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The English Music Festival

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Friday, May 28th, 2021

Event Summary

Live music returns this Spring Bank Holiday weekend when St Mary’s Church, Horsham welcomes the English Music Festival.

The English Music Festival celebrates the brilliance, innovation, beauty and rich musical heritage of Britain with a strong focus on unearthing overlooked or forgotten masterpieces of the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.

Having hosted several highly successful and well-attended live concerts in Horsham between lockdowns last year, the Festival is bringing its main four-day event - now in its fourteenth year - to the Sussex town over the late May Bank Holiday. Concerts and talks run throughout the weekend, and take place in St Mary’s Church, Causeway and in the historic 1920s Drill Hall, just 5 minutes’ walk away.

The charms of Sussex have long attracted and inspired composers. Amongst those featured at the Festival include Arnold Bax, Eric Coates, Gustav Holst, Cyril Scott, Roger Quilter and John Ireland, who for many years lived in a windmill near Washington.

Among the performers taking part are the Aurora Trio, formed by young, talented soloists Emma Halnan, flute, Jordan Sian, viola, and Worthing-based harpist Heather Wrighton. They will be performing works by, amongst others, Sussex-based film, television and concert composer Paul Lewis, who will also be giving an illuminating talk entitled ‘Memoirs of a Media Composer’. Paul’s concert music is tonal and melodic, often inspired by people and places dear to him, and recordings of some of his music can be found on the Festival’s own record label, EM Records; www.em-records.com

Pianist and well-known broadcaster, Paul Guinery, will present a selection of light music discoveries, including ‘Sussex Downs’ by Billy Mayerl and, similarly in lighter vein, the New Foxtrot Serenaders will perform effervescent works by Ivor Novello, Noel Coward and Flanagan and Allen, in their own engaging style.

On Bank Holiday Monday, internationally renowned soloist, Roderick Williams, who is one of today’s most in-demand baritones, will be making a star appearance at what is likely to be a sell-out concert, when he performs Ivor Gurney’s rarely-heard song-cycle, The Western Playland, which sets words by A. E. Housman.

“With each event that we host, we increasingly realise how inestimably important live music-making is for some people, and how heavily they rely upon it for their emotional, social, mental and spiritual health and well-being.” said Festival Director, Em Marshall-Luck. “We have also become very aware of the plight of musicians, and especially younger artists, now at a vital stage in their careers, but lacking the performance opportunities that they so desperately need. Such factors have made us ever more determined to continue putting on concerts wherever and whenever we can, and we are absolutely delighted to be able to return to beautiful and spacious St Mary’s (a COVID-secure venue) for our main Festival, and to be able to support both our loyal audiences and our wonderful musicians in this important way. It promises to be a gloriously exciting event, with dynamic musicians staging fabulous and moving works."

Programme and Booking
To view the full programme please visit:
Tickets available from www.englishmusicfestival.org.uk/2021-may-festival/box-office.php or by contacting Festival Director Em Marshall-Luck at em.marshall-luck@englishmusicfestival.org.uk or on 07808 473889 and requesting a postal booking form.
To join the Friends’ scheme: www.englishmusicfestival.org.uk/friends.php

Venues in Horsham
St Mary’s Church, Causeway RH12 1HE
The Drill Hall, Denne Road RH12 1JF

How to reach the Festival
Horsham is accessible by train from the neighbouring towns and the Church is in easy walking distance of the station. From the coast, the venue is around an hour or so by car.

The church has a car park located in the Causeway, which is free of charge after 6:00pm (charges apply before this time). There are also two public car parks within easy walking distance: Forum on Blackhorse Way, and Denne Road; both multi-storey.

A selection of characterful inns, hotel chains and self-catering establishments provide accommodation, with a number of popular restaurants and eating establishments catering for all tastes.

Price: £15, £20, £25

More Information (V2 Radio is not responsible for external websites)


St Mary's Church
RH12 1HE

More details for this venue


The event runs from 12:00pm to 1:00pm on the following dates.
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