Thank you to everyone who voted for us in The Times Newspaper competition.   I am delighted to be able to announce that Cobwebs won and we now have a nice shiny Gramophone Award to keep our EPIC Award company.

Andy and I had a very glamourous trip to London curtesy of East Coast trainline, and complimentary tickets to the Gramophone Award ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel curtesy of Gramophone Magazine.

Thanks to Julie for sending out the following press release:

Local amateur orchestra scoops another national award


Members of the Cobweb Orchestra are celebrating the news that yet another prestigious organisation has seen fit to declare them as winners of a national award.

Gramophone magazine’s Music in the Community award for 2011, in collaboration with the Times, is another significant milestone in Cobweb’s development, from its tentative beginnings at Annfield Plain library in Co Durham in 1995 with 20 players, to today’s extended organisation with eight groups operating across the north of England, in Tebay and Dalston in Cumbria, and in York, Middlesbrough, Spennymoor, Consett, The Sage Gateshead and Morpeth in the North East, encompassing nearly 200 paid-up members and a further 1200 stakeholders across the region who keep up with the latest news and activities and join in when they can.

This award focuses on the way in which an orchestra benefits its local community, looking at the philosophy of inclusivity, the opportunities it provides and the enrichment and added value it offers. The Cobweb Orchestra, with its all-comers policy – no auditions and no-one is turned away, music is varied in style and level of difficulty, and there are bursaries to support members who may find it difficult to finance their playing – has as its over-arching aim the desire to enable as many people as possible to share and enjoy their love of music.

Andy Jackson, the Cobweb Orchestra’s creative director, who has been with the organisation since its inception, said: “This is a wonderful accolade for us. This is the second award we’ve received this year, also coming first in the innovation category of Voluntary Arts England’s Epic Awards, as well as runners up on the creativity category. We all gain a tremendous amount of fun from what we do, but it’s deeply satisfying when national recognition is given to the work we do here in the North. Audiences are constantly amazed by the quality of music we produce – the more experienced players seem to take the beginners along with them – and the camaraderie within the orchestra makes for a welcoming reception for anyone new. I’ve been involved with many musical groups throughout my life and I can honestly say I’ve never come across anything quite like this one. The Cobweb Orchestra is absolutely unique and this award is fantastic recognition of that.”

Andy received the award on behalf of the orchestra at a ceremony in the Dorchester on Thursday 6 October.

The Cobweb Orchestra always welcomes new players – for more information visit our website: www.cobweborchestra.org.uk or contact Administrator, Catherine Shackell tel: 01937 831 163 / email: admin@cobweborchestra.org.uk

Cobweb Orchestra Scoops Gramophone Award