I have to say I was wrong!
This year we have William Shield and Beyond – an even more ambitious programme of 13 performances spread across 6 venues.
Concerts, musicals, recitals, illustrated talks, poetry reading, choirs and guest appearances – performed by a whole range of musicians singers and presenters – with a very wide variety of musical instruments from hand bells to harpsichords and individual musicians to full orchestra’s.
So I’m impressed but not surprised.
The relatively small but talented group of individuals that make up Community Music Whickham and Swalwell has the aim of bringing music to the community.
They deliver this week in week out – by music lessons, rehearsals and concerts and performances throughout the year. In addition, through events like this they provide opportunities for musicians of all ages and abilities to perform, including people from the wider musical community.
Last year I learnt about William Shield and particularly enjoyed the concert at Whickham School and Sports College where our school children played a large part. This week is another chance to learn more about William Shield and his work – I’m very much looking forward to it and hope you are too.
At this point I must also mention the support given by The Land of Oak and Iron Project which has help to fund the 2017 Festival.
So thank you all for coming along today to the first performance of this year’s Festival – the Festival deserves our support and the Group deserve our thanks.
I would like to formally open the 2017 William Shield Festival with a performance by The Avison Ensemble’s Wandering Minstrels – presenting Tyneside Folk Songs from the time of Shield onwards."
Here are some photos from our fantastic Festival this year!
Announcing the William Shield Festival 2017. This year's festival is entitled "William Shield and Beyond" and features more than a dozen exciting and entertaining musical events. The highlight of this year's festival are two performances of William Shield's opera Rosina. This comic opera was first performed on New Year's Eve in 1782 in Covent Garden, but has received few performances since. We will be performing it on 4th and 5th July, and our ensembles include Rocket Opera, the William Shield Chamber Orchestra and guest star Pamelina Oubinova.
To download a complete timetable of the 2017 festival, please click the link.
This year's festival is funded by the County Durham Community Foundation's Land of Oak and Iron.
Following our highly successful festival in July 2016, you can watch the highlights all over again on our YouTube channel. Click on the play button below!
On Saturday 5th March we held our inaugural Music Marathon. Our fantastic students succeeded in making music for a full twelve hours, 8am to 8pm, at Holy Trinity Church, Swalwell.
The day was filled with various CMWS ensembles and individuals playing in relay. There were also a number of musicians, both adults and children, not currently members of CMWS who joined in and entertained a packed church all day.
Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who played, all those who attended, the helpers on the day and also everyone who sponsored the musicians.
The final numbers are not yet in, but check back here soon to find out just how much money we raised!
Our wonderful musicians took part in a wide variety of performances in the festive season last year, including the Blaydon Christmas Tree Festival, Swalwell Holy Trinity Gift Day and Carol Service, a special performance at the Metro Centre in Gateshead, and culminating our end of term Student Concert at St Mary's in Whickham. We hope the many people who saw and heard our music last December enjoyed what they heard and had a happy Christmas....
Rotary Great Britain and Ireland are holding a Young Musician of the Year Competition 2015/16 and our local branch, Rotary Club of Blaydon, Ryton and Whickham are inviting individual students (amateur), in full time education up to the age of 17 on 31st August 2015 to enter. Community Music Whickham and Swalwell would like to encourage everyone to consider entering the local heats. Our local Rotary Club will present a certificate to everyone who takes part.
An information pack with the application form can be downloaded here (pdf file) or found at http://www.rotarygbi.org/what-we-do/youth-competitions/
A great big thanks to the folks at Aviva and to all of our friends who voted for us. Thanks to the many nominations we received, Aviva Community Fund has awarded CMWS £1,000 to revive old instruments for the use of our students.
This will enable us to bring damaged or worn musical instruments back to life so that they can be used again to create beautiful music.
In June we were delighted to welcome sopranos Catherine Dalzell and Emily Nunns of the International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University, who gave a St Mary's Church audience a recital of music from medieval to Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.
Our musical director John Treherne gave us an interesting and informative talk on the music of Tyneside, illustrated with slideshow images and musical interludes.
Whickham Strings and individual players gave us a delightful concert at St Mary's Church in June, thoroughly enjoyed by all present. String players also performed at Whickham Parochial School and the Parish Hall this year.
On the 28th February our distinguished guest Mr John Treherne MBE gave an entertaining and informative talk on the history of the harpsichord, interspersed with pieces played on his beautiful replica 1673 instrument.
The highlight of the evening was an impromptu group lesson in an Elizabethan dance called a Pavane, which all members of the audience took part in enthusiastically.
On 18th December we held our second event, where our various talented musicians showed their stuff for an appreciative audience. There were performances on cello, viol, violin, double bass and guitar across an eclectic programme of music.
Community Music Whickham & Swalwell was launched with an exciting performance at St Mary's Parish Church in the centre of Whickham on 11th October 2014. A delighted audience was treated to a programme of baroque masterpieces performed by our very own trio of John Treherne (harpsichord), John Finnon (viol) and Erardo Evans (violin).
They were joined by our guest soprano Lynne Bloxham.