Durham Brass Festival 2005: Joining in with the fun of festival: Brass on the crest of a wave On Saturday 25 June, John Barron, a self-employed joiner from Durham will play his part in the third weekend of the internationally renowned Durham Brass Festival. He will be accompanying fellow band members of the Easington Colliery Brass Band when they play a concert at Crimdon Dene, Blackhall Rocks – along with the Fishburn Band. The afternoon open-air concert focuses on traditional brass band music associated with the communities of the County Durham coalfields. Both bands will be playing amongst the shrubs and leafy groves of Crimdon Dene, a part of the country etched with brass band tradition. The concert programme will have a maritime and riverside theme as part of the 2005 Alive Festival of the Rivers and Sea. The exciting performance also plays a major part in the third weekend of the fifth Durham Brass Festival. John Barron, 54, is a father of four sons from Newton Hall in Durham and he plays euphonium for Easington Colliery Brass Band. John has been a passionate member of the band since the age of nine years old and he’s had an affiliation with the brass band community as his father worked at Thornley Pit near Peterlee for over 45 years. John says: “Brass band playing is a part of life. It was a proud moment when I joined the Colliery Band because it was respected as one of the main traditions of the village. “When the collieries closed the people thought the brass bands had gone as well. We are hoping that Saturday’s concert will promote the local bands back into the community.” Saturday’s concert will have another significance for the Barron family, as the girlfriend of John’s son Gareth, is playing the cornet for the Fishburn Band. Jo Brown, 22, of Bowburn in County Durham is doing a Masters in European International Relations at Durham University. She has enjoyed playing the cornet for over 13 years and has been with the Fishburn Band for the last 12-months. Jo’s boyfriend Gareth is currently studying on a sports degree course at Staffordshire University and he used to play rugby for the Gateshead Thunder. In its 5th year the Durham Brass Festival is providing a diverse selection of music to meet the tastes of a wide variety of people. The Durham Brass Festival is a Durham Brass Initiative project. The Initiative looks to respond to the needs of professional and amateur musicians in a region known for its rich tradition of brass band playing and music making. Dave Clark, Arts Development Officer for District of Easington Council: “The Durham Brass Festival has always aspired to present as wide a range of brass music as possible. In 2005 the Festival has surpassed itself; at one extreme we have Omara Portuondo from Cuba, Abram Wilson from New Orleans and top British jazz stars Mark Nightingale and Steve Waterman. On the other, we have a selection of the best national and regional brass bands. “The Crimdon brass concert is at the latter extreme. It features two bands from former colliery villages, the heartland of the British brass band tradition. The concert will be played on an open–air site, which prior to package holidays provided mining families with their annual seaside holiday of choice. The holiday business changes; the brass band tradition lives on.” The Fishburn Band and Easington Colliery Brass Band concert at Crimdon Dene, Blackhall Rocks will commence at 14:00 on Saturday 25 June; ticket prices are £4 / concessions – £2.50 / family ticket of 2 adults and 2 children - £11 / party bookings are 10 for the price of 9. For further information please contact Peterlee Information Centre on (0191) 586 4450 and tickets are also available at all East Durham Housing Offices. Alternatively you can purchase your tickets on the day of the performance. The Durham Brass Festival runs through until Thursday 14 July for a full Durham Brass Festival line-up please visit www.brassfestival.co.uk or call (0191)301 8245. - ENDS - Media Contact: Garry Smith Strictly Press T: (0191) 2892809 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Additional Information: 1). Durham City Arts is the lead member of Durham Brass Initiative - the consortium comprises of: Durham City Arts, JazzAction, County Durham Cultural Services, Northern Regional Brass Band Trust, Durham City Council, Durham University Music School, Derwentside District Council, District of Easington Council, Chester le Street District Council and Sedgefield Borough Council. The arts consortium works to support and promote the playing and appreciation of brass music in the North East of England and beyond. 2). Durham City Arts is the arts development agency for the City of Durham. They initiate arts and cultural projects that reflect local priorities and aim to promote an understanding of, and involvement in, the arts through partnerships, planned activities and grant based schemes.