On 27th October 2017 The Paul Mirfin Band were joined by artists from across North Yorkshire for a celebration of creativity at The Royal Hall, Harrogate. The programme highlighted the transformative power of live performance lifting the audience from their seats to dance in the aisles and join in rapturous standing ovations.
The evening included the astoundingly beautiful sounds of internationally established classical saxophonist Christian Forshaw. He performed Down Ampney from his album Sanctuary, which reached number one positions in the UK and New Zealand classical charts.
Tewit Youth Band opened the programme with a stirring arrangement of Caravan by Duke Ellington followed by Amazing Grace and One Day Like This by Elbow. Led by musical director, Martin Hall, it was clear why these talented young musicians are gold medalists at the National Youth Band Championships.
One of the highlights was Communitas choir, a community choir from York who welcome mental health service users to a weekly singing group for people with little or no musical experience. Since forming 8 years ago they have performed regularly in York Minster and been the focus of a York St John research project on the benefits of community singing. Their courage and passion projected right through the auditorium as they sang traditional African gospel songs with a touching version of Cyndi Lauper’s Time after Time.
York St John University dance students joined Lynton Academy for two mesmerising dance pieces choreographed by Nicola Forshaw, a Harrogate born dance artist who attended Lynton Academy as child before completing professional training at Northern Ballet School and moving into a performance career with dance companies in Europe and the UK.
The second half of the evening was topped off with a set from the Paul MIrfin Band who brought the audience to their feet with foot stomping hoedowns. They were joined by hip hop artist, Tre, who featured on the song Bring the Rain, the title track of the band’s first EP and the closing encore of an incredible evening of diverse and talented artists.
True North 2018
True North returned for the second year running in 2018 to another packed house at Harrogate Royal Hall. This time a different selection of performers came together including community groups and talented young dancers and singers. The atmosphere was once again vibrant as the audience enjoyed a varied programme of music, dance and live art by artists and community groups from the Yorkshire area. Highlights included Dance United Yorkshire and York St John Samba Band and of course headliners The Paul Mirfin Band who premiered new songs from their debut album.