This year's Penkhull Festival programme promises a wealth of exquisite music and musicians visit us, giving a series of concerts which I hope you will thoroughly enjoy. The phrase "not to be missed" cannot be applied to just one of our concerts this year, it really does apply to every single one.
Our opening concert is given by virtuoso a capella ensemble Apollo5. Whether performing jazz, pop, classical or even early sacred music, they are known for their exceptional communication with audiences, frequently performing from memory. Apollo5 enjoys a busy world-wide concert diary, as well as being committed to providing inspiring musical opportunities for young people and communities.
Back by popular demand, on the Friday evening our concert is given by Equinox Saxophone Ensemble. Versatile and original, Equinox is a group of like-minded, accomplished saxophonists with a passion for exploring the possibilities the saxophone can offer. From early music, through classical transcriptions, original and contemporary works, folk and jazz, Equinox presents the saxophone as a chameleon-like instrument capable of taking on many personalities.
We are introducing a new lunchtime vocal recital this year, with soprano Mimi Doulton joined by harpist Olivia Jageurs. They will present an enchanting recital of French and English song. Following the recital, there will be the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea in the village hall.
Our closing concert is Vivaldi's Four Seasons by candlelight. This collection of four concertos is quite simply among the most famous music ever written - and for good reason. Vivaldi's music is by turns vibrant, sad, exhilarating, melancholy, jubilant, dangerous. The soloist is renowned cellist Karen Stephenson, who is working with me to create a unique adaptation of the original violin score. Our brand new Festival Orchestra will accompany; the programme also includes a new arrangement of Tchaikovsky's The Seasons, originally for piano solo.
As ever, our Festival Exhibition will be curated by Trent Art, and works will be available to purchase, including through the Own Art scheme.
This year, our education and outreach project work will include a singing workshop for around 200 children from local primary schools, delivered by Ex Cathedra, whose extensive programme of award-winning school and community projects is widely known an revered across the UK and beyond. Their Singing Playgrounds project has reached over 1000 primary schools across the UK. I am delighted to welcome them to Penkhull to deliver outstanding musical opportunities for our young people. Additionally, we welcome music students from Newcastle-under-Lyme school to perform a lunchtime concert on the Friday, which is free for invited local schools.
I very much look forward to welcoming you to Penkhull Festival in September. If you would like to get in touch, please use the contact page of the website.