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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011
North East orchestra wins award for flash mob
The orchestra received their award at the House of Lords

One of the biggest amateur orchestra groups in the North East has won a top award for innovation - after creating a flash mob performance in Newcastle.

The orchestra treated unsuspecting passengers in Eldon Square bus station to a rendition of Ravel's Bolero.

They have now picked up an award in the innovation category of the Epic Awards.

Andy Jackson, creative director for Cobweb Orchestra in Durham, said: "It's nice to get recognition for what you're already doing."

The Cobweb Orchestra is one of the biggest amateur orchestra groups in the region with more than 1,000 members.

They have groups in Gateshead, Durham, Morpeth, Middlesbrough and Cumbria.

Flash mob

The Cobweb Orchestra created a flash mob performance at Eldon Square bus station when they surprised the unsuspecting public to a rendition of Ravel's Bolero.

They started off with a few musicians, gradually more joined in to make an orchestra of 40, emerging from shops and buses with their instruments carefully hidden.

Andy Jackson said: "The people shopping really enjoyed it and there was a very generous round of applause when we finished, but we just melted into the crowd the same way we come."

The film was uploaded to YouTube and was viewed more than 30,000 times in one week.

Andy Jackson
Their flash mob video was viewed more than 30,000 times in one week

Epic Awards

The group have now picked up their Epic Awards' Innovation award at the House of Lords which was awarded by Voluntary Arts England.

The Epic Awards are designed to highlight excellence and innovation in amateur arts groups across England.

Andy said: "It's nice to get recognition for what you're already doing, I don't think it would be worth putting ourselves out to try and get this sort of award, but we were recognised for something that we were doing anyway.

"Lots of the things we do are very innovative, on Easter Monday we're going to play all of Beethoven's nine symphonies one after the other at Middlesbrough Town Hall, which is the sort of thing that even hardened professionals wouldn't normally attempt.

"I think the people who stayed with cobwebs really enjoyed doing things that are different that other orchestras don't get a chance to do.

"Of course, if you just want to play in one orchestra and do particular types of concerts then you probably wouldn't get on with cobwebs, but most people seem to love it."



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