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400 Tiny Trumpeters go to the Sage

The Open Council can announce that 400 tiny trumpeters are taking to the stage at the Sage to trumpet the success of Newcastle’s Pocket Trumpet project.  

Mini-musicians from across the city will be blowing their own multi-coloured trumpets alongside performances on the instruments from professional brass bands at the Brass Blast Concert.

400 of the multi-coloured 24cm trumpets were presented to 20 city schools by the Newcastle Music Service in September 2007 as part of Newcastle City Council’s commitment to improving children’s opportunities to play music, particularly as a whole class.

The instruments play and sound exactly like normal-sized instruments, but are much easier for smaller fingers to master and give city children the chance to pick up a musical instrument for the first time.

Steve Halsey, head of the Newcastle Music Service said: “I thought Pocket Trumpets were just colourful toys until I actually played one. I quickly realised they sound just like the real thing, were fun to play and just the right sized for younger players.

"Armed with my red Pocket Trumpet and a slightly dodgy version of Blaydon Races I started taking them into schools and 1000 players later we seem to have created a major citywide brass initiative.

“The concert gives us a chance to celebrate the development of brass playing in Newcastle and to highlight the role the Pocket Trumpet has played in that. These children have only been playing the trumpets for less than a year but the nature of the instruments means that children make rapid progress and are already ready to perform at the Sage!”

The concert’s programme includes a massed-performance of the Bolero, as well as performances from the professional Fishburn Brass Band and top soloists.

The show also sees the world premiere of a trumpet concerto written by Steve Halsey, and performed by a Tom Rushton, a member of staff at the Newcastle Music Service.

A group of pupils from Melbourn Primary School near Royston, Hertfordshire, will also join the concert, having raised some of their transport costs for the trip by busking on their pocket trumpets at their recent school fete.

The instruments were introduced to the school by head teacher Mrs Bell-Cook, who used to work in Newcastle.