Cobweb News 27.2.19

We’re really looking forward to the Big Play this weekend; there’s around 80 players signed up – it’s going to be great. We can still accommodate more though, but please do let us know!


In this weeks Cobweb News:

Big Play TIMETABLE – this Saturday!
Cobweb Orchestra in Concert with Fenella Humphreys

Using the Cobweb Library: Idea No. 2, 3… & 4 

Big Play 2019 
Saturday 2nd March
Dipton Jubilee Centre, Front Street, Dipton, Co. Durham, DH9 9DR
Pay What You Think It’s Worth

There’s still just enough time to let us know you’re coming to our annual Big Play, a chance for all groups to come together and share repertoire on a common theme. There is an amazing range of repertoire on the theme of ‘Cities’.

Please see the timetable below:


Time               Group                                    Work(s)                                                                    

10.15              All                               *Rossini Overture “Barber of Seville”

10.30              Dalston                      *Mozart “Prague” Symphony and Gershwin “American in Paris”

11.15            COFFEE

11.30              Morpeth                     Dvorak “American Suite”

12.00              Billingham                 “Pirates of Plymouth”

12.30              Ludworth                   “New York, New York”

12.40              All                               Bernstein “West Side Story” selection

13.00              LUNCH

14.00              All                               Moze “Witches on a trip to Naples”

14.15              Tyneside                    Mussorgsky “Great Gate of Kiev”, Bizet Seville selection

14.45              Dipton                        *Haydn “London”

15.15              Tebay                         “A Foggy Day”, “Lullaby of Broadway”, “42nd Street”,

“I Love Paris”, “Arrivaderci Roma”, “Girl from Ipanema”

15.45              TEA

16.15              All                               Some places in Spain

16.45              York                            *Mozart “Linz”

17.15              Spennymoor             *Strauss “Tales from the Vienna Woods”

17.40              All                               Welsh/Deighan arr. Le Fol “Les Champs-Elysees”

There will be parts for all instruments there on the day, but not necessarily enough for everybody to have their own parts for all pieces. Please bring a music stand.

If you would like your own set of parts (and if you’d like to practise them beforehand), those marked with an asterisk* can be downloaded from the Petrucci website.

Fund-raising at the Big Play  New Music for Old!

A message from Ruth Tanner: “At this year’s Big Play we will be running a second hand book and music stall. We hope to raise a good sum to enable us to refresh the stock of music in the library, so please have a think about whatever books and  music you could bear to part with and bring it along. As there are around 80 people coming, just one or 2 from each person would make a great stall! It’s all for a good cause! Thank you.”

Any queries to Ruth at

There will be no advance payments needed; just bring along your pennies (and notes!). There will be buckets out and about all day, please help to support the orchestra by dropping in what you think the day was worth.

We’ll be enjoying a shared lunch, please feel free to contribute, adhering to the guidelines set out here: Food hygiene at Cobweb events

It’s really important you let us know you’re coming so we have enough music for you all.
If you’d like to enrol using the new online sign up system please click here
If you’d like to enrol using the paper form, please download one here

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in Concert with Fenella Humphreys
Sunday 24th March
St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College, Durham

We’re sure that everyone who took part in the study day on Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with Fenella Humphreys earlier this year will want to be part of the orchestra to perform it in front of an audience, and will tell everyone they know to be there too!

Rehearsal 10 am – 1 pm
Performance 2-3 pm (no interval)

Food: Bring your own.
Dress: Standard Cobweb Concert Dress: black bottoms, white top, waistcoat and/or neckwear
Parts: Available on the day, but also can be downloaded from Petrucci here
Accompanying repertoire be played by Cobweb Baroque Group, which will mean that the whole rehearsal period can be devoted to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

£17 Members
£20 Non Members
Students in full time education pay half the above prices

Payment can be made by cheque to the address below
5 Valeside, Throckley, Newcastle upon Tyne
or by BACs A/c: 65560297 Sort Code: 08-92-99 Payee ref: USHAW/your surname

A note to wind and brass players: Please don’t assume that there will be multiple players of your instrument signed up. If you want to play in the concert, just enrol. If there really are too many players for the space available, places will be filled on a “first come” basis.

If you’d like to enrol using the new online sign up system please click here
If you’d like to enrol using the paper form, please download one here

If you’d like to see more, on March 23rd, Fenella Humphreys is playing the Bruch concerto with York Symphony Orchestra, in Jack Lyons Hall, at York University, at 7.30pm – more info here

A couple of years ago, a short piece called “USING THE COBWEB LIBRARY: IDEA NO. 1 – EVERYONE CAN BE A SOLOIST”  resulted in a wonderful day of concertos.
USING THE COBWEB LIBRARY: IDEA NO. 2″ has also already happened. In 2017 Brian and Ruth Tanner and Kate Scott-Hughes organized a fund-raising quiz based specifically on works held in the Cobweb Orchestra Library.
Then, in Summer 2018, “IDEA NO. 3” came and went without announcement when our collection provided a vast and fascinating array of music for a successful conductors’ day.
Now it’s time to announce “IDEA NO. 4”, courtesy of Elizabeth Simms, who has suggested a study day devoted to orchestral solos that are NOT concertos.
Elizabeth writes this about ‘A Concerto within a Symphony’ : “It is to give anyone a chance to choose and play a solo within an orchestral piece.  To my mind it doesn’t need to be a symphony or overture but it could be an excerpt from ballet or opera….anything.  This may give some people the confidence they need to attempt something that puts them in the limelight but not in the same way as they would be when standing at the front playing a concerto.  Also, when there are lovely solos, players would like the chance to play them as solos.
A further thought to add to the ‘concerto within a symphony’ idea is that within a work many instruments are duetting and passing the melody around and developing it, e.g. Bizet’s symphony with the oboes and Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ with the cor anglais and oboe. The development of technique required to do this well is obvious, ie encouraging the 2nd  instrument to play down and it takes into account balance and tuning issues.”
There are probably many oboists who would love to try the Largo from Dvorak’s “New World”, violinists dying to tune up their instruments for the scordatura solo in Mahler’s 4th and horn players who’ve always wanted hog the limelight in the 2nd movement of Tchaikovsky’s 5th. You’ve probably all got your own favourites.
This could make for a great day’s playing for everyone, not just the soloists, so please let us know what you think of the idea and if you’d be interested in playing a “concerto within a symphony”. If there are enough takers, we’ll try to find a date, time and place which suits everyone.
Please contact Andy Jackson:

Posted by Tracy Reed