Tyneside Fiddle Alliance
** Lockdown Update **
We are running meetings via Zoom on our usual 1st and 3rd Thursdays. This allows you to hear a Leader play the tune, and you can play along at home, knowing that everyone on the call is doing the same! You don’t get the wonderful sound of mass fiddles, but it’s a way to keep our lovely community going during the lockdown. We are also creating multi-tracked videos of some of our sets, so you can play along with any part at home, and Stewart has created a set of video tutorials to teach you a new tune. If you are a TFA member, visit the Resources page for all the materials, and details of how to join our virtual meetings, or email Ali.
The Tyneside Fiddle Alliance is a group of fiddle players who meet to play the music of North-East England. Our repertoire ranges from the local music of James Hill to wonderful recent compositions from further afield. We cater for players of all standards, from the beginner to the professional, although most of us are somewhere in between!
We operate an “open door” policy and welcome fiddlers of all abilities, promoting a friendly, inclusive atmosphere in which musicians build a shared repertoire of local tunes and explore traditions from further afield. With support from Gateshead council, the Tyneside Fiddle Alliance is housed in St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead and meets on the first and third Thursday of the month. We operate on a drop-in basis, meaning there is no commitment required and there is a pay on the door fee of £7 per adult. Juniors (under 17s) are very welcome to attend and there is no charge for juniors, but an adult responsible for them must be present throughout.
As a community group, fiddle players of all abilities are welcome to just drop in. Music is provided and we encourage participants to become familiar with the tunes and to play by ear. More accessible foundation lines as well as challenging harmony lines are used to engage players of all abilities. Each meeting costs £7, payable on the night. However, the aim of the group is to be accessible to all, so should the meeting cost be a barrier to joining, please get in touch as arrangements can be made.
The Fiddle Alliance meetings are led by a highly experienced group of leaders; Stewart Hardy, Chloe Jones, David Jones and Ali Say (who include three members of the highly acclaimed fiddle quartet, Bottle Bank Band), and we invite special guest tutors from time to time. We also encourage the playing of tunes in a session environment. On each third Thursday of the month we run a session after our meeting from around 8.45 to 10 pm, held in The Central bar in Gateshead, where the music is explored in a relaxed, social gathering – a great introduction to sessions.
We strive to support traditional music in the North East and this often involves participating in the traditional music festivals throughout the year, either through entering group competitions or by performing in concerts. Our Annual Concert in November and is a key event in our calendar and is held in St Mary’s Heritage Centre. However, no-one should feel they have to perform – it’s all just for fun!