Review: BBC Proms Sage Gateshead Folk Connection

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I have never been to a BBC Proms concert before, so when I booked my tickets to see BBC Proms at Sage Gateshead I had no idea what to expect. It was the first time that the BBC Proms had been held here in Gateshead and Folk Connection was there to celebrate the relationship between folk and classic music.

Which was done through performances by folk group Spell Songs, the brand new North East choir Voices of the River’s Edges and Sage Gateshead’s very own Royal Northern Sinfonia all under Principal Conductor Dinis Sousa.

First in the programme was Shaker Loops by John Adams and this was my first audio enlightenment. Shaker with its resonance of quaking sound was full of shapes and rhythm all being created by music. I found myself transfixed by the beautiful sound, I appeared to have forgotten what I was doing at that moment. All I knew was I fixated on the music and was basking in that piece of music.

The new community choir , Voices of the River’s Edge by Sage Gateshead made up by 100 young people from NorthEast made me feel lighter and I experienced this serene stillness from their voices. They performed four songs inspired by The Lost Words and The Lost Spells alongside Jim Molyneux, Karine Polwart and Rachel Newton from folk band Spell Songs. I particularly enjoyed Thrift (Dig in, dig in) which is about a sturdy coastal flower and Little Astronaut, which is a song about the skylark.

Those songs made me think about the North East and the beautiful environment that we are lucky to have and how we should appreciate it more. I am very proud to be from the North East but more so now, thanks to the song The Water of Tyne that was performed by Jayne Dent alongside Spell Songs and the Voices of the River’s Edge. Especially thinking of where we were located, Sage Gateshead along the beautiful Quayside and the ever flowing River Tyne as the lyrics go “And you for your trouble rewarded shall be, to ferry me over The Tyne to my honey, or speed him across the rough river to me”

In the second part of the programme saw Dvoark Symphony No.9 in E minor, Op. 95 From the New World. Classical musicians and regular audiences will recognise the symphony but I am new to this. I felt very honoured to be listening to this piece of music, it was dramatic and powerful

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