A taste of festival delights to come

Morpeth Gathering 2012.
Morpeth Gathering 2012.

A TASTE of the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering has been served up to concert-goers.

The Northumbrian Concert, which raises funds for the festival, was held at Morpeth Town Hall earlier this month.

As it took place on International Women’s Day and one of the themes of this year’s Gathering is Emily Davison, the Suffragettes and the role of women, there was a focus on female performers.

Women’s choir Werca’s Folk performed a song composed by their leader Sandra Kerr entitled Emily Inspires. The group will headline the Gathering’s North Country Lass concert, which will also feature BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Emily Portman.

Ms Kerr will give the festival’s family concert and the choir will appear as Suffragettes in the pageant.

Composer, viola player and cellist Rachael Hales also appeared at the concert and will return to the Gathering to present her new digital sound composition.

Border Directors performed Goodwife of Morpeth and Aboot the Bush, which was first sung at the Morpeth Antiquarian Society Northumbrian Concert that sparked the idea of a festival more than 40 years ago.

Poet Peter Athey recited in the Northumbrian Dialect ahead of the Gathering Telling Tall Tales competition.

Ernie Gordon played the solo mouth organ, King Edward VI School pupil Tristan Selden showed his singing, whistling and smallpipe skills and Johnny Handle raised the roof with songs and banter. All three will appear at the Gathering.

The festival runs from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7. Programmes are available in shops, libraries and tourist centres, or online at www.northumbriana.org.uk