I was invited to attend the launch of Northern Chords at the Gateshead Hilton last night. It's the second year of the chamber music festival organised by three remarkable young men, all of them still university students. The festival is the brainchild of Jonathan Bloxham who is the Artistic Director. Jonathan is studying the cello at the Guildhall School of Music and appears in all four concerts over the course of this coming weekend.
Chris Stokel-Walker does the publicity including the fabulous festival brochure. Chris is studying English at Newcastle University and has a great way with words. I am very grateful to him for his occassional blogs about Children North East.
The third member of the team is Tom Rowley who is studying at Oxford University and tireless promoter and organiser of the whole festival. All three are former pupils of Newcastle Grammar School. The festival supports Children North East because Carol Taylor our Senior Fundraiser inspired them during her talks at the school about the charity's history.
Last year's festival was the first, an experimental showcase for good chamber music, this year the concept has been extended to include a competition for talented young musicians in schools across Tyneside. The final 10 will compete in a special concert at Newcastle University on Saturday lunchtime and the finalist will appear in the last concert of the festival in the Sage on Sunday evening.
It is fantastic to have a showcase for young musical talent here in the North East. It will be an aspiration and may even set some musicians on a great career. Having met the three fantastic young men behind the festival I have no doubt that we will all be hearing a great deal more of each one of them in the future.