Catherine Shackell

#47 Behind The Scenes: The Sedbergh Residential

From Newsletter 47
By Liz Carlile

So what goes on behind the scenes – behind my scalded cat imitation (I wish it were something more calm and lovely…)?

Well, here are a few of the things;
Talk to Andy about the programme
Talk to Margy (at Sedbergh) about accommodation
Talk to Sheila about publicity and coffee breaks
Talk to Ruth about numbers of players and parts
Talk to nervous people coming to Sedbergh for the first time to give them confidence
Talk to people who’ve been many times and ask them to complete a form
Talk to people who might be coming but haven’t told me yet and ask them to complete a form
And what might make me into the calm and lovely something-or –other?
Everyone’s form sent back at least a fortnight before the residentional and all cheques sent at least a week before.
It used to be easy to do things ‘in your head’ but we are a big organisation now and we have to be more formal.

So I look forward to receiving your forms and cheques and seeing you at Sedbergh – calm and quiet.
And just in case you wondered… I like doing it!

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, General, Newsletters

#47 Cobweb Orchestra Instrument Bank

From Newsletter 47
By Andrew Forsyth

This is one of the happier banking stories of recent years and involves the growing bank of instruments that the Orchestra has acquired over recent years and that are available, completely free of charge, lien or interest, to our widening community of players.
Our wish is that these should be available to anyone who fancies trying a new instrument or wants to re-kindle lost skills in that inimitable Cobweb fashion and so please do make use of the service and ask to borrow anything of interest.
One very important key in the operation of the instrument bank is that, when you have finished with an instrument – for whatever reason – please do send it back into the system so that others may use this brilliant facility. Some instruments like the oboe, horns and double-bass are in constant demand and so regular turnover is very important to us. It probably won’t take too long to determine an instrument is going to work for you and if you ought to be finding one of your own and, at that stage, consider sending it back “home”.
Andrew Forsyth is custodian of this huge body of instruments, but keeping track of them is not easy, particularly when they are passed from one player to another without a trip “home” first.
So, having now acquainted you all with the existence, scope and purpose of the Instrument Bank, the other purpose of this little ditty is to announce an International Instrument Amnesty from midnight tonight (whenever you read this)! If you are currently nurturing one of our instruments, either telephone Andrew on 015396 23644 or e-mail him at and let him know which instrument you have and perhaps even your plans for your future life together. Is the partnership harmonious or would you like to arrange a trial separation and return said instrument back to sender?
Return of instruments has proved to be pretty easy – someone in your rehearsal group is bound to be meeting another group’s member who will meet Andrew before long and so it can be passed back like this. Don’t waste precious time or fuel on making a dedicated trip to Cumbria unless you are also in the market to buy one of Andrew’s many trees, in which case he’ll be extra-pleased to see you.

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, General, Newsletters

#47 GROUP DATES Spring 2011

Here are the dates & details for each of our regular groups. Generally we follow school term dates which do vary between across the region so if your local group isn’t meeting one week feel free to pay a visit to another group which is.

Thursdays, 7.15—9.15pm – WEEKLY
St. Patrick’s Church Hall, Consett DH8 5LB
For more information contact Andy Jackson / 01388 602 436

First Session: Thursday 6th January 2011
Half Term: Thursday 24th February
Last Session: Thursday 14th April

Mondays 7.30—9.30pm – WEEKLY
Dalston Victory Hall, Dalston, Carlisle CA5 7QB
For more information contact Peter Wood / 01228 562 341

First Session: Monday 10th January 2011
Half Term: Monday 21st February
Last Session: Monday 4th April

Wednesdays 1—3pm – WEEKLY
The Sage Gateshead
For more information contact Andy Jackson / 01388 602 436

First Session: Wednesday 12th January 2011
Half Term: Wednesday 23rd February
Last Session: Wednesday 6th April

Tuesdays, 7.30—9.30pm – WEEKLY
St James Community Centre, Well Way, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 1BN
For more information contact Lizelle Kirby

First Session: Tuesday 11th January 2011
Half Term: Tuesday 22nd February
Last Session: Tuesday 29th March

Wednesdays 8—10pm – WEEKLY
St Paul’s Community Centre, Spennymoor DL16 7LR
For more information contact Greg Pullen / 01388 811 005

First Session: Wednesday 2nd February 2011
Last Session: Wednesday 13th April

Why not join Greg & the Spennymoor group for their Half Term Special on Wednesday 23rd February.

Tuesdays, 7.30—9.30pm – WEEKLY
Tebay Methodist Church Hall, Tebay, Pentrith CA10 3XG
For more information contact Noel Bertram / 07711 537 131

First Session: Tuesday 11th January 2011
Half Term: Tuesday 22nd February
Last Session: Tuesday 29th March

Mondays, 7.15—9.15 – FORTNIGHTLY
Please note the new earlier start time.
Middlesbrough Town Hall – Crypt, Middlesbrough TS1 1EL
For more information contact Clare Carr (nee Barker) / 07870 403 486

Mondays 17th & 31st January 2011
Mondays 14th & 28th February
Mondays 14th & 28th March

Thursdays, 7.30—9.30pm – WEEKLY
New Earswick Methodist Church Hall, New Earswick, York YO32 4AQ
For more information contact Catherine Shackell / 01937 831 163

First Session: Thursday 13th January 2011
Half Term: Thursday 24th February
Last Session: Thursday 7th April

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, General, Group: Consett, Group: Morpeth, Group: Sage Gateshead, Group: Spennymoor, Group: Teesside, Group: York, Groups, Newsletters

#47 EVENTS DIARY Jan-Apr 2011 and beyond…

from Newsletter 47


Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th January
Ensembles Weekend
Arranged by players for players
Ensembles Timetable 15-16 Jan 2011

Monday, 31st January
EPIC Award ceremony in the House of Lords
Details and exact happenings TBC


Saturday 5th February
SAGE DAY: American Music Day
Time: 1:30 – 7pm
Venue: Northern Rock Hall, The Sage Gateshead

Saturday 12th February
Concert with Venera Bojkova’s piano pupils
Time: 2 – 6pm
Venue: Gateshead Old Town Hall

Saturday 19th February
New World Symphony Study Day
Time: morning & afternoon TBC
Venue: Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, Uni of York

Saturday 26th February
Handel’s Water Music Study Day
Time: 11am – 4pm
Venue: St. James Community Centre, Morpeth

MARCH 2011

Saturday, 5th March
Sibelius 3rd Symphony Study Day
Time: 11:00 – 4:00
Venue: Dalston Victory Hall, Dalston

Saturday 19th March
Poulenc’s Gloria rehearsal for concert on 26th
Time: TBC
Venue: St. Mary’s RC Cathedral, Newcastle

Saturday, 26th March – N.B. Date change
Concert: Poulenc’s ‘Gloria’ with the Silver Breves
Time: TBC
Venue: St. Mary’s RC Cathedral, Newcastle

APRIL 2011
4pm Friday 8th – 4pm Sunday 10th April
Sedbergh 2011 Pre Booking Form
For more information & to book your place contact Liz Carlile

Easter Monday, 25th April
All Beethoven (Symphonies) In A Day
Time: Start playing at 11am – One an hour until we finish
Venue: Middlesbrough Town Hall

MAY 2011

Saturday, 7th May
SAGE DAY: Watch this space for more details…
Time: TBC
Venue: The Sage Gateshead

Sunday, 8th May
Concert: Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Evgenia Startseva
Time: 2pm – 10pm
Exact timetable TBC
Venue: Hall 2, The Sage Gateshead

Saturday 14th May
Ravenstonedale Proms

Saturday 21st / Sunday 22nd May
Ensembles Weekend
Arranged by players for players

Saturday, 28th May
Concert in York
Time: TBC
Venue: The Mount School, York

21st-28th August 2011
Tuscany 2011 brochure
Il Grande Prato August 2011 Booking Form
For more information & to book your place contact Andrew Forsyth

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, Newsletters

#47 LISTEN TO THIS Concerts Spring 2011

from Newsletter 47
The Cobweb Orchestra Concerts Diary

Here are some concerts you might like to attend to support the orchestra.  Those marked * are open to all players, the others are kindly organized by pre-formed groups to help keep the Cobwebs coffers healthy.  Times given are the start times of the performances.  Players, please see event details for rehearsal schedules.

Saturday, 12th February 2011
Venera Bojkova’s piano pupils in concert with The Cobweb Orchestra *
Time: TBC
Venue: Gateshead Old Town Hall

Saturday, 12th March 2011
Cobwebs Baroque Ensemble
Time: TBC
Venue: Elvet Methodist Church, Durham City

Saturday, 26th March 2011 NB This is not the same date as previously advertised
The Cobweb Orchestra and the ‘Silver Breves’ perform Poulenc’s ‘Gloria’ *
Time: TBC
Venue: St. Mary’s RC Cathedral, Newcastle

Monday, 25th April 2011 (Yes, that really is Easter Monday)
All Beethoven (symphonies) In A Day*
Start Time: 11am, playing one an hour until we finish
Venue: Middlesbrough Town Hall

Sunday, 8th May 2011
Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Evgenia Startseva*
Time: TBC
Venue: Hall 2, The Sage Gateshead

Saturday, 14th May 2011
Ravenstonedale Proms*
Time: TBC
Venue: TBC

Saturday, 28th May 2011
The Cobweb Orchestra* & The Cobwebs Baroque Ensemble
Time: TBC
Venue: The Mount School, York

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, Newsletters

A Big Thanks to Durham County Council

We would like to thank Durham County Council for their continued support and especial thanks to Durham County Library for their kindness in helping us source music scores and parts from all sorts of peculiar places.

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

Baroque Group Cancelled Tues 7th Dec

A message from Toby to the baroque group:
Dear all
The weather is still not good for the next two days so unfortunately we will have to cancel the baroque group for a second week. There is a thaw forecasty for the end of the week, so we should be able to meet up on the Tuesday 14th December (7 – 9pm) at St. Giles Church Hall in Gilesgate, Durham.

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

We are Officially 'The Most Innovative Voluntary Arts Organisation in the Country'

Earlier this month The Cobweb Orchestra won the innovation category of the Epic Awards.  In fact we were the only musical group to be shortlisted for any of the awards.  And we were runners up in the Creativity category.  Not bad going really…  Thank you to everyone who took part in our Undercover Orchestra in Nexus Bus Station in Newcastle and a bit thank you to Elizabeth & Joan for all their hard work in putting together the application for us.
Here’s the press release sent out by Voluntary Arts England:


Voluntary Arts England is pleased to announce the winners of the first ever epic awards, designed to recognise the excellent work taking place within the 50,000 voluntary and amateur art and craft groups around the country.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, the organisation who funded the scheme:
“We were delighted by the quality and breadth of the entries to the epic awards which showcased voluntary and amateur arts at their very best. The winning groups demonstrated the vibrancy of the sector and its ability to enrich local communities by engaging people in high quality artistic activity.”
The Innovation award was won by the Cobweb Orchestra for their “Undercover Orchestra ‘Bolero’”: a flash mob rendition of Ravel’s Bolero at Newcastle’s Haymarket bus station. They used film and audio to capture the event, which was viewed more than 30,000 times in the first week on YouTube.
Milton Keynes Islamic Arts Heritage and Culture Organisation scooped the Partnership award with their Islamic Art Banner – a project that enabled local students to explore Islamic culture through Contemporary and Traditional Art. The organisation was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to build bridges between communities.
“Story of London” was produced by Apsara Arts and won them the Engagement award. This project brought generations together as young people researched the history of Asians in London and produced a fashion show, oral history with elders and a short film.
UC Crew impressed the judges with their Smoking Project and won the Creativity award. They worked with the NHS to create a programme of break dance and anti smoking initiatives, culminating in a large break dancing event on No Smoking Day.
The winners will receive a package of benefits including cash, training, equipment and publicity. They are also invited to a winners’ reception at the House of Lords on 31st January 2011.

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

Trans-Atlantic Recognition

Our spontaneous greatness seems to have been noticed on the other side of the pond.

This time we seem to have made an appearance in a Californian article on spontaneous music making in the community for our performance of Ravel’s Bolero in the Nexus bus station in Eldon Square, Newcastle.  Well done to everyone who took part for getting us Trans-Atlantic recognition.
In a similar vein you might also find this article on the npr music blog ‘Deceptive Cadence’ interesting:
Happy reading for these chilly days

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General

York Cobwebs Cancelled – 2nd Dec 2010

Dear York Cobwebbers,
The York Cobwebs group is cancelled this evening (2nd December) due to ermmm…. well…. I’ll leave that to your fine deductive skills.
Fingers crossed we’re back on next week (9th) and the following week (16th) which will be the last session before Christmas and thus our mince pie special.
In the meantime, a few people have asked me for a list of some of the bigger works we’ve played in the York group over the past couple of years so they can listen and reminisce. This seems like the perfect opportunity, so here we go in no particular order. Happy listening!
Mozart “Haffner” Symphony 35
Schubert Symphony 5
Boyce (Symphony 2 I think)
Mozart “Impressario” Overture
Handel’s Water Music
Haydn “Clock” Symphony 101
Purcell Abdelazer Suite
Beethoven Symphony 2
Haydn Symphony 93 – first of the London Symphonies
Beethoven Symphony 1
Warlock Capriol Suite
Elgar Minuet for small orchestra (not exactly a big work, but it is lovely)
Warmest wishes & hope to see you next week

Posted by Catherine Shackell in General, Group: York