Terry and all that jazz

PUBLISHED: 12:25 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

Terry with Louis Armstong in 1965

Terry with Louis Armstong in 1965

SOME of the country s leading musicians will be taking part in this year s Ashwell Music Festival. The seven-concert event, which will be held in St Mary s Parish Church, will start on Saturday and run until Sunday, May 28. The festival has been organised

Terry Lightfoot at the Ashwell Music Festival

SOME of the country's leading musicians will be taking part in this year's Ashwell Music Festival.

The seven-concert event, which will be held in St Mary's Parish Church, will start on Saturday and run until Sunday, May 28.

The festival has been organised by the Friends of St Mary's.

The Rev Eric Shegog, who is organising the festival, said: "The Friends of St Mary's work extremely hard to set projects like this up, and over the last three years the festival has improved greatly.

"Money raised will be donated towards preserving the church as it's a Grade I listed building and costs a lot to preserve."

Last year the festival raised about £4,000 which went towards parish projects.

The annual event - now in its 53rd year - was started by Canon Jack Catterick in 1953.

Since then it has transformed from its original concept of a summer music school for young people into a six-evening music festival that involves professional musicians with national and international acclaim.

Mr Shegog said: "The standard for this year's festival is really high and we are extremely proud to have so many talented musicians on board."

The festival will start with a music and storytelling afternoon for children aged six to 11, with the young at heart also welcome. The show will be put on by

Ashwell Primary School's Crickcrack Production team.

He said: "It's important to involve the children as they are an important part of our community. When the festival started 53 years ago it was all about the children, so it's important to keep them involved."

The parish will be particularly excited by the performance of Emily Rowley Jones, a talented singer who will be singing solos and duets by Mozart, Handel and Gershwin.

"Emily is a local girl who started her singing career in our St Mary's choir. She's gone a long way since then.

"It's really nice to see that Emily is doing well, as we've watched her grow up over the years," he said.

On the penultimate night of the festival, Terry Lightfoot and his Jazz Band, will be performing the special magic of Louis Armstrong. A special performance that Mr Shegog is also looking forward to hearing.

He said: "Terry is one of the great traditional jazz men who has played with some of the greatest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and this promises to be a great performance."

Other performances include the London Oriana Choir's evening of spiritual and classic opera choruses, and the Fine Arts Sinfonia of London.

A young musicians' evening will take place where pupils from

Ashwell Primary School and Knights Templar School will come together with the St Mary's

Church Junior Choir for one performance.

The week will end with a Festival Evensong that will be sung by the parish church choir and conducted by Christopher Bucknall.

Eric said: "There will be something for everyone whether it be opera, orchestras, jazz or entertainment for the youngsters. It should be a fantastic week of music."

- For details call the box office on 01462 742746 or call Eric Shegog on 01462 743251.

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