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Hexham Abbey Festival of Music & Arts 2018




Showing at

Hexham Abbey

Hexham Abbey Festival of Music & Arts 2018
Thursday 27 September - Sunday 30 September.



This year’s Festival looks back to two events of one hundred years ago; the signing of the Armistice on 11 November, which brought the First World War to an end, and British women gaining the right to vote and voting in the General Election of December 1918.

At Saturday morning’s community event, local choirs and schools will join together in a varied programme including songs made famous during the war and songs inspired by the campaign for votes for women.

Vaughan Williams, the composer of the oratorio being performed on Saturday evening, served in the army from 1914 to 1919 and wrote his passionate plea for peace in 1936, when another war was already in prospect.  Jack Ellicott, whose letters home   you will hear read on Sunday evening,  joined up in 1915 and was killed the following year.

The organ music to be played at the church services during the Festival will include pieces by Sir George Dyson, who saw active service, and Dame Ethel Smyth, a dedicated suffragette who was imprisoned for her activities.  Her March of the Women will be sung on Saturday morning.


The wonderful music of Mozart will be a thread running through Friday’s to Sunday’s concerts.  John Butt will play his Fantasia in F minor, K616,  the Festival Orchestra will perform his Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, K364 and the Festival Winds will perform his Serenade in C minor, K388.



The festival opens at 6.30pm on Thursday 27th September with Choral Evensong in Hexham Abbey, followed by a concert at 7.30pm in which renowned organist and scholar, John Butt, will partner with the well known brass quintet The Wallace Collection, led by trumpeter John Wallace.

At 1pm on Friday John Butt will give an organ recital; we expect the programme to include works by Bach and Mozart. At 7.30pm on Friday there will be the festival’s traditional Candlelight Concert, given by acclaimed vocal group I Fagiolini. The works they perform will range from Monteverdi to Flanders & Swann.

On Saturday morning the Abbey will be given over to a free to attend community event featuring local choirs which will be led by Sandra Kerr; we expect to see the Hexham Brass Band perform as well. At 7.30pm on Saturday evening the Festival Chorus and Orchestra conducted by David Murray will first perform Haydn’s Te Deum of 1800 and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. After the interval they will be joined by soprano Rachel Nicholls and baritone Jerome Knox for Vaughan Williams’ oratorio Dona Nobis Pacem. At 10pm that evening our Late Night Jazz event will feature young saxophonist Harry Greene.

On the last day of the festival our guest preacher at  Choral Eucharist at 10am will be the Bishop of Loughborough, The Rt. Revd. Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani. A Coffee Concert will follow at 11.45am, where the Hexham Abbey Winds will perform Mozart’s Serenade in E flat and Gounod’s Petite Sinfonie. Choral Evensong will be at 6.30pm and the festival will end at 8pm with the moving From your ever-loving son Jack performed by Joshua Ellicott and Simon Lepper.


Concessions are offered to all under 18s, those in full-time education, registered unemployed (JSA) and disabled people (carer/escort admitted free of charge).



Thursday 27 September 3.00pm
Simon Armitage: Poetry Reading
Tickets: £12.00 / £10.00 (concessions) 

Thursday 27 September 7.30pm
Brass and Organ - The Wallace Collection and John Butt Organ
Tickets: £15.00 / Concessions £12.00
Friday 28 September 1.00pm
John Butt  Lunchtime Organ Recital
Tickets: £12.00 / Concessions £10.00
Friday 28 September 7.30pm
Candlelight Concert - I Fagiolini
Tickets: £20.00 / Concessions £18.00
Saturday 29 September 10.00am - 12.00pm
Festival Big Sing
Free event, no ticket required, retiring collection
Saturday 29 September 7.30pm
Festival Chorus, Orchestra & Soloists
Tickets: £20.00 / Concessions £18.00
Saturday 29 September 10.00pm
Late Night Jazz - Harry Greene and his Blue Note Combo
Tickets: £12.00 /  Concessions £10.00
Sunday 30 September 11.45am
Coffee Concert Abbey Festival Winds
Tickets:£12.00 / Concessions £10.00
Sunday 30 September 3.30pm
Forum Cinema, Film: A Farewell to Arms (1932 dir. Frank Borzage)
Tickets: £5.75
(Tickets from the Forum Cinema 01434 601144)
Sunday 30 September 8.00pm
"From Your Ever Loving Son Jack" Joshua Ellicott tenor and Simon Lepper piano
Tickets: £12.00 / Concessions £10.00


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