Bakewell, Bepop and Baroque - plenty to choose from at Sherborne Abbey Festival
SMALL but perfectly formed - rather like its home town (one of the Sunday Times' "Best Places to Live in Britain" last weekend) - Sherborne Abbey Festival offers five days of stimulating, engaging, interesting and varied entertainment.
It's about more than music, although of course music is at the heart of the festival.
First up on Friday 3rd May at 1.30pm is a concert by Sherborne School Chamber Ensemble in the Abbey, including Vivaldi's Double Trumpet Concerto and Albinoni's much-loved Adagio, followed at 3.45 in Sherborne School's Music School is Bebop and Jazz at the Tindall from the school's jazz band.
Another opening day event, that has become a tradition, is a literary one and this year's special guest is Dame Joan Bakewell, still as trenchant a commentator as ever, with more than four decades as a leading broadcaster, television presenter, journalist and writer.
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Dame Joan will be in conversation with BVM editor Fanny Charles at the Big School Room at Sherborne School on Friday 3rd May at 6pm.
This is followed by baroque stars Red Priest playing a programme called Handel in the Wind at the Abbey at 8pm.
Saturday, 4th May, begins with Sherborne Close Harmony Group in the Abbey at 10.30am, followed by saxophonist Snake Davis, leading a workshop at Sherborne Girls School's Stuart Centre from 10am, and in concert with the Snake Strings in the Abbey at 2pm.
Rossignol's 2013 concert is Stile Antio and Le Nuove Musiche, 17th century music from England and Italy at Castleton Church at 4pm, and the evening concert is the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble in the Abbey at 7.30.
On Sunday, Sherborne Young Singers perform a potpourri of choral arrangements at Castleton Church at 3pm, and gypsy tango band Zum are in the Big School Room at 7.30.
Organ lovers will enjoy a recital by David Terry on the Abbey organ at 10.30am on bank holiday Monday, followed by Leweston School's Schola Cantorum at 1pm, and the evening Abbey concert is Sherborne Festival Chorus performing Verdi's Requiem.
On Monday afternoon there is a very special event when the Yeovilton Military Wives Choir perform at Castleton Church at 4.30pm.
The final day's programme includes Sherborne Girls' Madrigal Society in the Abbey at 1.30pm, the Gryphon Big Band in the Church Hall, Digby Road, at 2.30, Sherborne Girls Jazz Band at Castleton Church at 4.30pm and a grand finale with the matchless ensemble The Sixteen, in an all-Monteverdi programme in the abbey at 7.30pm.