Music with strings attached

Strings attached............harpist Debbie Snowdon from KEVI School at Morpeth.
Strings attached............harpist Debbie Snowdon from KEVI School at Morpeth.
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THERE will be a mixture of music on offer as Morpeth’s high school heads north for its latest concert.

An Evening of Jazz, Folk and Harp Music will take place at All Saints Church in Rothbury on Saturday — with two prestigious north east artists also taking to the stage.

There will be a mixture of solo and group harp performances from King Edward VI School (KEVI) students, as well as an appearance by Amanda Munday, who has played the harp throughout the UK.

Fiddle player Stewart Hardy, who performed throughout Europe with The John Wright Band for six years, leads his recently formed folk group Fligarishon, featuring both current and former KEVI pupils.

And the audience can expect lively tunes from the KEVI Community Jazz Band.

The school’s Head of Music Robin Forbes said: “We hope people of all ages will turn up in big numbers, especially as there will be an exciting and varied programme of music. The harp is quite an unusual, but beautiful instrument and it produces some lovely sounds. We are encouraging our students to take it up and Amanda will be coming into school on Friday to take some lessons.

“All members of Fligarishon are experienced musicians and they will put on a high quality and entertaining performance. The Jazz Band will be loud and lively to get the audience on their feet.

“It’s great to be directing the concert with Stewart and Amanda as they are both inspirational players and teachers.

“We are looking forward to going to Rothbury, particularly as the last event we scheduled for the village had to be cancelled because of heavy rain.”

One of the KEVI harp performers is Year 9 student Debbie Snowdon, who has been playing the instrument for about four years.She will be going for Grade Four in the summer and is part of the Northumbrian Ranters group.

The Kirkhill resident said: “I wanted to try something new and unique and when a friend recommended the harp I gave it a go. Once I got used to it I found that I really enjoyed playing the instrument — it’s a lot of fun and you can create some interesting sounds.

“I’m looking forward to the concert because I love performing on stage and it will be great to get some tips from Amanda Munday the day before.

“I’m very grateful to my harp teacher Janet Bennett, as well as Richard and Fiona Johnstone, who run the Northumbrian Ranters sessions, for their help and support.”

The concert, which starts at 7.30pm, will also feature performances by pupils at Dr Thomlinson Middle School in Rothbury.

All proceeds will be divided between funding harp teaching, providing instruments at KEVI and raising funds for Fligarishon’s visit to a Folk Summer School in Sweden.

Tickets cost £6 for adults and £4 students/children, from KEVI on 01670 515415.