Sage Gateshead appoints new Director of Learning and Participation

Newly appointed Managing Director of Sage Gateshead, Abigail Pogson, has announced that Wendy Smith will be Sage Gateshead’s new Director of Learning and Participation from September 2016.

Wendy Smith

Wendy Smith

Wendy Smith, who was born in Middlesbrough and grew up in the North East, has worked in senior positions within the Learning and Participation team at Sage Gateshead for 12 years, with particular responsibility for innovation and partnerships, as well as the highly successful In Harmony NewcastleGateshead programme at Hawthorn Primary School in Elswick.

Abigail Pogson said:

'During its first decade, Sage Gateshead has had Learning and Participation at the heart of its mission and has become a byword for excellence in this field. As we enter the second decade, I am committed to ensuring that this remains the case – Sage Gateshead is a creative resource for Gateshead and the region and we will continue to strive to make music available to as many people as possible. Our Learning and Participation Programme is central to this. Wendy’s vision for the next phase of our life is built on her experience as a musician and as a local as well as her passionate commitment to the power of music to change lives and aspirations and her belief that this can be best achieved in partnership with others.

'I am looking forward to working with her, with our many partners and with programme colleagues Ros Rigby, Performance Programme Director and Thorben Dittes, Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia to shape the programme for the coming phase of the charity’s life.'

Earlier in her career Wendy was a member of the North East band Prefab Sprout, which saw significant success in the UK and US in the 1980s and 1990s.

Wendy Smith said:

'I am delighted to be appointed as Director of Learning and Participation at Sage Gateshead. I am absolutely committed to the North East and its musical life. My life has been in music and I know that music can improve the health and well being, life chances and quality of life for people across the North East and beyond.

'We want to inspire people to have a love of music and I am looking forward to working with Abigail to shape a programme that everyone can feel part of. Building on the success of the last decade, I look forward to working with our Learning and Participation team, programme Directors, Royal Northern Sinfonia and our many partners to create vibrant and diverse musical and social opportunities for people in Gateshead and the wider region'.