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Success for music festival

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:37 01 August 2010

A GREAT variety of colourful acts attracted 1,500 for this year's Beccles Music Festival.

The festival, which included jazz, classical orchestras and choral concerts, took place from September 18 to 27 at St Michael's Church, the Waveney House Hotel and the Kings Head Hotel.

A GREAT variety of colourful acts attracted 1,500 for this year's Beccles Music Festival.

The festival, which included jazz, classical orchestras and choral concerts, took place from September 18 to 27 at St Michael's Church, the Waveney House Hotel and the Kings Head Hotel.

It started with a piano recital by David Neil Jones, who showed off the breadth of his superb playing with a varied programme of Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy, Chopin and Ginastera.

Soprano Sheila Barnes held a public master class in solo singing with a group of young singers, and performed a recital of English songs accompanied by David Neil Jones and John Mosesson.

The London Mozart Players played a programme of Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart with soprano Erica Eloff as soloist in Mozart's Exaultate Jubilate.

There was a brass band day with a visit from leading band Foden's, who played to a packed church showing off the full range of brass band music from traditional to modern.

Ray Simmons brought along his band Jazz Unlimited, performing songs by great American song writers and many jazz standards as well.

There was also a visit from trumpeter Digby Fairweather and saxophonist Karen Sharp, who played a fun set of classic jazz numbers. A recital by violinist Natalie Beauchamp and David Neil Jones included a sonata by Brahms and a suite by Sinding.

There was also a performance of a requiem written by Jana Rowland, which she directed herself. It included The Beccles Festival Chorus, with Tim Patient on the organ; The Festival Brass Quartet, led by Ray Simmons; soprano Augusta Hebert; the St Benet's School Choir; and other soloists.

The Festival Chorus performed again at a Festival Celebration Service, and the festival was closed by organist Carlo Curley, who performed a spectacular recital on an Allan concert organ in the church.

“We have been very pleased with the festival this year,” said Rev John Beauchamp, festival director. “Audiences have enjoyed the variety of music and we have welcomed many visitors and holiday makers to the concerts. We would like to thank all of the festival sponsors and supporters without whom the festival could not take place.”

If you attended a festival event and would like to comment on your experience, or put forward ideas on what you would like to see in the festival next year, you can email boxoffice@beccles festival.co.uk.

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