Acclaimed musician to open Royston Arts Festival with special concert

PUBLISHED: 13:40 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 10 September 2019

Star trumpeter Alison Balsom will perform at this year's Royston Arts Festival opening night concert in Ashwell. Picture: Hugh Carswell

Star trumpeter Alison Balsom will perform at this year's Royston Arts Festival opening night concert in Ashwell. Picture: Hugh Carswell

Hugh Carswell

An award-winning musician will open this year's Royston Arts Festival with a special concert.

Alison Balsom will bring her Balsom Ensemble to St Mary’s Church, Ashwelll, to open this year's Royston Arts Festival. Picture: Maker 2Alison Balsom will bring her Balsom Ensemble to St Mary’s Church, Ashwelll, to open this year's Royston Arts Festival. Picture: Maker 2

This year's Royston Arts Festival is fast approaching and kicks off next week.

The annual arts extravaganza will feature a programme of over 30 events, which this year are themed around Our Planet, from next Thursday (September 19) to Sunday, September 29.

Royston's three-time Classic Brit winner Alison Balsom will be opening the festival with a special concert to raise funds for the restoration of Royston Parish Church.

Join the award-winning trumpeter and the Balsom Ensemble for The Baroque Trumpet concert on Thursday, September 19 at St Mary's Church in Ashwell.

Royston’s very own Alison Balsom will bring her Balsom Ensemble to St Mary’s Church, Ashwelll, to open this year's Royston Arts Festival. Picture: Jason JoyceRoyston’s very own Alison Balsom will bring her Balsom Ensemble to St Mary’s Church, Ashwelll, to open this year's Royston Arts Festival. Picture: Jason Joyce

Other highlights include the festival's first cabaret night featuring drag star Cookie Monstar and burlesque artiste Coco Nobel, and science writer and novelist Stuart Clark giving a talk on The Search For Earth's Twin Planet.

As well as this, many regular events will return, including MusicFest and the always popular Community Arts Event in Priory Gardens.

Creative Royston chairman Carl Filby said: "It's going to be different this year. The first time we have had a proper 'Opening Night', the first time Alison Balsom has performed a full blown concert for the festival, and the first time that we have had a cabaret evening.

"We'll also be having our old favourites - MusicFest, the Finale Concert and the Community Arts Event - this year on the theme of 'Our Planet', which is about as topical as it is possible to get.

Royston’s very own Alison Balsom will bring her Balsom Ensemble to St Mary’s Church, Ashwelll, to open this year's Royston Arts Festival. Picture: Jason JoyceRoyston’s very own Alison Balsom will bring her Balsom Ensemble to St Mary’s Church, Ashwelll, to open this year's Royston Arts Festival. Picture: Jason Joyce

"All this will be supported by Royston-based arts and crafts groups providing, talks, plays, exhibitions, competitions and more music.

"There's something for everyone of whatever age and I don't know about anyone else, but I can hardly wait!"

An Evening with Cookie MonStar will take place on Wednesday, September 25 at The Old Bull Inn.

The following night, Thursday, September 26, we will be escaping 'Our Planet' altogether, with The Search For Earth's Twin Planet, a talk by science writer and novelist Stuart Clark at Royston Library about the search for another habitable world.

Royston Arts Society Autumn Exhibition for 2019
Royston Arts Society Autumn Exhibition for 2019

Returning for its fourth year, Royston MusicFest '19 will take place on Sunday, September 22, bringing another day packed with live music.

All shows are completely free, all afternoon, at various venues around Royston, culminating in a gala concert at The Old Bull Inn at 7pm.

The festival culminates on the Sunday evening with the Finale Concert.

Held this year at King James Academy's Meridian Hall, the concert will be compered by soprano Hannah Long and will feature among others Royston Town Band, Women Sing, pupils of Alice Hyland, and ensembles from King James Academy.

Royston Arts Society's annual autumn exhibition also forms part of the festival.

The exhibition of affordable art will be held in Royston Town Hall.

There will be a preview evening on Friday, September 27, which will include the prize-giving ceremony for this year's RAS Young Artist Awards.

The exhibition will then be open Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 10am to 5pm both days.

Full details of all events, including ticketing and accessibility information, are available in the Royston Arts Festival programme or at www.creativeroyston.org and www.roystonmusicfest.uk

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