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Southwell Music Festival offers up a tantalising August bank holiday weekend

Music fans looking for an entertaining August bank holiday weekend can head to Southwell.

Tickets for the ninth annual Southwell Music Festival are selling fast, and with lots of free events too, there is something for all to enjoy.

The festival runs from Friday, August 25, to Monday, August 28, welcoming professional musicians and performers from across the UK, as well as shining a spotlight on the best of Nottinghamshire’s home-grown talent, which this year includes acclaimed pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason and award-winning jazz trumpeter Hugh Pascall.

Southwell Music Festival director Marcus Farnsworth. Credit: Dick Makin
Southwell Music Festival director Marcus Farnsworth. Credit: Dick Makin

For classical fans, Saturday evening sees the Festival Baroque Sinfonia perform Vivaldi’s iconic Four Seasons in Southwell Minster and return on Sunday with the Festival Voices for Handel’s fabulous showcase for choir, Dixit Dominus.

Southwell Music Festival always brings moving, atmospheric choral music to the awe-inspiring Minster.

On the Friday evening, the Festival Voices perform a specially curated programme, The Voice of Freedom, where choral works will fill the air alongside the poetry of writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.

Also on Friday, fiddler Aidan O’Rourke returns to Southwell, joining forces with pioneering piper Brìghde Chaimbeul for a lunchtime Festival Folk gig. Or, if relaxed jazz is your thing, you won’t want to miss Hugh Pascall and his quintet for a Sunday afternoon of jazz in the Festival Marquee. Plus, watch out for Hugh's free pop-up performances in locations across the town on Saturday.

As always, the free Festival Fringe brings even more music to Southwell, this year raising money for local charity Trent Dementia. Fringe performers include Nottingham Young Musician winner Benjamin Staniforth and pianist Annie McChrystal. On Sunday, musicians will also bring classical, folk and jazz sounds to the Ceramics in Southwell event in the Market Square.

And there is still time for amateur singers of all abilities to book a place at this year’s Come and Sing. Perform alongside the Festival Baroque Sinfonia and our Genesis vocal apprentices in an informal rehearsal and performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria.

Tickets are from £5. See the full programme and book online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/southwell-music-festival.

Southwell Music Festival Artistic Director Marcus Farnsworth said: “Our dedicated team of festival volunteers are ready to welcome you all to Southwell for a jam-packed weekend of music.

“Whether you are a seasoned concertgoer or want to try something new, we hope you will join us for a weekend of sensational live music right here in Nottinghamshire.”

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