Teesdale Community Music Festival

The (Teesdale) hills were alive, with the Sound of Music!


The weekend of the 9th-10th June saw our very first Teesdale Community Music Festival take place, mainly in St Mary's Parish Church. Over those two days nearly 200 performers played or sang countless notes as part of the celebrations.


The Festival got off to a great start with 90 enthusiastic and excited primary school children performing songs from the shows. They captivated their audience and the atmosphere was electric. Not only were the children having fun, so were the audience, the music team, and the staff who have been so supportive of the project.


As one head teacher put it….

“The pupils loved taking part and they sounded absolutely amazing in the church. It has been a fantastic project…… We would love to take part again, should you wish to have something next year.”


Saturday was a busy day for the refreshments team. No event can be a success without them and this was no exception. Following an instrumental workshop at the Witham Hall in the morning, the church turned into a cafe for the afternoon tea and singalong. Teesdale Folk Group created a welcoming atmosphere with their gentle and enjoyable music and entertained the audience in between scones and singing. The local care home residents and others guests that came along sang beautifully and everyone had an lovely time. There were a few scones left, but not many!


At the same time as the singalong, a group of youngsters, under the expert guidance of Andy Yeadon were busy composing a song from scratch. They had 4 hours to learn to work together, share and explore their ideas, then get it up to performance standard for the evening concert. They did it!


With the church decked out with bunting, and pews arranged more informally, the stage was set for the evening Celebration Concert. Those who made it along to the pre-concert reception were entertained by local duo, “Grace Notes”. Barney Band sat centre stage and opened the first half. Other performers included the Community Choir “No Added Sugar”, Cream Tees Youth Folk Group, St Mary's Singers and members of St Mary's Community Band. Our MC was Neil Diment.


We would like to thank everyone who participated in, helped with or supported the event in one way or another. In the way of all events - it was unique. Unique because each and every personality involved shaped the outcome. We made some great links with schools and care homes, and developed friendships and our skills along the way.


The Festival might be over, but the journey continues.