We made our annual pilgrimage to the Great North Big Band Festival in Sunderland on Saturday. Now in its 12th year this national event grows from strength to strength attracting Big Bands from far and wide for a great weekend of Big Band Music.
We set off with a blast through the Flintstones theme at breakneck speed before slowing the pace for our vocal number.
‘Its so Quiet’ Shhh! featuring our amazing Vocalist Barbara Hignett (no relation)
We were delighted to be awarded two special adjudicators awards, one for the best and most entertaining programme of music and a special award for our amazing Tenor Sax player Andrea Devere for her outstanding contribution to the bands performance and ‘Raunchy’ Solos. Adjudicators Awards and Andreas ‘Flintstones’ Solo
The judges praised the band for our general tightness and good dynamics despite being a ‘Big’ Big band
Short Stop a nice little swinger.
Our final number ‘Live and Let Die’ featuring Ben Heathcote (Trumpet) Kelly Rose (Alto), Andrea Devere (Tenor) Dan Shaw (Trombone)
Our winning streak continued when our very own Tromboner Nick won a lovely bottle of red wine in the raffle. Nick usually gets his wine delivered from his personal wine merchant, so is a bit of a wine buff. It did say ‘Smooth’ on the label, which is always a sign of quality, so well done Nick, Enjoy!
Here what ‘BeBop Spoken Here‘ had to say about the weekend .
MD Dave Hignett is a man big on talent (a top trumpet player) and big on enthusiasm. His Tyne Valley Big Band (all twenty five or twenty six, or not quite sure of the numbers) crowded the stage, someone fired a gun (metaphorically) and they sped off on several crazy laps of Theme from the Flintstones. You couldn’t help but smile. The show-stopping Barbara Hignett (vocals) stopped the show and, literally, silenced the crowd, finger to lips ‘Shhhh’ as she hushed It’s Oh So Quiet. Then, bang!!! What a showgirl! A dynamic Live and Let Die (Andrea DeVere, tenor saxophone), Tyne Valley Big Band-style. A community band to be proud of.
The adjudicators – Paul Jones and Mick Donnelly – deliberated. Heads together, their comments committed to paper, the bands (all nine of them) joined the audience to hear the results (including four additional Adjudicators’ Awards). Festival Director Bill Watson invited Professor Gary Holmes, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Sunderland University, to present the awards:
Adjudicators’ Award: Andrea DeVere (tenor saxophone) Tyne Valley Big Band
Most Entertaining Programme: Tyne Valley Big Band
The Youth Section attracted ten bands. The Tyne Valley Youth Big Band, buoyed by the success of the senior band in yesterday’s Open Section event, performed with verve. Birdland and the Youngblood Brass Band’s Brooklyn bookended a great set.MD Dave Hignett has really got the Tyne Valley buzzing with talented musicians beating a path to the band’s Hexham rehearsal base.