Alwinton Summer Concerts @ Wooler Arts 2021


After a year in which Covid has devastated our lives, and as we look forward to the return of some kind of normality, we need the joy of live music and music-making more than ever. It was inevitable that our planned season of 2020 concerts would have to be cancelled and initially I tried to re-book as many artists as possible for 2021. It soon became clear that the uncertainties surrounding Covid not only meant that we would have to postpone concerts until later in the year, but that safe distancing in Alwinton Church was not possible.

We had a number of options: cancel the series altogether, cancel the 2021 concerts, or consider moving the concerts to a much larger venue. Musicians certainly need to work and to play to live audiences, so cancelling was soon dismissed as an option. Live-streaming has been a valuable bonus for some artists during lockdown, but we now need to make every effort to get back to live music in a relatively safe environment.

St Mary’s Church in Wooler provides such a location. While it does not have the historic charm or situation of Alwinton, it has other qualities: it is a large, open space with a good acoustic; it will allow audiences to feel safe if physical distancing is still necessary; and it doesn’t have the sightline problems of Alwinton. It is located in a town that offers hospitality, facilities and accommodation, and it is as easy, or even easier, to get to than driving to Alwinton. And, for those wanting to combine their love of culture and outdoor activities, the foothills of the Cheviots are but a walk away. This move coincides with the creation this year of a new initiative – Wooler Arts – and I am very pleased to be able to collaborate with this new organization to make this happen.

We have had to put back our normal May and June dates because of Covid, and our four concerts will now take place in August and September. We have been able to build on our reputation for bringing exciting and original programmes performed by major artists. A summary of the four concerts is shown below: full details can be found on the Concerts Page of the website.

I hope that our regular supporters will find the new location an easy journey and I look forward to welcoming new audience members. This will be a season of four concerts like no other as we emerge from a dark period when we have been starved of most kinds of cultural activity. We hope you will join us in Wooler to celebrate through the unique power of music.


John Casken, Artistic Director

The safety of our audience members, artists and staff is our top priority.

Although government restrictions were lifted on 19 July, guidance advises that wearing a face covering reduces your risk and the risk to others in enclosed and crowded spaces, and you should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others.

For these reasons the wearing of face masks and the observation of social distancing inside St Mary’s Church remains mandatory at all our concerts. We have maintained our original seating plans to ensure safe distancing, and we recommend the use of hand sanitiser which will be available in the church. In continuing difficult circumstances, we would appreciate your full cooperation at all times.

The season at a glance


Saturday 14 August, 7.30pm

Folk and Fiddles

Andy May Trio           

A joyous celebration of folk music from the North-East

Bradley Creswick and Katerina Nazarova     Violins

Ear-tingling music for two violins from the Late Baroque (Telemann and Guignon) as well as folk-influenced music by Bartók and Enescu.

Folk Music Workshop

2pm – free and open to all.
Email to register.

Saturday 21 August, 7.30pm

Scintillating Harp

Louise Thomson                   Harp

A recital by this renowned harpist ranging from sparkling and virtuosic classical pieces to jazz.


Our third and fourth concerts, unusually for us, occupy the same weekend. If you fancy a weekend of music in the country, this may be one to plan for:

Saturday 4 September, 7.30pm

Fantasies, Dances and Imaginary Landscapes

Mishka Rushdie Momen       Piano

A solo piano recital by a brilliant young performer that embraces the repertoire from Bach, Schubert and Chopin to our own times


Sunday 5 September, 3.00pm

Northern Lights

Voices of Hope

Mark Edwards                        Musical Director

Ravishing and beautiful choral music performed by an outstanding choir and its young Musical Director


For full details of all the concerts, go to the Concerts Page

Tickets will be available from 21st May 2021

John Casken Chairman and Artistic Director
Richard Marr Treasurer
Anne Jones Secretary

Alwinton Church Summer Concerts - Registered Charity No. 1140527