Last summer, while we were waiting to hear about our OOT project, we acquired a grant from the Community Foundation to run a traditional music and dialect project in Upper Coquetdale. Three local first schools, Rothbury, Thropton and Harbottle were keen to get involved and we appointed James Tait, local musician,
Rothbury resident, and writer of dialect poetry, to run the project. Over the summer James wrote an ambitious musical play for the children called The World of Lightness and since September he has been rehearsing with the children. The play, written in local dialect, tells the story of the Deugars of Northumberland, it is set deep in a mystical time.
The children have greatly enjoyed singing, and, in many cases learning how to speak their local dialect, which is fast dying out, and is the focus of our OOT project.
Harry, one of our volunteers, and a local ex BBC cameraman, Mike Todd, have been working on filming and arranging the technical side of the performances. Gillie, Jill and Barbara have also been involved in making costumes. Parents and local residents were invited to the performances by Harbottle and Thropton schools, while Rothbury school parents attended a special screening of the film being made as part of the project. The shows were performed to packed halls and were a great success. Everyone involved worked really hard, particularly the children. The film will be premiering later in Spring
We are very appreciative of support of The North East Endowment for Musical Traditions Fund at the Community Foundation for funding the Coquet Voices project