IT was a musical performance that a rural Tynedale village had never witnessed before.

Musicians from the renowned Royal Northern Sinfonia performed at St Giles’ Church, in Chollerton, as part of the orchestra’s 60th anniversary.

The orchestra invited members of the public to enter a prize draw for a performance in the winners’ community.

Ken and Alison Carlisle, of Barrasford, were picked as the winners and they invited the sinfonia along to hold a recital in their church.

Ken said: “We’ve always enjoyed being part of the Royal Northern Sinfonia family, supporting the orchestra since the early days and attending many concerts over the years.

“So it was a great surprise when we received the call to find out we’d won the prize draw.

“We love the orchestra and supporting them in its special anniversary year seemed only right.”

Alison added: “It was amazing. Everyone we’ve spoken to has said how much they enjoyed the evening.”

To help with the 60th birthday celebrations, Sage Gateshead, which is home to the orchestra, is appealing for contributions to help support the social and community work carried out by members.

Iona Brown, the sinfonia’s principal first violin who played at the church, said: “The community is a vital part of our work.

“We’re really trying to reach people who don’t have easy access to Sage Gateshead and who haven’t yet discovered classical music and discovered its joy and how fantastic it is.”

Royal Northern Sinfonia is aiming to raise £60,000 by June, the end of the 2018-2019 classical season, and is asking for members of the public to contribute monthly or single donations.