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Newcastle University music students soundtrack red kite celebrations


Music composed by Newcastle University music students will provide the soundtrack for a day of celebrations to mark 10 years since red kites were reintroduced to the region.

The compositions by Hugo Bell, Ian Fleming and Hannah Hawley, will be performed by a chamber ensemble from Royal Northern Sinfonia at  Sage Gateshead on Saturday. 

On Red Kite Wings will bring together music, performances and art installations and creative musings on the red kite from local artists and community groups. It has been organised by the Friends of Red Kites (FoRK) in collaboration with Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia and other community groups.

Students were asked to submit a piece as part of competition. Professor Agustín Fernández, Head of Music at Newcastle University. He said: “The pieces which will be performed are of the very highest standard and they will have the very finest musicians from Northern Sinfonia bringing their ideas to life. I am very proud of the work the students have created.”

Trai Anfield, presenter of BBC Radio 4's natural history programme The Living World, and Patron of FoRK, will host the event. Trai's production company Enlightened Media, in partnership with Northumbrian Water, has also produced a film on red kites to accompany Hugo’s winning composition. Trai said: “I'm very proud to be involved in this concert at Sage Gateshead on July 5th, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the return of red kites to our northern skies. These beautiful birds of prey have inspired artists, enriched our children's education, helped our health and even increased commerce in the Derwent Valley. They deserve to be celebrated in style.

“As Patron of FoRK it will be my honour to host the event, and introduce a wonderful programme of music. On a personal note I am also excited to premiere my new short film 'On Red Kite Wings' which will be played alongside one of the new classical pieces.”

A lost breed to the North East for almost two centuries, ten years ago Keith Bowey led a project to reintroduce the majestic red kite back to the region. The only project to take place in a semi-urban environment, the Friends of Red Kites recognised the importance of such a conservation project, and are now the most active group in raising awareness of conservation and engaging the community through talks, walks and arts projects.

Performances take place at 1.30pm and 3.30pm on Saturday 5 July in Hall Two of Sage Gateshead, Tickets are £8 or £6 for concessions.  Art installations and activities will take place between 11am and 6pm.

published on: 3 July 2014