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Pipes in larger ensembles

These pieces are for larger ensembles - a minimum would be Northumbrian pipes, flute or whistle, two violins and either guitar, piano, harp or accordion. 

The Alnwick Suite


The Alnwick Suite was commissioned by Kerr-McGee North Sea (UK) Ltd and first performed by the Alnwick Pipers at the opening of The Alnwick Garden in the presence of Prince Charles. It was later played by them at The Royal Show in Warwickshire when Northumberland was the featured county.


On Alnwick Moor

The Cobbles of Alnwick

The Pastures

The Grand Cascade


These melodies all portray aspects of Alnwick - the bleakness of Alnwick Moor on a grey day, the cobbles of Alnwick, the Pastures (the expanse of meadow below the castle) and The Grand Cascade in the Alnwick Garden. The piece concludes with the gentle Pastures melody combined with the rushing of the Grand Cascade. 

The Alnwick Suite -

Performed by The Northumbrian Ranters directed by Richard Johnstone. Recorded live at a concert in St Michael's Church, Howick.

"Northumbrian Ranters" music group playing The Alnwick Suite

at Doxford Hall on 21/11/14.  This recording includes the sections The Pastures and The Grand Cascade.

A Bewick Garland


A Bewick Garland was commissioned by Northumberland's Traditional Music Co-ordinator Richard Johnstone and first performed by The Northumbrian Ranters.


The tunes are:


Plough the Straight Furrow

The Wheelwright

The Homecoming

Lasses of Alnwick

Bewick' Rest


The music takes us from Cherryburn, the birthplace of the great English engraver Thomas Bewick, to a lament on his death: Bewick's Rest. The melodies are taken from Bewick's Footsteps - 24 new tunes inspired by Bewick engraving.


A Bewick Garland -

Performed by The Northumbrian Ranters directed by Richard Johnstone. Recorded live at a concert in Rothbury Parish Church.

Click on the engravings below to open printable copies of the melodies


The Wheelwright

Engraved by Thomas Bewick for

his History of British Birds, 1797



The Homecoming

Thomas Bewick’s birthplace Cherryburn, at Eltringham, from the north-east.  Engraved by Thomas Bewick’s former apprentice John Jackson for W. A. Chatto’s Treatise on Wood Engraving, 1839.

Engraved in Bewick’s workshop for the History of British Birds, 1826.

Maimed veterans of the Napoleonic wars are a recurring theme in Bewick’s work.

The one-legged sailor and his family reappear on a copper-engraved billhead which identifies the scene as Sunderland Harbour.



Bewick's Rest

A late engraving by Thomas Bewick first used in his posthumously published Memoir in 1862.

With a funeral cortège leaving a cottage similar to his birthplace Cherryburn, and a boat waiting to ferry the coffin over the Tyne to Ovingham, he might perhaps have been contemplating his own death.


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