Posted on 18 October 2018

Musicians of all ages and abilities performed for His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, when he visited Sage Gateshead today (THURS).

His Royal Highness was visiting the region as part of his work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and to highlight partnership working with local schools and community organisations using music to reach, enrich and inspire.

The Earl of Wessex listened to Royal Northern Sinfonia rehearse Masques et Bergamasques Fliter ahead of their Paris Mon Amour concert with pianist Ingrid Fliter. The orchestra is celebrating its 60th anniversary season and players were introduced to HRH.

His Royal Highness then met with pupils from In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead – a music-making programme delivered by Sage Gateshead at schools in the West End of Newcastle. Pupils at Hawthorn Primary School and Bridgewater School in Newcastle learn instruments and engage regularly with orchestral music, with opportunities to perform and attend concerts.

Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra played the 1812 Overture for HRH and he learnt how In Harmony aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities using the power and disciplines of group music-making.

Jane Dube, Headteacher at Hawthorn Primary School, said: “_This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the importance of In Harmony and the importance of music education. All our young students were so excited to play for His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. He talked to them about how much they enjoy music and he showed great interest in the programme, appreciating the positive impact it has on their education_.”

Finally HRH attended a rehearsal with Silver Singers Gateshead, one of the many music groups run as part of Sage Gateshead’s community music-making programme for people over the age of 50. They performed As I Went Down to The River to Pray and spoke to him about the range of instrumental and singing opportunities on offer as well as the positive impact making music has on health and well-being.

Thomas Murray, Silver Singer Participant said: “_It was great to meet His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex. He was really interested in what we were doing – talking to us and finding out about how we started on the Silver Programme. We love singing here at Sage Gateshead, it’s good for your mental health as well as your physical health. It’s a great workout!_”

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director at Sage Gateshead, said: “_We were delighted and honoured to welcome another Royal visitor to our home. His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex took great interest in everyone he met with today. We were proud to show him the range of music and music-making opportunities that are on offer at Sage Gateshead and to introduce him to people who are involved._”

Notes to editors:
For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Emily Taylor, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4617 number M. 07793 762 879

Gaynor Ellis, PR & Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4690

Notes to editors:

Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England.

Its concert programme incorporates all kinds of local, regional and international music and runs all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region.

As a charity, the support it receives helps to ensure everyone in the community can experience the joys of music.

In Harmony – delivered by Sage Gateshead and funded by Arts Council England and Department for Education, In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead is one of six projects in England and ensures every child is immersed in music on a weekly basis. It takes place at Hawthorn Primary School and recently expanded to nearby Bridgewater School in Scotswood, its attached nursery and nearby Rye Hill Community Nursery.

Musical skills, confidence and self-esteem, educational attainment and health and well-being are improved through learning about and taking part in orchestral music-making.

Royal Northern Sinfonia

Lars Vogt Music Director
Julian Rachlin Principal Guest Conductor
Thomas Zehetmair Conductor Laureate

Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a world-wide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences. The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms, this year performing Handel’s Water Music at The Stage @ the Dock in Hull – the first Prom performed outside of London since 1930. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, and last season toured in South America, China and South Korea.

RNS has worked with conductors and soloists Christian Tetzlaff, Olli Mustonen, Reinhard Goebel, Katrina Canellakis and Nicholas McGegan; a host of world class singers including Sally Matthews, Karen Cargill and Elizabeth Watts, and collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds, John Grant and Mercury Rev.

RNS has commissioned new music and has always been actively involved in local communities and in education. Musicians support young people learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training and through In Harmony, a long-term programme in Hawthorn Primary School in which every child in the school learns a musical instrument and plays in an orchestra.