Catherine Shackell

Cobweb Orchestra Scoops Gramophone Award

Thank you to everyone who voted for us in The Times Newspaper competition.   I am delighted to be able to announce that Cobwebs won and we now have a nice shiny Gramophone Award to keep our EPIC Award company.
Andy and I had a very glamourous trip to London curtesy of East Coast trainline, and complimentary tickets to the Gramophone Award ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel curtesy of Gramophone Magazine.
Thanks to Julie for sending out the following press release:

Local amateur orchestra scoops another national award

Members of the Cobweb Orchestra are celebrating the news that yet another prestigious organisation has seen fit to declare them as winners of a national award.
Gramophone magazine’s Music in the Community award for 2011, in collaboration with the Times, is another significant milestone in Cobweb’s development, from its tentative beginnings at Annfield Plain library in Co Durham in 1995 with 20 players, to today’s extended organisation with eight groups operating across the north of England, in Tebay and Dalston in Cumbria, and in York, Middlesbrough, Spennymoor, Consett, The Sage Gateshead and Morpeth in the North East, encompassing nearly 200 paid-up members and a further 1200 stakeholders across the region who keep up with the latest news and activities and join in when they can.
This award focuses on the way in which an orchestra benefits its local community, looking at the philosophy of inclusivity, the opportunities it provides and the enrichment and added value it offers. The Cobweb Orchestra, with its all-comers policy – no auditions and no-one is turned away, music is varied in style and level of difficulty, and there are bursaries to support members who may find it difficult to finance their playing – has as its over-arching aim the desire to enable as many people as possible to share and enjoy their love of music.
Andy Jackson, the Cobweb Orchestra’s creative director, who has been with the organisation since its inception, said: “This is a wonderful accolade for us. This is the second award we’ve received this year, also coming first in the innovation category of Voluntary Arts England’s Epic Awards, as well as runners up on the creativity category. We all gain a tremendous amount of fun from what we do, but it’s deeply satisfying when national recognition is given to the work we do here in the North. Audiences are constantly amazed by the quality of music we produce – the more experienced players seem to take the beginners along with them – and the camaraderie within the orchestra makes for a welcoming reception for anyone new. I’ve been involved with many musical groups throughout my life and I can honestly say I’ve never come across anything quite like this one. The Cobweb Orchestra is absolutely unique and this award is fantastic recognition of that.”
Andy received the award on behalf of the orchestra at a ceremony in the Dorchester on Thursday 6 October.
The Cobweb Orchestra always welcomes new players – for more information visit our website: or contact Administrator, Catherine Shackell tel: 01937 831 163 / email:

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General



22-09-2011 The Cobweb Orchestra in Rehearsal © David Holbrook

The Cobweb Orchestra are delighted to have discovered this week that they have been shortlisted for Gramophone Magazine’s Music in the Community Award.  This unique orchestra, which boasts a base of over 1000 amateur musicians across the North of England are among 5 finalists for the award which recognises an inspirational work in the voluntary music sector.  The winners will be decided by a public vote via subscription to The Times online which is open from Monday 26th September until midnight on Sunday 2nd October.
This is the third national award that The Cobweb Orchestra have been shortlisted for this year.  In January the orchestra were honoured by winning the Innovation Award and coming runners-up in the Creativity category at Voluntary Arts England’s inaugural Epic Awards.
“We’re delighted that the uniqueness of The Cobweb Orchestra has been recognised” said Artistic Director Andy Jackson.  “Our players are often lapsed musicians who have taken up their instruments again or adults who are new to an instrument. We have an atmosphere that is welcoming and we concentrate on the enjoyment of live music making”.
The Cobweb Orchestra has 8 regular groups meeting in Tebay and Dalston in Cumbria and in, Consett, Morpeth, Spennymoor, Middlesbrough, York and at The Sage Gateshead; with players from across the network joining together for a jam-packed programme of study days, workshops, performances, residential weekends and video-filming.
New members are always welcome – for more information go to or contact Catherine Shackell on 01937 831 163 /
Registered Charity no. 1118758

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

Cobwebs AGM: 19th June 2011

The AGM for 2011 will be held in Spennymoor at the St. Paul’s Centre on Sunday, 19th June at 3 p.m..
However the fun starts at 2p.m. and will conclude at 7p.m.. More details of the aforementioned fun will come your way.
All Cobwebbers are welcome, whether members or non-members. However only members can vote on resolutions.
As of last year postal votes and proxy votes can both count towards the quorate number and are valid for both resolutions and voting. If you wish to vote by post (or email), please email Howard Rocke or me with your decision. You will find details of a resolution on the agenda. If you wish to vote by proxy, could you let Howard Rocke or me know who your proxy is.
If you have any resolutions you wish to share in advance, please let me know.
Hope to see lots of you there.
Lesley Wearmouth
Trustee, Secretary & clarinet
E-mail addresses
Lesley Wearmouth: <>
Howard Rocke: <>

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

String Session: Sun, 29th May 2011

Sunday 29th May
2 – 6pm
Dipton Community Centre
Martin Wilkinson is leading a string session looking at various things including Holst, Warlock and Copeland.
The session will finish with the wind ensemble and Chris Griffiths joining the strings to play/conduct Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.1.  We’re hoping that, in true cobwebs fashion, there will be the most perfectly formed orchestra to play through this delightful work.
An edible (as opposed to monetary) contribution to a shared tea would be very helpful and sociable.
Please let Martin or Sue know if you are intending to come to this event so that we can sort music beforehand.
Sue Baker (
Martin Wilkinson (

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

07.05.2011 ~ SCHUBERT SYMPHONY 4

Saturday 7th May 2011

1:30pm – 7pm

Northern Rock Hall

The Sage Gateshead

In this Study Day, Stephanie Cant will guide players through Schubert’s Symphony No. 4.  Nicknamed the ‘Tragic’ after its sombre opening movement, the work alternates between tranquility and restless passion whilst moving towards a triumphant finale.  Participants are also invited to rehearse & perform this work along with Handel’s Water Music and Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto, the following day in Hall Two for free.
For more information & details on how to enrol for both events please visit our website:

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, Group: Sage Gateshead

Book Sculptures, Musicians & Photographs

Thank you to those of you who came along to Colunteer Northumbria’s Charity Auction in Gateshead a few weeks ago.  For those of you who couldn’t make it but were intrigued as to the nature of Yvette Hawkin’s book sculptures so here’s a glimpse of what you missed.
Follow this link to see Laura Pearman’s lovely images in this article on her photography blog:
You can find out more about Yvette Hawkins and her work on her website:

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

Come & Play Beethoven's 5th Tonight in York

The York Cobweb Orchestra invites you to join us for an evening playing

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

Tonight (Thursday 17th March)

7.30 – 9.30pm


New Earswick Methodist Church Hall

New Earswick, York, YO32 4AQ


£3.50 for members of The Cobweb Orchestra

£4.50 for non-members

FREE if it’s your first Cobweb experience


Please download and print off a part from:,_Op.67_(Beethoven,_Ludwig_van)


Everyone welcome, the only entry requirements are an enthusiasm for playing and a love of music (in this case Beethoven)

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

Beethoven 7 in Middlesbrough: Mon 28 March

Hi everyone,
Just a quick reminder that on Monday, 28th March, there will be the opportunity to join the Teesside group in having a go at Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. They will be meeting in the Middlesbrough Town Hall main auditorium 7.15pm-9.15pm.
Regular players, players from other groups and new players are all extremely welcome. It would be great to have a crowd to give the acoustics a good try-out before Easter Monday when we’ll be playing through all 9 Beethoven Symphonies in a Day.
Parking Info kindly sourced by Allyson (flute)
There’s a map of available parking in the area which you may find helpful.   There is another event planned in the adjacent building and a gig on at The Empire on Monday evening so you may find the attached map of car parks useful.
Just click on the link and it will appear: Middlesbrough Town Centre Parking Plan Feb 11

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

Ciao Cobwebisti

A Message from Andrew about the Tuscany Residential 21st – 28th August 2011

Ciao Cobwebisti
This is a chiming of the “Last Orders” bell to remind you that the deadline is approaching for the Tuscany trip at which we shall decide whether we have the right numbers to proceed with.  It is (I have to say) looking very encouraging but, if you are havering and hovering or even dithering, it may be a good idea to bring your thoughts to a resolution and let me know.  Do remember also that we can also have too much of a good thing as there is a physical limit to the size of the orchestra we take, due to the layout of the rehearsal space so, if you delay too long, the gangway may already have been hoisted!
I’m sure that there may be all sorts of questions you might have about the trip.  So don’t just ponder alone, ask away: drop me an e-mail, call me to discuss your worries, but please limit these to Tuscany issues; I don’t pretend to have the answers to teenager woes or dietary allergies.
Andrew Forsyth

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Residentials

Cobwebs Film

One of our violinists – Celeste, has been working at BBC Northeast for the last 2 weeks and has made a short film about us.
The Cobwebs film was shown during the local news bulletins during breakfast TV on BBC1, somewhere around 7.25am this morning, and will be repeated approx. 6.30pm this evening.  They usually repeat these features in each bulletin every half hour or so, so you might still be able to catch it if you missed it this morning.
It should also feature in the 30 minute “Look North” programme at 6.30pm.
All these times are approximate, particularly the evening showing, so don’t give up if it doesn’t come on straightaway. (And don’t miss Consett / York Cobwebs!)

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General