Music with the Armstrongs

The Coquet Singers performing last year.
The Coquet Singers performing last year.

Two musical groups based in Coquetdale are joining forces for a special performance at one of the area’s iconic venues later this month.

On Friday, May 22, the Coquet Singers and the Coquet Players will be coming together to perform in the formal gallery at the National Trust’s Cragside House in Rothbury.

The musicians and singers, all from the local area of Coquetdale and mid Northumberland, will be putting on an event in the tradition of the Armstrong family, who were keen to support both the local community and music in general in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The leader of the Coquet Players, Graham Stacy, has had the rare privilege of accessing the late Lord Armstrong’s archive of music held at Cragside and has put together a selection of pieces for the concert.

Pieces to be played by the Coquet Players will include works from established contemporary classical composers such as Debussy and Frank Bridge as well as arrangements of folk tunes and dance music of the time.

Anne Suggate, the Coquet Singer’s musical director, will lead the choir through a selection of traditional Northumbrian songs and light pieces of an appropriate period to suit the Musical Evening with the Armstrongs, which takes place from 7pm to 9pm with a short interval. Refreshments from 6pm to 6.45pm in the Still Room. No wheelchair access as it takes place upstairs. Tickets £10 per person. Call 01669 620862.

The Coquet Singers are a community choir who have been singing together for more than 10 years.

They were originally founded through the 20,000 Voices scheme, a Making Music incentive whose aims are to encourage music to be accessible to communities throughout the North East.