Northumberland Miners’ Picnic

Brass bands perform together for the first time at the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic

A collection of 300 players from four brass bands across South East Northumberland will perform together for the first time at the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic at Woodhorn on Saturday 11 June, 2016. Their performance called Reflection Connection is a new piece of music which has been created in partnership with Ashington Colliery Band, Bedlington Brass Band, Ellington Colliery Band, Jayess Newbiggin Brass Band, Music Partnership North – Northumberland, composer Lucy Pankhurst, Woodhorn Museum and Sage Gateshead. It has been co-commissioned by Woodhorn Charitable Trust through the bait programme. The Miners’ Picnic performance is the culmination of a project which started in 2014, when the bands travelled to Peterborough to take part in a masterclass with renowned Austrian band, Mnozil Brass. Inspired by Mnozil Brass, the bands wanted to create new music together and have worked with bait to commission composer Lucy Pankhurst to develop their ideas. Their performance is not only inspired by the sounds of Mnozil Brass, but by their lively and energetic performance style, which will see the bands move throughout the Woodhorn site. As well as premiering Reflection Connection, the bands will share their passion for brass through digital stories they produced with Curiosity Creative and new artwork based on colliery banners which they created with artist Claire Armstrong. The project and performance involves hundreds of local people, including children who are learning brass through Music Partnership North – Northumberland.  Fiona Johnston from Music Partnership North- Northumberland explains, "Nearly 200 children representing 15 schools from across Bedlington and Ashington will perform at the Miners’ Picnic. This event will give students the opportunity to perform in a large scale orchestrated performance and to play alongside well established local Brass Bands." It’ll be a busy weekend for the brass players as following their performance at Woodhorn they will go on to Sage Gateshead to perform a curtain raiser to Mnozil Brass’ show, Yes! Yes! Yes! on Sunday 12 June.  Chris Ord from Jayess Newbiggin Band said, "Mnozil Brass are the best in the world at what they do, and Lucy Pankhurst is a hugely respected and talented composer. Working in partnership with them and other bands on a new commission and then performing at Woodhorn and the Sage is a once in a lifetime opportunity." Reflection Connection will be performed at the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic at Woodhorn Museum, Ashington on Saturday 11 June at 3pm on the bandstand stage. Picnic Leaflet