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Posted on 14 June 2018

Three of the North East’s finest brass bands will be performing at Sage Gateshead as part of the Great Exhibition of the North this summer.

The Great North Brass concert will take place in the prestigious Sage One concert hall on Sunday July 8.

The Reg Vardy Band will be joined by the NAS/UWT Riverside and Easington Colliery Bands in a festival of music showcasing North East bands, their music and personalities.

World-renowned tuba soloist Joe Cook will be welcomed home for an appearance as guest soloist. Joe was born in Boldon Colliery and grew up in North East brass bands, becoming principal tuba of the world famous Black Dyke Band for many years before moving to live and work in Norway.

The concert will be directed by Dr. Robert Childs whose father, John, conducted the Ever Ready Band (now known as the Reg Vardy Band) in the 1980s. Bob was principal euphonium of the famous Grimethorpe Colliery and Black Dyke bands before embarking on a highly successful conducting career, leading the Cory Band from Wales to Brass in Concert, British Open, National Championships and European Championships titles and becoming recognised as one the most highly respected band conductors in the world.

Music to suit all tastes will be on show, all of it with connections to the North East of England, either representative of the region or composed and arranged by the region’s musicians.

Included will be music by the North East March King George Allan and arrangements by Alan Catherall of Spennymoor, whose unique style has made him one of the most popular and best-known arrangers of brass music, with his arrangements being played by brass bands all over the world. The concert will include Alan’s arrangement of the film music from Star Wars, played in homage to world famous trumpet player Maurice Murphy. Maurice learnt to play cornet as a young boy in North East Salvation Army bands and played the soaring trumpet parts heard on the original soundtrack during his time as principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra.

There will also be music by Sunderland-born Edward Gregson who, whilst being a well-known composer for all genres, is especially known for his original music for brass band. Arrangements by North East musicians Jack Stobbs, Wing Commander Eric Banks, Roger Payne, Steve Robson and Lee Morris complete the show.

The concert starts at 2pm and tickets are available from or Sage Gateshead Ticket Office 0191 443 4661.