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The Sage Gateshead's little sister officially opens

Sage Gateshead are celebrating the taking over of the running of Gateshead Old Town Hall with a party this Saturday

The Sage Gateshead Music Centre with the Baltic
The Sage Gateshead Music Centre with the Baltic

Sage Gateshead will celebrate taking over the management of Gateshead Old Town Hall this weekend with a free to attend launch party.

The Sage agreed to take charge of the venue and use it as a bolthole for intimate performances as well as an exciting hub for community music making.

The Grade II listed building will be opening up to the public with the special event on Saturday where workshops and taster sessions in singing and music making will be available for all the family.

Organised to offer the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in discovering and developing their musical talents, the full day of celebration will also feature live music in the café, a craft fair and information on all the opportunities for music-making at Gateshead Old Town Hall.

Visitors can try out ukulele, world percussion, yoga and rock and pop singing in special drop-in sessions and workshops. There will be face painting for the youngest members of the family and a celebratory ceilidh in the evening.

Katherine Zeserson, director of learning and participation at Sage Gateshead, said: "Following discussions with Gateshead Council we could envisage the further potential for this building especially for performances and as a vibrant hub for the community and we were very keen to take it on.

“We did a feasibility study to explore its viability and from this we knew it could work and so set about creating a variety of music-making workshops, classes and performances that would lend themselves to this amazing space.

“It is also now home to several creative organisations who have taken studio space in the venue and we can’t wait to officially open the rest of the site to the general public.”

Used in recent years as a mixture of office space and a venue for performances, Gateshead Old Town Hall was once a prized space for music and performance and noted for its great acoustics.

Under Sage Gateshead’s direction, the aim is to make the most of the ambience in the main hall, having already staged performances by acclaimed musicians such as American blues/folk star Willy Mason and inspirational folk band Kan.

Katherine added: “Welcoming Gateshead Old Town Hall under the Sage Gateshead umbrella really is something to celebrate, and we hope as many people as possible will join us for the launch party on January 11.

“If your New Year’s resolution is to try something new, why not come along and join the celebrations?”

Gateshead Old Town Hall’s opening party takes place from 11am until late on Saturday. It is free to attend and members of the public can drop in at any time. For more info visit www.sagegateshead.com/goth

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