The final Wansbeck Music Festival took place last week (26-31 March).
The Festival commenced in 1906 under the leadership of Lt. Colonel William Orde of Nunnykirk. It was first named ‘Wansbeck Musical Competitions’ comprising of choirs and then recorders. By 1955 it had became a 4 day event known as the ‘Wansbeck Music Festival’ encompassing a wide range of musical styles and genres. The Festival has taken place at a number of locations across the Wansbeck area over the past 113 years.
In those years there have been many thousands of participants.The Festival has provided a platform for the young people of the area to present their musical skills and to receive helpful guidance and advice from expert adjudicators. Many went on to make celebrated musical careers for themselves.
The final Wansbeck Music Festival took place last week and again provided an opportunity to witness the musical talent of the area. Ashington Town Council has supported the event in recent years with some notable young musicians coming from the town. A number have went on to participate in the annual European Summer Youth Music event in Surrey with support from Ashington and Morpeth Town Council's.
Mrs Hazel Gowdy, Chair of the organisation, said ‘The greatest legacy is that we have nurtured and showcased the excellent musical talent from the Wansbeck area. We are indebted to Ashington Town Council as well as Newbiggin by the Sea and Morpeth Town Council’s for their wonderful support over the years and to our many patrons and sponsors. Who knows what the future holds, a new festival may emerge to carry on the spirit of Wansbeck Music Festival’.
In the photograph is the Mayor of Morpeth, Cllr. Jack Gebhard, Elin Devine Douglas (Winner of Jeannie Maddison Trophy (strings)), Florence Mills (Winner of the Peggy Bell & Audrey Stimpson Shield & Bursary (piano)) and the Civic Head of Ashington, Cllr. Marjorie Chambers.