Folk concerts move from Alwinton to Wooler

Voices of Hope.Voices of Hope.
Voices of Hope.
Folk music will be ringing out in Wooler instead of Alwinton this summer.

The traditional Alwinton Summer Concerts will now be held in St Mary’s Church, Wooler as a Covid safety measure.

Artistic director John Casken said: “After a year in which Covid has devastated our lives, and as we look forward to the return of some kind of normality, we need the joy of live music and music-making more than ever.

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"It was inevitable that our planned season of 2020 concerts would have to be cancelled and initially I tried to re-book as many artists as possible for 2021.

Louise Thomson. Picture: Sara PorterLouise Thomson. Picture: Sara Porter
Louise Thomson. Picture: Sara Porter

"It soon became clear that the uncertainties surrounding Covid not only meant that we would have to postpone concerts until later in the year, but that safe distancing in Alwinton Church was not possible.

“We had a number of options: cancel the series altogether, cancel the 2021 concerts, or consider moving the concerts to a much larger venue.

"Musicians certainly need to work and to play to live audiences, so cancelling was soon dismissed as an option. Live-streaming has been a valuable bonus for some artists during lockdown, but we now need to make every effort to get back to live music in a relatively safe environment.

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“St Mary’s Church in Wooler provides such a location. It is a large, open space with a good acoustic; it will allow audiences to feel safe if physical distancing is still necessary.

The Andy May Trio.The Andy May Trio.
The Andy May Trio.

"This move coincides with the creation this year of a new initiative – Wooler Arts – and I am very pleased to be able to collaborate with this new organisation to make this happen.”

Four concerts have been organised.

The first, Folk and Fiddles, on Saturday, August 14, features the Andy May Trio and violinists Bradley Creswick and Katerina Nazarova.

The second, Scintillating Harp, featuring Louise Thomson, is on Saturday, August 21.

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St Mary's Church, Wooler.St Mary's Church, Wooler.
St Mary's Church, Wooler.

The third and fourth concerts take place on Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5. The first, Fantasies, Dances and Imaginary Landscapes, is a solo piano recital by Mishka Rushdie and the second, Northern Lights, features choral music by Voices of Hope.

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