The big Sage beckons for music group

Big Sky
Big Sky

There’s excitement in the air in Hartlepool.

Nerve-tingling stuff, especially for the group of musicians who are rehearsing for their performance at The Sage in Gateshead on Friday.

All nine of them are adults with learning difficulties and they may well be playing to a packed house.

But that should hold no problems to the group called Big Sky Arts who have been working with professional musicians Kev Howard and Mike Turnbull.

They have already created their first CD but this will be the first time they have played together in such a prestigious venue.

Over a number of weeks, the group have been creating new music using drums, percussion and voice, and then developing the work they created for the CD to perform live as part of the Music Spark Show.

The show will last for two hours from 7pm with the Hartlepool contingency enjoying a 20-minute slot.

The skills have been honed thanks to their training backed by Jason Hunt, Hartlepool Child and Adult Services and Roaring Mouse CIC.

Big Sky Arts is a Tees Valley Arts project and education officer Jane Gray said: “The group have achieved a great deal throughout this project – and are producing some fantastic music.

“It’s been great to see the personal development and individual stories, and especially noticeable is the increase in confidence that this project has brought.

“We’re all extremely proud of their achievements and can’t wait to see them on stage.”

The project has been funded by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales and the Hartlepool Learning Disability Development Fund.

Tees Valley Arts works with a wide range of partners to develop high-quality arts-based projects.

Jane added: “The group are really excited about playing at The Sage and a few of them are nervous but they are absolutely ready for it.

“They will perform three numbers and all of them are instrumental.

“We started this scheme in November last year and they meet once a week in partnership with Roaring Mouse.”

Tickets for Friday’s show are available to buy on the website www.thesagegateshead.org or call the box office on (0191) 443 4661.