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

 

Sherborne Young Musician of the Year FINALS

Sherborne Young Musician of the Year FINALS

Sherborne Abbey Festival is a proud supporter of Sherborne Young Musician of the Year. It is just one of the ways we give back to the community and to young musical talent.

Do join us on 19th May at the Finalists Concert and award ceremony.

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.

 

Dorset Magazine Subscription Offer

Dorset Magazine Subscription Offer

We’re delighted to support Dorset Magazine with a subscription offer to our Festival followers.  Do take advantage of this special offer and enjoy discovering all that’s happening in Dorset for many months to come.

Also see our Festival feature in the May issue of Dorset Magazine – out April 2018.

 

 

 

 

Tickets now on general release!

Tickets now on general release!

With a nineteenth season in 2018, and many new tourism awards under its belt, the first weekend in May now means only one thing – wonderful music of all kinds at the acclaimed Sherborne Abbey Festival.

The 2018 programme, taking place from 4th8th May is full of exciting and adventurous concerts. There’s something for all tastes and ages with up to 70% of all performances free entry, making it one of Dorset’s most welcoming and accessible musical events. Everything from Intimate Sinatra with Matt Ford, popular Swing, Big Bands and Close Harmony to a Concerto Feast with Adrian Brendel, Rachmaninov to Taverner with the Tallis Scholars, Gospel from the London Adventist Chorale and much more is on offer.

As always, local young musicians and singers have a major role with concerts by jazz, madrigal, choral and chamber ensembles from Sherborne School, Sherborne Girls and Leweston. A much anticipated highlight is the performance by Sherborne Festival Chorus, a non-auditioning community-based choir of 140 people, this year appearing with Sherborne Classical Players presenting Mozart’s Requiem.

Described as ‘A lovely gem of a festival’ by long-time supporter Dr Carol Colburn Grigor CBE (The Dunard Fund),  Sherborne Abbey Festival is organised entirely by volunteers and is centred in and around the 8th Century Abbey Church in Sherborne. The combination of classical music, internationally renowned performers and exploring all that Sherborne and Dorset has to offer, is irresistible to visitors.

Pin It on Pinterest