Renowned classical guitar duo to play at town church

Guitar duo Cobie Smit and John Mills are performing a concert in Morpeth.
Guitar duo Cobie Smit and John Mills are performing a concert in Morpeth.

Internationally renowned guitarists John Mills and Cobie Smit return to Morpeth tomorrow after their successful concert in the town two years ago.

In 2015, they filled St James’ Church and raised more than £1,000 for the charity M10.

This year, they are playing in aid of the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank and Mustard Tree Trust and sharing the programme with the Newcastle Guitar Orchestra.

John studied the guitar under the legendary John Williams and went on to have an international solo career as a performer, recording artist and teacher, including being Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London for 20 years.

He also enjoys playing chamber music with one or two others, particularly his wife and duet partner, Cobie.

On their previous visit, the couple met two guitar makers in the North East – Sam McClaren and Geoff Needham. They were so impressed by their hand-crafted guitars that they will play some of these instruments in this concert.

The Newcastle Guitar Orchestra was founded in 2012 and is one of only a handful in the country.

As well as normal nylon strung guitars, some players use a smaller ‘requinto’ guitar, which has a bright, high sound, and others a contrabass guitar, it has a remarkably deep sound. This produces a great variety of sound.

A trio of players from the orchestra will play part of the programme.

Harriet Gilfillan, who has helped to organise the concert, said: “The performances will be lively, tuneful and suitable for all.

“Do come along for a very enjoyable evening and to raise money for two very worthwhile local charities.”

The concert will take place at St James’ Church, Copper Chare, from 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced £8 for adults and £6 concessions. They are free for children under 10.

They are available on the door or from Mrs Gilfillan – telephone 07736 108771 or email