Brass brings sparkle

The Polyphonic Brass Quintet
The Polyphonic Brass Quintet

THE Polyphonic Brass Quintet, a group of talented young brass players, is to perform at the Northumberland Music Festival.

The five musicians, who met while studying at the Royal Northern College in Manchester, will play an evening concert of Handel, Vivaldi, Faure and Elgar at Doxford Hall on October 31 and a lunchtime concert at Eshott Hall on November 1.

Playing for the first time in the North East, Manchester-based Polyphonic Brass have performed all over the country including the Cheltenham Music Festival, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool.

In this their first performance in the North East, the programme is full of contrast and excitement and includes one of the foremost pieces for brass, Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks. Fauré’s Pavane and Elgar’s Chanson de Matin. The full programme is available on

Northumberland Music Festival organiser Barbara Huddart is delighted that they are to perform.

She said: “These young musicians create excitement wherever they go and we are looking forward to welcoming them on their first performances in Northumberland. For any lovers of classical and jazz music this is definitely a concert not be missed.”

The evening concert at Doxford Hall starts at 7pm and costs £35, including canapé reception and sparkling wine.

The lunchtime concert at Eshott Hall starts at noon and costs £25, including a two-course lunch after the concert, or £10 for concert ticket only.

It is hoped the Northumberland Music Festival, sponsored by the Morpeth Herald, will put the county on the map as a major music destination.

Featuring opera, classical and traditional music, it will bring performances of international calibre to the heart of the region.

It is the brainchild of Robert Parker, the owner Doxford Hall, Eshott Hall and Guyzance Hall.

Mr Parker is passionate about music and Northumberland, and believes the festival will bring both together.

He said: “The great music lined up for the event is intended to keep the cold of winter at bay a little longer.”

It is supporting the Great North Air Ambulance, Macmillan Cancer Support and HospiceCare North Northumberland.

Other highlights include:

• Gala Opera Concerts – presented by Robin Newton, head of music at the renowned Garsington Opera. Soloists include soprano Samantha Crawford, mezzo soprano Adriana Festeu and tenor Charne Rochford

• Gilbert & Sullivan – featuring former singers of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company

• Kingsmead String Quartet – performances will include classic compositions from Gershwin, Dvorak, and Haydn.

• Chetham’s School of Music – pupils from the UK’s largest specialist music school with a piano concert ranging from classical to jazz. Concerts also include a special performance by the school’s Head of Keyboard, Murray McLachlan.

• Northumbrian Pipes and Fiddles – the Northern Airs concert features dance tunes, lively rhythms, slow airs and stunning airs

• The Northumbrian Ranters – traditional music from an enthusiastic band of young musicians

For anyone wishing to attend the concert and stay overnight, Doxford Hall is offering a special rate of £60 per person sharing a room bed and breakfast. Tickets are available from 01668 283100 or online at

The Herald is offering readers the chance to win two tickets to the Polyphonic Brass evening concert at Doxford Hall.

For a chance to win, answer the following question: In which city is Polyphonic Brass based?

Fill in the entry form and send it to Polyphonic Competition, Morpeth Herald, 32 Bondgate Without, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1PN.

The closing date is Friday, September 23.