Royal Northern Sinfonia perform in Sunderland living room

One of the region's most respected orchestras hit the right note with one Sunderland couple when they put on a special performance - in their living room.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 5:00 am
Royal Northern Sinfonia performing in the home of David and Elaine Hannington in Grangetown

David and Elaine Hannington have been attending Royal Northern Sinfonia concerts for 40 years, so were delighted when they won a competition to have the top orchestra perform at their home in Grangetown.

Four musicians from the orchestra, Iona Brown (violin), Jane Nossek (violin), Tegwen Jones (viola) and Daniel Hammersley (cello) performed to the couple, along with their family and friends, who gathered in their living room, dining room and hallway.

David and Elaine Hannington, centre, with members of RNS

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The couple were treated to the intimate recital after winning a prize draw competition following a charitable donation they made to Royal Northern Sinfonia’s 60th Anniversary Appeal.

David Hannington said: “It was a wonderful, magical experience to hear such beautiful music close up in our own home. It was truly unforgettable and I can honestly say it will be a life-long memory.”

He added: “There is a real family feeling to their concerts and, even though we had never met any of the players who performed at our house, we felt as though we knew them.

“We feel very privileged to have been chosen for this fantastic experience and wish Royal Northern Sinfonia every success with their other 60th birthday ventures and fundraising.”

As part of the orchestra’s 60th birthday, Sage Gateshead - home to Royal Northern Sinfonia - is appealing for contributions to help support the social and community work carried out by the orchestra, enabling them to take the very best in classical music to as wide an audience as possible.

With a target of £60,000 to be met by the end of the 18/19 classical season (June 2019), the appeal is for donations to either mark the year the orchestra was founded with a monthly direct debit of £19.58 or a donation of £60 to help celebrate the 60th anniversary. As an incentive, anyone who donates is entered into a prize draw. The winner is given the opportunity for a quartet/quintet to play in their living room or local community centre and the chance to chat to the musicians afterwards.

Jo Bussey, head of fundraising at Sage Gateshead, said: “Whilst we receive funding from Arts Council England, the local authority and others, we are increasingly dependent on contributions from members of the public to support our work.

“All contributions to the RNS 60th Appeal truly will make a meaningful difference and help RNS to reach new audiences. Donor support also enables us to continue to reach those who may not be able to travel to Sage Gateshead and to work with children and young people, inspiring the next generation of classical music fans. None of this would be possible without donor support.”

For more information on how to support Royal Northern Sinfonia visit