July 11, 2008

Chopin and Changing Instruments of Choice

If you're in Ashburton tomorrow evening, then try to get along to St Lawrence Chapel, where Colin Parr (clarinet) and Jonathan Watts (piano) are giving a duo recital to include music by Brahms, Ravel and Poulenc at 7.30pm.

Colin was principal clarinetist of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, before retiring to the area. Tickets (pounds10) will be available at the door, and the ancient surroundings should make for an ideal concert venue.

However, Colin also plays cello in a specially-formed orchestra which will be performing towards the end of the year to raise money for Music for the Gambia.

Organiser Vicky Evans is anxious to hear from anyone who would be willing either to take part, on a non-familiar instrument, or help sponsor the players in their fund-raising efforts.

Anyone is welcome to participate, from age six to a hundred, and further details are available from Vicky by email ([email protected]), or phone (01803 863677). Colin's wife, Jenny, has taken up her husband's instrument, Vicky has swapped from cello to trombone, and Anne Kimber, flautist and Plymouth Symphony Orchestra's conductor, is producing some interesting sounds on the violin! But it's all about fun and raising money, so real instrumentalists needn't feel threatened!

You might be forgiven for not knowing where Whiteford is. In fact, it's just off the A388, a few miles north of Callington. But, from Friday July 18 to Sunday July 20, the village plays host to its own Music Festival.

Friday's offering is a Jazz Party in the Park, featuring TJ Johnson and his band at 7.30pm, and on Sunday, a chill-out featuring Black Jayce Davey and his band, Wylde Green, starting at 1.30pm. Saturday features the Radio Light Orchestra, under the baton of Barrie Mills, and the Loveny Male Voice Choir in Proms in the Park. The Radio Light Orchestra needs no introduction since its formation back in 1999, and has regularly delighted audiences by playing the kind of music that was popular on the BBC Light Programme some fifty years before.

The Loveny Choir has built up an enviable reputation, not only locally, but also abroad, and prides itself on its wide-ranging and varied repertoire. The concert, at 7.30pm also features soprano soloists Penny and Poppy Martin, and violinist Pete Twyman in the haunting Ashokan Farewell, together with popular classics, shows from the West End, all the usual prom favourites, culminating in a fantastic firework finale. Tickets (pounds17) are available from the online Box Office, where there is an additional pounds1 booking fee, or at the door.

For further details visit the festival website (www.whitefordfestival.co.uk) or phone 01579 370559 to check availability. The venue is a stunning arched auditorium set within beautiful parkland, with barbecue and licensed bar, surrounded by rolling hills, with views across Stoke Climsland to Dartmoor. Free parking is available a short walk away, as well as disabled parking and access, though a request for this should be made at the time of booking. And, if it happens to be glorious summer weather, then you might also like to make you way over earlier to the English Garden at Mt Edgcumbe at 2.30pm, where the City of Plymouth Concert Band is giving a free concert, entitled Music in the Park.

Devonport Apollo Choir sings at St Paul's Church, Durnford Street at on Tuesday July 15 at 7.30pm. The choir, conducted by John Stevens, with accompanists Glenda Davies and Ann Young, has a busy season of concerts ahead. For full details and future dates, please call 01752 880246.

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