MAGNETIC North East – a community interest company set up by world-renowned Northumbrian smallpipes player, Kathryn Tickell, and Andrew Davison, deputy piper to His Grace the Duke of Northumberland and chairman of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society – will shine the spotlight on the region’s rich cultural identity to ensure it continues to be recognised for generations to come.

The Sage Gateshead will play host to Magnetic North East's Grand Launch Concert on Friday, November 4.

The concert, which will take place in Sage One, will offer something for everyone with new music, world premieres and unexpected collaborations alongside the traditional sound of the North-East’s own instrument, the Northumbrian smallpipes.

Alongside Kathryn, the line-up of guests includes Paul Smith, from Maximo Park, Geordie actor Charlie Hardwick, The Baghdaddies, Newcastle Kingsmen Sword Dancers, Alistair Anderson, singer Bonnie Shaw, clog dancers Grace Smith, Amy Thatcher and Natalie Reid, and the world premiere of the first song to be written by award-winning author David Almond – Song Of The Tyne – which will be set to music by Kathryn and performed by children from local primary schools.

Magnetic North East’s own folk ensemble, Superfolkus, a group of six young musicians aged between 17 – 23 who have mastered their folk sound under Kathryn’s mentorship, will also make their Sage debut, after performing all over the UK during the summer festival season.

Both Kathryn and Andrew have been playing the smallpipes since childhood and the company was born out of a shared appreciation for the region’s heritage and a passion to ensure it is something that is kept alive long into the future.

“I can’t wait for the concert – there are so many great people coming to perform for us and some very interesting new collaborations.” says Kathryn.

Co-founder Andrew says: “The North-East’s heritage is steeped with traditions that many people aren’t aware of and Magnetic North East has been created to address this. Countries such as Scotland, Ireland and Wales celebrate their heritage so much so that it has become a defining feature for each. We want a sense of pride and belonging in our region’s cultural traditions to be just as celebrated here in the North East.

“Traditional instruments such as the Northumbrian smallpipes, the fiddle or the tin whistle don’t have to be left in the past, we want to bring them to the fore and show people that there is a place for them in modern life. The launch concert of Magnetic North East aims to show just that.”

Leading law firm in the North East for business, Muckle LLP, helped set up the community interest company.

Magnetic North East will act as a gateway for people to access the region’s cultural heritage. Through the website, people will be able to find Northumbrian pipers and ceilidh bands in the region available for hire. This service will soon expand to other traditional art forms such as fiddle players, clog dancers, calligraphers and much more.

There is also the opportunity to commission local composers to write a tune for a special event. Workshops will teach young people to play traditional musical instruments.

The event starts 7.30pm. Beforehand, the Northumbrian Scribes will be doing calligraphy demonstrations on the concourse and there will be the opportunity for guests to try their hand at playing the Northumbrian smallpipes.

* Tickets for the concert cost £17.20 Box Office: