Sage Gateshead is using the Festival to make a major statement about new music, and its importance. In a region where audience engagement with new music is historically always low, we believe the CoMA format provides a unique opportunity for a different kind of engagement. At the heart of the weekend will be a performance by Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Hugh Brunt, of MacMillan’s St Luke Passion. Forming an integral part of the Bach strand next season this major work will feature the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia and Quay Voices in addition to the orchestra, providing a key opportunity for amateur singers to engage with the music of our time. Around this centrepiece we are devising a series of workshop, concourse performances and come-and-play sessions, in four strands: instrumental, vocal, composition, and electronic, working with CoMA material and using established new music leaders, such as James Weeks and Hugh Brunt. These are aimed at amateur and young musicians from across the region whom we will actively engage through existing amateur and youth groups and ensembles. There will also be a newly commissioned fanfare from James Weeks, joining amateur and professional performers.


CoMA North East, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Sage Gateshead.