Preview: Unsung Heroes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo By Nick Pierce

Way back In 2020, Queen’s Hall Arts in Hexham commissioned international multimedia artists Davy & Kristin McGuire and North-East musician Bridie Jackson to help celebrate local people who had made a difference to their community, with their Unsung Heroes project.

Bridie collated stories from local communities about people who had really made a difference and then wrote songs that paid tribute to the nominated heroes. Once the songs were written local musicians (including Kate Gessey, Carol and Gary Bowden, Aukestra with Lesley Roley, Leon Fussell and Ian Brown) recorded their own versions of these songs.

The songs celebrated a wide-range of individuals, such as Northumberland musician Kathryn Davidson, local volunteers and community workers Russ Greig, Joyce Watts, Stephen Hope, Rosie Robson, Rosie Gilchrist, Jean  Day and Nancy Potts; the shop workers of Stocksfield; LGBT+ activist and author Casper Baldwin and Vita Collins, coordinator of the Cumbrian branch of the crafting charity, LINUS. 

A special event, complete with live performances of the songs, takes place on Thursday 21st July and will launch the Unsung Heroes, which will see the McGuires combine augmented reality technology with original music  composition to create interactive artwork that will be available to collect as postcards at the  event.

About the event Bridie adds, “Unsung Heroes honours those who perhaps have not always had the recognition they deserve in our society. Folk songs have always been a fantastic medium for revealing untold stories and sharing different lived experiences in a way that’s relatable. I feel very honoured to have  been trusted with this project, telling other people’s stories through songs, and I can’t wait to  share them with a live audience at the Queen’s Hall.”  

Tickets for the launch are Pay What You Decide – book a free ticket in advance here and then choose how much you want to pay after seeing the show.

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