Three concerts in five days

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Classical music lovers get a special treat with three concerts in five days at the 31st Pennine Spring Music festival at St Thomas’s Church, Heptonstall.

The festival has undergone a few changes this year with details in a dedicated website -

The festival opens on Tuesday, May 30 with talented young pianist Eias Ackerley playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 as well as Gorecki’s choral Totus Tuus, and the New World Symphony no. 9 by Dvorak.

Two days later sections of the orchestra and choir perform in various combinations. The choir and wind gather together for Exsultet - a piece written by choral director, Keith Orrell. The brass and choir (with timpani) perform the haunting Funeral Music for Queen Mary by Purcell. Ten wind players come together to play the Suite Persane by French composer, Caplet and the string section enjoy playing the famous Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis written by Vaughan-Williams. Additionally, a brass ensemble performs a selection of short pieces.

The grand finale concert on Saturday, June 3 involves Vaughan-Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. The Baritone solo will be performed by Damian O’Keeffe. The choir will sing My Soul There is a Country by Parry and the orchestra will tackle the great symphonic suite Scheherezade by, Rimsky-Korsakov. Each concert starts at 7.30pm.

lThere are still a couple of string spaces in the orchestra and tenor and bass spaces in the choir at the time of writing - see website.