Spring sounds for the valley

PERFORMERS, singers and music lovers are being invited to Heptonstall for the annual Pennine Spring Music festival.

Organisers are again offering young musicians the chance to take part thanks to a special, Parish Council funded scholarship.

The series of concerts bring together players and singers from all over Britain for a week of music-making which gives a platform to established and up and coming artists, playing a programme which this year includes a charity concert by Opera North, an orchestral concert of Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms, as well as a choral concert of Michael Hurd, Elgar and Vaughan Williams.

The festival will culminate in an Orchestral and Choral Concert of Beethoven’s Symphony No.1 Op 21 in C major and Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.3 K447 in E-Flat major, as well as Haydn’s Missa Cellensis in C.

Performances take place in Heptonstall’s 150-year-old church with a series of daily workshops and rehearsals led by highly-skilled professionals.

Festival organisers have again secured scholarships for young performers courtesy of Heptonstall Parish Council.

Parish Council chairman, John Scarborough, said: “We’ve created three awards to encourage the musical participation of young people up to the age of 22.

“They are subject to the Pennine Spring Music committee’s judgement of who should receive them. We also gave awards last year.

“The award is £250 in total. Pennine Spring Music is an event which draws people into the village from far and wide. I went last year and I was very impressed, it puts a real focus on the village in terms of what it has to offer culturally.

“I’m happy that we can support it and the development of young musicians again.”

The musical director and orchestral conductor is Nicholas Concannon Hodges, after training at the Royal College of Music, then 10 years as a professional violinist in London moved to Manchester and currently conducts the Todmorden Orchestra, the Burnley Municipal Orchestra and Chorus and the Congleton Choral Society.

Choral director Keith Orrell is the director of the William Byrd Singers of Manchester and the Liverpool Welsh Choral.

He was Chorus Master of the Halle Choir in Manchester for seven years and acted as guest Chorus Master for other symphony choruses in the UK, including the BBC Symphony Chorus.

Leader of the orchestra Elizabeth Taylor has performed her role for 20 years and teaches and performs professionally in Lincolnshire.

Pennine Spring Music Festival will take place from May 30 to June 4. Organisers are calling on new instrumentalists and singers to come forward.

For more information about performing or the scholarships contact Jean on 01422 843 955 or email jean@richux.plus.com

Application forms are available at Hebden Bridge Tourist Centre or by visiting www.penninespringmusic.co.uk

l WHICH parts of the programme will you be looking forward to? Email us your comments on todnews@todmordennews.co.uk and hbtimes@hebdenbridgetimes.co.uk