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Sizzling conclusion to music festival

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 07:42 01 August 2010

THE 2008 Beccles Music Festival came to an end on Sunday evening when Jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth performed to a packed house in St Michael's Church with Chris Allard on guitar and Alec Dankworth on bass.

THE 2008 Beccles Music Festival came to an end on Sunday evening when Jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth performed to a packed house in St Michael's Church with Chris Allard on guitar and Alec Dankworth on bass.

Jacqui performed many smooth and mellow numbers along with some searing blues numbers as she showed off the versatility of her voice and the audience were treated to several outstanding solos from Chris and Alec during the evening. The second weekend of the festival saw five concerts and a special Festival Celebration service take place in St Michael's.

Audiences enjoyed a choral concert by The Beccles Festival Chorus that included the first performance of a specially commissioned work by Jana Rowland, The Song of Sarkis. On Saturday Natalie Beauchamp performed a violin recital with David Neil Jones with intense performances of unaccompanied Bach and Vitalli, a confident and lively performance of a Beethoven Sonata and the spectacular Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate. On Saturday evening Andrew Giller and Jonathan Wortley played an entertaining selection of piano solos and duets.

On Sunday the church was full for a service with the Beccles Choral Society, under their new director Philip Simms, and soprano Erica Eloff who performed extracts from the Messiah. Erica then went on to perform a recital on Sunday afternoon with a ravishing Soprano voice that easily coped with both the musical and technical demands of some beautiful songs by among others, Faure, Howells, Vaughn Williams and Rachmaninoff. Then the Festival was brought to an end as several hundred people enjoyed Jacqui Dankworth's performance.

"The two weekends of music have brought many outstanding performances to Beccles," said Rev. John Beauchamp, chairman of the festival committee. "We want to bring high quality professionals to Beccles and give local musicians opportunities to perform as well and this year we managed to do both of these. We hope to continue to build the festival in years to come and we hope that more people will want to come and enjoy the great variety of live music that the festival will offer in 2009."

John thanked all those who had helped to run the festival and all performers who had made it such a great success. Plans for the 2009 festival are already well underway. Watch out for details of what is to come.

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