Festival show in pipeline for duo

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A veteran pipes-and-fiddle duo are to return to a popular annual event next weekend.

Andrew and Margaret Watchorn are among the acts on the bill for this year’s Northumberland Music Festival.

The duo will be presenting an array of dance tunes, lyrical slow airs, harmonies and lively rhythms.

The evening, also featuring North East vocal octet Musica Johannis, will take place at Doxford Hall, south of Chathill, on Saturday, November 21, and will start with a welcome drink on arrival at 5.30pm.

The Watchorns’ songs and tunes are billed as being as close as it gets to the authentic music of the Cheviot Hills of times gone by.

Their programme will celebrate a wealth of local music from the 16th to the 21st centuries, including rants and jigs, airs and waltzes and hornpipes.

The pair, of Embleton, not far from the venue, have both won lots of traditional music competitions for solo-playing and composition, and they have also picked up prizes aplenty in duet competitions too.

They have recorded three CDs – titled The Quiet Hills, Borrowed Days and Lecchemede – featuring tunes including Dunstan Carol, Whittingham Fair, Blackhall Rocks, Kirkconnel Lea, Sae Lang Returnin’, Eilaf and the Cheese and Coquet Side.

The evening will also feature a performance by Musica Johannis, one of the North East’s best-loved acts of their kind.

The group were founded in Newcastle in the late 1970s as a chamber choir with 30 members, but their ranks have now been reduced to less than a third of that size.

Frequent performers in an around their home city, they regularly travel further afield too and describe themselves as offering audiences a broad range of material encompassing everything from Bach to the Beatles.

Jeremy Peaker, artistic director of the festival, said: “These unique local acts will wow the audience and promise to deliver a thoroughly-entertaining evening, with two eclectic and highly-accomplished performances.”

“This promises to be a musical extravaganza, with fabulous performances both by Andrew and Margaret Watchorn and Musica Johannis.”

Tickets for Andrew and Margaret’s concert are priced at £35, including a gourmet two-course dinner.

To book tickets, visit www.nmfestival.co.uk or telephone 01668 283100.

For further details of the two acts playing, go to www.pipesandfiddle.co.uk or