Showcase of local music for fund-raiser

Concertina player Alistair Anderson, who will play at the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering Fund-raising Concert.
Concertina player Alistair Anderson, who will play at the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering Fund-raising Concert.
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A night of local music, song and poetry awaits at the annual Northumbrian Concert later this month.

The fund-raiser for the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering takes place on Friday, February 19, in Morpeth Town Hall Ballroom, and brings leading traditional performers together, including globe-trotting concertina wizard Alistair Anderson, of Whittingham, and Stakeford’s dialect poet Raymond Reed.

Also returning to the stage is fiddler Stewart Hardy, from Seaton Sluice, who composed the melodies commissioned by former Mayor Nic Best for Morpeth Town Hall’s 300th anniversary in 2014. He will be joined by George Welch, a staunch supporter.

The line-up continues with multi-instrumentalists the Border Directors, made up of Morpethians Kim Bibby-Wilson, John Bibby and Derek Poxton, with piper Matt Seattle, now resident in Hawick.

Singing group Beeswing is named after the prizewinning 19th century racehorse, and their spot will include drinking songs to reflect one of the themes of this year’s Gathering.

The night will be compered by Alex Swailes MBE, the Gathering’s own Morpeth Gadgy, now a Rothbury resident, who will sing My Home on the Wannie by Charlie Shaw, one of the songs on the new CD Morpeth’s Music.

This event and the CD are vital parts of the fund-raising drive to ensure that the full programme of events for the Gathering can take place this year, from April 1 to 3.

Tickets for the concert are £10, £9 concessions, and £8 for under 18s. They are available from Kim Bibby-Wilson on 01670 513308 or Morpeth Chantry Tourist Information Centre on 01670 623455.

Details of the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering festival of traditional culture, including events, competition rules and patrons’ schemes, are on the Gathering website at www.northumbriana.org.uk or in leaflets available from Morpeth Chantry TIC.