Monthly Archives: January 2018

NASUWT Brass Band and their Christmas Concert

In my previous life I was a teacher and my union was the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers.  How fitting then to find they were playing at Ushaw a Christmas Concert.  With twenty minutes worth of photography under my belt what a surprise to discover that a friend last seen in 1994 was one of the cornet players!  Our paths had crossed at a funeral in 1998 but we were not in a position to talk, so there was a great deal of catching up to be done.

The band has a wonderful voice and richly deserves the accolade of top regional band.  During rehearsals I photographed them from all and every angle.  The one thing that you can guarantee with a collection of brass instruments is that they will gleam whenever light hits them!

NASUWT Band playing their Christmas Concert at Ushaw


The cornet section of the NASUWT Band at Ushaw

NASUWT Band Christmas 2017 trombonist

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Paul Edis and the development of the music in the North East

Paul Edis performs during Ushaw College’s Jazz Festival 2017

Paul Edis and the Music of the North East

Over the last few months of 2017 wherever I went I seemed to bump into Paul.  It started when I went to photograph a concert given by the youngsters from SAGE Gateshead.

There were two elements; the youth Jazz orchestra which goes by the name of Jambone and the Quay Choir.  The piece they were performing was Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert and the suitable surroundings were that of St Cuthbert’s Chapel in Ushaw College.  This was way back in July.  Accompanied by David Wardle, I stained myself as close to the orchestra as possible, opposite the Jazz soloist Zoe Gilby.  As well as Zoe there was a solo performance by saxophonist Matt Anderson and tap dancer Colette Serrechia.  This was my first introduction to Paul who had worked hard with Jambone to bring them up to a polished performance standard.  Paul not only conducted the orchestra but also contributed the clarinet solo.  The whole piece was magical: the choir and the orchestra blended superbly; Zoe’s voice was silky smooth and so right for the piece.  Colette’s dance was serpentine and added a deep texture to the music,  The saxophone playing of Matt punctuated the smoothness of the orchestra with just the right blend of richness.  All in all what a wonderful event and one that promises much for the future.

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So, it’s 2018 and what have we got planned?  Well, so far we have managed to accomplish a great many shoots thanks to our good friends at SAGE Gateshead, Ushaw and Magnetic North East.  Over the next few weeks we shall be publishing more and more details along with the pix.  There will be more Folk, more Jazz and even Classic.  We have pop but, sorry, no grunge or garage.  Just remember many of us are not young enough (nor do we have the energy) for the more modern styles.  There are even a couple of us who find Vera Lynn a bit too racy!  Only kidding!  Well, to all of you, a happy and a prosperous New Year!  Take care!


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