Cobweb News

On Saturday we enjoyed a really fantastic concert party with such variety, from Greek harp tunes, to jazz flute to Chopin! We also had a lovely tribute to Lee Fairlie too. Thank you to all the performers who took part, and to all of you who supported it; it’s always so nice to see you all.


In this week’s Cobweb News
Live Recital with Alice Jones and Peter Fisher – Brahms Double Concerto
Q&A Session with Amy Yule
Instrument Clinics – update from the Brass


Before the events, we have some extremely sad news to share, with words written by Brian Tanner:

Bernard Haston

It was with huge sadness that we received the news of Bernard’s death. He was such a lovely man. Quietly spoken, a superbly sensitive musician, helping before one had even realised there was a need for help and always exhibiting a unique friendliness to all, he will be a huge loss to the Cobweb family. He was one of our stalwarts over many years and genuinely irreplaceable.

If there is one word in which to describe Bernard it is “reliable”. As a double bass player, he would go out of his way to be there if no other bassists were available for an event. It often meant juggling transportation of teenage children to Saturday activities which, as he lived in upper Teesdale, was no mean feat. Indeed, Bernard must have covered very many miles on Cobwebs’ behalf. Working in local government in County Durham, he regularly came directly from work to play with the Dipton Group, en route for home. Indeed, it was Bernard who was the best attender of the bassists at the Dipton Group for many years.

Bernard could be relied upon to offer to do the work behind the scenes, such as transporting the timpani or staging. Bernard was always at events early (as for all bassists, parking challenges make this a necessity) and he would always then be found quietly setting out a room, assembling equipment and doing all those small background things necessary to make Cobwebs events run smoothly. He was a most considerate man.

As a player he was reliable in a different way. Although always unwilling to sit in the leader position, except when he was on his own, Bernard led in a different way. An instinctive orchestral player, you could guarantee that his distinctive unvarnished double bass would sound at the exact moment of entry after counting forty-two bars rest. His rhythmic sense was immaculate and complex rhythms were articulated with precision and accuracy. His intonation was excellent and, although he did not like venturing high on the fingerboard, he had the musical intuition to know when to stop and re-engage seamlessly without it being apparent. He was a joy to play with. You never had to question whether he would be with you and vice versa; he was always totally reliable.

Bernard’s contribution to Cobwebs has been immense. As well as being a long-term member of the Dipton Group, he played with the Cabaret Group, the Baroque Group and in the Chamber Orchestra. When the new Ludworth Group put out a call for players to support their first concert, Bernard was one of the volunteers. He was always willing to put in the extra effort and go the extra mile to help others. The Cobweb Orchestra has lost one of its underpinning supports. We must honour Bernard’s memory by renewing that foundation and continuing the tradition of fellowship in amateur music-making that Cobwebs, through people like Bernard, represents.

Brian Tanner

Live Recital with Alice Jones and Peter Fisher – Brahms Double Concerto 
Thursday 28th January, 7pm

After the success of previous live play-along events, we’re delighted to welcome Alice Jones (cello) and Peter Fisher (violin) to play the Brahms Double Concerto in A minor live at Markson Pianos in Central London. They will be joined by Irina Lyakhovskaya who’ll play the orchestral parts so we can play along to the soloists, or you can simply listen.

The music can be found here: Concerto for Violin and Cello, Op.102 (Brahms, Johannes) – IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download and it’s best to use a set of headphones when playing along.

To enrol, please click here.

Live Q&A Session with Amy Yule
Monday 1st February, 7pm

Following on from the extremely successful event with Amy earlier this month, she has agreed to hold a follow-on Q&A event with more Hints and Tips for Orchestral Playing.

Amy (who many Cobweb players will know from her time as principal flute of Royal Northern Sinfonia) will endeavour to answer in detail your questions from the previous session, but also you can ask more as the session goes on.

To enrol, please click here

Instrument Clinics update:

The first Brass Instrument Clinic was held on Friday 15th January and we had a really enjoyable hour of chatting about all sorts of things to do with brass instruments (strengthening the embouchure, increasing breath capacity, finding accompanied brass music on the internet etc) and music in general.  It was lovely to see people I’ve known for many years, but not necessarily as a brass player, and people whom I’ve never met.  We intend to meet again on Zoom in mid-February.  If any other brass players are interested in joining the group please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and your thoughts on playing a brass instrument.

Lorna Wright
Event Coordinator, Cobweb Orchestra

Posted by Tracy Reed