Top Brass Festival Back in Durham; the Annual Celebration Is Back and This Year Looks to Focus on How Music Helps Improve Health, DAVID WHETSTONE Writes

The Journal (Newcastle, England), July 13, 2019 | Go to article overview

Top Brass Festival Back in Durham; the Annual Celebration Is Back and This Year Looks to Focus on How Music Helps Improve Health, DAVID WHETSTONE Writes


Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

DURHAM BRASS is back. The annual celebration of brass music in an area where it is part of the cultural fabric runs for a tuneful 10 days around the city.

The theme of this year's festival, organised by Durham County Council and which started yesterday, is Health and Brass, with several events focused on the lifeenhancing qualities of music. On July 18, members of the public will be able to attend an event at Beamish, in the museum's new 1950s Welfare Hall, called Dancehall Days, inspired by a project involving people with dementia for whom music jogs memories.

Durham County Council's community arts team joined forces with Beamish and the Alzheimer's Society for this special project which also involved musician Paul Edis and theatre director Bex Mather.

Then on July 20, leading musicians, researchers and medical practitioners will speak at a Healthy Brass Day dedicated to the physical and psychological aspects of playing an instrument.

The festival includes ticketed concerts by headline acts at the Gala Theatre and lively free performances around Durham as part of the popular Streets of Brass.

Some of the international street bands will also perform in schools and at locations across County Durham as part of the Big Brass Bash. Paul Gudgin, artistic director of the festival, said: "We are thrilled to present another 10-day extravaganza of brilliant and bold brass music. BRASS is about celebrating the rich history and diversity of brass music today. It is about transporting audiences to different times and places, challenging perceptions and bringing people together.

"As ever there is a real international flavour to the festival with bands from Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic and Tubingen in Germany, Durham's twin town for the past 50 years."

Here's what is in store >>>> THE SECRET LAUNCH GIG Promised Land, at 8pm on Friday, July 12, is a world premiere in a secret city-centre location featuring festival favourites Mr Wilson's Second Liners and billed as "an exclusive rave party experience". Ticket holders have been asked to call a special party line phone number in advance of the event to learn its location. A DJ, live brass renditions of old school anthems and atmospheric lighting are promised as people are invited to share the euphoric music of their youth with a new generation.

Will Lenton, who fronts Mr Wilson's Second Liners, said: "Promised Land is a celebration of what the raves of the early 1990s were about. At the heart of these spontaneous parties was a simple desire to dance and be immersed in music. …

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