Celebrate 70 years of James Bond, sing along to big Broadway numbers, and enjoy some of the biggest movie scores live in three exciting events at Durham Brass Festival.

From Sunday 9 to Sunday 16 July, Durham Brass Festival will showcase a stunning lineup of performances, including new commissions, free concerts, community activities, and vibrant street bands.

To commence the festival week, a remarkable concert by one of County Durham’s finest brass bands will set the tone for the rest of the week’s festivities.

Originally founded in 1910 as the Craghead Colliery Band, the now Reg Vardy Band has been a champion section band since 1958 and has won the North of England Brass Band Championships 36 times.

On Sunday 9 July, The Reg Vardy Band will present ‘For Your Eyes Only: 70 Years of Bond with the Reg Vardy Band’. 

Hosted by the new Fire Station venue in Sunderland, the first ever fringe event to be incorporated into the Durham Brass programme, The Reg Vardy Band will be celebrating 70 years since author Ian Fleming sat down in his study at Goldeneye in Jamaica to create “a spy story to end all spy stories”.

The band will be bringing to life the music that has accompanied 007’s adventures over the years, playing famous scores from composers such as Monty Norman and John Barry to Paul McCartney and Hans Zimmer.

Tickets are priced from £11 and can be bought online at www.sunderlandculture.org.uk/events/for-your-eyes-only-70-years-of-bond-with-the-reg-vardy-band/

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “With the warmer weather approaching and lighter evenings, now is the perfect time to look ahead to summer and the fantastic festivals and events we have to offer in the county, where Durham Brass is one of our calendar highlights.

“We are committed to delivering exciting events and cultural opportunities for everyone as part our ambition to make County Durham the culture county. From nights at the movies, Broadway performances, lively street musicians, and evenings with traditional brass bands, there really is something for all to enjoy in the line up for Durham Brass.”

Following on from last summer’s successful production of Gala Workshop’s A Night at The Musicals, this year for Durham Brass the cast will bring to the Gala Durham stage two nights of Big Band on Broadway.

Featuring Michael Lamb’s Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, Big Band On Broadway is guaranteed to entertain audiences. With the fantastic sound of Strictly Smokin’ paired with some of the finest talent the North East has to offer from the Gala Workshop members, the show brings Broadway and brass together with songs from Funny Girl, Moulin Rouge, West Side Story, Shrek, and more.

Performances are 7.30pm on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 July and tickets are priced from £14.

And for the first time for Durham Brass, Consett Empire Theatre will be hosting an event as part of the festival programme. 

The theatre will be welcoming the championship brass band The Fairey Band for an evening of traditional brass followed by some of the most iconic scores from stage and screen. 

Following on from its performance at Gala Durham on the afternoon of Saturday 15 July, where the band will be playing the score to a showing of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers, The Fairey band will then make its way over to the Empire’s stage that same day to play an evening of famous numbers in the band’s unique ‘Fairey Sound’. 

To see the programme so far for Durham Brass, and to buy tickets to events, visit www.brassfestival.co.uk 

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