Another successful Festival closes

Another successful Festival closes

Blue skies and music in the air as Sherborne celebrates another successful Festival

The nineteenth annual award-winning Sherborne Abbey Festival took place on a sunny May bank holiday weekend as thousands flocked to twenty five different concerts in the town, around seventy percent of which were free-entry.

A hugely varied programme, with the London Adventist Chorale and director Ken Burton bringing Gospel singing to the Abbey on the opening night (with an afternoon workshop at Sherborne Abbey Primary School beforehand) while, in contrast, Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars closed the Festival in a magnificent fashion with Rachmaninov’s Vespers.  For a complete change of tempo, audiences experienced a real treat when the Festival swung into Sinatra mode with Matt Ford, who sings regularly with the John Wilson Orchestra in London, backed by the hugely talented Tippett Quartet and the Matt Skelton Quintet.

The Festival Chorus and Sherborne Classical Players performed to a packed capacity Abbey for Mozart’s Requiem starring soprano Rebecca Outram, messo-soprano Louise Innes, tenor Rhys James Batt and baritone Craig Bissex while Thomas Hull directed Adrian Brendel and Ruth Rogers in the hugely popular Bruch’s Violin Concerto and Schumann’s beautiful Cello Concerto.

As usual, the Festival’s world-class performances are interspersed with concerts given by exceptionally talented local musicians and students, ranging from early music, madrigal and chamber music to jazz and barbershop. Not forgetting the popular Saturday morning workshop and performance which this year featured Dorset dance tunes and folk.

For the first time the Festival introduced an Artist in Residence – James Budden – whose work was created during several of the live performances and will be available in print after the event.

This year the event has been awarded Gold in the Dorset Tourism Awards and joint Event/Festival of the Year, followed by a Silver Award in the same category for the whole of the South West region.  Judges thought the Festival was ‘Just Beautiful’ and its success is a fitting tribute to a dedicated team of volunteers who work so hard to make it happen year on year.

As has always been the case, proceeds from the Festival are reinvested in projects that enhance the musical life of Sherborne Abbey and the town. Together with continued financial support for the Abbey Choir and the upkeep of the organ, Festival funds this year have provided grants to local young musicians in order to help them to further their musical careers.

See the Festival Gallery HERE

The twentieth annual Festival takes place in 2019 from 3-7 May

 

What’s on 5th May

What’s on 5th May

Saturday 5th May 10.00am Stuart Centre, Sherborne Girls

Sherborne Girls Directions and Parking

Workshop: Dorset Dance Tunes and Folk Concert, with Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson

 

The workshop will explore some of the wonderful jigs, hornpipes, waltzes and polkas that form Dorset’s rich tradition of dance music – a tradition stretching back to the eighteenth century. The morning ends with a free concert (starting approx. 12.15pm) to which all are welcome. Tim Laycock is a professional folk musician and actor with a particular interest in the folk traditions of Dorset and is artist-in-residence for the National Trust at Hardy’s cottage. Colin Thompson is a leading exponent of the English style of fiddle playing and, together with Tim, performs regularly in folk concerts all over Dorset.

Music is provided, and the workshop is open to all players of acoustic instruments.

The Workshop is a ticketed event but the concert afterwards is *FREE ENTRY*


 

*FREE ENTRY*

Saturday 5th May at 10.30am Sherborne Abbey | Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Sherborne School Close Harmony

 

The Sherborne School Close Harmony group and a smaller Barbershop group perform a breadth of repertoire including new takes on the musical world of the 1930s and 1940s. From Show Boat through Miss Otis regrets, The Long Day Closes, Java Jive and Sailing By to a snazzy arrangement of Blue Moon (marked to be performed as ‘cool — almost groovy’), this recital represents joyful unstuffiness at its best.

 


 

*FREE ENTRY*

Saturday 5th May at 1.30pm Sherborne Abbey | Wessex Big Band

 

Wessex Big Band’s programme of popular music from the 1930s to the present day, played in Big Band Style, will include favourites by Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, etc. A vocalist will provide added variety to the programme. Although most of the members are amateur musicians, the band is renowned throughout southern England for enthusiastic and entertaining performances.

 


 

*FREE ENTRY*

Saturday 5th May at 3.30pm Castleton Church | Catch Me if You Can: Rossignol

Rossignol’s 2018 concert explores the very early discovery that it is possible to sing or play the same tune at different times. From the medieval round Sumer is Icumen in to Baroque fugues, imitation has influenced composers such as Byrd, Purcell and of course J S Bach, as the programme will show.

 


 

*FREE ENTRY*

Saturday 5th May at 5.00pm Castleton Church | A Celebration of Nature

Helen Habershon & Friends

 

Composer Helen Habershon and friends including John Wilks (flute) and Arturo Serna (cello) present a delightful programme of music and poetry inspired by nature, featuring her own works, as heard on Classic FM, as well as music by Bach and Debussy.

 


 

Saturday 5th May at 7.30pm Sherborne Abbey | Festival Concerto Feast

Adrian Brendel, cello, Ruth Rogers, violin, and Iuventus Chamber Orchestra

Thomas Hull, conductor

A generous portion of two all-time favourite concertos balanced by two wrongly-neglected symphonies, topped with a double helping of acclaimed soloists with close links to Dorset. The programme features the hugely popular Bruch Violin Concerto, Schumann’s beautiful Cello Concerto and two magnificent symphonies by Haydn and Schubert, all conducted by Thomas Hull.

Adrian Brendel is a cellist of international repute, well-known locally as the co-founder of Music at Plush, an annual summer music festival in Dorset. He has appeared all over the world and his much-heralded Beethoven Cello Sonata recordings were chosen as the top recommendation on BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library.

Described as “the finest of the younger generation of violinists”, Ruth Rogers is well known in Dorset as the former Co-Leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. For this concert, her group – the Iuventus Ensemble – has expanded to form the Iuventus Chamber Orchestra, which comprises the same outstanding musicians that were handpicked to perform in last year’s Festival with violinist Nicola Benedetti.

“… Adrian is an artist of the highest rank. His command of the cello is total and his engagemet with the music was highly sensitive and technically extremely polished.”

Calgary Herald Photo: Jack Liebeck

“From the moment Ruth Rogers walked on to the stage, it was clear even before a single note was heard that here was an artist who simply exuded great warmth and personality! The playing, of course, was quite superb.”  Plymouth Herald

 

FURTHER INFORMATION AND HOW TO BOOK TICKETS

Festival Day One – all you need to know

Festival Day One – all you need to know

Two FREE concerts and two ticketed concerts kick off day one of our award-winning Festival. We hope you can join us for our nineteenth award-winning season.

See the full line up until Tuesday 8th

 

Friday 4th May 1.30pm Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne School Chamber Concert

For the curtain-raiser to the 2018 Abbey Festival, the Music Scholars of Sherborne School perform as part of a flute trio, piano trio and wind quintet, in music by Danzi, Ibert, Honegger and Haydn. Some particularly talented musicians, all in their final term, will also give outstanding solo performances in music by Martinu, Beethoven, Mozart and Fauré.

*FREE ENTRY*

 


Friday 4th May 3.00pm Cheap Street Church

Kieran White and Elizabeth Kenny

‘Tis Nature’s Voice; Music for Tenor and Lute:
Discover some of the most exquisite writing of the 17th century in a collection of English songs, French airs de cour and Italian airs, written for the respective national courts. These beautiful songs are written for the forces of tenor and lute by composers including Purcell and Monteverdi.

>TICKET INFO

 


Friday 4th May 4.45pm BSR, Sherborne School

I Got Rhythm: Sherborne School Swing Band

The Swing Band’s ever-popular annual Festival concert has become so well attended that it has moved venues several times in order to accommodate larger audiences. This year’s performance, in the school’s biggest venue, offers something for everyone in an upbeat celebration of big band music. Think Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Charlie Mingus, superb improvised solos, and some Frank Sinatra numbers featuring the band’s latest vocalists. Arrive early for a good seat.

*FREE ENTRY*

 

 


Friday 4th May 8.00pm Sherborne Abbey

A Joyful Noise: London Adventist Chorale

Ken Burton, conductor

The London Adventist Chorale, awarded Choir Of The Year in 1994 and BBC Gospel Choir Of The Year in 1995, presents a mainly a cappella repertoire which draws from the sounds of both gospel and the Western sacred choral tradition, to create a vocal blend which is unique in the British choral world, and where complex rhythms and exquisite eightpart harmonies contrast with deeply emotive singing. Songs include the popular Joshua, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and Going Home.

“The quality of tone, superb control and perfect interpretation are the hallmarks of a choir at peak power, 28 singers with an impeccable blend of harmony.”

Tony May, Cross Rhythms

>TICKET INFO

 

The Fine Times Recorder Festival Preview

The Fine Times Recorder Festival Preview

ONE of the world’s leading cellists, Adrian Brendel, and the wonderful Tallis Scholars choral ensemble are among the highlights of this year’s Sherborne Abbey Festival, from 4th to 8th May.

Brendel, the son of the legendary pianist Alfred Brendel, and director of Music at Plush festival in Dorset, will be the soloist in Schumann’s Cello Concerto at the Festival Concerto Feast at the Abbey on Saturday 5th. Ruth Rogers, the brilliant young violinist from Shaftesbury, will play Bruch’s much-loved Violin Concerto, and the concert, conducted by Thomas Hull, will also include symphonies by Haydn and Schubert.

The Tallis Scholars and their conductor Peter Phillips, favourites at Sherborne, will end the festival with Orthodoxy: Rachmaninov to Tavener at the Abbey on Tuesday 8th. The programme will include Rachmaninov’s Vespers and Sir John Tavener’s Great Canon.

As always, Sherborne Abbey Festival, under the direction of its founder chairman and artistic director John Baker, includes a packed programme featuring talented local musicians, many from Sherborne area schools; many of the concerts are free.

On Friday 4th, there is an afternoon recital, ‘Tis Nature’s Voice, featuring tenor Kieran White and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, at the Cheap Street Church. The programme features 17th century English songs, and French and Italian airs, including works by Purcell and Monteverdi.

Sherborne School Swing Band gives a lively concert, I Got Rhythm, at the Big School Room, Sherborne School, on Friday at 4.45pm, and the day ends with A Joyful Noise with London Adventist Chorale at 8pm.

Dorset’s musical historian Tim Laycock and fiddler Colin Thompson lead a workshop of Dorset dance tunes and folk concert at the Stuart Centre at Sherborne Girls on Saturday 5th at 10am.

Later that day the concerts will include Somewhere Over The Rainbow with Sherborne School Close Harmony at the Abbey at 10.30am, Wessex Big Band at the Abbey at 1.30pm, Rossignol exploring the art of the fugue at Castleton Church at 3.30pm and A Celebration of Nature with composer Helen Habershon at Castleton Church at 5pm.

Sherborne Young Singers will take the audience at Cheap Street Church back to the 1950s on Sunday 6th at 3.45pm in Salad Days, songs from Salad Days and The Boyfriend.

Jazz and the great legacy of Ol’ Blue Eyes will be celebrated at the Big School Room on Sunday evening at 7.45pm when Matt Ford sings Sinatra, with the Matt Skelton Quintet.

On bank holiday Monday 7th, Andrew Earis, director of music at St Martin in the Fields, will give an organ recital in the Abbey at 10am, followed by Schola Cantorum from Leweston School with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat, at 12.30pm. Samantha Muir and Lara Taylor will give a programme of music from Renaissance France, Brazil, Madeira and Hawaii, on the guitar, ukulele and machete de braga, at Castleton Church at 2.45pm.

Monday’s programme comes to an emotionally powerful conclusion in the Abbey with Sherborne Festival Chorus and Classical Players, soloists and conductor Paul Ellis, performing Mozart’s Requiem.

The last day of the festival, Tuesday 8th, begins with Pocket Sinfonia’s reinterpretation of favourite classics – including Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony – at the Cheap Street Church at 11am.

The Madrigal Society of Sherborne Girls gives an eclectic programme from folksongs and spirituals to Bridge and Rutter at the Abbey at 1.30pm and Sherborne Girls String Orchestra will play a concert at Cheap Street Church at 4.30pm.

Read the original feature at The Fine Times Recorder

Pictured: The Tallis Scholars, Adrian Brendel, Kieran White & Elizabeth Kenny and Matt Ford

Adrian Brendel | Patron of Sherborne YMOTY

Adrian Brendel | Patron of Sherborne YMOTY

Sherborne Abbey Festival, supporter of Sherborne Young Musician of the Year, is delighted to share the news that Adrian Brendel, who will be performing at the 2018 Festival, is to become the new Patron of Sherborne YMOTY:

SHERBORNE YOUNG MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 2018

Sherborne Douzelage is pleased to announce that Adrian Brendel has agreed to be the new Patron of the Sherborne Young Musician project. He is one of the most versatile and original cellists of his generation and has travelled the world as soloist, collaborator and teacher. Adrian is Artistic Director of the Plush Festival, held every summer in Plush, Dorset since 1995 and on 18th March this year he gave a concert in Sherborne along with Wessex Strings.

The third Sherborne Young Musician competition will take place on 19th May 2018. Young teenage solo musicians have put in their nominations and will be busy practising their pieces of music. This is a joint project run by Sherborne Douzelage, Sherborne Abbey Festival and the secondary schools in Sherborne. The more senior teenage musicians have already been judged and five selected to go to a Douzelage International Young Musician festival in Granville France in July.

The Sherborne Young Musician Competition is run along the lines of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and is for strings, woodwind, brass and piano players as well as solo vocalists. The Musical Director is Jamie Henderson of Sherborne School and the adjudicator in Andrew Trewhella from Wellington School. There will be a final competition round followed by a concert in the Tindall Hall at 7:30 pm on Saturday 19th May. Tickets are £10, including a glass of wine and will be available from Sherborne TIC, Winstone’s books and from Mary Clothier on 01963 251255.

{Kevin Waterfall said:} “As with the 2016 events that were such a success this project is a wonderful opportunity for our young musicians and for audiences to experience excellent music, to mix with their peers from across Europe and gain awards for their performances” We have been fortunate to have received excellent support from Sherborne Abbey Festival, Simon Digby Charitable Trust, The Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust, The Old Fosterians and Sherborne Kitchens. Douzelage is very grateful to these organisations for their donations and support. In addition we are very fortunate that Wessex strings have hosted fund raising concerts for this project and that we have sponsorship from local music shops.

Local business supporters or entrants can contact Kevin Waterfall at Kevin.waterfall@btinternet.com or 07825 152251.

 

Tenebrae Workshop | Sherborne Abbey Primary

Tenebrae Workshop | Sherborne Abbey Primary

Friday 28th April 1.45-2.45pm

 

One of the world’s finest vocal ensembles, Tenebrae Choir will be conducting a WORKSHOP at Sherborne Abbey Primary School, Lenthay Road, Sherborne DT9 6AQ on Friday 28th April from 1.45pm-2.45pm.  This is Sherborne Abbey Festival’s gift to the school, offering a unique opportunity for pupils to interact and learn from a choir of international acclaim.

Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae, under the direction of Nigel Short, is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles renowned for its passion and precision. The choir will be performing to a sell-out audience as part of Sherborne Abbey Festival 8pm this Friday 28th at Sherborne Abbey.

This programme delights in celebrating some of the finest choral works from the Renaissance through to the present day, ranging from the haunting Allegri ‘Miserere mei, Deus’, to Whitacre’s resplendent ‘I Thank You God’. Featuring a number of familiar favourites, these works showcase the rich dark soundworld of the Russian orthodox, the prayerful intimacy of contemporary English masters and the soaring contrapuntal lines of the late Renaissance. Closing with Harris’ spectacular ‘Faire is the Heaven’, this programme is a true homage to choral greats past and present.

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