A SCHOOL in the North-East is hosting its first performing arts festival.

The Exhilarate Festival at Venerable Bede School, in Sunderland, starts on June 25, featuring trombone ensemble Spiritual to the Bone and the Swingle Singers.

There is a concert every evening for eight nights, including award-winning violinists Duel Two and Dave Willetts.

The festival concludes with a gala concert featuring the North of England Chamber Orchestra, the Cantamus girls' choir and soprano Judith Howarth combining in the music of John Rutter.

Throughout the week, students will be working alongside composer-in-residence Stephen Bulla, from the US, where he is the chief arranger of the President's Own US Marine Band and White House Orchestra, to create a work to be performed at the Friday evening concert.

Steve Gibson, curriculum area leader for Performance Arts, said: "The Exhilarate Festival has something for all tastes, and I'm sure that the people of Sunderland will want to support this amazing week."

Tickets cost from £3 to £10 can be obtained from the school or on 0870 420 2326.