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Fall in love with music at Sage Gateshead

Posted on 12 July 2017


Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, wanting to develop an existing skill or just get back into music after a long break, there’s a whole range of vocal and instrumental classes on offer at Sage Gateshead. The new term starts from Monday 18 September and classes are now on sale.

Our new autumn term of music classes offer something for every stage of life; from parents and carers who want to give their children the best possible introduction to music; to adults who want to learn a new skill or reignite a previous musical passion.

If you’re over 50, then our Silver Programme offers a range of daytime classes in a relaxed, friendly and supportive environment. It’s never too late to get into music and it’s a brilliant way to meet new people.

Alf Hodgson (62) and Irene Mantey (67) found more than a shared love of music on the Silver Programme. They met at a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band 18 months ago. Here, they talk about falling in love later in life, their shared passion for music and the class that brought them together.

Alf: “After taking redundancy in 2011, I was looking for a way to indulge my passion for music. I had been a bedroom guitar player for 40 years and I saw an advert for the Silver Programme at Sage Gateshead and thought that this would be perfect for me.”

Irene: “I’ve always loved singing since I was a small child. When I had some time on my hands I discovered the Silver Programme. I came on my own and since then I’ve been in many different groups and made a lot of friends too.”

Alf and Irene met up at various Silvers social events with the rest of the class.

Irene: “The Christmas do was where we first started chatting properly and getting to know each other socially. We knew we liked each other but we hadn’t told each other. By February, we realised that we had felt this connection, we were always chatting in the group at break time.”

Alf: “We’d gone to a fundraiser for Sage Gateshead with our tutor and I’d wanted to ask Irene out on that evening. We’d danced all night but I had to wait 12 whole days until after half term to ask her out at the next class. I grabbed my opportunity and asked her out for a coffee. We were both really nervous. We talked to each other non-stop for 3 hours, which felt like 5 minutes, and we’ve never stopped talking since.

The Silver programme means everything to me. If it hadn’t been for the programme I wouldn’t have met Irene. I thoroughly enjoy the music but more than anything it has enabled me to meet my life partner and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love the social side, meeting new people and all the activity around it, it’s fabulous.”

Irene: “Our love of Sage Gateshead has given us the opportunity to develop our creativity but at the same time as we’re being stretched, we’re being supported. Through the group I met Alf and our love of music brought us together and because of that I now have my life partner.”

You never know, Sage Gateshead may be celebrating their first ever Silver Wedding.


Photography © Mark Savage