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A showcase of the very best in Northern Brass music, featuring Reg Vardy Band, NAS/UWT Riverside Band, Easington Colliery Band, Dr. Robert Childs MD, and soloist Joseph Cook.
Formed in 1910, Reg Vardy Band have cemented a formidable reputation as the premier brass band in the North of England, and have won the Regional Championships more times than any other brass band in the country. They are consistently listed in the top 20 of the World Brass Band Rankings and recent contest successes include winning the 2017 French Open Brass Band Champions, and becoming the Doctor Martins Contest Champions for the fourth time.
The NAS/UWT Riverside Band was formed in 1877 in the mining village of Pelton Fell. It has had various names over the years, but since 2008 has been sponsored by the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. Over the last 5 years the band has been a principal performer at the Durham International Brass Festival, and has performed regularly at Sage Gateshead, including a performance with British Sea Power. The band were the North of England Champion band in 2017, a title they also won in 2013, and have qualified for the national finals at the Royal Albert Hall 4 times in the last 7 years.
Easington Colliery Band was founded in 1915, and since the colliery closure in 1993 the band has been mainly self-supporting, with Michael Watt Productions as the band’s main sponsor in recent years. The band is still based in Easington Colliery and play in the old wages office on the colliery site, and this is the last remaining colliery building still in use in the Durham Coalfield.
Born into a musical family in County Durham, England, Joseph Cook started playing tuba at the age of 12 with his local secondary school wind band. Joseph was member of the National Youth Brass Band for 4 years, being Principal Tuba for 2 years and winner of the Harry Mortimer Solo Competition in 1997. He was also 2 times semi-finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Scholarship. As a soloist, Joseph has worked as a guest artist with many groups, including playing the Vaughan-Williams Tuba Concerto with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Sunderland Symphony Orchestra, Black Dyke Band, the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain, and as a featured soloist at the European Championships Gala Concert and National Brass Band Championships Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.