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Free Summer Residency Continues to Support Musicians

Posted on 20 July 2020

Sarah Heneghan

A mix of musicians from all over the UK will take part in Sage Gateshead’s flagship artist development programme Summer Studios next month to work on new material, learn from industry experts and develop their practice with the world-class concert hall.

Artists including Cat Myers, Sara Colman & Rebecca Nash, Jay Moussa-Mann, Sarah Heneghan, Balter, Jake Mehew, Amy Duncan, Tommy Evans (Baby Panda), Faithful Johannes, Francine Luce, Graeme Hopper (Chlorine), Daniel Bryden (Days Like Television), Jayne Dent (Me Lost Me), Ben Gaunt, Nicola Mills, Ben Fitzgerald are among the successful applicants for Summer Studios 2020.

Sage Gateshead’s Summer Studios are free, week-long residencies throughout August for musicians, producers, rappers and singers of all genres to be able to create new work, develop their practice or prepare for a performance. Residents will be able to attend one to one sessions and clinics with music industry professionals as well as online workshops on industry-relevant topics such as stage presence, approaching promoters, writing funding bids, songwriting, PR and management. This year’s sessions feature professionals from Sony Music, NARC Magazine, Wipe Out Music Publishing, Singing Light Music and PolyArts Management amongst others. Participants also have the option to have a professional photoshoot and film a live session of one of their songs.

As part of Sage Gateshead’s ongoing commitment to artist development and inclusion, it has worked in conjunction with Youth Music-funded partner organisations who have nominated three additional artists aged 18-25 to take part in Summer Studios this year, for the first time.

This year’s Summer Studios will take place from 3 August – 16 August 2020.

Folk singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Holly Clarke took part in Summer Studios last year.

She said: “What I got from Summer Studios was really good advice from industry professionals and it was a really good space to work on material and talk it through with other artists around me.

“It was a wonderful time, just having this camaraderie with all different kinds of musicians and being in Sage Gateshead. And from that lots of other wonderful things happened. I got so much more out of it than I originally thought. I got a promo video and some amazing photography and made some wonderful contacts.”

A few months after Summer Studios, Holly went on to perform at New Year New Artists Festival at Sage Gateshead, performing with Sam Partridge and Grace Smith and Katie Doherty and the Navigators. She then supported Billy Bragg in Sage Gateshead’s main concert hall before being asked to become Artist in Residence at the venue.

Summer Studios is for music creators from all genres and backgrounds at any career stage. Previous residents have included Big Joanie, Ruth Patterson, Frankie & the Heartstrings and Martha Hill.

Drummer and guitarist Sarah Heneghan (Beyond Albedo and Le Shig) will be using her residency to further develop her debut solo project, ‘POWER OUT’, which was selected to be on the 2019 Manchester Jazz Festival hothouse scheme.

Sarah said: “POWER OUT is a performance that brings together a mish-mash interaction of drum machines, bassline sequencers, and live drums to create a continuous set of beats; some dancey, others immersive. This residency will give me a fresh environment, and therefore a fresh perspective, for the development of POWER OUT. I’m very excited to get away and immerse myself elsewhere.”

Jay Moussa-Mann is an idiosyncratic songwriter whose songs draw on myriad sources – modern anxieties, her faith and her Turkish-Cypriot background. A writer and filmmaker, she made her first feature film Ruth the Musical in 2018 and shortly after released her debut album, Little Deaths. She has been played repeatedly on the Bob Fischer BBC Radio Tees shows, as well as several live sessions and has been played on Tom Robinson’s show on BBC Radio 6. She has performed at Twisterella Festival, The Waiting Room and Middlesbrough Mela.

“I am so excited about this year’s residency and extremely grateful to be a part of it. I am most looking forward to developing and pushing myself as a songwriter and having the opportunity to be challenged. It’s not often that you get the freedom to grow with constructive, honest feedback and guidance, so I intend to use this time to better craft the songs I’ve been working on.” 

Tommy Evans of Tyneside folk rock outfit Holy Moly and the Crackers has been touring for years across the UK and Europe. During lockdown, he has explored new musical styles with his new project, Baby Panda, taking musical cues from bands like The Velvet Underground and Queens of the Stone Age, and vocal inspiration from Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
Tommy said: “I am the biggest procrastinator around, the master of pipedreams. My biggest dream of all is to strike out on my own trail and see where it leads. Summer Studios has given me the gentle push I needed to emerge from my hermitage and start down that path and I am more than grateful for it.”

To find out more about this year’s Summer Studios residents, visit

Sage Gateshead is one of 40 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partners. Summer Studios forms part of a wider programme of development and support for emerging artists at Sage Gateshead, providing opportunities for a broad range of musicians working across music genres.


For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead


Notes to editors:

Summer Studios is produced by Sage Gateshead in association with NARC. magazine

Sage Gateshead

We present around 400 events and festivals each year for a live audience of 350,000, 6 million people hear our work via stream or broadcast and 500,000 visit our building, often national and international visitors. Each year we support over 100 musicians through our artist development programme and we work with 30,000 children and young people and 20,000 adults in our creative learning programme.

We are home to the acclaimed Royal Northern Sinfonia as well as our popular, annual festivals SummerTyne Americana and Folk on the Tyne. We are dedicated to supporting emerging artists, as well as established names, offering residencies such as our Summer Studio and Folkworks Summer Schools.

Alongside our music performance and learning offer, our iconic building, designed by Foster & Partners, provides the perfect venue to over 100 conferences and events a year.

As a charity, the financial support we receive from Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, Arts Council England and our donors helps to ensure everyone in the community can experience the joys of music. Positioned as one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation, our continued ambition for the future is to work to significantly to increase the number and range of people connected with music.

In our first decade, our economic impact was £283 million. We are for audiences, for artists, for the North and for the long-term. Everything we do is guided by our values: Creative, Diverse, Focused, Leading, Responsible.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Youth Music and AMIE
Sage Gateshead has worked in conjunction with Youth Music-funded partner organisations who have nominated three additional artists aged 18-25 to take part in Summer Studios this year, for the first time. Sage Gateshead works with Youth Music through the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England. The Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England is a movement for change throughout music education. It is a growing network of organisations working together to promote equity in music education, and to support others to do the same, through advocacy, CPD, resources, and strategic alliances. There are 13 founder organisations, led and supported by Youth Music thanks to funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England. Find out more here: