What's Happened to Richmond Day?

What Festival Events are there in Richmond this year?

  • 24 April 2015
  • Author: Janet
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What's Happened to Richmond Day?

For several years a Richmond Day was part of Swaledale Festival when several events were programmed there and in St Agatha's Church, Easby. Other than that Richmond was almost ignored as part of the Festival. This year there are several events in Richmond but they are spread throughout the two weeks.

The first Festival visitors to Richmond are the members of Reeth Brass who are in St Mary's Church, Richmond on Tuesday, 26 May at 19:30. They usually give a Festival concert in St Andrew's Church, Grinton but are coming down-dale this year. Their programmes often consist of well-known melodies on a specific theme. Last year’s was varied musical fare but was designed to provide lots of opportunities for soloists in the band to demonstrate their considerable skills. There is a fine tradition of brass band playing in the Dales.

On 28 May The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments perform Nine Daies Wonder at the Georgian Theatre Royal. This story of actor Will Kemp’s dance from London to Norwich in 1600 includes music on some ‘strange and ancient instruments’ such as cittern and viola bastarda as well as dancing and songs. As we write, there are only 5 tickets left for this event so it may well be sold out by the time you read this.

St Mary's Church, Richmond is the venue on 31 May at 19:30 for two choirs, Werca’s Folk and Northern Voices. These two groups normally perform very different repertoire. Werca’s Folk are the female equivalent of the last year’s popular Voice Male from Morpeth, Northumberland and they sing unaccompanied in the folk song style. Their songs are a mix of traditional  and contemporary and focus on the lives and laughter of women. Northern Voices is based in Darlington and was founded by members of the Carol Andrew Singers. They sing modern and classical pieces accompanied on piano by Stephen Sild. In their concert at St Mary’s each choir does a set on its own then they will join together for a surprise finale.

Another vocal event in Richmond, this time at the Influence Church, on 1 June at 19:30 is jazz and blues singer Liane Carroll who is appearing with friends, Gwilym Simcock on piano and Hammond organ, Malcolm Creese on double bass – taking an evening off from his normal role as Swaledale Festival artistic director – and Dave Ohm on drums. Don’t let the fact that the venue is called a ’church’ put you off. It was originally a cinema and is still like a theatre inside.

Easby is regarded as close enough to Richmond to be included in previous Richmond Days and the gorgeous little church of St Agatha's Church, is the venue. It’s also famous for its magnificent catering, the proceeds from which go to help church funds. This year they are providing pre-concert strawberry teas, so plan to get there early. The concert at Easby is on Friday 5 June at 16:00 and is given by Harriet Mackenzie on violin and Miloš Milivojević on accordion. This is no bland, squeeze-box accompaniment to the violin. Miloš is a virtuoso who plays classical music on the accordion that can sound like a peasant band one minute and a full church organ the next. Harriet Mackenzie is an award winning virtuoso who has played at Swaledale Festival on several previous occasions with various ensembles; this time she has her own event. Their programme is of music by Bach, Mendelssohn, Bartók and Sarasate.

The Festival’s final visitors to Richmond are Royal Northern Sinfonia with James Gilchrist in St Mary's Church also on Friday 5 June at 19:30. James Gilchrist is one of the world’s leading tenors performing as a recitalist with internationally renowned conductors and choirs such as Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, and Sir John Elliot Gardiner. For the Festival concert he joins with a small ensemble from Royal Northern Sinfonia directed by Kyra Humphries in a concert of works by favourite twentieth century English composers, Peter Warlock, Gerald Finzi, John Ireland and Ralph Vaughan Williams; a world class performance at one of the country’s best music festivals

With six events to choose from over the two week festival there is something for all tastes in Richmond this year and the spread of dates means it should be possible to get to them all if you want to. The nice thing about a Festival is that it is a good opportunity to try something a bit different, possibly a little out of your normal comfort zone. Full details of all events are in the What’s On section of the website. 

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