It didn't rain at Brougham Midsummer Prom

Sunday 23rd June 2013 saw a small but perfectly formed Cobweb Orchestra performing in the marquee on the grass stage in the magnificent grounds of Brougham Hall. Despite the poor weather forecast it stayed dry if somewhat windy and chilly. We played a huge programme – 19 pieces (or parts of works) in total – including the usual prom pieces, Jeruslaem, Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia with the wonderful Mary Hitch singing. It was a great evening with an appreciative audience who insisted on an encore. Out came another typical prom piece, the Radetsky March, which rounded off the evening in fine style.

Posted by Sue Baker in Events, General

Concert in Hall 2, The Sage Gateshead – 10th February 2013

Mozart Overture to “The Magic Flute”
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor
Dvorak Symphony No. 7 in D minor
Soloist Emily Murray
Conductor Andy Jackson
What a thrilling afternoon and eve the Cobweb Orchestra had last Saturday.
We had a 4 hour rehearsal in the afternoon and then gave a concert in the evening. Hall 2 at The Sage Gateshead is a special place to play in with it’s super acoustics and I know that some members of the orchestra chose to do this event just so they could experience playing in the hall.
Emily, our soloist played the Chopin magnificently both in the rehearsal and the concert. It has been a real pleasure for us to work with such a talented pianist.
Andy was as patient as ever as he guided us through the rehearsal and the concert. There aren’t many people who could conduct an orchestra that had never played together before and produce a concert to the high standard that we achieved that evening.
We had an appreciative audience of approx. 90 people, of which 14 were friends of one of our violinists! Which violinist was that I wonder!
All in all it was an amazing achievement for the Cobweb Orchestra and one that will remain in players’ memories for a long time to come. There were some very tired but happy people who left The Sage that evening.

Posted by Sue Baker in Events, General

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring – 1st Study Day

Sunday 21st October saw an orchestra of 54 players gather at Dipton Community Centre for the Cobwebs 1st study day on Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’.
We had an amazing day and achieved far more than any of us ever imagined. Andy’s thorough preparation of the score beforehand meant that we were cleverly and successfully guided through what is probably the most difficult work many of us have tackled.
(Quote from a player “Andy gave a master class in teaching that day; he was truly brilliant.”)
We didn’t start at the beginning and work our way through to the end; instead we started with the easier bits and slowly moved on to the more difficult bits. In no time at all we’d actually played the whole work albeit in a mixed up order.
At the end of the day we did play the whole piece and it really did sound like ‘The Rite of Spring’ that Stravinsky had written!
Roll on the 2nd study day (Saturday 19th January 2013 at Darlington) – I for one can’t wait to have another go.

Posted by admin in Events

Cobwebs perform at Beamish Museum Paralympic Event

On Friday 24th August 2012, The Cobweb orchestra performed on the bandstand in The Town of Beamish Museum. This event was to celebrate the arrival of a splinter of the English Flame, brought from Trafalgar Square in London, before being combined into the Paralympic conductor
The orchestra was conducted by guest conductor Clarence Adoo. Clarence is a paraplegic musician who has worked with The Cobweb Orchestra for many years. He conducts either with a baton attached to a head torch harness or with his head alone.
The orchestra played a wide variety of pieces including a new commission from Andy Jackson, written specially for the occasion, aptly called ‘Paraflame’.

Posted by admin in Events, General

Cobwebs Perform For The Queen!

On Wednesday 18 July 2012, The Cobweb Orchestra performed for the opening of a new section of the Tees Barrage in Stockton by the Her Majesty The Queen as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the United Kingdom.
Andy Jackson’s ‘White Water Music’ for wind, brass and percussion was specially commissioned to celebrate the opening.
The orchestra was introduced enthusiastically to the large crowd by ‘It’s a knockout’ host Stuart Hall, who asked about the origins of the orchestra and the average age of the players!
The Queen and Prince Philip spoke with members of the orchestra afterwards.
The following three photographs are reproduced by kind permission of Stockton Council.
The multi-award winning Cobweb Orchestra performed a specially written piece for Her Majesty The Queen
The Cobweb Orchestra performed a specially written piece for Her Majesty The Queen.
The multi-award winning Cobweb Orchestra performed a specially written piece for Her Majesty The Queen
Neil Schneider, Chief Executive of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council introduces Her Majesty The Queen to members of the multi-award winning Cobweb Orchestra
Neil Schneider, Chief Executive of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council introduces Her Majesty The Queen to members of the Cobweb Orchestra.

Posted by admin in Events, 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

Handel's Water Music 26.02.2011


Saturday, 26 th February 2011

11am – 4pm

St. James Community Centre
Well Way, Morpeth, NE61 1BN
On 17 July 1717, King George I & a large gathering of the English nobility boarded open barges at Whitehall & sailed up the River Thames to take their supper at Chelsea.
On 19 th July 1717, The Daily Courante reported that one of the river barges “was employ’d for the Musick, wherein were 50 instruments of all sorts who play’d… the finest Symphonies, compos’d express for this Occasion, by Mr Hendel: which his Majesty liked so well, that he caus’d it to be plaid over 3 times in going & returning.”
On Saturday 26 th February 2011 The Award Winning Cobweb Orchestra are holding a Come & Play Day wherein Peter Wood will lead ‘instruments of all sorts’ in exploring this same Music. Friends & family are invited to listen as we play through the work at 3pm.
For full details and enrolment forms please follow this link to our website:

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events

Dvorak "New World Symphony" 19.02.2011

Saturday, 19th February 2011
11am – 4pm

Catherine Shackell will be directing this study day playing Dvorak’s dramatic, lyrical and exhilarating Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. Drawing inspiration from African American spirituals and Native Indian folk music, Dvorak paints a colourful and beautifully evocative picture of America towards the end of the 19th century in his attempt to crystalise American-ness in music.
Music & Parts
Parts can be downloaded in advance from the Petrucci website:,_Op.95_(Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k,_Anton%C3%ADn)
Additional transpositions are available from
Clarinets: Bb transpositions are available but you may prefer to try and get your hands on an A clarinet for this one.
For full details and enrolment forms please follow this link to our website:

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, General, Group: York

Orchestra & Piano Concert 12.02.2011

Saturday, 12th February 2011
Orchestra & Piano Concert with Venera Bojkova’s Piano Pupils
Gateshead Old Town Hall

West Street, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 1HE
Rehearsal: 2 – 6pm Concert: 7:30pm
Andy Jackson will be conducting this concert of Mozart & Haydn in this lovely venue, which it is high time we made a public appearance in. The orchestra will be accompanying Venera Bojkova’s talented young students as they tackle a selection of movements from piano concertos by Mozart and Haydn, as well as performing a couple of Mozart overtures and some excerpts from our own (full orchestra) version of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The concert will also include Mozart’s Serenade for 8 wind instruments in C minor, which a small wind group of our players have been specially preparing for the occasion.
*Movements from Mozart Piano Concertos K 467 and K415 both in C major
Mozart Overtures from *“The Impressario” and *“The Marriage of Figaro”
Extracts from Mozart “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” (our own version for full orchestra)
Haydn Piano Concerto in D major (1st movement)
Concert Dress Code
Black and white / long black with the Cobweb trademark snazzy waistcoat / neckwear
Music & Parts
Parts will be available on the day. If you would like to look at the music beforehand, those marked * in the programme above, can be downloaded from the Petrucci website
To save you printing up lots that you may not use, remember that none of the concerti are being played in their entirety, and that we will be using our own version of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik which will be different from any you might find on the internet.
For full details and enrolment forms please follow this link to our website:

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events, General, Group: Sage Gateshead

American Music Day 05.02.2011

Saturday 5th February
American Music Day
Northern Rock Foundation Hall in The Sage, Gateshead

1:30 – 7pm (with a free informal presentation for family and friends at 6pm)
Join Noel Bertram for one of our Sage Events, playing some of the most exciting and uplifting music in the orchestral repertoire; from the jazz influenced “American in Paris” by Gershwin to the latin rhythms of Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and the folk melody of Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”. The day will conclude with a free informal presentation open to family and friends.
Tickets are priced at:
£26.80 (concessions available) /
£20.45 for members of The Cobweb Orchestra.
To enrol please contact The Sage Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661.

Posted by Catherine Shackell in Events